National

Kanze Nohgaku Theater moves back to Ginza

by Mami Maruko

Staff Writer

The Kanze Nohgaku Theater in Tokyo’s Shibuya district plans to close in March and reopen in Ginza in November 2016, according to the head of the country’s largest school of noh.

The new theater will be located in the basement of a new complex in Ginza 6-chome, the former site of the Matsuzakaya Ginza department store, which is being redeveloped.

Kiyokazu Kanze, head of the Kanze school of noh, said at a press conference Thursday that Ginza is “the best location for tourists from abroad and youngsters to enjoy seeing noh performances, especially in light of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.”

He added that Ginza holds special significance for the Kanze school. It was based there during the Edo Period, on a 1,650-sq.-meter property provided by the Edo shogunate.

“We have strong feelings about going back to that location,” Kanze said.

The complex housing the new theater will cover two city blocks and will host fashion boutiques, restaurants and offices as well. It’s expected to be completed in August 2016.

The present theater opened in 1972 in the quiet residential area of Shoto in Shibuya Ward. More than 7,000 performances have been staged there over the past 43 years. Sayonara performances will be held there in late March.

The building has been renovated several times over the years. Due to the difficulty of reinforcing the theater against earthquakes in a residential area, however, the Kanze school decided to give up the idea of rebuilding it in the same location.

The present noh theater will be dismantled and the land will be sold.