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OSAKA

Get a sample of Japanese arts

by Monica Tandung

Staff Writer

The Japanese arts of noh and kabuki are popular with tourists from all over, and Kamigata Traditional Entertainment Night was created to make productions easier to comprehend with its all-English program of traditional theater.

The event is part of the Osaka Nightlife Culture campaign, organized by the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and in collaboration with the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau. The shows are presented every month with the purpose of promoting and introducing people to Japanese culture and, in particular, Osaka’s performing-arts world.

The program features a taiken (hands-on experience) component. Halfway through the show, volunteers from the audience will be invited on stage to try performing with the actors. There will also be “sampler performances” lasting 15 minutes, which act as a type of showcase for first-timers. The samplers aim to highlight various art forms so that newcomers can get a sense of what they’re in for if they choose to see more theater in Japan.

The performances taking place at Yamamoto Noh Theater in Osaka this weekend will include rakugo (comic storytelling), ozashiki-asobi (games played at Japanese-style parties), kodan (storytelling), and noh plays. All performances will be either explained or subtitled in English.

Kamigata Traditional Entertainment Night takes place at Yamamoto Noh Theater, Osaka, on Nov. 5 (6 p.m.). Admission costs ¥4,500 (S area); ¥4,000 (A area); ¥3,500 (B area). For more information, visit www.kamigata-night.com (available in English).