Onoe Matsuya and Ukon Onoe Team Up for Traditional Japanese Art Experience ‘Kabuki Derby’
13.May.2022 | FASHION
The 89th Tokyo Yushun, or Japanese Derby, is scheduled to take place on May 29, 2022. Ahead of the event, a special site featuring Kabuki actors Onoe Matsuya and Ukon Onoe was opened on May 12. That’s right–it’s time for the Kabuki Derby!
Celebrating its 89th year, the Japanese Derby is considered one of the finest horse races in the world. To make this traditional and prestigious event even more exciting, a collaboration with the traditional Japanese performing art of Kabuki is getting people talking.
Tokyo Yushun Kabuki Simulation Game
In the Kabuki Derby, visitors can enjoy tons of unique content made with Onoe Matsuya and Ukon Onoe. The site’s racing game even has a completely original story! Trivia quizzes related to the Derby and obstacle courses will also provide hours of fun.
Special Video: Home Horse Racing!
Special Video: Instant PAT!
Special Video: Full House Derby
In the original videos, both Kabuki actors appear as brothers in the Edo Period. The two are sure to make you smile with their performances, as they explain what they do on their days off and show off how fun horse racing can be.
There will also be a Twitter campaign where you can win prizes depending on the results of the Japanese Derby. Be sure to tune in and root for your favorite horse!
Available May 12, 2022
Kabuki Actor Somegoro Ichikawa VIII Becomes Brand Ambassador for Shu Uemura Japan
11.March.2022 | FASHION
Shu Uemura Japan has announced that Kabuki actor Somegoro Ichikawa VIII will be the brand ambassador for its popular cleansing oil and other cosmetic items.
Shu Uemura products are all crafted in Japan and the brand exemplifies the Japanese spirit of perfection, care, and tradition. This advanced technology and cutting-edge design philosophy is a perfect match for Somegoro Ichikawa, who is incredibly passionate about Japanese artistry through his work in kabuki theater. This collaboration is bringing kabuki, a 400-year-old art form, to the mainstream, infusing it with modernity.
Comment from Somegoro Ichikawa
“I’m honored to have been chosen to serve as an ambassador for Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, which I personally use on a regular basis. What can we do to pass on Kabuki and other Japanese traditions to future generations? I feel a strong connection between my own ideas and challenges and those of the Shu Uemura brand.”
Official Site: https://www.shuuemura.jp
Watch Gifu Prefecture’s ‘Jikabuki’ Local Kabuki Theatre Plays On YouTube
07.December.2020 | MOVIE
As part of this year’s Gifu, Land of Clear Waters Ji-Kabuki All-Star Performance 2020, Gifu Prefecture has posted a special commentary video over on the official YouTube channel of Gifu Seiryu Bunka Plaza which combines footage from two local kabuki plays held this year.
The local kabuki of Gifu
Japan is home to 200 jikabuki, or ‘local kabuki,’ preservation organisations, 30 of which can be found in Gifu Prefecture. Gifu is one of the most active regions for jikabuki in the whole of Japan. The prefecture also has 9 historical shibai-goyas, or playhouses, some of which are over 100 years old.
Gifu, Land of Clear Waters Ji-Kabuki All-Star Performance 2020
Gifu Seiryu Bunka Plaza made the decision to postpone the 11 jikabuki performances that were scheduled to take place January to July 2020 this year. They are being rescheduled for 2021, so for now people can enjoy the content over on their official YouTube channel.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Collaborates With Kyoto’s Famous Kabuki Theatre Minami-za
Minami-za, one of the most respected kabuki theatres in Japan, has announced a special exhibition in collaboration with the TV anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba which will run from November 6 to 23.
Minami-za is the oldest theatre in Japan and is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. The Demon Slayer exhibition will feature displays, decorations, and a range of exclusive merchandise.
Fans will find a range of character boards displayed at the entrance lobby to Minami-za with the characters donning traditional kabuki attire.
Special Stage Photo Spots
Cut-outs of the main cast of characters will be displayed on stage. People will be able to stand up on stage and take photos with the characters in this unique collaboration with kabuki.
An original signboard will be displayed at the entrance to Minami-za.
Free Bonus Items
All customers who visit the theatre will receive one of these 18 possible coasters for free.
Those who hold a ticket to the event will be able to purchase a selection of original merchandise at the theatre. The items will also be sold online at Shochiku Kabuki-ya Honpo.
Teabags (4 Flavours) | ¥800 (Tax Included)
Special teabags will also be sold at the Tokyo and Kobikicho Square branches of Shochiku Kabuki-ya Honpo as well as their online website between October 21 and 23.
