Takarazuka

Last weekend, my wife and I attended a Takarazuka Revue Company show titled Floating Bridge of Dreams / Apasionado!! by the Moon troupe.  It was an excellent show, very entertaining and colorful – the first show was a musical drama as based on the Tales of the Genji and the second was like a broadway-style musical.  We actually went with 5 ladies visiting Tokyo from a Takarazuka fan club based in Los Angeles, California in the US.

Takarazuka1

The Takarazuka Revue Company is a women-only musical performance troupe with both male and female roles played by women – it is the only theatrical company in the world made up of female actors only.  They have a wide variety of program genres such as broadway-style musicals, revues, period dramas and shows.  It was formed 95 years ago in Takarazuka City of Hyogo Prefecture and the name also is taken from the city which is also its home base.  Overwhelmingly popular among women, the company is generally called “Takarazuka” for short.

The distinctive characteristics of the Takarazuka are its colorful costumes, bright makeup, and spectacular stage productions.  The troupe is divided into 5 separate groups, “Flower”, “Moon”, “Snow”, “Star,” and “Cosmos,” and a leading duo (one playing the male role, the other playing the female role) is selected for each.  A grand staircase with 26 steps stands right in the center of the stage and the climax begins when the lead star starts descending it.

The show we attended was held at the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater in Ginza, Tokyo.

Takarazuka2

Obviously, you can’t take pictures inside the theater during the performance so I just took a picture of this flower arrangement in the theater lobby before the show.

Takarazuka3 

A good source of information about Takarazuka is the Takarazuka Wikipedia.

10 thoughts on “Takarazuka

  1. Last time when I and my wife were in Tokyo, I wanted to watch a show from Takarazuka. However, my wife was very concerned about she might not understand the language and might not be able to appreciate the show. How’s your experience? Long time ago, I heard a friend saying she was very enjoyed a Takarazuka show during her Tokyo trip, even though she didn’t understand Japanese at all. I am trying to convince my wife to experience one of the famous Takarazuka shows next time when we travel to Japan. Any tips?

  2. My wife and I both enjoyed the show without knowing Japanese. We actually talked about watching another show.

    As I indicated, the first show was a traditional Japanese musical play based on the Tales of Genji so we weren’t able to follow the dialogue, but still enjoyed the singing, dancing and costumes. The second show was a musical broadway so understanding Japanese didn’t matter.

    You may want to choose a show based on a Western play, where you already know or familiar with the story – for example, Elizabeth. Finally, you can visit the Takarazuka Wikepedia where they have a synopsis of the show (we should have done this) and even details for each act.

  3. I indeed physically showed your comments to my wife and read it loud to her, especially the part you mentioned that you weren’t able to follow the dialogue but still enjoyed the singing, dancing, etc. My wife now seems getting more convinced than before. Thanks πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Top 43 Things to Do and See in Tokyo « Konnichiwa

  5. I worked and lived in Tokyo in 1954, and got to see three wonderful Takarazuka shows at the old Ernie Pyle Theater. In May 2011 my wife and I want to attend the performance in Tokyo; how do we find out information about the dates and times and subject at that time?

  6. Nice to meet you πŸ™‚
    I am one of takarazuka fan, and would like to join the club that you mentioned as ‘a Takarazuka fan club based in Los Angeles, California in the US.’.
    Do they have the Internet site? I live in Orange County and it’s close to LA, so if they have a party, I’d like to join it πŸ™‚
    Could you please tell me about the club in detail?

  7. Thank you for quick response!
    I’m so sorry I can’t find the club 😦
    Though, I appreciate that you left the comment πŸ™‚
    Thanks a lot !

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