kabuki actors


In this visit to Japan, as a rumor told with his family, his appearance on yakatabune, tasting sake, sushi and sukiyaki has become a hot topic on Twitter. Two years ago he visited a dressing room of Kabuki actor, Ainosuke Kataoka . His sitting posture with the stretched spine became popular as “beautiful”. Telling about that he says: “Since I was a dancer before becoming an actor my knees are elastic, but it is hard to be stretching sitting next to regulars, my legs get numb … But this is not only for Danish people, isn’t it?”

[news-postseven.com, 27.01.2017]

Compilation of Yamada Ryosuke x Kamiki Ryunosuke x Nakamura Hayato’s friendship stories over the years

[PON! 2014]
Kamiki Ryunosuke

Kamiki’s Ikemen Friend

Kamiki: It’s Hey! Say! JUMP’s Yamada Ryosuke. We’re in the same year. We co-starred in a drama together 7 years ago, and recently too in Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo, we co-starred again. When we turn 20, our birthday are close to each other, we talked about going drinking [together], then we went after a long while.

[Oshareism 2015]
Kamiki Ryunosuke

Fujiki: This is from your classmate, a kabuki actor, Nakamura Hayato. “When we turn 20, it was the first time we drank together. Kamiki got drunk after 1 shot of drinking beer. Yamada Ryosuke & I had to take care of him." 

Kamiki: Yes, they took care of me

Ueda: Yamada-kun & Nakamura-kun were your classmates?

Kamiki: Yes, we’re classmates. I was always with those two. When we all turn 20, we thought about going drinking together. We went drinking and turns out I was really weak.

Ueda: What was it like when you had a shot of the beer?

Kamiki: I was always "aaaahh…” (fans himself) “So hot! So hot!”

Ueda: Then did Yamada-kun & Nakamura-kun went “Are you okay?”

Kamiki: They were like, “Drink some water! Drink some water!”

[Men’s Kitchen 2017]
Kamiki Ryunosuke x Nakamura Hayato

Kamiki: I like crab, but I can’t touch crabs. The appearance is scary. It was because of that…

Hayato: That’s right! During our school fieldtrip, [looking at the crab meal,] Kamiki was like, “Eeee…!!!” (afraid of the appearance). Me and Yamada Ryosuke had to peel the skin off [for him]

Bonus pic of our favorite Horikoshi boys during their high school field-trip:

From left to right: Kamiki Ryunosuke, Nakajima Yuto, Nomura Shuhei, Nakamura Hayato, Chinen Yuri, Yamada Ryosuke

Daisuke Takahashi's words from Brochure of Hyoen (Kabuki on Ice) 2017

DAISUKE TAKAHASHI : as Kuro Hogan Yoshitsune Minamoto

“The surprise with the scale of it that is far greater than I imagined. Everyone working for this production is an outstanding expert.”

I first heard about the initial vision of this “Hyoen” in 2015, when I was studying in New York. I vaguely thought that it must be fun making such a show, but at the time I was away from skating trying to reset things to start with a clean slate, so I could not see specific image of myself to play a role in it. I just thought that it would be nice if I can do such a show some day.

Two years later, today, “Hyoen” has realized. Honestly, it was a surprise that this has taken shape this fast, but more than that I feel a special link by fate that I could get the offer to be a part of it right at the timing I made a new start as a professional skater.

And moreover, once it was revealed, the whole picture of “Hyoen” project totally blew me away. I never thought it would have such a massive level of projection mapping, and it comes with a far greater scale of cast and staff than I imagined. I feel huge pressure but the other cast undoubtedly and probably every member of the staff also feel the same way. Everyone working for this production is an outstanding expert. All the people who never worked with before have come together in one place across categories of business.

This time it is a collaboration of Figure Skating and Kabuki, and I especially found it interesting that no line is drawn between the two, self-contained as “Kabuki actors are for Kabuki and Figure Skaters Figure Skating”. It is the first-time collaboration in the world, and therefore, both sides took off the exact same start line groping around our way to make this together — both sides of the cast tried new challenges in their own fields and had a goal to become one, mixing Kabuki and Figure Skating together — the process of it is very fresh and it is great fun.