Tickets to the event are available via Lawson in Japan.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba x Minami-za
Location: Minami-za (Hashihigashizumecho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto)
Running: November 6, 2020 – November 23, 2020 (Closed November 9 and 16)
[Tue-Thur] 15:00-20:00 (Last Entries 19:00)
Watch Legendary Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI Perform at Tomioka Silk Mill Online
10.October.2020 | SPOT
Japanese kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI, the eleventh holder of the famous Ebizo name, is set to perform at Tomioka Silk Mill, one of Japan’s World Heritage Sites, and it will be streamed online.
Tomioka Silk Mill is the oldest modern silk reeling factory in Japan. Ichikawa Ebizo XI will perform two kabuki plays there: the long-celebrated Kotobuki Shiki Sanbaso and Ebizo’s famous piece Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara.
This is a special one-night-only opportunity to see a legendary perform at such historical location.
Kabuki Cat Mascot Claws Its Way into koe donuts kyoto Collaboration Set
From old shrines and temples to cuisine, Kyoto enjoys a rich arts and culture scene. The former capital is also famed for preserving Japan’s traditional stage drama known as Kabuki. Every year, Minamiza Theatre located on Shijō Street in Kyoto holds a grand Kabuki performance called THE FESTIVE KAOMISE PRODUCTION to commemorate its debut. This year, the performance will run from November 30 – December 26.
To celebrate, koe donuts kyoto will be selling collaboration doughnuts themed around the official Kabuki character “Kabuki Nyantaro” during the same period.
Kabuki Nyantaro’s adorable face decorates some of the doughnuts and can even be seen on the packaging too. This set is exclusive to koe donuts Kyoto.
Enjoy a traditional Kabuki performance with some delicious Kabuki Nyantaro doughnuts to complete your Kyoto experience.
©2017, 2019 SANRIO/SHOCHIKU APPROVAL NO. G603142 著作（株）サンリオ
koe donuts kyoto × Kabuki Nyantaro Collaboration Doughnuts
Selling: November 30 – December 26, 2019
Selling Times: 10:00 – 21:40 (During performance intervals only)
Shop Location: Minamiza Theatre Floor 2, Shijō Street, Kyoto
Box of 6 Doughnuts: ¥1,800 (After Tax)
Information and updates will be posted on koe donuts’ official social media websites.
koe donuts Official Instagram: (＠koe_donuts) https://www.instagram.com/koe_donuts/
Pour on the soy sauce and a scary Kabuki face will appear?! Order your Village Vanguard soy sauce dishes now!
11.May.2019 | FASHION
Village Vanguard is well known for their collaborations with characters and their animal-themed designs. This time, they’ve made a Kabuki-themed soy sauce dish that you can order online.
Young, old, male or female, Japanese people love their traditional theatre shows called “Kabuki”. One fascinating feature of Kabuki is the impressive makeup of the actors and actresses called “Kumadori
They made animal-themed soy sauce dishes, then character-themed ones, and now finally, we’ve got Kabuki-themed ones! There are many different designs in this new series ー you can enjoy all their different expressions! This is bound to make your dinner table a thousand times more exciting!
There are a total of six designs. Please come and choose from this wonderful selection!
Kabuki-themed soy sauce dish
Purchasable from Village Vanguard’s official website: https://vvstore.jp/feature/detail/11745/?utm_source=press
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu to Perform Kabuki Themed Concert at Japan’s Oldest Kabuki Theatre
20.March.2019 | MUSIC
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu announced her Oto no Kuni Live Tour earlier this year which will take her to various locations across Japan in 2019 that are rich in Japanese history and tradition.
The tour is produced by Kyary herself and is supported by her latest album Japamyu which is also Japan-themed. The first place she revealed that she will perform at is Izumo-taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture on Saturday March 30.
Kyary has now drawn the curtain back on the next venue: Minami-za, the kabuki ‘holy ground.’ She will incorporate kabuki elements into her show.
Minami-za is one of the oldest kabuki theatres in Japan. It is located in Kyoto’s Shijō Kawaramachi area which is said to have been where kabuki originated. The theatre has continued to give host to a wide range of entertainment, including that which is not kabuki, for over 400 years. It was registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property in 1996 and as an example of Kyoto Historical Architectural Design. The theatre re-opened last year after having undergone renovations to reinforce earthquake resistance. The outside of the building maintains the traditional look of the theatre but the interior has been completely renewed. Throughout the year, it promotes culture to the people of the world with its performances.
Kyary is receiving proper kabuki training and guidance. Shewill use a range of kabuki techniques in her dance and performance such as roppo, a type of stylised walk, and mie, a dramatic pose pulled by an actor who then freezes for a brief moment.
