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Kabuki is spectacular and you don’t have to know anything to enjoy it. But a little bit of information about a few of the terms and the plays makes it even better.
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Sistine Kabuki: Beauty and the Beast

This was the 7th in a series of newly written kabuki plays featuring Nakamura Kazutaro that appeared in February 2016 in the replica of the Vatican's Sistine chapel in the Otsuka Art Museum in Tokushima on the island of Shikoku. The Otsuka Art Museum is a massive museum founded in 1998 to commemorate the founding of a major pharmaceutical company and mostly features ceramic reproductions of great paintings. Since 2009 it has sponsored new kabuki plays inside the replica of the Sistine Chapel. These plays always have some startling mixture of Japanese and Western elements.

This play is a kabuki version of the French story "La Belle et La Bete" and transfers it to medieval Japan with Nakamura Kazutaro as the beauty and Kataoka Ainosuke as the beast. It uses a rich variety of kabuki techniques. When the beast goes walking in public, he does so in the guise of a shishi lion. The beast's mother is played as the kabuki character Yamamba and the fight scenes are in pure kabuki style. At the same time, it also features ballerinas as fairies in the forest.

GOEMON: Ishikawa Goemon

"GOEMON" (written this way even on the Japanese publicity) also began as the 3d Sistine Kabuki in 2011). It was such a success that it was repeated in a regular theater at the Shochikuza theater in Osaka in February and October 2013 and at the Shinbashi Enbujo theater in Tokyo in October 2016. Like many plays about the thief Ishikawa Goemon (Kataoka Ainosuke), it pits him against the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi and features the famous routines in kabuki plays about Goemon. But it also brings in Izumo no Okuni (Nakamura Kazutaro), the founder of kabuki, and is based on the surprising idea that Goemon is actually the child of a Christian missionary from Spain and a Japanese mother. The play features flamenco dancing and, in one of the highlights of the play, Goemon teaches Okuni some flamenco steps when the popularity of her performances begins to wane.