It remains a remarkable coincidence that by the early 17th century, from opposite sides of the globe and virtually completely ignorant of each other's cultures, both the English stage of Shakespeare and the Japanese stage of Kabuki had evolved cross-dressing traditions - only one of which - Kabuki - has survived intact into the present day. In this rich and varied collection of essays by leading scholars from the USA, Europe and Japan, the history, culture and development of cross-gender casting in both traditions is explored from a variety of angles and points of view, thereby providing many new access points for further research, ongoing discussion and debate. Contents include: "Between the men and women: the Elizabethan gender system and the cross-dressed theatre" by Louis Montrose; "The Onnagata and the female page: female impersonation and other topics in Shakespeare and Kabuki" by John Russell Brown; "Performing gender: the construction of femininity in Shakespeare and Kabuki" and "The staging of a Kabuki version of Hamlet" by Orita Koji.
Minoru Fujita, Professor Emeritus at Osaka University , is the author of Pageantry and Spectacle in Shakespeare (1982), and co-editor (with Leonard Pronko) of Shakespeare East and West (1996). He was an adviser to the construction of the Tokyo Globe when it was built in 1988. Michael Shapiro is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Children of the Revels:The Boy Companies of Shakespeare's time and their Plays (1976) and Gender in Play on the Shakespeare Stage (1994).