Kabuki Actor Ebizo and Yamakasa

Hello, everyone. Munakata city in Fukuoka prefecture where I live is famous for Munakata Shrine that has an ancient history. It is UNESCO world heritage site. And at our Munakata Shrine, Kabuki that Japan treasures gave a public performance. Kabuki is the masterpiece of Japan and UNESCO cultural heritage declared it as one of the best arts in the world. Kabuki is an art hand down traditionally in a Kabuki family. This time, Narita family which Japan famous Kabuki Actor Ebizo belongs came to perform.

みなさん、こんにちは。私の住む福岡県宗像市に古の時代からある宗像大社は、世界遺産として有名です。その宗像大社に日本が世界に誇る伝統芸能、ユネスコ文化遺産としては傑作宣言もされている歌舞伎、市川海老蔵が率いる成田家一門が特別奉納公演に来ていました。

Have a reference about Kabuki here

This is Ebizo.

こちらは海老蔵の写真。

In old Japanese, good looking guy who is unbelievably attractive is called “sexy guy like a kabuki actor”. This phrase perfectly suits Ebizo who had many love affairs since young.

日本では古くから美男子のことを「歌舞伎俳優の様な色男」という表現を用いて言い表すのですが、海老蔵は若かりし頃から様々な浮き名を流した、当代一の色男として通っています。

This is a poster of Kabuki performance.

こちらは歌舞伎公演のポスター。

At the outside venue in the twilight, Ebizo danced wildly in the spotlight. He stepped on dynamically and the way he moved was so alluring. I was intrigued by him and watching him attentively. A Japanese expression “fascinatingly sexy guy” came up in my mind. When Ebizo had a performance in France, French news paper Le Monde reported him as “young and beautiful, who especially has killer eyes”. I think that kind of charm doesn’t need to be interpreted. The appeal goes beyond languages and cultures just nonchalantly.

夜の帳が降りた後の野外の舞台で、スポットライトに照らし出されて海老蔵が舞い、大きく足踏みをする姿を夢中になって目で追っていると、「水も滴るいい男」という言葉も頭に浮かんで来ます。フランス公演をした際に「ル・モンド紙」は海老蔵のことを「若くて美男で特に”必殺の視線” を持っている」と報じたそうですが、恐らくそういう魅力はきっと言葉や文化をひらりと越えゆくものなのでしょう。

The venue in the dusk, taking a photo during the performance was prohibited.

夕刻の会場の様子。公演中は撮影禁止でした。

At first, I was worried if the content of Kabuki was too difficult to figure out. However I paid for an ear-phone-guide for 700 yen and it helped a lot. I learned the story of Kabuki was very simple. You can rent an English ear-phone-guide at some venues. I highly recommend for those who are non-Japanese-native speakers.

歌舞伎の演目の内容は難しすぎて理解できないのではないかと懸念していましたが、イヤホンガイドを700円で借りて解説を聞くと、実は話の筋はとても簡単なものだとわかりました。歌舞伎公演では会場によっては英語のイヤホンガイドも用意されている様なので、日本語のノンネイティブの方には特にお勧めします。

For this special occasion, another UNESCO cultural heritage Gion Yamakasa was demonstrated in the interval. Gion Yamakasa has more than 200 years of history. Lanterns that carry a candle each inside were built upon by men power only just in front of me. It was absolutely breathtaking.

また特別に、この歌舞伎公演の中休みにはユネスコ無形文化遺産にも登録されている、二百年以上の歴史を持つ戸畑祇園山笠がお目見えしました。中に一つづつロウソクの火を灯した提灯山笠が、目の前で人の力のみで組み上げられてゆく様は、迫力に満ちており正に圧巻でした。

I was fascinated and went to the front line to take pictures. All the guys looked so vigorous and handsome, I could tell that they are very proud of their traditional culture. I enjoyed every bit of Kabuki and Yamakasa at Munakata Shrine. I thoroughly appreciated traditional arts that have been passed down from generation to generation in Japan. Not only beautiful, yet somehow mysterious. I was so blessed to be able to experience this Japanese exquisiteness in that evening.

最前列まで行って夢中でシャッターを切りました。男達の山笠にかける熱い意気込みと、伝統に裏打ちされた力強い誇りが、熱気とともに伝わって来ます。宗像大社で歌舞伎と山笠とを堪能する。日本で脈々と受け継がれて来た長い歴史を持つ伝統美を身近に観て肌で感じ、奥深く神秘的ですらある日本の魅力を再確認できたことを本当に嬉しく思います。

That’s all for today. Abundant blessings to each one of you!

それではまた。皆様に豊かな祝福があります様に!

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