Don’t miss her first ever show to include kabuki!
Kyoto Mirai Matsuri 2019: Minami-za Reopening Commemoration
April 30 – May 5 –OTOMATSURI-
April 30: Slot 1 & 2 – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Oto no Kuni Live Tour)
May 3: Slot 1 – Matsunojō Kanda / Slot 2 – m-flo & CAPSULE
May 4: Slot 2 – DAISHIDAISHI DANCE & →Pia-no-jaC← and more
*More performers and details TBA
Event Website: https://www.miraimatsuri.com
Minami-za Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Official Website: http://kyary.asobisystem.com
Wagakki Band to Perform Ending Theme Song for Naruto Kabuki Play
13.July.2018 | MUSIC
Wagakki Band will provide the ending theme song for the upcoming kabuki play adaptation of manga series Naruto which will be performed in Tokyo at the Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre this August. It was announced back in April that the band would perform a song for the play, but new details have been revealed. The song is titled Hikari no Naka de (‘In the Light’).
Naruto was first serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999 and tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who trains in the art of ninjitsu, who must take out his enemies, and who ultimately aspires to be Hokage, the leader of the village. The series has brought in fans across the globe, with well over 220 million copies sold in over 40 countries outside Japan. Kabuki actors Bandou Minosuke and Hayato Nakamura will play the roles of Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha respectively.
Comment by Yuko Suzuhana (Wagakki Band Vocalist):
“Collaborating with kabuki theater is something I’ve really wanted to do so we are extremely honoured that they called out to us. They said that Wagakki Band’s sound was necessary for the play, so our mutual love was realised. We wrote this new song for the production as [they said] it was something only we can do. I believe it’s a very bright and piercing song compared to the recent Wagakki Band. The composition and lyrics were written by our guitarist Machiya. He’s a fan of Naruto, so much so that he’s watched it 3 times. The song is packed with words like ‘hope’ and ‘light’ which align with the story’s final arc which rang together really well in our heads with the music when we were writing it. We also tried some new songs, like having multiple choruses. There’s also less sounds in the ensemble than we’ve ever had to bring more of a balance. I hope people enjoy this unique fusion of kabuki and Wagakki Band which has never been seen before.”
We look forward to hearing what kind of song Wagakki Band has in store for the play.
HELLO KITTY will challenge Kabuki! Sanrio Puroland’s “KAWAII KABUKI”
11.March.2018 | SPOT
The new musical using the motif of “Kabuki (Japanese traditional drama performed by male actors) named “KAWAII KABUKI ~HELLO KITTY Ichiza no Momotaro~” will be performed from at Meruhen Theater inside Puroland from the 10th of March 2018 (Sat.)
A press conference was held on the 7th of March (Wed.) and persons who are related to the play such as Kensuke Yokouchi who produced the script/rendition/lyrics of the play (he has been producing “Super Kabuki”) and Esaburo Ichikawa, a kabuki acting coach, participated in the press conference. Also, Sanrio’s characters including HELLO KITTY appeared on the stage.
It can be said that it is a new type of “spectacle entertainment show” using projection mapping and the motif of kabuki. The performance incorporates both the “kawaii” of Sanrio and the traditional “wa” culture of Japan.
Let’s enjoy Sanrio’s new type of collaborative musical of Sanrio characters and kabuki!
Sanrio Puroland will perform a new musical using the element of “Kabuki”
20.February.2018 | SPOT
Sanrio Puroland will perform a new musical “KAWAII KABUKI ～HELLO KITTY Ichiza no Momotaro～” using the element of “Kabuki (traditional drama performed by male actors)” from the 10th of March 2018 (Sat.)
It is a first time that a musical using the element of kabuki will be performed at Puroland. You can enjoy a brand-new experience-based spectacle entertainment show combining the cuteness of Sanrio characters, traditional kabuki and projection mapping technology which will be used at the Meruhen Theatre.
Kensuke Yokouchi who has been directing “Super Kabuki” will write the script and do the staging of the show. Also, Shochiku, a leading company in the field of theater, will direct the show. The Sanrio characters, including KITTY, will receive training by Esaburo Ichikawa to perform this kabuki show. The scenes where the Sanrio characters wear kabuki uniforms, making gestures and tussling about are a “must-see.”
The story of the show uses the motif of the famous folktale in Japan “Momotaro.” Therefore, even viewers who are not familiar with kabuki can enjoy the show and understand the story. It is a show that both Puroland’s fans and kabuki fans can enjoy.
