Outdoor kabuki marks Skytree anniversary

May 28, 2014

Outdoor kabuki marks Skytree anniversary

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To commemorate the second anniversary of the May 22, 2012 opening of Tokyo Skytree, the leading kabuki actors Nakamura Shichinosuke and Onoe Matsuya last Saturday performed the popular dance-based piece “Dango-Uri” (“The Dumpling Sellers”) on an outdoor stage in the Sky Arena at the ...

Fast lane awaits kabuki actor's bold lead debut

Apr 30, 2014

Fast lane awaits kabuki actor's bold lead debut

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Some roles demand quick changes of clothes or character, but in the whole wide world of theater, “Haji Momiji Ase no Kaomise” (“A Blushing Maple Perspires in Public”) — aka “Date no Juyaku” (“The 10 Roles of the Date House”) — is probably the ...

Kichiemon Nakamura II : For the love of 'Chushingura'

Nov 27, 2013

Kichiemon Nakamura II : For the love of 'Chushingura'

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As December draws near, the streets are decorated with Christmas ornaments and in Japan, concerts of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony are held all over the nation. In addition to these Western-inspired traditions, there is a made-in-Japan December tradition that has been held since the 18th ...

Ebizo rethinks kabuki's strategy

Oct 3, 2013

Ebizo rethinks kabuki's strategy

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In the glitzy and gossipy world of Japanese celebrity, hardly a week goes by without revelations being made about — or made by — Ichikawa Ebizo XI. For years, the charismatic young star of the kabuki world has never long been out of the ...

The human kindness of a foxy woman

Jul 10, 2013

The human kindness of a foxy woman

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“Ashiya Doman Ouchi Kagami” (“Mirror of the Imperial Court during the time of Ashiya Doman”) depicts the rivalry between two Heian Period characters Abe no Yasuna and Ashiya Doman. It was created as a bunraku by Takeda Izumo in Osaka in October 1734, but ...

Revamped Kabukiza theater aims to charm a new audience

Mar 29, 2013

Revamped Kabukiza theater aims to charm a new audience

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The Kabukiza is back — with big ambitions and aspirations to make the nation’s classical theatrical entertainment more attractive to a 21st-century audience. The reopened kabuki theater — now reconstructed for the fifth time — in the upscale shopping-entertainment district of Ginza, will roll ...

A lovesick nun, magic sandals and a vengeful ghost

Mar 21, 2013

A lovesick nun, magic sandals and a vengeful ghost

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“Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome” (“The Sumida River Adorned with Cherry Blossoms”) by Tsuruya Namboku IV (1755-1829), now showing at the National Theater of Japan, was written to be a blockbuster. It was created for the Ichimura-za theater in Edo in 1814, when kabuki was ...