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The success of the extravagant, all-woman Takarazuka theatrical troupe over the past decade owes a great deal to Japan’s economic decline since the bubble economy of the late 1980s burst, according to Shinji Ueda, president of the Takarazuka Revue Co.

“People are itching for some gaiety so they can forget reality; at least they can do that during the performance,” said 68-year-old Ueda, who has written scripts for the troupe for nearly 45 years.

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