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Takarazuka is burning: music theatre and the performance of sexual and gender identities in modern Japan

Karantonis, P (2007) 'Takarazuka is burning: music theatre and the performance of sexual and gender identities in modern Japan.' Studies in Musical Theatre, 1 (2). pp. 153-165. ISSN 1750-3159

Abstract

The Takarazuka Revue, an all-female music theatre troupe founded in 1913 as the flagship of an elite performance academy, with its ultimate interest in Broadway musicals and western music, theatre and dance influences, is an unlikely foil for its male antecedent, kabuki. Like the ongoing revival of kabuki, there had been an ideological as well as entrepreneurial impetus behind the Revue's creation, which reflected changes in the nature of popular entertainment in Japan. Kobayashi Ichizô, the founder of the Takarazuka Revue, claimed that Japan needed a new form of national theatre that was based in popular culture or kokumingeki, an 'entertainment for the masses' in the style of kabuki in that it was to feature dance and music. What Kobayashi could not foresee was that the Takarazuka Revue would grow into quite the opposite – a cult-status entertainment for its enduring fandom of housewives and fanatical teenage girls.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Japan, gender, musicals and opera, androgyny, impersonation, popular culture
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2014 19:39
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2017 10:52
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