If you spend any amount of time in Japan, especially if you’re in the Kansai area you are bound to notice posters and advertisements for stage shows with a difference. You might think the leading males all look a bit feminine but there is a reason for that – the posters are for the Takarazuka revue, a theatre company where all the performers are female!
They have a number of different shows each year, usually classic stories and plays that are instantly recognisable. In the past they performed shows such as The Count of Monte Cristo, Romeo and Juliet, Guys and Dolls and even The Sound of Music. The shows themselves are all in Japanese so if you don’t understand Japanese make sure to have an idea of the story and then it’s good fun to watch. We went to see their performance of The Count of Monte Cristo and even though I only have a very limited Japanese ability it was good fun!
The performance of the story was interesting (and I’m sure even better if you can speak Japanese!) but the best part of the show for me was after the intermission when there was a big cabaret performance with huge song and dance numbers and a chorus line so there’s no language barrier to worry about for the second part of the show.
There are theatres in Hyogo, and in Tokyo if you’re looking to catch a show. Depending on when you go and what show you go to see you will see one of the five different Takarazuka groups. They are Hana, Tsuki, Yuki, Hoshi and Sora. (Flower, moon, snow, star and sky). Each of the groups is different, for example, Hoshi, the star group usually has Takarazuka’s biggest names and stars in it while Tsuki, the moon group usually has mostly the younger members.
Takarazuka is really popular in Japan and worth a watch even if you don’t speak much Japanese, they still offer great shows!
The best recommended Kabuki theatres in all of Japan