Goodbye Kabuki Theater

27 Apr

When I live in Tokyo, I don’t feel like visiting Tokyo Tower. That is exactly the same as my Singaporean friend who doesn’t visit Merlion and my Belgium friend who’s never visited Grand Place in Brussels. Many Japanese people especially young people do not pay much attention to traditional Japanese art, music or performance. Of course I don’t say every Japanese, but many of us are more interested in pop culture or subculture that are hot now.

I’ve never ever been interested in Kabuki in my life, and I have to confess here that I’ve never watched it and I don’t know anything about it, except for some Kabuki stars that appear on TV commercials or tabloid show that I hardly watch. I should be ashamed of this as a Japanese, but I will be honest to you, I’ve never been inside Kabuki theater in my life, nevertheless I have passed through it several times. :p

Now this traditional and historical Kabuki theater is to be demolished for renewal. I must have been so indifferent since it was reported a few years ago.
But now I regret I didn’t ever take time thinking of watching Kabuki in this historical theater before demolition, as it’s too late now to get a ticket for Sayonara (goodbye) performance that will be over on 28th April. (That’s tomorrow!) When I passed through the Kabuki theater last weekend, there were so many people taking last pictures while it’s still there. It’s said Wednesday 28th April is the last day for the performance and Friday 30th April is the very last day for closing session.
The renewed Kabuki theater will be open 2013. Shinbashi Enbujo is replacing until then.

Now Tokyo Tower is also replaced by Tokyo Sky Tree.
I don’t know if Tokyo Tower remains, but I should not make another mistake in case it’s razed in the future.

It’s a bit sad we have to lose historical architectures like this, while they are preserved and still used in Europe. 😦


8 Responses to “Goodbye Kabuki Theater”

  1. Lore April 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    I hope they don't demolish tokyo tower becouse I think it's one of most known places in tokyo and I would like to visit it

    • kirin April 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

      I hope so, too. No matter how Sky Tree becomes more popular, I'd miss illuminated Tokyo Tower at night.

  2. Phil April 28, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    Kirin – There's a song from the 60s that says "you don't know what you've got til it's gone" – that could be the name of this post. I'm sorry you missed seeing Kabuki-za. When I visited Tokyo 3 years ago my friend who showed me a lot of the city brought me to Kabuki-za for a day of kabuki. It was amazing! I wore headphones that received English language explanation of the plays and I loved every minute of it. The theater is old-world luxury like American movie palaces from the pre-war period. When I heard they were closing the theater for several years for renovation, I felt so lucky I had the experience of this grand old place as it was.

    But I believe you're in luck with Tokyo Tower. I read that there no plans to tear it down though Sky Tree will certainly take some attention away from it. Next time you have international guests take them to see all the famous Tokyo landmarks that you haven't yet been to. That's what guests are for – to give us a chance to see our own backyard!

    • kirin April 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

      Nice comment, thank you Phil. It's a good idea to visit Tokyo landmarks with foreign tourists. 🙂

  3. cin April 29, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    oh what! thats such a waste for such a beautiful building!! 😦
    i hope they dont demolish tokyo tower too! i loved it there!

    • kirin April 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

      Oh~ you loved Tokyo Tower? It's nice especially at night, huh? ^ ^

  4. Thomas Gantz May 14, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    My wife and I were lucky enough to have been able to see a Kabuki performance just before it closed for demolition. It was an interesting esperience, but I have to admit that I did not enjoy Kabuki as much as a Rakugo performance I went to. ^^

    • kirin May 16, 2010 at 12:57 am #

      I think it's even hard for us to understand Kabuki fully because they speak old Japanese. I know I should be familiar with traditional Japanese culture too as a Japanese woman, but the problem is I am not very much interested in traditional things and history. I am much more interested in now (present) and future. If I have time to look back my old memory, I dream of what's happening in my future. I can play Koto, which is only because my mom taught me hard in my childhood. But it's only that I can do it, not that I like to do it. ^ ^;

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