Takarazuka Revue “Parisette”, c. 1930. Shirai Tetsuzo, a long-time stage director at the Takarazuka Theater, returned from studying overseas and premiered “Parisette” in August 1930. The song “Sumire no Hana Sakukoro” is included and first performed in this revue. Based off the 1928 song “Wenn der weisse Flieder wieder blüht”, “Sumire …” would go on to become one Takarazuka’s most recognizable songs of all time. This stage production would also mark Takarazuka’s transition from straight-forward kabuki interpretations to full-fledged western-style theatrical revues, casting its all-female companies for both gender roles.
Takarazuka Gekijo (Theater), Tokyo
Takarazuka Hotel, Takarazuka Baths & the Takarazuka Opera House, Takarazuka, c. 1920-1930.
“In the 1930 revue Parisette, the traditional [Takarazuka] white-face makeup was abandoned, and a self-consciously modern tone adopted.
“The Takarazuka became heavily influenced by the spectacular productions of Zeigfield and C.B. Cochran and the styles of Josephine Baker and Mistinguett.
“… This Westernized genre required prominent male roles, and , on the pretext that it was hard to find boys beautiful enough to match the ideals of the audience, girls were trained to appear as men. As Ian Buruma has remarked, this ‘goes to the heart of Japanese aesthetics’ based on a principle of depersonalization. No man can be as beautiful as a woman playing a man.”
– The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre, by Laurence Senelick, 2000
Please support this site. Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thank you!