Readers’ Travel Tips: Cultural Highlights Of Japan

Kabuki-za in Ginza is the principal theatre in Tokyo for the traditional kabuki drama form. The Kabuki-za was originally opened by a Meiji era journalist, Fukuchi Gen’ichirō. Fukuchi wrote kabuki dramas in which Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and others starred; on Danjūrō’s death in 1903, Fukuchi retired from the management of the theatre. The theatre is now run by the Shochiku Corporation which took over in 1914. The original Kabuki-za was a wooden structure, built-in 1889 on land which had been either the Tokyo residence of the Hosokawa clan of Kumamoto or that of Matsudaira clan of Izu. Destroyed by fire on several occasions, the 1950 structure was demolished in the spring of 2010, and rebuilt over the ensuing three years. The style in 1924 was in a baroque Japanese revivalist style, meant to evoke the architectural details of Japanese castles, as well as temples of the pre-Edo period. This style was kept after the post-war reconstruction and again after the 2013 reconstruction.

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