Happy new year! This is the first issue of our newsletter in 2020. This is Mari writing this week. We are thankful for your patronage through last year. We look forward to do business with you this year, too.
As I have been mentioning sometimes, I looooove Japanese traditional performing arts. In December, one of the biggest events among KABUKI fan, "THE FESTIVE KAOMISE PRODUCTION" was held at the Minamiza theatre in Kyoto.
The annual ‘Kaomise’ (‘face-showing’) production has been held since the Edo period (1603-1868), which is an all-star line-up and one of the biggest events of December in Kyoto. It is a chance to watch historic plays, domestic plays and dances, performed by top-ranking actors and young stars.
I went to see the "Kaomise" in last December. The plays and dances were fantastic and spectacular! My seat was right next to the elevated walkway through the audience to the stage! The actors walked through there, so that I was able to see them very close!
The top photo was taken outside of Minamiza theatre. All the wooden plates have kabuki actors' name on them. The plate is called "Maneki". They are hand written. When the "Maneki" are hang on the Minamiza theater, people in Kyoto feel that it is the end of year. Then, Maiko (who performing songs, dances, and playing the shamisen) wear 'Kanzashi'(ornamental hairpin) with "Maneki" on it. Although we don't have them at this moment, we sometimes have those kanzashi with Maneki. I just want to show them to you. http://www.ichiroya.com/sp/list.php?spid=S5e030b1c60ab0
Now, you may understand how popular "Kaomise" is.
In January, there is another annual big event in Tokyo. It is so called "New Year Asakusa Kabuki".
It is a gala selection of plays and dances featuring the most talented young stars in kabuki today. Compared to other kabuki performances, the length of each show is shorter, the tickets are sold at very reasonable prices for Kabuki. The program is perfect for tourists and people who have never seen kabuki before. https://www.kabukiweb.net/theatres/images/asakusa_2019_hon1-min.jpg
There is a fun event which is called "Kabuki in Kimono". The audiences and theater staffs wear kimono! This year, it is set at soiree on Sunday, January 19th. If you happen to be in Tokyo on the day, why don't you visit there! It is not mandatory to wear kimono. However, most of audiences will be in Kimono! I learn what I should wear at Kabuki theaters by watching those ladies in Kimono there. Well, Tokyo is too far for me. It is one of my dreams to watch "Asakusa Kabuki" someday in future.
There was special featuring pages of those young KABUKI stars on a popular magazine. I'm a huge fan of all of them! Aren't they cool? They are not only good looking guys, but also very talented, great performers! I really look forward to their success, and will support them by watching their performance. Remember those faces! They will be living national treasures in future!
Many Kabuki performances are based on the Edo period(1603-1867). There are interesting Edo theme items and Kabuki stage costumes!