Join “Night KABUKI in Osaka Dotonbori” to easily understand and enjoy the world of kabuki!

“We want many people to enjoy kabuki in a relaxing atmosphere.”
A new project aimed at allowing foreigners to casually enjoy the attractive world of kabuki is scheduled to be held at Osaka Shochikuza Theatre!

Join “Night KABUKI in Osaka Dotonbori” to easily understand and enjoy the world of kabuki!

Osaka Shochikuza Theatre in Dotonbori, one of the main entertainment districts in Osaka, which attracts lots of tourists from abroad, will host a special kabuki project. The theatre hopes to introduce attractive aspects of kabuki, one of Japan’s traditional performing arts, to people from abroad in ways easy to understand. This project, called “Night KABUKI,” is the first such plan to offer kabuki performances starting from 6 p.m. every day from January 22 to 28.

Part 1 is “Introduction to Kabuki.” Senju Kataoka, a kabuki actor, will serve as a commentator, along with a simultaneous interpreter giving explanations in English on the stage. There will be some videos of kabuki, interpretation of the stage performance in the second part, and a fun event for the audience to directly experience kabuki on the stage.

In Part 2, “Ayatsuri Sanbaso” (“The Marionette Sanbaso”) will be performed, which is one of the celebratory dances based on “Okina,” a noh ritual performance. It is a fun and happy play with a marionette hanging with strings and dancing. Senjiro Kataoka will play Sanbaso and Aizaburo Kataoka will be the koken assistant puppeteer. Senju and Senjiro expressed their enthusiasm for the project as follows:

“I am truly motivated.”
“I am really focused and ready for it.”
Both Senju and Senjiro showed their gratitude and pleasure to be part of the performances of this new-type kabuki event. They are in the first cohort of students at Shochiku Kamigata Kabukijuku, a school for fostering kabuki actors in the Kansai area, spending together about 30 years of training combined to be kabuki actors. “I want people to find kabuki interesting and feel it more intimately. I would like to make this program a clear guide of kabuki for foreign audiences, so I hope I can offer a new type of “Introduction to Kabuki” from a different perspective,” says Senju, who is an experienced commentator. In Part 1, fun events are scheduled, including an event where some of the audience will be invited to the stage to experience a swordfight with a sword, and a photo-shooting session with onnagata, male actors playing female roles, in gorgeous costumes. The audience will be allowed to share their experiences and photos through social media.

Senjiro says, “ ‘Ayatsuri Sanbaso’ offers not only an authentic kabuki stage but also an entertaining aspect with expression of being manipulated with string, like pantomime. As the dance is accompanied by shamisen guitars and taiko drums, you can feel a celebratory atmosphere of festive early-spring days of Japan. Through the experience, I hope you will be exposed more to Japanese culture.” For this project, they say they will specially incorporate all the lucky symbols of Japan, such as shochikubai – a set of pine, bamboo, and plum – and crane and tortoise, into the humorous makeup of Sanbaso. He says, “Please look forward to seeing what kind of makeup the actors put on their faces for the stage. The costumes with very fine embroidery are unique to Japan, so you should check them out closely through opera glasses. If you can see me acting like a real puppet manipulated with strings, please give me a big hand!” “Join us casually, laugh, clap hands, relax, and have fun together,” also Senju says.

This project offers a great opportunity to enjoy kabuki for not only foreign visitors but also Japanese kabuki beginners. After watching the performances, what you should do is, according to the performers, is: “There are many shops offering okonomiyaki and takoyaki in Dotonbori, so make sure to taste them!” The running time will be 40 minutes for “Introduction to Kabuki” and 20 minutes for “Ayatsuri Sanbaso,” with a 15-minute break in between.

For details, please visit:

Interview and article by Haruyo Takahashi

Night KABUKI in Osaka Dotonbori
“Part 1: Introduction to Kabuki; Part 2: Ayatsuri Sanbaso”
Tickets available now. P-Code: 522-882
▼January 22 (Mon) – 28 (Sun)
18:00 on Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sun, 15:00/18:00 on Tue
Osaka Shochikuza Theatre
Reserved seats only: 6,000 yen
[Performers] Senju Kataoka, Senjiro Kataoka, Aizaburo Kataoka

*A ticket is required for anyone of the age of four and older. For “Part 1: Introduction to Kabuki,” interpretation will be given in Japanese with some English. No rental service for a simultaneous audio commentary “Earphone-Guide” (Japanese, English) is available. Tickets for this event are sold as “Specified Event Admission Tickets,” which are subject to the “Anti-scalping Law.” Without consent by the promoter of this event, transfer-for-profit of the tickets is strictly prohibited.

Inquiries: Osaka Shochiku Theatre (Tel: 06-6214-2211)


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