Kabuki and Anime

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Can I just say that breakfest was delicious for the rest of these, it’s getting repetitive haha! 

Yesterday was the Kabuki performance. We took a train to Tokyo to the National Theater. There we walked and found this massive building that looked like it was built with the longest logs ever. The theater was surround by trees and there were red and green flags blowing in the wind that had their logo on it. 

We waited a bit outside and got our tickets. Once inside, we found these amazing chandlers and beautiful velvet carpet. This place was massive! We were on the third balcony so we all walked up the stairs to our door, only to find that the workers were closing the doors. So we “grandma walked” into the theater and found our seats. We were lucky enough to have been provided English translation devices so we were able to understand the play.

No sooner than we sat down, the lights dimmed to signal that the show was starting. The lead role actor met us on stage, to give us a demonstration of some cool stuff. For instance the stage rotated and raised, they showed us a long wig that is only used if an actor is portraying something not human, and some props. He went on to tell us that the hair used in the wigs is from and endangered species so they have to take really good care of them. He put on the wig and did more hair flipping than what our American song asks of us. Next he showed us tweezers. They were the size of a men’s us 12 shoe. This was so the audience would be able to see what was happening. 

Next he showed us what we call stage hands which were dressed all in black. They came out with the big tweezers attached to a long black sticks. The actor told us that in Kabuki everything that is black is understood to be invisible. Then he turned our attention to a man sitting on stage right (from the audience perspective) with two blocks of wood. The actor told us that he slams the blocks on the larger piece of wood to create sounds for running, and fighting scenes. 

After that he we took at 20 minute “break” so he would be able to put on his traditional Kabuki makeup. While we were waiting a lady on our devices explained some history. She said that most actors were from the same family and if you wanted a leading role you had to be born into the family or adopted. It is very rare that actors are casted solely on skill. She also said the play we were seeing (Kenuki) was deamed one of the ten greatest Kabuki shows. She also said there was going to be homosexual and heterosexual material, she went further to say that homosexual behavior was common for Samurai Warriors. The last thing she told us was the plot and the fact that this show was one act, it had two acts, but they are never performed together now.

Once the show started the actors were dressed all in very nice formal wear. So like what you think of if I’d said formal Japan warrior wear. They all had their faces painted white except the bad guy who was red. They had one main set in which everything was performed. The stage also an an ally, but instead of it being on the sides, it was more in the middle but not exactly. The actor had told us that it was used for the entry way to the lords palace. 

The the play started, and the plot is this from what I understood. There was a magic card that when dipped into a body of water, it would rain. It was a gift to one household, once the empor asked it to be reproduced it went missing. The main lords daughter was to be wed, but has a weird condition that causes her hair to stand on end. Since this has happened, the marriage has been put on hold. And lastly our hero notices a strang presence in the house when his tweezers and knife start to dance in mid air. Later we found out there was a farmer who killed the guy he was impersonating and stole the rain card. It was all part of a plan to break up the house. Then there was a thief with a magnate in the celeing that caused his stuff to dance, and she had iron hair decorations that were attracted to the magnet so that’s why her hair stood on end. The hero killed both the imposter farmer and magnet dude and saved the day. The lord gave him a sword of high honor and he left victorious! Also the homosexual part was our hero trying to teach a young worrier how to “ride a horse” which was as you can imagine very funny to watch. The heterosexual was two seconds after that and caused by our hero again. His motive was he had to wait for the lord and was board. 

After the show ended we all met outside to take a group photo! 

Then we got some instructions about today and we all went our separate ways. Elizabeth, Vanessa, Leslie, Brandon, Adrian, Chikita, and a Technos student I think named Haide went to Tokyo station. It was like an underground city! We found a little restaurant to eat at. We were all becoming agitated cause we had been so hungry haha! I had this interesting meal where there was a bowl of noodles as litteral fried egg. Like it had a fried coating around an whole egg. I also had something else fried and then rice with salmon. The meal was very good! 

From there we went to a city where Vanessa said it was her geek spot. There they had 8 floor sega buildings and all anime stores. I went to a kind of a permanent flee market mall thing. I found CAT letters for my scrap book and a cat pencil holder! Leslie, Vanessa and I all walked around and found a store that was for adult things and regretted going in that building. 

We all met at 5:30 like we planned and left to come back. We stopped at a bookstore that was in the train station. I bought a cute notebook with a cat covered book. (The picture has the other two things I bought as well) in the book I’m writing words I’m learning and applying to people wen I’m in public!

We rested for an hour, and then Vanessa, Chikita and I went to a nice ramen place about 30 steps from the hotel. It was one of the the best places yet! It was cheep, but the broth and noodles were so good! Chikita is one of the few that still haven’t mastered chopsticks so she asked for a for. And we all had a good laugh when they brought her a kid one! 

But we all understand I still barely can get noodles but I’m getting better! 

We left and most of us passed out the second we got to our rooms. 

I am now about to leave for the baseball game and Mariah (who has been doing a homestay) just messaged me and asked what I was doing after. I told her I wanted to go to the big crosswalk place but had no one to go. She said she did too and that maybe we could grab dinner as well! I’m so excited for today. Although I have realized I only have 6 days left and kind of getting upset thinking about all these people I’ve met. I’ve become so close so fast and it’s kind of like we all knew each other before this. It’ll be hard to part with them. But forget about that for now and let’s have some fun! 

Play Ball! 

Jacob

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