caithion: (Rika - TMM)
[livejournal.com profile] jailbaitjello's prompt for the meme (feel free to keep adding prompts!) : But what drew YOU to this sparkly, sequin-y thing called Takarazuka?

(How did this turn into all-Takarazuka, all-the-time? *grin* I have another journal for that!)

Mmm, I talked about how I first was introduced to Takarazuka in a rather incoherent ramble here. But what, specifically, drew me to it?

The idea of it was interesting, in that it was all-female. I know now that it's not as rare as you might think, but at the time it was new and intriguing. A friend who was a fan had posted pictures of two of the actresses in costume as the characters Klaus and Eroica from a manga that I adore, and they really did look the part. (I want that show to exist so bad!) I watched Elisabeth, which has a certain aesthetic that I think appeals to anime/manga fans.

But I think the thing about Takarazuka which determines whether you are going to get drawn in or not is whether you find an actress that appeals to you. Once you've been hooked by an actress--be she center star or that girl in the back line of the chorus in an enormous helmet holding a spear--you're in trouble. Because Takarazuka is flashy and big and many other adjectives, but at its heart is Family. And you find your One and you adopt her as a sister or a daughter* and you watch her grow and you cheer her on and you empathize your heart out. Sure, part of it is the facts and figures that we learn and hoard worse than any sports fan, and part of it is hearts-for-eyes adulation for the stars, but really, feeling useful and like you're supporting them and helping them to grow... that's the secret to Takarazuka (and OSK)'s longevity.

* This is not actually as creepy as it comes across in black and white text, really.

I watched Guys and Dolls and I loved it, I loved the camp and the genuineness that Takarazuka manages to exude simultaneously, and I loved Rika's* larger-than-life Sky. Rika is the big sister I never had.

* Rika is the "nickname"** of Shibuki Jun, who was the top star of Moon Troupe in the early 00s.
** "Nickname" is a funny way of putting it, because all the actresses have them, and 40% of the time their "nicknames" are their actual names, since all of them adopt stage names while in the Revue.

Takarazuka

Jan. 11th, 2014 11:18 pm
caithion: (Masaki)
I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! XD

Yes, see, I got side-tracked by Takarazuka things, but that's perfect, actually, because my topic for yesterday from [livejournal.com profile] jailbaitjello was "Takarazuka." (And, yes, feel free to keep adding to the meme topics, because otherwise you'll be subjected to topics that I pick.)

Takarazuka means 'Treasure Hill,' and is the name of a town in Hyogo Prefecture that once wasn't known for much of anything except a lovely hot spring. However, it was rather remote, even from the cities of Kobe and Osaka. The owner of the railroad lines that led to Takarazuka decided he needed a relatively cheap attraction to lure people out. So, in 1914 he began a theatrical troupe composed entirely of girls. Their earliest performances were on an impermanent stage constructed over a pool in a bathing house. Kobayashi convinced the girls' families that they would get a nice year-long education in propriety and the things that would make them good wives and mothers, and of course they wouldn't remain as performers for more than a few years (thus meaning that Kobayashi wouldn't have to pay them much). Their motto became "Kiyoku, Tadashiku, Utsukushiku"--often translated as "Pure, Proper, and Beautiful," although I prefer the translation of "Modesty, Fairness, and Grace." I think the later captures more of what Kobayashi was trying to achieve.

These young maidens (many were 12-13 when they joined) performed folk tales and fairy tales for a couple of decades before the industry began to change and incorporate elements of Western revue shows from Europe in the 30s. It continued to evolve, and still remains today, nominally run by Kobayashi's grandson and their parent conglomerate. All of which grew from that small train company, Hankyu.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of this rather unique Japanese art form. And if they do more these days to draw in a younger crowd, and less attention is paid to preserving the performance folk arts that they once were renowned for keeping alive, well.... sometimes you have to change to keep going.
caithion: (not my day)
For those few of you on my f-list puzzled by the sudden influx of posts about some obscure Japanese historical novel, I'm sure you won't be shocked to know that this is the real reason why. ;)

I'm in love with the costumes, but that eye doesn't look very gouged out. Where's my sexy eye-patched Eduard? (T_T)
caithion: (not my day)
For those few of you on my f-list puzzled by the sudden influx of posts about some obscure Japanese historical novel, I'm sure you won't be shocked to know that this is the real reason why. ;)

I'm in love with the costumes, but that eye doesn't look very gouged out. Where's my sexy eye-patched Eduard? (T_T)
caithion: (Noir)
I've decided that it's patently worthless for me to save money for food, as it all gets spent on Takarazuka anyway, so I went out and bought the bookshelf I've been wanting since last August. And finally rigged something else so that the pole in my closet stops falling down. I feel a bit more organized now.

I've been slowly adding all of the books I've read since last July to my Goodreads account. Pretty pathetic collection, actually. :/ I just don't read much anymore.

 



Hm, what else? Oh. Trying not to get too paranoid about the typical Japanese overreaction to 'flu. All of the schools in Kobe/Hyogo Prefecture are closed now, because there have been cases of the new type. The Revue canceled two weekend events that are pretty traditional. Opening night for Elisabeth is this Friday. But they announced the show's run-time and intermission time yesterday. I'm taking that as a positive sign, and I'm scowling very hard in the direction of the Japanese government. They canceled school, but you know where all the kids are? Hanging out together at karaoke joints. Stupid.
caithion: (Noir)
I've decided that it's patently worthless for me to save money for food, as it all gets spent on Takarazuka anyway, so I went out and bought the bookshelf I've been wanting since last August. And finally rigged something else so that the pole in my closet stops falling down. I feel a bit more organized now.

I've been slowly adding all of the books I've read since last July to my Goodreads account. Pretty pathetic collection, actually. :/ I just don't read much anymore.

 



Hm, what else? Oh. Trying not to get too paranoid about the typical Japanese overreaction to 'flu. All of the schools in Kobe/Hyogo Prefecture are closed now, because there have been cases of the new type. The Revue canceled two weekend events that are pretty traditional. Opening night for Elisabeth is this Friday. But they announced the show's run-time and intermission time yesterday. I'm taking that as a positive sign, and I'm scowling very hard in the direction of the Japanese government. They canceled school, but you know where all the kids are? Hanging out together at karaoke joints. Stupid.
caithion: (style)
You know, the funny thing about sitting down and doing a thorough translation of a script is that there are some bits which are just as awesome as you remembered, some even more awesome, and yet always some that you really wish you hadn't done. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Still, overall, Futari dake ga Waru is just as good as I remembered. <3 And Mariko's noir-ish monologues continue to make me love Masatsuka-S. Sometimes he really, really gets it right.

But I think I've had enough easy fun for the morning. Time to thrash at Scout some more. Or maybe I'll just write a very nice note to the cast and ask very politely for a script loan. *sigh*
caithion: (style)
You know, the funny thing about sitting down and doing a thorough translation of a script is that there are some bits which are just as awesome as you remembered, some even more awesome, and yet always some that you really wish you hadn't done. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Still, overall, Futari dake ga Waru is just as good as I remembered. <3 And Mariko's noir-ish monologues continue to make me love Masatsuka-S. Sometimes he really, really gets it right.

But I think I've had enough easy fun for the morning. Time to thrash at Scout some more. Or maybe I'll just write a very nice note to the cast and ask very politely for a script loan. *sigh*

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