This show brought me new discoveries in figure skating through the costume fitted to the character or the motions particular to Kabuki. For one thing, skating costumes are mostly tight-fitted and clingy, and I never knew showing my movement in a costume that is not, and Kimono of all others, was such a hard task. I have been expressing using my whole bodyline without thinking, so it was difficult to build the performances having that line hidden. Also, normally in figure skating, it is very important to make each movement look big in a large rink, but this time, it is the opposite. Instead of making a big movement, motions that are delicate and subtle are required. I struggled to find how I can make an impact in the rink. On top of that, I have scenes with no movement at all that never happens in figure skating (lol). The figures of those are not flashy, and I seriously wondered how on earth I can make them look attractive and cool. I felt that I had to put my creativity into it.


The role I play is Yoshitsune Minamoto, someone every Japanese knows. I was told that I would be playing this role quite some time ago, but to be honest, I had very little idea about this man other than his name, and I could not visualize how I can play this person. He actually has many faces, such as, an image of Ushiwaka-maru (Translator’s notes: a mostly fictional image of his young days meeting his faithful detainer/guard Benkei) and also a tragic image of his death by his own sword after fleeting as a fugitive. Only, however, since Somegoro san relieved my worries by telling me, “Takahashi san, you are OK not to make out a role, but be as yourself”, I felt that I could make a totally new picture of Yoshitsune away from the images already made in the history or in the stories. In this “Basara” story, the characters are from different time periods in the history and this particular Yoshitsune is supposed to be a “symbol of justice”, so I think the answer for this role is to dedicate to that and build a positive image of the persona. Vogue Japan is in charge of the hair styling, and I expected that it was going to be somewhat modern. I have never performed in such a hair or make-up and this excites me a lot (LOL). It was my first time to jump with such a long hair style of course, and I enjoy challenging an unknown experience like that.

I got a lot to learn this time on how I present “space” as well. To us, skaters, we “express” moving and skating, not remaining still. So it is important to adjust the size of movement according to the extent of the rink space. Kabuki, on the other hand, has the beauty to fascinate you by only a slight movement as well as large, flashy motions. In this show, we have the same size of the stage as regular skating shows while we adopt motions in Kabuki style, so we have to think about the balance in managing the space.  And moreover, we do not just use the surface of the ice but the space far above in the air, and it must be a key factor that how we make good use of such different layers of spaces.

In those senses above and more, I believe that Hyoen expands new possibilities of ice shows. If we make this show a great success, I expect the next one would come as a fusion with an art of a genre we could never imagine. And above all, I am happy to feel that we could think that “skaters can do such things” ourselves, and that would give us a push to have a next dream, concept and idea for sure.

“The answer to what is asked in professional figure skaters will be found in this show”

Now figure skating as a sport enjoys receiving the unprecedented attention from the people. And yet, while the skaters have more chances to have their names known, it is still the reality that building a second career is simply difficult. The period of time one can be a competitive skater is not long, and the time to be active in the front lines as a professional skater is limited as well. However, as “Hyoen” suggests, with the support of the style to tell a story, or groundbreaking forms of presentation, possibilities for skaters are greatly expanded. That is, possibilities for skaters to be able to have different kind of careers by obtaining a new form of expressing, “acting a character”, not jumps or skating itself. Even though the abilities to perform elements such as jumps go off their highest level, skaters would keep developing in representing what they want to express through their experiences. And that quality is exactly what is demanded by the type of shows such as “Hyoen”. I think if this style of shows spread in Japan and in the world, surely more people can work in figure skating for a longer time. And if more skaters can actively perform in shows, it would boost the entire level of performances of skating population, and even some may aim for this trade — some skaters may seek for performing on this kind of stages, not being the top in competitions. I feel that it is the mission of our generation to find how new careers for skaters are created.

