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Kabuki-za countdown

21 Comments

Tourists stand in front of an electronic clock measuring the time until the Kabuki-za closes, to the exact second. The famous Tokyo landmark, which was rebuilt in 1950, will close on April 30 for renovation. A new theater complex is scheduled to open in 2013.

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21 Comments
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another old traditional building that added to the "fuinki" of Tokyo being trashed in the name of progress bah!

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oh go live in Kyoto will ya. Buildings have to be renovated, thats life.

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This is a disgrace. One interesting old building in the centre of Tokyo. Oh look, the land underneath it's worth something. Bang - bye bye our treasured culture.

Still, if the locals aren't prepared to protest about it, I don't see why they should expect anything different.

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At the risk of interfering with uninformed bashing, I provide a link which if you scroll half way down includes a picture from a newspaper article showing what the place will look like after its completed.

http://www.kirei40.info/archives/cat_6/post_328/

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Bang - bye bye our treasured culture.

The locals don't care that much. These old ladies are posing for photos with this ugly clock when its the theater that is going away!

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Those two statues in front look real life-like.

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ChoptickMaster: that is a dead link...you should copy/paste it to www.tinypic.com and link to that.

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This is actually quite an interesting illustration of the doublethink that a lot of Japanese manage to use.

Situation #1: A documentary (made by a foreign film maker) exposes a shocking tradition, about which the vast majority of Japanese were entirely ignorant until the film was made. With one mind, on a given signal, the populace condemn the film for "bashing Japanese culture".

Situation #2: A treasured national institution, one of the oldest buildings in the capital, which still delights thousands of theatregoers weekly with performances of classic Japanese drama, gets slated for destruction. As if in response to a bell ringing, the populace shrugs and says "shouganai". Not one voice of protest or cry for protection of this treasure of Japanese heritage is heard.

Ask a Japanese person for a quality which characterises the Japanese, and you'll very often hear "We must not think only of ourselves. We must consider what those around us may think of us".

And they seem to genuinely believe it. Despite every indication in real life being to the contrary.

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I hope when it closes they get rid of the hideous posters for performances they stick up in Higashi-Ginza station. I have to look at them every day. Very badly designed.

It's not like its ancient, and it was renovated/restored in the 50's, so I don't know what all the fuss is about? It looks dirty, at least if they re-build it, it'll look nice for a year or two, until the dirt builds up.

For a building that people think looks nice (not me, Japanese architecture is lost on me, I think it looks horrible) why did they commemorate it's closing by putting up such a tacky looking clock? If you like it so much, take a picture outside the place, with more of the actual building visible.

The woman on the left needs a light-sabre shopping into her hands.

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I tried to get in Sunday but all tickets are sold out till the end and you have get in line 3 or 4 hours in advance for the single act tickets.

Well, I liked the theater the way it is. It was very Showa.

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oh go live in Kyoto will ya. Buildings have to be renovated, thats life.

Exactly. Destruction in the name of progress.

If Italians had thought that way we wouldn't even know today what the Roman empire was.

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Hhhhhhhh it is NOT being destroyed. It is NOT being replaced.. if you follow the 2nd link that Chopstickmaster provided (since the 1st link really does not work) you will see that it will not even change its appearance very much! It is being renovated, updated and expanded. It will hold more people and be within the newer safety codes and it will re-open.. it is not going away! And why are some of you complaining about the temporary clock?? i think it is fine for a temporary thing.. would you have preferred the yellow signs with the happy workman telling us to stay away? Orange cones maybe?

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A treasured national institution, ... built in the 1950s,...

I've enjoyed a number of performances in the old building and look forward to checking out the replacement when it's opened for business.

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@MrDog: Lady on the left might have har handy keitai in her hands, maybe?

Questions to Tokyo locals: Is this where kabuki super star, onnagata Tamasaburo Bando, performs? If so, is he scheduled to perform in the soon-to-be closed kabuki-za before it shuts down? Also, is it a renovation of the exisitng theater only planned or will the entire structure be coming down and a new theater constructed on the same site?

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Guess I should have read Mikanojo's post before posing my final question...My question was already answered.

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If the bloggers are to be taken as experts, the current building is already the 4th incarnation since the Meiji era. Reconstructing it appears to be the tradition.

The new building will be barrier-free and will hopefully have some more comfortable seating. Ideally, it will also allow more seating capacity, so that it's not as difficult to get tickets. If they can also earn some money off renting office space in the upper floors,... maybe seats tickets could even be less expensive. (I'm not counting on that one.)

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Those two statues in front look real life-like.

Wonderful comment makes picture worth looking at !

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Japan has no rrepsect for its own culture, and this despicable act of demolishing the Kabukiza proves it. Its a really sad day for this country when this beautiful building is destroyed.

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The building's restoration is 60 years old. You can only re-furbish so much before a complete renovation is demanded. They probably have to tear it down to the foundations to get it up to current earthquake and fire codes.

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Japan has no rrepsect for its own culture, and this despicable act of demolishing the Kabukiza proves it. Its a really sad day for this country when this beautiful building is destroyed.

No respect. Demolishing. Destroyed. That's three strikes, thanks for trying.

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Excuse me, but do either of you wonderful ladies happen to have the time...?

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