Celebration Of 400 Years Of Spanish-Japanese Performing Arts: The ‘Stunning Six’ Of Japanese Theater
Japan is known for its performing arts, culture, tradition, shows, plays, dance, drama, etc. Commemorating 400 years of performing arts in Japan and Spain, together, we have lined up the six unique kinds of theater in Japan!
1. Kabuki- the unusual:
The word ‘Kabuki’ originated from the verb, ‘kabuku,’ which means to be unusual or lean; it is a dance-drama art form that requires skills and contains elaborated makeup and stylish performances. With multiple sets of traditional plays, the Kabuki will indeed not bore its audience. Also, you can receive single-act tickets in some theaters if you are not willing to watch the plays throughout the day.
2. Kagura- inspiration from Japan’s origin myths:
Kagura is said to be predated from the Noh theater but in an advanced version that includes oversized masks, extravagant costumes, traditional instruments, and movements in dance to recreate the stories related to legendary heroes or protagonists and Shino deities. This art form is prevalent in Western Japan.
3. Bunraku- the puppet theater:
The puppet, Bunraku, is about half the human being’s size operated by three persons who will be in clear view to the audience by dressing in black. The head and the puppet’s right hand are controlled by the head puppeteer, and the other two puppeteers control the left legs and hands of the puppet. This art form has been recognized as a part of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
4. Noh- Kyogen:
Developed in the 14th century, Noh theater is an art form that goes hand-in-hand with an interstitial and comic form known as ‘kyogen.’
The actors wear masks and sing in monotone while they perform ritualized and slow movements to music. In contrast, Kyogen focuses on comedy and humor that connect to the day-to-day lives of people. UNESCO has recognized Noh as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008 and a part of Heritage of Humanity in 2001.
5. Takarazuka Review- the female troupe:
Takarazuka, founded in 1913, is well-known for its great costumes and melodramatic acts performed by a female musical theater troupe. They have often adopted the stories from Japanese folktales; famous among them are Rurouni Kenshin and The Rose of Versailles. Though the performances are enacted only in Japanese, each act can cover an elaborated song and a dance number.
6. Gekidan Shiki- Japan’s one of the largest theater companies
Being one of the largest theater companies in Japan, Gekidan Shiki has performed Wicked and Cats, Mamma Mia, Lion King with permanent performers. Though there are three significant Shiki theaters in Tokyo, there are other locations too. Note that all the performances will be in Japanese!
Give a visit to any of these shows; We are sure that they will be fun and thrilling as we can see that it has been 400 years since the origin of Japan and Spain’s performing arts!