Our new project

YTM will be producing a  new stage  project about the life and times of the woman who started Kabuki. Although Kabuki is now a male dance form in Japan, a female, Okuni, is recognized as founder. Okuni started as a Miko dancer (Shrine dancer) later studying other dance forms. As her popularity grew she was also known to wear a cross and Portuguese influenced costumes, very unique and daring for the early 1600’s.

A time of changing era’s in Japan from  Toyotomi to Tokugawa,  the capital had shifted from Kyoto to Tokyo. Okuni was very popular in Kyoto, but had also been invited to dance in Tokugawa’s Edo castle.

Around 1615, she disappeared with no exact historical record of any details.

One historical fact gives a bit of a clue. In 1614, a famous Daimyo Ukon Takayama was banished from Japan and sent to Manila with his followers, because he was a Christian.

Is there any connection?

It is worth noting that female Kabuki was banned by the government in 1629 followed by a ban for young men in 1652. In 1653, the government allowed only adult men to perform; to this day only males are officially performing  Kabuki.

The show will be on Granville Island at Studio 1398 from March 1st to 10th 2017.


来年3月に予定している公演は、「お国歌舞伎ー1600」~歌舞伎の誕生 です。