This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

Traditional Modern Kabuki / 30 August 2013

A tall shiny building in Tokyo viewed from across a busy road with the new Kabuki theatre roof just about visible in its reflective surface.

Reflecting Higher Expectations

Zoom in to this image and read text description

I was greeted with a gift, tickets to Kabuki in the newly finished theatre. The performance will take place at the beginning of September, I am very pleased and so curious. The old Kabuki theatre had been pulled down and the redevelopment images of the site showed a massive skyscraper office block behind a small redbrick box, a modern and efficient, if disappointing, use of the space. I had been sad not to have been able to experience this traditional Japanese event in the appropriate surroundings.
However, today the first thing to do is food shopping so we head out for Higashi-Ginza, a walk that will take us past the new building. 

Imagine my surprise and delight to discover this clean, white and elegant skyscraper with a very large, traditionally shaped, beautiful brand-new Kabuki theatre imposingly placed in front of it. There are long queues at its entrance and crowds of people outside taking photographs. Kabuki is attempting to attract a newer younger audience and there does seem to be real interest amongst young people for older traditions, including the clothes.

Mussed-up, gelled black spikes
of semi-long Japanese hair
frame the face the peers
back at him from the shiny 
surface. Hands fuss and fly
seeking home for phone,
wallet, keys, tablet, modern
life between the folds
of the brand-new,
body-wrapping
Kimono.

We buy our food from Ginza Mitsukoshi (Mitsukoshi is an international department store), and I ask if anyone is worried about radiation. The answer is negative; the idea of only buying fish imported from Australia has occurred, but not been implemented.