Kabuki Lecture and Performance Backstage to Hanamichi - Behind the Scenes Look at the Color, Magic and Drama of Kabuki

Kabuki Lecture and Performance

mapThe Japan Foundation is pleased to present a travelling lecture and performance - "Backstage to Hanamichi - A Behind the Scenes Look at the Color, Magic and Drama of Kabuki" in five cities in the United States of America.

Kabuki with its magnificent beauty and highly refined artistry has made it a rare jewel among the great theater traditions of the world.  Its actors must undergo years of rigorous training in order to master its three artistic components of music (ka), dance (bu) and drama (ki) before being allowed to perform before an audience.  In order to create the magic that is seen on stage, the kabuki actor is supported backstage by a team of unseen artisans and craftsman including costumer stylists, wig masters, musicians and prop masters.

Backstage to Hanamichi provides the audience with a rare glimpse into the traditional world of this centuries-old theater and the painstaking preparations that leads up to an actor's grand entrance onto the hanamichi stage. 

The lecture/performance includes performances of two kabuki dance classics: Sagi Musume (The Heron Maiden) and Shakkyo (Lion Dance), contrasting the lyrical style of the onnagata (actor specializing in female roles) with dynamic, acrobatic style in the heroic Lion Dance.

This program is presented in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Celebration of The Japan America Society of Southern California.

Performance Schedule

Thursday, October 15
(from 2 & 8 pm)
Los Angeles, California
Place: Aratani/Japan America Theatre
Co-presented by Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
Saturday, October 17
(from 2 pm)
San Francisco, California
Place: McKenna Theatre
Co-presented by San Francisco State University
Monday, October 19
(from 7 pm)
Seattle, Washington
Place: Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Co-presented by Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee
Wednesday, October 21
(from 7 pm)
Portland, Oregon
Place: The Dolores Winningstad Theatre
Co-presented by Portland State University
Saturday, October 24
(from 7 pm)
Denver, Colorado
Place: June Swaner Gates Concert Hall
Co-presented by Japan America Society of Colorado

Performer Profiles

Kyozo Nakamura

Kyozo NakamuraKyozo Nakamura was born in 1955 in Tokyo. He graduated from the Hosei University (Bachelor degree in Japanese Literature). He joined the Japan Arts Council’s Training School for Kabuki Actors as a 6 term trainee. In September 1982, he commenced in a professional career as a member of the Nakamura Jakuemon IV family under the acting name, Nakamura Kyozo, which was newly given by his master. Ever since, he has continued working as a professional Kabuki actor through monthly performances in Kabuki-za (Tokyo), National Theatre (Tokyo), Osaka Shochiku-za, Minami-za (Kyoto), Misono-za (Nagoya), Hakata-za (Fukuoka) etc., as well as other domestic tours of Kabuki performances throughout Japan. He also participates in lecture and performance tours of kabuki in other regions around the world such as Europe, North America, Oceania, and South East Asia.
In 1994, he was promoted to Nadai (billboard-ranked actor) in Kabuki-za. He has been authorized as a holder of the “Important Intangible Cultural Properties Kabuki.”In addition, he works as a lecturer of Drama Studio at the New National Theatre and part-time lecture of the faculty of Education at Chiba University.


Matanosuke Nakamura

Matanosuke NakamuraMatanosuke Nakamura was born in 1963. After graduating from the National Treatre’s Training School for Kabuki Actors in 1986, he embarked on a professional career as a “tachi-yaku” or a male role under the guidance of Matagoro Nakamura. He was promoted to Nadai (billboard-ranked actor) in 1999 and received the award the Encourage Prize from the Japan Actor’s Association in 2004.


Ichishiro Yoshimura, nagauta (classical Japanese vocal ensemble)
Ishinosuke Yoshimura, nagauta (classical Japanese vocal ensemble)
Shoen Kineya, shamisen
Rokujiro Kineya, shamisen
Dentaro Tanaka, fue (Japanese flute)
Tashu Mochizuki, taiko (Japanese drum)
Takijuro Mochizuki, taiko (Japanese drum)

Presented by
The Japan Foundation

Produced by
Shochiku, Co., Ltd

Co-organized by
Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles
Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco
Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle
Consulate-General of Japan in Portland
Consulate-General of Japan in Denver

Supported by
Japan Society of Northern California
Japan America Society of Nevada
LA Tokyo-kai
Japan-America Society of Oregon
Japanese Association of Colorado

Sponsored by
Miyako Hotel Los Angeles
PENTAX Imaging Company
Denver Tofu
Pacific Mercantile Company
Sakura Production USA

[Contact Us]

Performing Arts Section, Arts and Culture Department, The Japan Foundation
Yasutaka Takeda (Mr)
Tel: +81 (0)3-5369-6063 Fax: +81 (0)3-5369-6038

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