A gallery for Kabuki

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Text and photos by Grigoris A. Miliaresis

True to its word that the 29-floor high-rise behind the Kabukiza Τheater, the “Kabuki Tower” will be more than a typical Tokyo office building, Shochiku (the company behind Kabukiza and practically almost everything Kabuki-related) unveiled yesterday to the press the fifth floor space which will open to the public on Wednesday, April 24th. The main attraction of the space will be a gallery featuring rolling exhibitions of objects from the world of Kabuki; as the hosts were eager to point out these objects will be actual costumes, stage props etc. and not replicas (this is particularly important since some of them are true masterpieces of the past that the audience rarely gets a chance to see from up close and off-stage). 

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Shochiku had a special treat for the press: the event featured a live interview with 67 year-old, Purple Ribbon Medal recipient Nakamura Baigyoku IV of the Takasagoya guild, one of the stars of Kabuki and this grand premiere plays’: he is the magistrate Aoto Saemon Fujitsuna in “Benten Kozo” and Minamoto no Yoshitsune in “Kanjincho”. Mr. Nakamura’s insights during his talk with Okazaki Tetsuya, board member of Shochiku and deputy general manager of its drama department were interesting and quite emotional since the discussion took place in front of some exquisite kimono with great importance for him: they were the ones made famous by his adoptive father, the legendary onnagata (actor specializing in female roles) Nakamura Utaemon VI (1917-2001) in the role of Hanako in the dance drama “Kyokanoko Musume Dojoji”.

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Besides the spring/cherry blossom themed exhibition, visitors to the Kabukiza Gallery will be also able to enjoy fine green tea at the tea-house extraordinaire of the Jugetsudo company with a view of the traditional mini-garden Shochiku has created on the floor’s open space, shop for souvenirs at the Rakuza store (including the much sought-after modern equivalent of the ukiyoe actor prints of the past, the official photographs of each performance) or have their picture taken in full Kabuki costume and make-up at the photography Studio Alice. The entrance fee, for adult visitors not having a regular Kabukiza ticket, will be variable according to the event but Shochiku plans to keep it between 500 and 1000 yen so it can be accessible by most interested parties.

Gallery

 

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Γρηγόρης Μηλιαρέσης
Γρηγόρης Μηλιαρέσης
Δημοσιογράφος και μεταφραστής. Έχει συνεργαστεί με πλειάδα εφημερίδων, περιοδικών (τόσο του γενικού όσο και του ειδικού τύπου) και εκδοτικών οίκων και με ειδίκευση στο Ίντερνετ, τις πολεμικές τέχνες και την Ιαπωνία όπου και ζει τα τελευταία χρόνια. Από το 2012 μέχρι το 2016 έγραφε την εβδομαδιαία στήλη στο GreeceJapan.com "Γράμματα από έναν αιωρούμενο κόσμο" και το 2020 κυκλοφόρησε το ομότιτλο βιβλίο του. Περισσότερα στη συνέντευξη που είχε δώσει στο GreeceJapan.com.
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