Also, Shido Nakamura will participate in the show as a voice actor and Minosuke Bando will appear on the screen during the show. Shido Nakamura will play the part of an important character in the story, one of the “Oni (demons)” and Minosuke Bando will appear on the screen with “Kabuki Nyantaro,” a new kabuki PR character to fight against the villains.
The story of the show promotes “the importance of understanding each other and living peacefully with your neighbors.” Moreover, many elements including the renditions of kabuki, high realistic video renditions and acrobatic dance performance are incorporated into the show.
Don’t miss this new musical of Puroland!
A course to experience “Kabuki”(Japanese traditional drama performed by male actors) called “Kabuki Taro” will be opened at Nihonbashi
09.October.2017 | SPOT
This course is an original program where beginners of kabuki can enjoy kabuki. The name of the course is “Kabuki Taro” where students can learn the movements of kabuki. They will offer this course under the concept of “teaching kabuki movements which resonate with one’s mind and body.”
Kabuki Taro is a course which will teach the movements of kabuki, not just the teaching the knowledge and methods of enjoying kabuki. Students can learn the movements and lines of kabuki by the lecturers. Kabuki Taro will offer “kabuki lessons” based on various themes and viewpoints.
The course which will be offered by “Kabuki Taro,” located in the center of “Nihonbashi” which is the center of Edo culture, is a suitable program for persons who want learn the movements and knowledge of kabuki from scratch.
Below are some comments by some students.
“I never thought I could experience kabuki.”
“It is interesting to learn about kabuki by learning the actual movements. The lessons makes me want to learn more about kabuki.”
“Reading the lines aloud is a good way to relieve stress.”
Let’s gain a deep understanding of kabuki at “Kabuki Taro.”
Special kabuki night returns to this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival!
16.September.2017 | SPOT
The next Tokyo International Film Festival will run from October 25th to November 3rd. The annually loved “Kabukiza Special Night” will also make a return this year on Thursday October 26th.
This year marks the festival’s 30th run. The Japanese film “Gate of Hell” (1953) will be shown this year in 4K and with English subtitles. The film was directed by Japanese movie master Teinosuke Kinugasa, who won the Palme d’or at the 7th Cannes Festival as well as the Academy Honorary Award and Academy Award for Best Costume design for the 27th Academy Awards.
“Gate of Hell” was praised as an artistic achievement by Jean Cocteau who acted as Jury President at the Cannes film festival. It’s a story of hell fire passion burning in the tenacity of love. The kabuki show will unravel the loves and hates of humans and be performed against the backdrop of picture scrolls from Genpei Jōsuiki.
Ichikawa Ebizō XI will also be present to perform his kabuki dance piece “Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara.” The dance tells of a chivalrous man named Goshono Gorozo and his many rendezvous with his lover.
The program for the kabuki night can be enjoyed by kabuki first-timers and frequenters.
▼Comment from by Ichikawa Ebizo XI (translated from Japanese by MMN)
“It is an honour and a privilege for me to be able to perform at the Kabukiza Special Night event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Tokyo International Film Festival. I will be performing Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara, a piece I create 3 years ago. It comes from the Sewa-Kyogen piece Gosho no Gorozou by Kawatake Mokuami. It tells of the charm and disposition of a chivalrous man going to see his lover. I hope you will enjoy the stylised beauty of kabuki which overflows with elegance. Many people come from all over the world every year to see Kabukiza Special Night, so I am very much looking forward ot it. I hope to deliver the wonder of Japanese culture to first-timers of kabuki and the rest of the world.”
A line-up of films for the Japanese Classics Sections has also been announced for this year.
This includes “Kagemusha,” directed by Akira Kurosawa, which has won many awards including the Grand Prix at the 33rd Cannes Film Festival, “Sansho the Bailiff,” directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, winner of the Silver Lion at Venice Film Festival; and “The Ballad of Narayama,” directed by Shohei Imamura, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; and other famous films.
The film takes place during the Sengoku Period. Daiymo of the Takeda clan, Shingen Takeda, cheats death and orders his death to be kept a secret for 3 years. A body double must take the place of the great Shingen Takeda as a decoy against the rise and fall of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
“Sansho the Bailiff”
An internationally renowned film and winner of the Silver Lion at the 15th Venice Film Festival. The film has been restored in 4K by The Film Foundation founded by Martin Scorsese.
“The Ballad of Narayama”
The film tackles the universal human themes of life and death and the human relations of parent and child. Shohei Imamura paints a touching tale of the soul locked within the abyss of our hearts that humanity has always sought.
The Tokyo International Film Festival is a time for people around the world to enjoy their favourite medium together. It’s also a time for Japan to showcase their own famous movies as well as the art of kabuki to the rest of the world.