Hanjôtei’s 5th Anniversary 繁昌亭5周年

Today marks five years since the Hanjôtei opened to the public on September 15, 2006. The day began with a formal ceremony, followed by a press release. There was plenty of rakugo on the bill as usual, but the day’s main attraction was “Bakushô (lit. explosive laughter) Kabuki,” a hanashika rendition of the famous play Kanjinchô (The Subscription List). The three stars of the show were Tsukitei Happô (Togachi Saemon), Hayashiya Somemaru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune), and Katsura Sanshi (Musashibô Benkei).

I attended the day’s opening show. The costumes and makeup were outstanding, all applied by theatre professionals. The actors were even better, getting laugh after continuous laugh from the audience. Throughout the show kakegoe (emotional cheers of support, often heard in kabuki theaters), came from all directions.

Bakushô Kabuki” was staged just prior to intermission, so I imagine Somemaru had no break as he rushed to get out of costume, remove his thick makeup (quite difficult, messy, and time-consuming), get into his own kimono, and get ready to go on as the morning show’s headliner.

Bakushô Kabuki was staged three times today, so all people involved, especially the stars, must have been quite exhausted come the end of the day. They did this for an important cause though; to celebrate the Hanjôtei’s fifth anniversary, which wouldn’t have been possible without a supportive and enthusiastic public.

Congratulations on five years Hanjôtei! Thank you for a wonderful show everybody. Otsukaresama de gozaimashita.

I couldn’t take pictures during the show, but I should be able to get some taken by public media in the coming days. In the meantime, here are some shots from the pre-morning show festivities (left, and below).












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