On Saturday we went on a tour to see a Kabuki show. It was a lot of fun, and a lot different then I thought it was gonna be. I thought I was going to be all traditional and serious, but in fact they kept with the original theme of the show, that it was for the masses more then a show for nobility. Before and after there was a drum and variety show that was so much fun. Since it’s just guys that play all the roles in traditional Kabuki they played on that by having a funny dance number with a dude in a woman’s ball gown did this funny dance number. Then this other guy came out in a dress but had giant red lips on and did a parody of the first guys dance XD Unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures during the show.
The story we watched was about this guy who had been arrested before and just got out of prison and was heading to visit his sister. When he shows up the sister is now married and has a daughter (his niece). He gives his niece some money to go buy some pretty cloth for a new kimono and she runs off. Then the sister’s husband shows up and wants nothing to do with the man because of his bad reputation and kicks the guy out. The daughter shows back up at this point and is so happy because of the gift she got, so she shows it to her father and he takes it and throws it on the ground. That starts a fight between the two men, and it was a pretty nifty fight scene, then the father gets his butt handed to him, so he runs in the house and grabs a knife and they start fighting again. But the daughter tries to stop them and gets knocked into the fight and accidentally gets stabbed. Both the father and brother stop fighting and are so upset at the girl getting hurt. It’s a very dramatic scene while she is dying, but the men manage to reconcile their anger, but then the police show up and the brother offers himself up to them for killing the girl, and they take him away.
The theater that we went to is the oldest wooden working Kabuki Theater in Japan. We got to go on a tour after the show, they took us back stage. It was pretty cool, they showed us the trap door called the snapping turtle door because it resembles a snapping turtles head, and the rotating stage that is human powered, and the dressing room. The dressing room’s walls are signed by all the actors that had/have worked there. I got some pictures, some didn’t come out so well but others came out nice.
Here’s some history on Kabuki. It was originally performed by women who after the shows were prostitutes. So then the government banned women from performing in the plays because it wasn’t “conducive to good morale”, whatever that meant XD So then young males played the roles, and then prostituted themselves out afterwards, and then they were banned, and only older males were allowed by the government to act in the plays.
The front of the Korukan Theater, it was built in 1910. The front is western style, but the inside is all Japanese style.
The driveway up to the theater, very festive.
The dressing room, it’s bigger then the picture shows, but all the walls are covered with the signatures of all the people who have acted here. There are some famous ones that they put a sheet of glass in front of so that they won’t get diminished.
A little sign they posted about the rotating stage.
One of the poles used to push the rotating stage by hand.
A wider picture of under the stage, it’s really big, I was really surprised.
One of the metal wheels that the stage moves on, it’s big.
I’ve entered this in the Sanrio Town’s Travel the World Event: http://blog.hellokitty.com/traveltheworld