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 I went to see Cocoon Kabuki at Bunkamura Theater Cocoon on Friday, for the first time.  Cocoon Kabuki is the project which was started by Kanzaburo Nakamura, Kabuki actor and Kazumi Kushida, director, among others, eleven years ago.  This time, the play entitled “Sakura gimin den” which means something like “The story of the man who made direct appeal to the Shogun about the miserable state of the farmers.”  The story was about Sogo Kiuchi who never gave up to help farmers against the feudal lords who tried to exploit them, and ended up being caught and killed.  The play featuring him as a hero became a mega hit in the Edo era. 

  Cocoon Kabuki seems to simulate the atmohsphere and environment of Kabuki in the Edo era, as the audience sit on the floor and the whole thing is quite informal and casual.  The stage and actors are so close to the audience, giving the feeling that we are all in this together.

   It was somewhat unorthodox as it had the rap  and the group singing together as if it were in the western musical.  (I realize that Kabuki is in a way similar to musical in the West, as it has dance, song and script.)   It was quite fascinating to see this type of Kabuki for the first time.  I had become quite interested in the traditional performing arts of Japan lately and have seen Kanzaburo Nakamura and others at Kabuki-za and Enbujo recently.

   The audience seems to be very knowledgeable and dedicated to the Cocoon Kabuki.  The story itself offered a lot to think about and to reflect and I find the production/direction  of the show  fascinating.  It seemed that all that are involved in the Cocoon Kabuki are so engaged that I felt the high energy level of creating something new.  It was quite inspiring to see so many people from different fields being excited and working together.

  I am fortunate that I was able to get a ticket .  I know this will not be the last time I see Cocoon Kabuki.

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