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Pictures | Wed Dec 5, 2012 | 1:03pm EST

Japanese actor who took Kabuki to the world dies at 57

Japanese Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura (L) of Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre performs during a dress rehearsal for "Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" in Berlin May 14, 2008 file photo. One of Japan's top kabuki actors, Nakamura, who worked hard to modernise the centuries-old theatre form and performed around the world, died on December 5, 2012 after a five-month battle with cancer, Japanese media reported. Nakamura, 57, was born to a family of longstanding performers in the ancient kabuki theatre - known for elaborate make-up, extravangant costumes and all-male casts - and began performing at the age of three. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files

Japanese Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura (L) of Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre performs during a dress rehearsal for "Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" in Berlin May 14, 2008 file photo. One of Japan's top kabuki actors, Nakamura, who worked...more

Japanese Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura (L) of Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre performs during a dress rehearsal for "Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" in Berlin May 14, 2008 file photo. One of Japan's top kabuki actors, Nakamura, who worked hard to modernise the centuries-old theatre form and performed around the world, died on December 5, 2012 after a five-month battle with cancer, Japanese media reported. Nakamura, 57, was born to a family of longstanding performers in the ancient kabuki theatre - known for elaborate make-up, extravangant costumes and all-male casts - and began performing at the age of three. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files
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Japanese Kabuki actors Kanzaburo Nakamura (L), Nakamura Shichinosuke (C) and an unidentified actor of Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre perform during a dress rehearsal for "Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" in Berlin in this May 14, 2008 file photo. One of Japan's top kabuki actors, Nakamura, who worked hard to modernise the centuries-old theatre form and performed around the world, died on December 5, 2012 after a five-month battle with cancer, Japanese media reported. Nakamura, 57, was born to a family of longstanding performers in the ancient kabuki theatre - known for elaborate make-up, extravangant costumes and all-male casts - and began performing at the age of three. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files

Japanese Kabuki actors Kanzaburo Nakamura (L), Nakamura Shichinosuke (C) and an unidentified actor of Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre perform during a dress rehearsal for "Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" in Berlin in this May 14, 2008 file...more

Japanese Kabuki actors Kanzaburo Nakamura (L), Nakamura Shichinosuke (C) and an unidentified actor of Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre perform during a dress rehearsal for "Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka" in Berlin in this May 14, 2008 file photo. One of Japan's top kabuki actors, Nakamura, who worked hard to modernise the centuries-old theatre form and performed around the world, died on December 5, 2012 after a five-month battle with cancer, Japanese media reported. Nakamura, 57, was born to a family of longstanding performers in the ancient kabuki theatre - known for elaborate make-up, extravangant costumes and all-male casts - and began performing at the age of three. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files
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