Shochiku looks to boost kabuki showings to woo overseas tourists ahead of ’20 Games


Japanese entertainment firm Shochiku Co. is considering a reform of its kabuki theater operations to attract more foreign visitors, in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, officials said Thursday.

At Shochiku’s Kabukiza Theater in central Tokyo, dramas of the Japanese traditional performing art are usually performed in two sessions — the matinee and the evening show. The exception is August, when the theater holds three sessions a day.

Shochiku is considering expanding the three-session system to other months, according to the officials.

Some foreign viewers have complained that each session is too long, the officials said, adding that expansion of the three-session system would make it easier to shorten each session and therefore lower admission fees.

When Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1964, Shochiku held special kabuki night sessions. The firm is discussing the possible theater operation change at an internal working team, the officials said.