Kabuki Woogie began in 2011 as a way to record a research trip to Japan I took on a Mellon Fellowship a year earlier. My day-to day-experiences on that trip, including videos and photos, are archived at the beginning of the blog. Over the past few years, Kabuki Woogie provided regular entries on the history of the first Kabuki-za, Japan’s leading kabuki playhouse, founded in 1889, and still on the same site after four additional incarnations. The series, which offered 24 chapters, ended recently with a chapter on 1911, when the theatre underwent significant renovation, ending its first incarnation.
In November 2018, I began to post images of the cover of each month’s issue of the long-running kabuki magazine, Engekikai (Theatre World), which I’ve provided on Facebook for a number of years. I will also post any other items of kabuki interest as they become available, including my own writings. All previous entries remain intact and can be found by using the search box.
The cover for ENGEKIKAI, the kabuki magazine of record, for February (#2) 2019 shows the 87-year old Sakata Tōjūrō IV in his iconic role as the romantic lead, Kamiya Jihei, with his son, Nakamura Senjaku III, playing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa, in KOI BIKYAKU YAMATO ORAI, at Kyoto’s Minami-za in December 2018. The contents given on the cover mention that the main article is an overview of kabuki production for all of last year; an interview with Sakata Tōjūrō IV; an interview with famed female role specialist Bandō Tamasaburō V; discussions with seven upcoming young stars (wakate hanagata) in the Spring Kabuki in Tokyo’s Asakusa section; reviews of December productions at various theatres; and the latest essay in Matsumoto Kōshirō X’s series, “Kōshirō’s Thousand and One Nights.”