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TOKYO

“Masterpieces of the Kabuki-za Theater Collection”

YAMATANE MUSEUM OF ART

by Mike Hamilton

Staff Writer

This year celebrates the 60th anniversary since Tokyo’s Kabuki-za, Japan’s principal kabuki theater, was rebuilt after being severely damaged during World War II. The theater is now going through a 21st-century architectural makeover and set to reopen in 2013.

As kabuki fans patiently wait, Tokyo’s Yamatane Museum offers a special exhibition of kabuki-related artworks from the Kabuki-za’s collection, which was founded in 1889. Pieces include nihonga (Japanese-style) and yōga (Western-style) works, and other artifacts, such as a letter of admiration from U.S. General McArthur, who was pivotal in the building of postwar Japan.

Though some of the works have been publicly displayed before, this is a good opportunity to see others that would have been hidden away in the theater’s guest rooms. Artists of note include Uemura Shoen, Yokoyama Taikan, and Kawai Gyokudo; till Nov. 6.

Yamatane Museum of Art; (03) 5777-8600; 3-12-36 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku; 10-min walk from West Exit of Ebisu Station, JR line and Hibiya line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥1000. Closed Mon. (open Sept. 19, closed Sept. 20). www.yamatane-museum.jp.