Kabuki kicks off the new year

Jan 11, 2013

Kabuki kicks off the new year

Audiences at the Asakusa Kokaido venue in Tokyo have been welcoming 2013 in with some high culture. Ichikawa Ebizo XI opened the public hall’s program for the new year with a 45-minute piece titled “Kotobuki Soga no Taimen” (“The Soga Brothers Meet their Enemy”). ...

A principal of noh performance

Sep 20, 2012

A principal of noh performance

The upcoming “Sakurama Kinki no Kai” is the 19th noh event in a series of performances by Sakurama Kinki of the Komparu School. Of the five noh schools still active today, the Komparu School is the most traditional, though it has, interestingly, taken the ...

Kabuki's 10th Mitsugoro shows off his family's dance moves

Aug 9, 2012

Kabuki's 10th Mitsugoro shows off his family's dance moves

Bando Mitsugoro X (born Hisashi Morita, 56) succeeded to his current stage name 11 years ago, after the death of his father Mitsugoro IX. He was rigorously trained in Kabuki acting and dancing by his father, who had learned the trade under the renowned ...

Big theater names and 'Super Kabuki'

Jul 5, 2012

Big theater names and 'Super Kabuki'

At the start of the performances at Tokyo’s Shimbashi Embujo Ichikawa theater in June this year, Kamejiro II (born Takahiko Kinoshi), 36, took the name Ichikawa Ennosuke IV, while his uncle Ichikawa Ennosuke III, famously known as the founder of “Super Kabuki,” took the ...

Hayashi drums up a birthday performance

Jan 27, 2012

Hayashi drums up a birthday performance

Eitetsu Hayashi, a pioneer in the field of taiko (traditional Japanese drumming), plans to showcase the results of 40 years of experience at a performance celebrating his 60th birthday next week. The program is called “Goringu: Ashita no tame ni” (“Five Rings: For Tomorrow”) ...

Kabuki returns to its Asakusa home for special New Year's performances

Dec 29, 2011

Kabuki returns to its Asakusa home for special New Year's performances

As kabuki fans will already know, for more than 30 years, the Kokaido (public hall) in Asakusa has celebrated the Tokyo district’s history as a thriving entertainment area by reviving the Edo Period (1603-1867) tradition of New Year’s special kabuki performances. These shows have ...

Tokyo gets five rare takes on Kyoto tradition

Aug 11, 2011

Tokyo gets five rare takes on Kyoto tradition

The upcoming staging of NHK Enterprises’ fifth “Gei no Shinzui” (“The Essence of Art”) series at the National Theatre in Tokyo promises a rare and rather sublime Kyoto treat for the capital’s lovers of traditional Japanese performing arts. Titled “Kyo no Miyabi” (“The Elegance ...

The legacy of kyogen's Okura tigers

Feb 11, 2011

The legacy of kyogen's Okura tigers

Noh, the Japanese theater form, is renowned for its highly stylized use of masks, elaborate costumes, literary and religious context, and difficult narratives. It’s also known for its incredibly long performances — traditionally taking up an entire day. Kyogen, short comic or satirical plays, ...

Young kabuki talent for the new year

Jan 14, 2011

Young kabuki talent for the new year

Most know Asakusa in Tokyo for Sensoji Temple and its surrounding souvenir arcades, but during the late Edo Period it was also the show business district of downtown Edo. Three kabuki theaters authorized by the shogunate competed in Saruwaka-cho, not far from Asakusa’s Kokaido ...

The history hidden behind the mask

Oct 15, 2010

The history hidden behind the mask

Kiyotaka Imai, 67, is a prominent noh performer from the Kongo School, which was established in the Kansai region during the 14th century, and headquartered in Kyoto. The son of the late Ikusaburo Imai, a Kongo noh master of the highest ranking (shokubun) and ...