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Kabuki-za (歌舞伎座)

Kabuki-za (歌舞伎座) in Ginza is the principal theater in Tokyo for the traditional kabuki drama form.
The Architecture of the "Kabuki-za" is as follows.

The original Kabuki-za was a wooden architecture, built in 1889 on the ground where there was either the Tokyo residence of the Hosokawa clan of Kumamoto, or that of Matsudaira clan of Izu.

File:Kabukiza Theater Tokyo 1907-1911.jpg
(Postcard depicting the original structure (1889-1911))

The building was destroyed in 1921. Since it was burnt down due to an electricity leakage, the second building was so designed to "be fireproof, yet carry traditional Japanese architectural styles", and at the same time using Western materials such as lighting equipments.

File:Eka1022.jpg
(Postcard depicting the theatre as rebuilt in 1911 (1911-1921))

The reconstrunction commenced in 1922, and was uncompleted when the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake struck. It was rebuilt in a baroque Japanese revivalist style, meant to evoke the architectural details of Japanese castles, as well as temples of pre-Edo period. The theater was again heavily damaged in the Allied bombing during World War II. It was restored in 1950 preserving the style of 1924 reconstruction, and today remains one of Tokyo's more dramatic and traditional buildings.

File:Eka1005.jpg
(Postcard depicting the pre-war reconstructed theatre (1924-1945))

There are plans to demolish the structure in spring 2010, and rebuild it, a process which is expected to take three years. Reasons cited for the reconstruction include concerns over the building's ability to survive earthquakes, as well as accessibility issues.

File:Kabukiza1044.jpg
(Photo of the post-war reconstructed theatre (1950-2010))

A series of farewell performances, entitled Kabuki-za Sayonara Kōen (歌舞伎座さよなら公演 lit. "Kabuki-za Farewell Performances") will be held from January through April 2010, after which kabuki performances will take place at the nearby Shinbashi Enbujō and elsewhere until the opening of the new theatre complex, currently scheduled for 2013.

Performances are exclusively run by Shochiku. They are held nearly every day at Kabuki-za, and tickets are sold for individual acts as well as for the play in its entirety. As is the case for most kabuki venues, programs are organized monthly; that is to say, each month there is a given set of plays and dances that make up the afternoon performance, and a different set comprising the evening show. These are repeated on a nearly daily schedule for 3-4 weeks, with the new month bringing a new program.

By T.S. on May 12, 2010
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