Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No586




Today, we like to talk about the hot topic of Kabuki. Kabuki is introduced as a Japanese raditional stage performance, with unique and exaggerated action and dancing, Here you can see the general idea of kabuki:


The two young kabuki actors, Shido Nakamura(left) and Ebizo Ichikawa(right) were concerned about the future of kabuki, especially seeing very few young audience coming to Kabuki. They wanted to do something `unusual'. 

Kabuki is originally from back to before Edo period-the record shows an actress Okuni performed in 1603. Going to see Kabuki is now considered as a special and refined hobby, not for young people but for some older generation, but Kabuki started as an entertainment for ordinary people. The word  Kabuki is from the verb `Kabuku' which means to `lean' or `unusual'(to be out of ordinary). So it was rather avangarde thing which amused people in that time with no other entertainment.

These young kabuki actors- Shido and Ebizo- they were both from noble Kabuki families (as you may know, kabuki world is hereditary system) and were born and brought up to be kabuki actors. However they are most scandalous and naughty young boys in kabuki world. Shido got married with an actress right after playing together in a film and broke up also in a very short time. Ebizo got married with a TV caster after so many scandal with actresses. He was almost dead one time with the trouble by drinking and found beaten nearly to death in nightlife district in the middle of Tokyo. 

Anyway, they really had the same concern about present Kabuki world. Considering about the original meaning of Kabuki, these two wild guys might be the most appropriate figure for future Kabuki!

Kanzaburo Nakamura, who was a great Kabuki actor but dyed young once told them, `Why don't you try something really stupefying, something like, throwing the earth.'

They could not forget this and this time they asked the two hottest guys for this new kabuki program-- Kankuro Kudo(scriptwriter) and Takashi Miike(producer). They were both from TV and film field, doing comedy or action - they are really popular  among young people. Here is the photo of the four together.


The program is Chikyu nagegoro uchu no aragoto(chikyu is the earth, negegoro is a guy who throws the earth, uchu is universe and aragoto means wild stuff).

They chose Roppongi which is the most fashinable place in Tokyo for this performance.

The story is just so unique-the fight between the alien from universe VS the fighter from the earth. You can see just a little bit of the stage from here. You can recognize the music too!


The script is unique and also the stage starts with the two guys (Shido and Ebizo) with no make up. They start wearing make up and wearing costumes on the stage. Showing the backstage of Kabuki is really a unique trial. This stage seemed to catch new customers. The lines are quite difficult to understand(even for Japanese!) in ordinary Kabuki programs but they used Japanese almost the usual present style, so people could understand. 

Shido said, `they must have used the gags and the phrase of the minute of that time in old days to amuse people'. The two young Kabuki actors inherited this spirit of origial Kabuki and trying the kabuki evolution! Older kabuki people might be frowning but they must be driving Kabuki into next stage.