Meijiza is Tokyo's oldest theater still in business, and it's been a major name on the Tokyo kabuki scene since its founding in 1873. In the intervening decades, Meijiza has branched out to offer a wide variety of shows, from modern musical theater to comedy, and it's still a favorite among performing arts lovers in the city. To celebrate 150 years of Tokyo theater, Meijiza is putting on a major anniversary event called "Marutto Meijiza" at the end of 2023, featuring traditional Japanese dance, beautiful costumes, talented performers, lots of fun activities, and even a peek backstage behind the curtains!
The name "Marutto Meijiza" (まるっと明治座) means something along the lines of "The Complete Meijiza," and it's an event looking back on the years of Japanese culture Meijiza has cultivated over its long history. Even before the curtain is raised, the event starts with a contribution from the digital art collective TeamLab: a "digital curtain" with scenes of nearby Nihonbashi as it might have looked when Meijiza first opened (it actually changes to reflect the weather outside)! The main Marutto Meijiza show features a performance of "Fuji Musume," also known as "The Wisteria Maiden," a piece of traditional Japanese dance ("nihon buyo") born from kabuki theater. First performed almost 200 years ago, Fuji Musume is still one of the most popular dances of its kind, showing off the elegance and intricacy of Japan's kabuki traditions. The show at Meijiza shakes things up by following this traditional dance with a portion that shines a light on a very different part of Japanese culture: ninjas. Skilled performers sneak across the stage and perform acrobatic feats, all while guiding the audience through the history of ninjas in Japan! These two performances include subtitles in three languages (English, Korean, and Chinese), so audience members from all over the world can enjoy it all.
Apart from the show, guests who opt for a special ticket get to enjoy a traditional Japanese meal at the theater, similar to the classic intermission bento boxes Meijiza offers at most of their shows. The theater will also be offering opportunities to take pictures with the performers, learn to throw a shuriken just like the ninjas, and even do some origami folding. Special ticket holders will even get an exclusive backstage tour, to see how the deceivingly simple stage actually moves and transforms in a myriad of ways, letting performers pop up in an instant or disappear into the "naraku" space underneath. Theater lovers and fans of Japanese culture won't want to miss this unique event at Meijiza Theater!
*The kabuki image featured above is actually from a different performance called "Sagi Musume."
|Marutto Meijiza: Meijiza Theater 150th Anniversary Show with Kabuki & Ninjas (Tokyo)
|Dec 05, 2023 - Dec 07, 2023
two shows daily
|2-31-1 Nihonbashihamacho, Chuo City, Tokyo
|Meijiza Theater (明治座)