Shakespeare was first produced in Japan in a version fairly faithful to the original when, in 1903, the actor-manager Kawakami Otojiro, who came from outside the Kabuki world, directed Othello. Some reviewers were quite critical of the production, saying that it would make no sense to call this genuine Shakespeare since the serious drama was played so badly as to become comic. Others were more sympathetic and said that one had to be satisfield with this brave undertaking since the audience seemed to have enjoyed it very much. However, most critics did not see the entire performance, either arriving late or leaving before the end. Yet they seem to have felt no need to apologize: they had simply followed the usual custom of theatre-going practised by Kabuki audiences.