Kabukiza is an oditity. It’s an old building, sat square in the middle of one of the most advanced pieces of real estate in the world (I hate to use the term modern as modernity was the 1960s, some 50 years ago). We got off at Ginza station to find ourselves with a two block walk (there is another station right in front of it, but we forgot due to running late). I’d already found out that Kaoru was already inside along with Pat (Derek’s mother) and Owen (a friend of Derek’s from a former work place), but that Derek was waiting outside for us. We arrived late, 10 minutes after the performance started, but fortuantely Derek and Kaoru had bought us tickets and hired us radios that give an over view of what is happening on stage in English.
The first act was a traditional stroy from the period just post the Genji defeat of the Heike clan over who should be emperor. I’m slighly familliar with the Japanese history of this time, but not the folk law tales. By the end of the act I was not sure if I was that in to Kabuk, it was ok, but not grabbing me. We left Kabukiza as a group to find lunch and to skip a half hour traditional dancing piece, then returned for act two. Myself and Pak had to leave early due to the need to finish shopping, but we still caught another hour of another story of a people’s hero called Chobei. This was done in a different style which I rather enjoyed, but alas we had to leave.
One thing in case you ever go to see Kabuki, do not sit on the left side unless on the ground floor. The stage has a stretch along the left wall, where most the actors come on and some scenes are presented. We missed quite a bit visually as a result.