This evening I had a ‘date’ at the Kabuki in Shinbashi Enbujo (near Ginza), thanks to the tickets that my boss had kindly bequeathed to my coworker and me last week. Mercifully I think that everyone at work now knows that I am in a relationship (after some very unsubtle hints from myself), and so there was no awkwardness with my colleague. I had decided to do without the English translation audio tape, figuring that I should be able to follow at least some of the plot; the fact that a lot of the Japanese members of the audience had decided to opt for a translation (into ‘simplified’ Japanese), was an early indicator that I had probably made a mistake on this front.
The kabuki itself was excellent, and even though I understood almost nothing of what was actually being said, there were large sections where there was very little dialogue, during which I was able to appreciate the incredible costumes and music, as well as the skill and range of the actors dancing and movement. In total the performance was due to last about five hours (!!!!), but thankfully it was split up into three acts, and so I decided to make my excuses and beat a hasty retreat before the final section, a decision which my cramped legs and desiccated brain were most grateful for.