a rural village called Kuromori which is located in northern
Japan a special stage for kabuki is prepared every year. It is amazing
that so a little village could maintain such a detailed kabuki
project for more than 200 years. It is a outside theater
performed in February, mid winter. Despite the coldness hundreds of people visited the village for the kabuki. A group
of girls wearing happi welcomed us warm-heartedly. The ground is covered with a styrox, 10cm
thickness, effectively protecting us from the coldness.
folklore art that
enacts a 260-year-old tradition is called winter kabuki and
performed on the grounds of Hie shrine.
is well programmed yet has wild aspect – viewing the
performance for half a day by sitting on the snow packed shrine
garden. The snow drifts on the head and shoulders of the
spectators, melts in the cup of sake but people do not mind at
all. They sigh with satisfaction at each performance, encourage
actors and exchange comments. Decades ago the stage too had no
roof but now at least the actors are kept from snow.
in some Japanese farming communities performed their own version
of kabuki plays, imitating the professional theatrical groups
that began in the early 16th century. The plays were performed
as entertainment, of course, and as part of local festivals.
Rural kabuki evolved in different directions, depending on the
region. Today, only a few groups are still active.