Relish Japan’s world-renowned drama form at the new Kabukiza

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Relish Japan’s world-renowned drama form at the new Kabukiza

Kabukiza this spring unveils its fifth-generation complex since the original opened its doors in 1889. Let’s take a look at the new features of this prestigious stage of Japanese kabuki productions.

Conceptual drawing, fifth-generation Kabukiza Theatre

Conceptual drawing, audience seating

Photo courtesy of Shochiku Co., Ltd.

New Kabukiza Theater following a three-year absence

Kabukiza Theater is long loved as a prestigious stage of kabuki productions as well as a landmark of the posh Ginza district. The latest version is set to open on April 2, 2013, after a three-year blank since the old building was demolished.
Under the concept of reproducing faithfully the spirit of the fourth-generation establishment, the new Kabukiza Theater features a 16th-century Japanese-style exterior, and interior design taking advantage of fine building materials. On top of barrier-free accessibility and space for evacuees in a disaster, it provides a higher level of comfort for the audience than the previous structure. While there are about 60 fewer seats overall, each is sized more generously. The slope angle is adjusted and pillars in the first floor are removed for optimal viewing from the rear seats. The fourth floor offers a permanent makumiseki seating area for viewing single acts.
Kabukiza Tower, the 29-floor high-rise office building erected behind the theater, will be the tallest structure in Ginza. The theater and tower combined, named Ginza Kabukiza, promises to be a prominent new feature of the district. 

Kabukiza Gallery: A hub of exchange for tradition and culture

Kabukiza Gallery, newly created on the fifth floor of Kabukiza Tower, offers the rare chance to see real kabuki costumes and props up close. It also has plans to showcase precious recordings of past performances and invite kabuki staff members for talk events.
The cultural facility is designed to convey the attractions of kabuki even to visitors who have never yet watched a show. 

Kabukiza Gallery (Exhibition Space)

Kabukiza Gallery (Kobikicho Hall)

Photo courtesy of Shochiku Co., Ltd.

Cinema Kabuki: A means to enjoy kabuki on screen

Cinema Kabuki offers a new way to enjoy kabuki—via the digital projection of recorded kabuki performances in a movie theater. To commemorate the opening of the new Kabukiza, Togeki Cinema will play all Cinema Kabuki titles from March 16 to May 10, and movie theaters across Japan will feature “Tsuki-ichi Kabuki” (A Kabuki A Month) from March to October. At 2,000 yen including tax, the screenings provide an affordable alternative to watching live kabuki performances.

Kabukiza

Address

4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Access

Linked directly from Tokyo Metro / Toei Asakusa Line Higashi-ginza Station

Kabukiza Gallery

Address

Kabukiza Tower 5F, 4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Access

Linked directly from Tokyo Metro / Toei Asakusa Line Higashi-ginza Station

Cinema Kabuki

Location

Togeki Cinema, Togeki Bldg. 3F, 4-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Access

1-min. walk from Tokyo Metro Higashi-ginza Station Exit 6

 

Tips to maximize your kabuki experience

(1) Try the single-act seats: Makumiseki is a non-reserved seating area for viewing single acts of your choice, and for which only same-day tickets are available. The service is popular with Kabukiza-goers who opt to attend just part of a full-day program at a lower price.

(2) Enjoy the audience’s cheers: In the middle of a performance will come short bursts of cheers from the audience. These are called kakegoe and may be the actor’s stage family name (ending with -ya), his generation (-daime), or praise for an anticipated famous line (Matte mashita!). All are timed perfectly and serve to liven up the show. They are a crucial element of kabuki, so enjoy them!

(3) Bear in mind that not all intermissions are recesses: A kabuki program has intermissions between acts. But be careful. If the music continues even after the curtains are drawn, there may be only a short pause before the curtains reopen.

●Reference URL: Shochiku kabuki official website http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/eng/( External link )

 

Togeki Cinema plays 19 titles, and "Tsuki-ichi Kabuki" (A Kabuki A Month) 9 selected titles. Photos: Renjishi (The Father and Son Shishi Lions) and Kyokanoko Musume Ninin Dojoji (Two Women at Dojoji Temple)

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