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Few Japanese will dispute that we are a nation of dedicated music fans and, though it may not seem like it at first, this goes for musicals, too.

Shizuko Kasagi, widely revered as the “Queen of Boogie” was the first to perform at the reopened National Theater in November 1945, three months after our country’s World War II surrender. Legendary director Akira Kurosawa was so impressed by Kasagi, he cast her in his 1948 film “Drunken Angel” as a cabaret singer, and even wrote the lyrics to her song “Jungle Boogie.”

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