There have been more than 35 overseas tours,and they have performed in 60 different cities,in 21 countries.
Since it opened in 1889,the Kabuki-za theatre with its diverse history, is now the centre in traditional culture. Since its first performance which took place in Kyoto at the beginning of 17th century,there have been many innovations made to Kabuki.
The Kabuki-za was burned to the ground in a fire in Oct,1921. Rebuilding began in the following June. Uncompleted,the theatre was again damaged,by the great earthquake that hit the Kanto area in September,1923.The new theatre was finally completed in December of the following year.
Plays still continued even during the war years,until a massive air raid on Tokyo on May,1945 completely gutted the building,leaving only the outer walls standing. Kabuki-za was rebuilt for the third time and reopened in January,1951.Since then,many alterations have been made to improve stage effects and enhance the comfort of the audience.
Internal view of the Kabuki-za
Sitting in audience seats,you will first notice the curtain. The Kabuki-za uses three colours;black-green-and orange. These three colours are a tradition in the Kabuki world.
And to the left of the main stage,there is the "Hanamichi" the extension stage. This stage not only helps the actors to get the feel of the audience,but it also creates an atmosphere of intimacy.
The make-up "Kumadori" is very artistically done. And the costumes are resplendent in colour giving you a deeper impression of the intricacy of Kabuki, not only the technique of the actors,but in the Kabuki performance itself.You will see "Onnagata" actors who specialize in portraying female roles. The musicians who play constantly throughout each performance help to give Kabuki its well- deserved rank in the art of traditional culture.
Traditional Kabuki stage Curtain