Takarazuka Revue Costumes
As a kid one of my earliest memories of there being a place like Japan was watching a documentary on the legendary Takarazuka Revue, an all-female musical troupe from the western city of Takarazuka in Hyogo prefecture. Founded in 1913 as a way to attract customers to a new train line and to cash in on the popularity of western style music the troupe still operates with a sort of by-gone era grandeur that takes the western musical concept to a whole new level. Members are admitted in fierce competition as young girls and train for years to train for the role of either male or female. If you’re new to the Japanese music scene and wondering about the success of girl bands like AKB48 and similar groups, remember that it all started in with the Takarazuka Revue. During the weeks leading up to Christmas there was an exhibition and performance in both of the Marunouchi Buildings in central Tokyo. I didn’t catch any performances but I got to see the exhibition of genuine Takarazuka stage clothes. If you are seriously into musicals and ever visit Japan, a trip to the Takarazuka theater in Takarazuka City or here in Tokyo, is a must!