I am feeling very lucky myself that I could be in this show, as I have already had a lot of new discoveries. Every single one of them should be valuable for what I do in the future.

I have a feeling that the answer to what people want from us, professional figure skaters, is found in the “Hyoen” performances as well. I have been thinking for some time now what are supposed to be the things pros only can do, instead of the skating as a competitive sport to compete on the defined elements such as jumps and spins and show the tricks continuously evolving. It is considered that what the audience expect from professionals is a visual “appeal” as rounded and polished entertainment. And although I understand that that is the only quality for pro skaters to be able to surpass the fiery battles of competitive skaters, to be honest, I was still blindly seeking myself what is the attraction only pros hold.

However, as I got to participate in this grand project, now I could reach a conviction. It is the luxury, such as, a generous amount of time the pros only can spend for preparation, great means and vehicles the pros only have access to express through, and high level and innovative tricks only pros can challenge to obtain – this time, such as, Kabuki movements or dancing. That is the privilege allowed only to the professionals. I think the fact that the cast is trying desperately to obtain the new “tricks” and exhibiting them along with the finest staging should give deep fierceness to the show, and that creates an entertainment that gives you thrills different from competitive skating.

In other words, I feel that I am tested here if I can show something only a pro can. And if I am, I will definitely show you I achieve that.


December 2015: maneki kanzashi signed by kabuki actors by Yume-miru-yume blog

1. & 2.  Maiko Kimisayo with kanzashi signed by Nakamura Ganjiro and Hidetaro Kataoka

3. Kanzashi signed by Kankuro Nakamura (5th generation) and Bando Tamasaburo

4. Nakamura Ganjiro (3rd generation) and Ichikawa Danjuro (12th) 

5. Nakamura Kanzaburo (18th) and Sakata Tojuro (4th)

6. Kankuro Nakamura (5th) and Bando Tamasaburo

7. Mitsugoro Bando (5th) and Sakata Tojuro (4th)

These kanzashi belong to Miyagawacho okiya and they get changed every year, so maiko can get brand new maneki signed by their favorite actors. Some of the actors presented here are 


Geisha dancing kimono. Meiji period (1868-1911), Japan. The Kimono Gallery. A tall geisha silk ‘susohiki’ - trailing kimono for dance - featuring yuzen-painted portraits of famous stage actors. Embroidery highlights. A 'susohiki’ (trailing skirt) is a type of formal dance kimono worn by maiko (apprentice geisha) and geisha that is designed to trail on the ground. This example was worn by a geisha, as it has short, unpatterned sleeves. While all women’s kimono are longer then the length of their body, modern kimono are designed to be folded over at the hip. Susohiki are not, so they are even longer and have a padded hem to drape more attractively. Another word for susohiki is hikizuri. Although both the dancing susohiki and wedding uchikake share the characteristic of having a padded hem, susohiki are designed to be worn closed in front and tied with an obi, contrasting to the uchikake, which is worn with front open without obi. This susohiki is decorated with famous kabuki stage actors, with a bamboo fence at the bottom, perhaps alluding to a specific performance. This example was an expensive garment to commission, and is obviously the work of a talented textile artist, and would have been worn by s senior and wealthy geisha of the day for important stage dance performances.

[Translation] TV Person 09/03/2017 Kamiki Ryunosuke Interview Cut about Yamada Ryosuke

This interview was from one of Kamiki’s magazine appearance for his Sangatsu no Lion movie promotion. I only translated the parts where he spoke about Yamada though. I’ve always loved their friendship and I’m really happy that Kamiki talked about Yamada quiet a lot in here (almost half an entire magazine page), you know, when he’s supposed to be promoting for Sangatsu no Lion. This interview cut also gives us another different view about their friendship! Kamiki also mentioned Nakamura Hayato, Fukushi Sota, Takei Emi, Chinen Yuri, and Yabu Kota in this cut! Enjoy this interview!

P.S: As usual, please do not publish or re-post without permission.

