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Kabuki or Noh theatre 2009/2/27 19:42
I'm going with my 16 year old son to Japan end of april and we are thinking ofgoing to Japanese theatre. Would you recommend Kabuki or Noh theatre? Is there a special place in Tokyo or Kyoto where we should go?
by Jantje  

... 2009/3/1 09:32
Definitely kabuki. Noh is virtually incomprehensible and is very boring unless you have an understanding of noh and what is going on. Depending on the play, even kabuki is probably rather boring to many average 16 year olds, but it has more action than noh.

The easiest place to see kabuki is the Kabukiza Theater in Ginza, Tokyo (until spring 2010).
by Uji rate this post as useful

maybe no theatre then 2009/3/1 17:59
Thank you Uji.
Maybe none of them then.. I'll post a new question on karaoke!
by Jantje rate this post as useful

Kabuki or Noh 2009/3/3 09:02
Kabuki is a traditional play performed by male actors only. The female characters are often played by "Onna gata" (female specialist). They are men who are skilled in the behavior and subtle mannerism of traditional Japanese women. They are very good and even though you can see that they are men, after about 20 minutes into the show, the feminine beauty starts to capture you and you are drawn into this strange world where male actors behind heavy make up become very attractive and enticing to you. It is an art that cannot be explained in words. Contrary to the western world, these "onna gata" actors are not at all feminine in real life. If you see them off stage, they act and look like any men, although they are usually very handsome.
To appreciate Noh, you need to look a little deeper into the soul. It is more meditative and serene. Noh has its roots in the imperial court and Shinto religion. Nature, destiny, gods and power come alive in the masked dances of very slowly choreographed movements. It is a spirit dances. The dancers are entralled in the spirit. A Noh enthusiasts can see beyond the dancers and actors into the world of mythology and spirit.
I like Noh because of my experience in Aikido and Zen. But Kabuki is probably a lot more interesting especially for your 16 year old.

As a reward for enduring Kabuki or Noh, take him to Shibuya to a nice fun place where young teenages hang out.

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

Thanks 2009/3/3 17:05
Hello Chad,
that is so kind to explain this all to us. I'll show it to my son to hear what he thinks. Noh sounds interesting!
About the reward: Could you recommend a particular 'fun place' in Shibuya to go afterwards?
by Jantje rate this post as useful

Shibuya for young people 2009/3/4 04:04
I know Shibuya is fun for teenagers. I really don't know why they gather there. I walk along the Shibuya streets looking just too old and different (gaijin) but I never go into any of those game and anime places or all those sorts of things I have no idea about.

Maybe you just take your 16 year old out there and let him choose. I have no idea!??

I'm too old for those things!

Maybe someone else younger can post after me to answer your question about Shibuya.

I prefer the meditative Zen temple of Ryoanji in Kyoto.

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

Japanese teenagers 2009/3/4 15:42
You are right, I shouldn't worry, but since our time is so limited, just two weeks in Japan, just 4 days Tokyo, after 8 month preparing and languige courses.. that I am afraid to miss the right spots. It would be great if he could meet Japanese teenagers, but I'm afraid they aren't on the forum to tell us there where abouts. Anyway, we'll add your temple to our list in Kyoto!
by Jantje rate this post as useful

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