entertainment

Enjoy a kabuki stage performance wherever you are with this new AR app

6 Comments
By Connie Sceaphierde, grape Japan

You know those times when you're peacefully enjoying a cup of coffee, and you suddenly get that strong urge to experience a live kabuki performance?

Yeah, no, us neither, but in any case, now you can experience kabuki at any time and place with the INTO by Shochiku app.

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Developed by Shochiku – a movie studio, cinema chain and production company that specializes in kabuki theater – INTO makes use of augmented reality (AR) to bring kabuki performances to life whenever and wherever you may be.

The futuristic theatrical experience proposes a new way to enjoy kabuki by fusing together traditional performing arts/kabuki with AR technology.

By using AR technology, the viewer’s current location becomes the stage for kabuki actor, Ainosuke Kataoka, who, dressed in lion costume, will appear on the smartphone or tablet screen by using the camera, and will perform a traditional dance for about six minutes.

The performance was captured by filming the kabuki actor using volumetric video technology. This 3D image data means that you can enjoy every detail in 360°, from the actor’s brave facial expression, to his beautiful flowing hair.

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The app comes about following a disastrous year for the theater industry, which in 2020, was severely damaged by the coronavirus. From the uncertain era of COVID-19, INTO by Shochiku was developed as a way for anyone to experience kabuki entertainment.

Following the release of INTO, Shochiku is now working on developing a theater experience which makes use of virtual reality and mixed reality. This exciting upcoming release will hopefully mean that we will be able to take part in our favorite kabuki performances.

INTO by Shochiku is available to download for free from the iOS and Android app stores. The app is compatible with iOS 13.7 or later, and Android 10 or later.

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© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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Only available in Japan? On my iPhone (in the US) this app does not appear to be available :(

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So unique! I have never Kabuki either in a theater or on TV, but this is really interesting to me. I feel that other traditional culture or products should incorporate something new or innovative like VR or AR into themselves so that they can be known to various people as part of important Japanese tradition and be descended to next generation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On the site it says “coming soon.” So, not available yet huh?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

KToday  12:26 pm JST

So unique! I have never Kabuki either in a theater or on TV, but this is really interesting to me. I feel that other traditional culture or products should incorporate something new or innovative like VR or AR into themselves so that they can be known to various people as part of important Japanese tradition and be descended to next generation.

I saw a videotaped kabuki performance at a Japanese Culture and History class in college. I didn't understand the sung dialog but I was able to understand and appreciate what a unique type of theatrical art this is.

Also to note: kabuki theater is where the American band KISS got inspiration for their glam face paint.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kabuki theater is where the American band KISS got inspiration for their glam face paint.

and don't forget Ziggy Stardust

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Also to note: kabuki theater is where the American band KISS got inspiration for their glam face paint.

And the make up folks for Phantom Menace, in relation to Natalie Portman's character.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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