Tokyobling's Blog

Takarazuka Revue Costumes

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on January 6, 2012

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!


11 Responses

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  1. andy1076 said, on January 6, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Wow, now if people were to wear those costumes? they’d look incredible 🙂

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    • tokyobling said, on January 6, 2012 at 6:43 am

      They do look incredible! I still haven’t seen them perform though. (^-^)

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  2. JUURI said, on January 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    That must have been exciting to see them up-close! I never thought about the relationship between Takarazuka and million-member girl groups of the present day. My Baba would have loved to see these, as she often raves about Takarazuka still. ^^

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    • tokyobling said, on January 10, 2012 at 12:16 am

      You’ll have to take her on a show when you visit Japan next Juuri! (^-^)

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  3. Emma Reese said, on January 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    The very baba of above JUURI wanted to join Takarazuka when she was young just like any other girls at that time (or even today maybe.) She even went for the first interview and passed it! BUT she did it without telling her strict father. When he found out about it, he absolutely forbade her to go any further because he didn’t want his daughter in show business. Takarazuka might have lost a star even before she had a chance!

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    • JUURI said, on January 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      I didn’t know that tragic story of Baba! So no wonder she still dreams about it often!

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    • tokyobling said, on January 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

      Takarazuka’s loss, Oklahoma’s win! (^-^;) That’s an interesting story… you’ll have to tell me more some time in the future!

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  4. Timi said, on January 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I would love to see the performance, and love the costumes as well!
    Especially the last picture.. 😀 is it me, or it is similar to our ones here:

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    • tokyobling said, on January 10, 2012 at 12:18 am

      Timi you have a good sense of uniforms! What a handsome troop of hussars you have found there! Yes, Hungary is famous for their smart looking 1750-1850 uniforms. I wouldn’t mind saddling up with those guys!

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  5. dafarmer said, on January 9, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Wow I can’t imagine what kind of show they put on! You have to take pictures when you get a chance to see them perform!

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    • tokyobling said, on January 10, 2012 at 12:25 am

      The next time you come over you should go see a show! (^-^)

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