The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Archive Index Home
Japan Topics
Shochiku begins full-scale program of “Cinema Kabuki”
 Shochiku Co., Ltd, the movie studio that owns and promotes Kabuki productions, has now begun a full-scale project to film Kabuki plays with high-definition digital cameras and bring them to the movie theater as a series of digital movies titled “Cinema Kabuki.” The project began as a joint effort by Shochiku’s Theater and Movie departments, and the first film of the series, released in Jan. 2005, was the new Kabuki play Noda Version: Nezumi Kozo, written and directed Hideki Noda. Screenings of the film in Tokyo, Kyoto, Sapporo, Osaka, Saitama and Niigata attracted a total audience of 24,000. In September of 2005 it was also shown at the 43rd New York International Film Festival.
In February, 2006, the second film of the series, Noda Version: Togitatsu no Utare, also written and directed by Noda in a collaboration with Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura, was release. This was followed in April by the third release, combining a performance of Sagimusume by Tamasaburo Bando and a performance of Hidakagawa Iriai-zakura by Tamasaburo Bando and Kikunosuke Onoe. All of these films are scheduled to tour film theaters throughout Japan.
For this Cinema Kabuki series, Shochiku plans to continue filming and releasing movie productions of performances from a wide range of Kabuki genre using a variety of actors in order to make the world of Kabuki accessible to a larger audience both in Japan and abroad. You can see trailers of some of the production on the Shochiku Cinema Kabuki home page.
+Shochiku Cinema Kabuki