Akiko Okawara, 37, comes to Tokyo Takarazuka Theater almost every day to catch a stage-door glimpse of Sumire Haruno, a top star who plays a male role in the Takarazuka all-female theater troupe, even when she is not taking in the show.

"It's because she is so attractive," said Okawara, who has already seen the latest show more than a dozen times in less than a month.

Okawara is one of many devotees whose lives literally revolve around Takarazuka and their favorite stars; they regularly wait for them to show up, watch the plays until they memorize the lines and wear matching fan jackets.