歌舞伎座さようなら公演

21 Apr

About eighteen months ago I wrote a post about the planned renovation of the historic 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theatre) in the 銀座 (Ginza) area of Tokyo.

(Click here to read that post.)

Well, as I mentioned in that post in 2008, the Kabuki Theatre is scheduled to be torn down on 2010 April 30 and rebuilt in a more “modern” design. (I think that’s too bad. “Kabuki” is a old traditional Japanese art…so the theater should be a traditional Japanese design—like it currently is).

It’s already April 2010. The theater will be torn down in less than two weeks! Time goes by fast.

So, I had an errand in the Ginza area yesterday so I brought my camera to take some photos of the 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theatre) before it’s demolished.

Posters outside the theater advertising shows now playing.

The theater's front entrance

This sign in front of the theater says:"Kabuki Theater 'Sayonara' Performance".Eleven days left"2010 April 20, 11:55:52 (the date/time I took this photo)

The famous 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theater) in Ginza, Tokyo...set to be demolished for renovation on 2010 April 30.

While I was in the Ginza area I decided to take photos of the Seibu Department Store since that iconic store will be closing it’s branch in Ginza later this year due to high overhead costs mainly stemming from the expensive rent for property in the exclusive Ginza area.

(I wrote about this story on an earlier post. Click here to read it.)

Unlike the Kabuki Theatre, the building that the Seibu Store is in won’t be demolished.
The Seibu Department Store is simply leaving the Ginza area after occupying that property for over 26 years.

The "Seibu" name won't be on this building after this December.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, the rent that the Seibu Department Store pays in the highest in the world.
But near that building is a 交番 (police box) that is located on the most expensive property in the world per square meter.

This 交番 (police box) in Ginza has the world's highest rent per square meter.

Here are a few more photos I took in the area:

This is "Peko-chan". Mascot for "Fujiya Confectionaries".

"Peko-chan" candies

A "Hato Tours" bus with "Hello Kitty" design.

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18 Responses to “歌舞伎座さようなら公演”

  1. Earnest Mercer April 23, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    Help me out–I attended a couple performances back in 1952 at the Nichigeki Theater. I have a couple of color slides taken farback from the stage. One scene was of a Japanese opera–Madame Butterfly (?). The other was a “follies” style western show.

    Where is the Nichigeki? Is it still in existance?

    Regards,

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 24, 2010 at 12:26 am #

      The 「日本劇場」 (“Nihon-gekijyou”), nicknamed 「日劇」 (“Nichi-geki”), means “Japan Theatre”.

      The original was in Ginza, Tokyo and there were branches in Sapporo, Hokkaido and Yokohama, Kanagawa that I know of (maybe other branches too).

      They were unique “round shaped” buildings.

      They all survived WW2…but, unfortunately, have all been closed down and demolished between 5 – 30 years ago (each building was closed in a different year).

      If your photo is online and you can tell me the link, I may be able to tell you which of the three theaters it is.

      Like

  2. Tom Arrison April 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    I didn’t know about this, thanks. Kind of sad.

    I’m not a big kabuki fan and was only inside Kabukiza a couple times, but the building itself is something of an old friend. The World Magazine Gallery located a block north (since closed) was one of my favorite places to hang out, so I was in that neighborhood and passed by Kabukiza pretty often.

    And Seibu Ginza closing too? Not as big as Seibu Ikebukuro or as trendy as Seibu Shibuya, but still an important part of the retail landscape in Ginza.

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

      Yes, I wonder how different the kabuki theater will look when it’s rebuilt.

      And yes, the Seibu Dep’t Store will be closing their branch in Ginza later this year…as far as I know now, that’s the only branch they plan to close.

      Like

  3. sleepwalkingintokyo April 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Hi. The last time I saw a Kabuki performance was last November. Though I don’t really understand, their beautiful stage and costumes are really fascinating.

    Wish I have the time to snap some photos before the major renovations starts..

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 22, 2010 at 12:47 am #

      Yes, the costumes, make-up, as well as the actions and the way they talk in kabuki is very elaborate and beautiful.

      Like

  4. bartman905 April 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    We got a chance to watch a short performance about a month ago (day tickets, standing room) … were you able to go back and watch a show recently before it closes down?

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      I watched Kabuki once years ago. I haven’t gotten around to watching a show again since.

      Maybe I’ll watch a show again in the new theater when it opens for it’s Grand Re-Opening in a few years from now.

      Like

  5. toranosuke April 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Craziness. It’s so sad it’s going to be gone. I’ll be sure to take photos of the construction site or whatever there is to take photos of when I’m in Tokyo this summer, though.

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

      Are you coming to Tokyo this summer?

      It’s too bad you’ll miss a chance to see one of the “Sayonara Performances”.

      How long will you be in Tokyo for?

      Like

      • toranosuke April 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

        It really is a shame I missed the Sayonara Kôen; I so wanted to make it to Japan in time for that. I’ll be in Kyoto for about 6 wks in June and July; hoping to make it up to Tokyo for a week towards the end of July.

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

        A seven-week holiday. It’s pretty long! 🙂

        Since you’ll miss the “Sayonara” performances…you should come back for the Grand Re-Opening shows.

        Like

      • toranosuke April 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

        It’s not exactly a holiday (I wish!)… I’ll be in Kyoto studying, and hoping to squeeze in sightseeing and exploring and such on the weekends.

        I really really want to be in Tokyo for the Re-Opening shows, but I think it unlikely, given the schedule of my schooling here. Have to finish my MA by 2011 or 2012, and start a PhD, at which point I might not be ready or able to go off and do my “field work” until 2014? 2015? So, unless the rebuilding takes longer than expected, and the stars align, I think I’ll be missing that too. Unfortunately.

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 22, 2010 at 12:44 am #

        Wow, I see.
        What are you studying?

        Like

    • toranosuke April 24, 2010 at 2:35 am #

      It’s a program in Classical Japanese language.

      Like

      • tokyo5 April 24, 2010 at 2:44 am #

        How long have you been studying the Japanese language?
        I guess you can speak and read Japanese well.

        Like

      • toranosuke April 24, 2010 at 8:26 am #

        I’ve been studying on and off for nearly ten years now (god, has it really been that long?).

        Went to the IUC program in Yokohama in 07-08, which was what really catapulted my language abilities.

        I’ve gotten pretty rusty since returning to the States, but I’m trying to keep up with it and hoping to sort of refresh my abilities by spending some time in Japan this summer.

        You must be totally fluent, though, yeah? After living in Japan for so long, with a family and everything…

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 24, 2010 at 11:10 am #

        >You must be totally fluent, though, yeah? After living in Japan for so long, with a family and everything…

        Well, after living in a country for decades, a person can’t help but pick up the language.

        Like

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