“Ah, that’s right, Yamada-kun is also working hard.”

Keep reading

Just a reminder:

You know Midoriya Izuku?

Originally posted by miidoriyas

This heroic dork’s voice actor (VA) is also this guy [Amakusa Shion from Uta No Prince-Sama]:

Originally posted by zakuras

[Listen to the boy sing]

Our cute and sweet Uraraka Ochako?

Originally posted by jolynecujo

VA is also this fluffy alien [Moa from Show By Rock!!]:

Originally posted by mochi


The grumpy sleepy teacher, Aizawa Shouta?

Originally posted by bun-zawa

VA doubles as this passionate playboy [Jinguji Ren from UtaPri as well]

Originally posted by avarothusknight

[That hot ass voice, man]

Our God of Darkness, Tokoyami Fumikage~?

Originally posted by kacchan

VA voices as a Kabuki actor [Kakeru Tengenji from StarMyu] AND a wild man who looks so different when he’s in a business suit [Rom from Show By Rock!!]

Originally posted by nikifforovs

Originally posted by chemistry

[Only Kakeru had a solo T^T]

As a result of their communication being so heavily gesture-based, Fae theatre and performance resembles Japanese kabuki. Actors display emotion and characterization throughout the show by using specific, exaggerated poses and choreography, as well as makeup that enhances their expressions or elaborate yet lightweight costumes that highlight their movements. While Fae actors performing in ‘mixed-race’ production companies are still rare due to their need to learn to vocally emote like most other dragons, those that do pick up the skill often enhance their roles with these sorts of techniques.

Spring 2017 Watchlist (New-This-Season Edition) First Taste

I’m so happy the shitty winter season (in terms of both the anime season and actual season) is finally over and spring is upon us once more. Here are a few new shows this season I’ve watched the first episodes of; some I’ll keep going, some I’m dropping immediately because why do these even exist please why (please don’t take these “reviews” too seriously LOL; I just enjoy rambling about new shows):

Kado: The Right Answer | Seikaisuru Kado

If you’re into sci-fi and handsome government bureaucrats negotiating with equally handsome alien (???) whose spaceship (I think it’s a spaceship?) is shaped like a giant fractal cube, Seikaisu Kado is looking to be very promising. The 3D animation puts me off at first, but I soon didn’t care for it as the story becomes more fascinating. Just what does this white-haired alien want with Japan and can Shindou, the protagonist ace-negotiator, handle this? And what about his cute assistant Hanamori voiced by the even cuter Saito Soma? Will we see him again soon? The first episode and prequel just came out; I personally recommend watching ep.1 first before watching ep. 0. 


Alice & Zouroku | Alice to Zouroku

I only started watching it because the bf was excited about it, so I thought I’d give it a try since the art style looks cute. And boy oh boy it’s definitely different than what I was expecting. The show opens with a young girl named Sana who escapes from a research facility, which is later revealed to be a place for kids with special abilities (Sana can materialize things she imagines). Weakened and lost, she encounters an old man named Zouroku, who takes her into his home after an incident that involved the police. It’s a weird combination of fluff and fantasy/mystery that has heartwarming moments and decent fight scenes. Sana’s goal is to destroy the facility to rescue the other kids stuck in there, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. 


As the Moon, so Beautiful | Tsuki ga Kirei  

If you’re looking for slow-burn junior high school romance with very gorgeous art where the two leads are shy as heck, then Tsuki ga Kirei might be a show for you. Personally, I found the pacing a bit slow, and I dunno, maybe it’s because I’m in my late 20′s and these kids are like 14? I can’t really relate much to them, especially in the romance department. From what I can see so far, I think this show is more about the characters than the plot, so if you’re into character-driven romance, you can give it a try.


Renai Boukun | Love Tyrant

Think Death Note… but Kiss Note, so instead of dying when your name’s written in the notebook, the people whose names are written together will kiss kiss, fall in love. That’s it; that’s the premise. It’s essentially a harem anime with half-assed comedy, so don’t ask me why I even tried watching the first episode; it was 20 minutes of my life wasted.


