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A Look at Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki

This video, titled "[Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura|Yoshinoyama] Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki|Annual Dedication Performance|Heisei 30" (「義経千本桜 吉野山」 平成30年 新富座こども歌舞伎 例大祭奉納公演), was produced by "machihito."

Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki was established in 2007 (the 19th year of the Heisei period) to provide children in the community of Chuo Ward (中央区, Chuo-Ku), Tokyo, with an opportunity to experience the performing arts of their hometowns.
Every year during the Setsubun Festival in February and the Annual Festival in May, the children dedicate popular performances, such as "Shiranami Gonin Otoko" (Benten Kozō) at the Kagura hall of Teppozu Inari Shrine.

The video shows a 30-minute performance of the Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki's annual dedication performance.
It's well worth the watch, so be sure to check it out.

The History of Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki

Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki was originally founded in 1875 as a stock company theater renamed from Morita-za.
In 1872, it moved to Shintomi (新富町) and was officially renamed to Shintomi-za.
In April 2007, local children gathered to form Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki, and on February 3, 2008, they presented "Sanninkichi Satomoeno Shiranami."

The Child Actors of Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki

The child actors who participate in Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki are chosen from children who attend Taimei Elementary School and other schools in the Ginza (銀座) area.
The children rehearse music and performances in preparation for the big event.
On the day of the show, they wear traditional costumes and makeup to perform on stage.

It's very difficult for children to study the old Japanese language and express the uniqueness of Kabuki with their movements.
However, the video shows the children performing a highly advanced performance with a great deal of skill.
The performance is filmed in full and starts from 1:13 in the video, so enjoy the show!

The Story of Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

Image of Ningyo-Joruri
Photo:Ningyo-Joruri

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) is a Ningyo-Joruri (traditional Japanese puppet theatre) and Kabuki performance.
The story depicts the tragedy of the Heike warlords who survived after the Genpei War (a battle between the Taira and Minamoto clans) and those who were involved.

The fourth chapter depicts the journey of Shizuka Gozen and Tadanobu Sato on their way to Yoshino.
This performance is rather long, but has a fascinating story that draws in the crowd.
"Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" has been made into Japanese film and stage play, and has been performed by famous Kabuki actors such as Danjuro Ichikawa.

Summary of the Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki

In addition to Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki, Shintomi-za also hosts events such as Terakoya.

If you want to experience traditional Japanese art and culture, be sure to check out information regarding Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki and consider buying tickets to the next performance!

Written By
Sep. 15, 2020
Japan
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura - Performed With the Same Intensity of Adult Actors, This Kabuki Performance by Shintomi-za Children's Kabuki in Tokyo Is Something You Don't Want To Miss!
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