Come and experience a variety of traditional performing arts in Kagurazaka!
We are very happy to inform you that we will hold the event “Kagurazaka Street Stage O-edo Tour 2015” again this year. This project aims to introduce a variety of traditional performing arts representing Japan, to many people regardless of generations, in an easy-to-understand and enjoyable way. It also showcases the charms of Kagurazaka, a traditional and cultural town resonant with a mixed atmosphere of Old and Modern Tokyo as well as a sense of sophisticated Paris.
Artists from a new face to a veteran, of a wide variety of field and active on the front lines of traditional performing arts, will get together and show you unique performances, with the support by the local people. Any visitor, who is unfamiliar with traditional performing arts, one in younger generation, or a guest from overseas, will surely enjoy those programs.
In the two-day event, comprising the Eve and Main Festival, various artists with deep connections to Kagurazaka will honor us with their performances. Also the group of folk melodies, which attracted much attention last year, carrying on the legacy of Edo-period (1603-1867) culture and performing arts, will be invited from Toyama Prefecture again this year.
Last year, the second time this event was held, we were fortunate enough to have an attendance of over forty thousand people; this year you too have the opportunity to see how tradition gets mixed with everyday life. Kagurazaka is a place where Japan’s traditional arts still live. Please join us in this two-day celebration.
Charms of Kagurazaka
In the 17th century, Kagurazaka was developed as a residential district for “Samurai” soldiers, along the main street that connected the Edo castle and a noble soldier’s residence. Since then it also has been a district of performing arts with traditional music instruments, where a number of culturati loved and lived. The Karyukai* was born here at the end of the Edo period, and became so flourished in the following decades. Especially in the early Showa period (1925 -mid 1930s), the district had some department stores lined up and was so called “Ginza of Yamanote,” meaning another top commercial district on hillside.
*Karyukai: A society or physical district of Geisha Ladies – who have trained manners and skills of traditional music and dancing, and Ryotei – where Geisha Ladies show traditional performances over Japanese course dinner.
The district was completely destroyed by the air raids in the WW II, but rather quickly restored its prosperity in the 1960s. In recent years, the Karyukai has scaled down, yet we still find the steady sense in the district of Ryotei where stone-paved alleys and black-board walls are laid out, with the sounds of shamisen, a traditional music instrument, flowing over. At the same time Kagurazaka hosts many French residents and restaurants that creates atmosphere of somewhat like in back alleys in Paris, adding another charm. Such diversity, harmony of old and new, attracts many people.