When I very first came to Japan, a woman told me that she had gone to see a Takarakuza Review show.  Of course, I didn’t know what that was, and she explained that Takarazuka are shows in which only women perform.  Women play both the male and female roles.

At the time, I thought, “That seems really lesbianish!”  I was told, no, no, nothing like that at all.

Now twenty years later, I sort of have the Japanese attitude toward Takarazuka–not lesbianish, just a wonderful show.  I think it’s because I no longer live in a country where Bruce Jenner becoming a woman makes huge news.  I now live in a country where the Mr. Donuts spokesperson is a famous transvetite and nobody bats an eye.  (He/She is named Matsuko Deluxe, in case you are interested.)

Anyway, I was excited when I saw this poster at our local Comu Comu:

 

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A free show!   Yes!

I went, and MANY other people were there just like me.  Since it was first come first served, they had to turn people away.  I am really lucky I got to see the performance.

 

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It was singing, very Broadway/Las Vegasy.

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Like Kabuki, an actress either plays a male role or a female role and sticks with that her entire career.  I didn’t think there was a lot of attraction between the man and woman on stage–they did not make a lot of eye contact and they did not touch.  I am not sure if that was intentional or not.

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Takarazuka is incredibly popular, and has a fan base.

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At the end, women in the audience gave them presents.  The audience was indeed mostly female, but there were men there.  It felt like just any sort of play or performance.  I mean, honestly, most normal Broadway type shows are mostly female anyway.    Watching flamboyant performances (as opposed to something like sumo) tends to be more of a woman thing, I think.

 

I enjoyed it.  I am not going to become one of their devoted fans, but I have to admit that I had been curious about it, and now that curiosity has been satisfied!

One of my favorite blogs (Jlptbootcamp) has a post about Takarazuka.