Kabuki shows to go online

Performances of the traditional Japanese theater kabuki will be streamed online for the first time for overseas viewers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The "Cho Kabuki" program now underway at the Minamiza Theatre in Kyoto will go online with English subtitles from September 20 through 26.

The program includes a new play based on Japanese folklore. Kabuki actor Nakamura Shido and virtual idol Hatsune Miku costar with the use of cutting-edge imaging technology.

Tickets for the shows will go on sale in 11 countries. Production company Shochiku says it is a response to requests from overseas fans who cannot come to Japan because of the pandemic.

The company says it wants people to enjoy kabuki even during the pandemic, and expressed hope that the performances will be a new kind of cultural exchange that open new possibilities for the performance art.