[Shinbashi Enbujo]

The Kabuki-za Theater in Higashi-Ginza is the most famous Kabuki theater in Japan. Across Harumi-dori in front of the theater is the Shinbashi Enbujo, another Kabuki theater.

I have never had much luck with Kabuki, but I unexpectedly had the chance to visit the Shinbashi Enbujo. The program was a new Kabuki play, "Nagare Shiranami Sansei," created from the perspective of what it would have been like if Lupin III had existed in the Azuchi-Momoyama period when the great bandit Ishikawa Goemon was a thief. I had never imagined that the anime that my parents' generation had been familiar with since childhood would become kabuki, but it seems that kabuki has a history of repeating such new challenges, and has continued to this day. The stage was full of actors who had transcended the boundaries of kabuki. It was a very luxurious experience to see the play, with powerful performances, famous lines, and familiar melodies played on Japanese instruments.

For those who are interested in Kabuki but feel it is too expensive, here is a beginner's viewpoint. If you rent a pair of earphones with commentary before the performance, you will be able to hear commentary at key points along the performance and enjoy the performance with a general understanding. Kabuki plays are performed in two or three parts, and you can finish your meal during the 30-minute interval between acts. Food is sold at the venue, but you can also bring your lunch box and eat it at your seat. Since it is after the coronavirus disaster, such a thing feels very fresh. The audience seating ranged from the pier seats to casual seats, and I was relieved to see that many people on the third floor were dressed casually. I enjoyed watching the play to the fullest while observing the manners announced in the theater! First of all, I hope that this is minimal information about Kabuki theater for people like me.

This was my first kabuki performance, and it made me think that I should check out kabuki performances as I do movies from now on. How about a kabuki theater performance with a packed lunch or a stroll through Ginza?

Shinbashi Enbujo
Ginza Showroom