Hinako Note

A country girl, who’s shy as heck and will freeze up and become a scarecrow (metaphorically, I guess?) when she’s under stress, attends a high school in Tokyo because she wants to join the drama club. She lives in a boarding house above a secondhand bookstore, where she meets a girl who… eats books??? Not sure if that part is important or it’s just a one-time gag. Essentially: cute girls doing cute things. 



So I know this show is about kabuki, but please don’t expect it to be anything like Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu because it definitely is nothing like the latter. A high-school kabuki enthusiast wants to start a kabuki club in his school, but to do so, he needs to find at least five members. Cue: megane-kun best friend, pretty boy from the drama club who’s actually a pretty girl (think GSNK’s Kashima), terrible vocalist who got kicked out of his own band (rock band AU Minami-kun?), pretty boy dancer who’s now a delinquent???, and an actual kabuki actor who takes his art way too seriously. Also featuring character designs by CLAMP. So… sports anime formula but with kabuki, basically. Yeah.


Eromanga Sensei

All I can say of this right now is that I was expecting lots of fan service and cringe-worthy moments, but it wasn’t actually that bad. Protag boy is a light novel writer; his books are illustrated by someone named Eromanga, whom he’s never met before. Turns out the illustrator is his own little sister, who’s become a shut-in since their parents’ death a few years ago. According to the summary, there’ll also be a shoujo mangaka who’ll become their rival. So… I dunno, I might keep watching if I have time. 


The Royal Tutor | Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine

Four spoiled German princes, one royal tutor (who’s short and the short jokes never end). It looks like a BL otome… but according to MAL it’s just a comedy. So. Featuring: long-suffering tutor, youngest prince who’s a playa (seiyuu Aoi Shouta also plays this role in a stage adaptation — yes there’s a stage production of this already), 4th prince who hates studying, third prince who’s basically prince!Kyoya of Ouran, and second prince who can’t seem to form words and looks like he’s refraining from punching a wall at all times. You bet I’ll be watching this trash. 

I’ll make a separate post for sequels (because there are so many good shows coming out with sequels this season), but for now, let me know what you guys are watching!

What’s In a Book? Part 24

Yes, there’s still a pile of books to go through, and more are on their way, so it’s time to do some summer (?) cleaning by reviewing another item to cross off the list.

Book’s cover courtesy of Amazon.

Geisha: The Life, The Voices, The Art by Jodi Cobb (ISBN 0-375-70180-X)
Date of Publication: 1998
Format: Hardcover and Softcover
Availability: Found Easily Online
Price: $5-10 Used, $25 New
Errors: With Introduction: 16  Without Introduction: 8

Jodi Cobb’s book is meant to be one of photography, where one enjoys the images instead of bothering with the text. The images are lovely, but she trips herself up with her own woods. Her text reads like it was written by Arthur Golden, and is full of the inaccuracies that Memoirs of a Geisha depicts in all of its shoddy glory (there’s even a quote from Golden on the cover). In the first part of the book she mentions everything that Mayumi (all names were changed), a Tokyo geisha, taught her when it comes to manners and introductions, yet also laments that she (Jodi) knew very little Japanese, Mayumi knew very little English, and there was no translator between them. From there she immediately states that prior to the past 20 years (so, prior to 1980 at time of publishing) all girls entered the karyukai by “misfortune” and not choice to support their families. This is absurd as labor laws forbidding such action had been illegal for almost four decades by that point and it has never really fallen to the child to provide for the parents in Japanese culture. She then states that geisha sell dreams to men and that “wives are never included,” which couldn’t be farther from the truth as many ozashiki have women or both a husband and wife present. She then states that the role of geisha has been “ambiguous” with sex for centuries (no!) and that Japan was a “rural and poor” country before World War II, which is so far from the truth that it’s laughable. Japan has always been quite well off, and no “rural and poor” country could have beaten Russia in a war the early 20th century. Then there’s the obligatory comment about how onsen geisha aren’t real geisha and that the women of Tokyo and Kyoto (who, exactly?) said so. What confuses me most is when she continuously refers to shikomi as “eggs” (tamago), which is a term that hasn’t been used for trainees in a long time, and not in Kyoto.

