Foreign residents in Tokyo will have the opportunity to try their hand at nagauta, the musical accompaniment to kabuki theater, in February and March.
Played on shamisen, a musical instrument resembling a lute, kabuki musicians who usually perform at Tokyo’s Kabukiza Theater will perform part of the play “Kanjincho,” one of the most popular pieces in Japan.
The performances are organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and Japan Council of Performers Rights & Performing Arts Organizations and will be held at Narukoten Shrine on Feb. 23 and at Geino-Kadensha, a performing arts center, on March 11. Both are in Shinjuku.
There will be two sessions each day, at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., with each session to last about two hours and involve 20 people.
Participants will be provided with English materials, and receive interpreted instructions explaining the shamisen and the history of nagauta, which literally means long song. Participants will also be taught how to play a small Japanese drum.
The entrance fee for the event is ¥6,000, and those who want to get into the spirit by wearing yukata (summer kimono) can do by paying an extra ¥2,000. Locals can also attend if they are accompanying a foreign resident. Visit the official website to buy tickets online.