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LastUpDate: June 1, 2009
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Hakata Culture vol.9


Kabuki Comes To Town

Kabuki Comes To Town picture

Hakata-za is a big favorite not only of Fukuoka City residents, but its popularity has spread throughout Kyushu and extends to the rest of the country. Located in Shimokawabata-cho in the city’s Hakata Ward, the theater presents a diverse range of performances from kabuki to musicals, and these offerings change every month. The facility was planned with the objective of revitalizing the once-flourishing artistic sector in Hakata. It was built by the city and is operated by a largely private-sector company in which major regional corporations and Fukuoka City have a capital stake

The theater, which seats 1,500, was designed to be capable of presenting all types of performances. Its facilities include a revolving stage, a hanamichi (elevated runway), a trap cellar underneath the stage, and an orchestra pit. It opened on June 3, 1999, with a performance of Kezori featuring Ichikawa Tanjiro XII, the father of Ichikawa Ebizo. Later performances included Benten Kozo with Onoe Kikugoro VII, the father of Onoe Kikunosuke, and Kyoga no Komusume Dojoji with Sakata Tojuro IV.

It has presented a month-long kabuki performance in June ever since it opened, making it the only theater west of the Kansai area to regularly offer kabuki for a full month. In addition to the June kabuki, it also offers an event known as the funenorikomi, which has quickly become a Hakata early-summer tradition. The funenorikomi is the traditional opening ceremony in which the performers of a kabuki drama board a boat that docks in the area where the performance will be given. This is another tradition that is kept alive only in Hakata and Osaka.

Tickets to a kabuki performance are rather expensive, which tends to discourage attendance, but the art has what isx known as the makuseki system to generate interest. Under this system, people can buy inexpensive tickets to see only one act. They are sold only for that day’s performance starting at 10:00 a.m. Only 16 seats are available for each performance, however. You can find out more at the Hakata-za website or in English on our website www.fukuoka-now.com/kabuki



 A public relations manager
 Kimiyo Sasaki



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博多座の6月は歌舞伎です

 もうすっかり福岡市民に愛されている博多座。福岡市民だけではなく、今や九州中から、演目によっては全国からお客さまがいらしています。博多座は福岡市博多区下川端町にある演劇専用劇場、歌舞伎からミュージカルまで月替わりでさまざまな演目が上演される、公設民営の劇場なのです。芸どころだった博多の復活を目指し、福岡市と大手の興行会社が出資し、運営を民間が行っています。座席数は1,500席、あらゆる演劇公演に対応可能な設計がなされているため、回り舞台、花道、奈落、オーケストラピットなどが設置されています。

 オープンは1999年6月3日、演目は「こけら落とし大歌舞伎」。12代目市川團十郎による「毛剃」、市川海老蔵のお父さんですね。それに7代目尾上菊五郎による「弁天小僧」、尾上菊之助のお父さんです。そして3代目中村鴈治郎(現坂田藤十郎)による「京鹿子娘道成寺」などが上演されました。それ以来、毎年6月は1か月間、歌舞伎の興行が行われています。関西以西で歌舞伎を1か月間“ 常打ち”で上演しているのはここだけなのです。また6月の歌舞伎公演と同じく、今や博多の初夏の風物詩となっているのが「船乗り込み」です。船乗り込みとは歌舞伎興行の際に役者たちがご当地到着を船に乗ってお披露目するという伝統行事で、これも現在では大阪とここ博多でしか見ることができないものなのです。

 歌舞伎公演は高いと足が遠のきがちの方、歌舞伎には“幕見”という素晴らしいシステムがあります。ちょっと見てみたい、どんなものかお試し見したいという方にぴったり。思い立ったが吉日で、当日朝10時から窓口に行って幕見チケットを入手すれば大変安く観劇できます。ただし、各出し物につきわずか16席の発売。詳しくは博多座ホームページで確認を!


  福岡市広報課長 佐々木 喜美代