Beyond there the book just becomes a blur of one picture after another with no captions or explanations. Instead, there are verses from various songs (I swear almost all of Kurokami is within this book) or quotes from the people who were interviewed. I know that the pictures are trying to find the “hidden” side of geisha, but the majority of the images are of maiko and geiko backstage getting dressed or putting on make-up. It feels so odd to see images of Kisaragi Tayū among the maiko and geiko and be given the same treatment as if she were a maiko or geiko too. It’s all a bit too homogeneous and the writing makes it seem as though everyone in the karyukai is depressed, talking about lost loves for pages but no mention of arts.

This is the first time that I’ve broken the errors for a book down by including the introduction and excluding the introduction. This is because the book itself gets a higher score without the introduction as it was clearly written by someone who has no idea what geisha actually are and makes terrible errors in their speech. Some of them include:

-Saying that the first kabuki actors were female prostitutes (they were women, yes, but prostitution came much later)
-Commenting that geisha have always been open to prostitution
-Calling a picture of a tayū a “geisha dressed like an Edo Period courtesan”
-Putting “onsen” geisha in quotations to mean that they’re prostitutes
-Talks about the nuclear family setting that didn’t exist in Japan until the 1950s but applies it to the 18th and 19th centuries.
-Laments about how “other” photographers use different lens effects to capture images of their subjects and how it’s shameful, yet then congratulates Cobb for doing the same thing on the next page (I kid you not).
-Says that maiko wear white make-up as a sign of “virginal purity”. 
-Continuously refers to the karyukai as “The Water Trade”, yet that context can’t be applied to today’s world (it’s something that I can explain later as I could easily write an essay on the topic and this space is for a book review).

In the end, the pictures can be nice, but the text is absurd and boring. It feels like another book that was quick to make a buck, and as a National Geographic photographer I expected more than just backstage images of the same visual over and over again. It’s not as bad as some, but not really worth your time unless you buy it used for next to nothing on Amazon.

Rating: ✪✪ (out of 5)


POST OFFICE BOUNTY. OH man I am so late posting some of these.

Top, we have a package of the amazing and the strange from @221squee, who sent me cash, chips, and cards from Thailand, including an amazing “ghost card” with the legend of a ghost woman on it. Also that white packet with the squirming centipedes on it is centipede cough drops. Not gonna lie, I was nervous to eat them when I thought they were some kind of snack, now that I know they’re cough drops I’m even more hesitant. That said, I swear to try them for science. Thank you so much for the wild gustatory adventure I’m about to have! 

Middle photo, clockwise from top left: 

  • a lovely holiday card from @kayquimi which by request I am pretending got lost in the mail for a few months :D Proceeds from the card go to ODIS, which provides legal services for immigrants, so hooray! 
  • The red and gold print, which I believe is of a Kabuki actor, and the mystifying but charming little owl envelope and polaroid snap of a beverage case, come from a random Tumblr follower – glad the packing spreadsheet helped you! 
  • The postcard of the buildings is from my own dear Chicago, the Riverview Condos, which are not far from where I used to work! Thank you @ntro9, I’m so glad you enjoyed Russian Tea Time and Pret.  
  • And the superheroes going on strike is from UNION AGITATOR @scifigrl47, who points out that the Atom’s protest balloon merely reads UNFAIR. 

AND FINALLY, bottom photo, thank you very much @superqueerpasta for sending me the astounding Tom Of Finland rubber stamps you came into possession of. I plan to make a lot of art with them :D :D Tell your ma I’m grateful. 

I mean look at those glorious stamps, you guys. I may make postcards and send them to people in return for fundraising donations when I do Proud To Run later this year.