April 2009


Le Théâtre Kabuki de Ginza sera démoli

*Par Denis Plamondon

*Article in English available

*

Le Théâtre Kabuki de Ginza à Tokyo

Le Théâtre Kabuki de Ginza à Tokyo

*

Malgré les protestations de passionnés de Kabuki, d’art et d’architecture; malgré aussi les récriminations d’admirateurs en faveur du maintien de formes typiquement nipponnes dans le décor urbain de Tokyo, l’impressionnant théâtre de Kabuki, situé dans le cœur du très chic district de Ginza, sera démoli au début de l’année 2010.

*

Side view of the Kabuki-za Tokyo

Side view of the Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

Les autorités estiment que le vieux bâtiment ne répond plus aux strictes normes de sécurité anti-tremblement de terre. La cause viendrait peut-être du contraste entre la tradition et la modernité du 21e siècle qui n’a plus de place pour un bâtiment unique et qui ne cadre plus avec les éléments plus futuristes qui l’encerclent.

*

Ginza 1 Chome, Tokyo

Ginza 1 Chome, Tokyo

*

Le nouveau bâtiment verra le jour en 2013. Il offrira sans doute un confort incomparable et l’acoustique rendra encore plus de couleurs aux performances de ces acteurs masculins qui arborent des costumes étincelants de couleurs, mais l’aura du passé historique gravée dans l’enceinte du fumeux théâtre restera à jamais imprimée dans les mémoires de ceux et celles qui étaient là. Les occasions de faire partie de ce club sélect se font désormais pressantes.

*

Latest Kabuki Sayonara Performance at the Kabuki-za Tokyo

Latest Kabuki Sayonara Performance at the Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

Le théâtre offre une série de spectacle d’adieux aux aficionados de Kabuki. La prochaine série commence le samedi 2 mai et culmine le vendredi 26 juin 2009. Si vous planifiez un voyage à Tokyo dans les deux prochains mois, ne ratez pas cette dernière occasion d’entrer dans l’histoire du Théâtre Kabuki de Ginza.

*

Characters of Kabuki Play Kabuki-za Tokyo

Characters of Kabuki Play Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

Si vous ne disposez que de peu de temps – une pièce peut durer près de quatre heures – ou que le budget ne vous ne permettre pas une entrée complète, il est toujours possible de vous procurer un billet d’un seul acte – entre 60 et 90 minutes – pour environ 800 yen. Assurez-vous d’arriver une heure à l’avance et présentez-vous aux guichets du côté ouest de l’édifice. Joignez-vous à la file d’attente. Vous paierez au passage et monterez au dernier balcon du quatrième étage. Les premiers pourront s’asseoir alors que les autres chanceux devront regarder la performance en se tenant debout.

*

Posters of Kabuki play in front of Kabuki-za Tokyo

Posters of Kabuki play in front of Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

Pour lire davantage sur le sujet, cliquez sur les liens suivants :

L’article de Shane Sakata du Nihon Sun est très bien.

Le programme du Sayonara Kabuki Performance.

Si vous voulez laisser un commentaire, prière de retourner au début de cet article et de cliquer sur « Comment » pour ce faire.

*

detail-of-kabuki-play-kabuki-za-tokyo

*

Kabuki in a Hall of Glory

By Denis Plamondon

*

Kabuki-za in Ginza Tokyo

Kabuki-za in Ginza Tokyo

*

The countdown for the demolition of the old Kabuki-House is imminent. Before the building is torn down in 2010, why don’t you attend a farewell performance at the famous theater in Ginza while you still have a chance?

*

Latest Kabuki Sayonara Performance at the Kabuki-za Tokyo

Latest Kabuki Sayonara Performance at the Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

The latest “Sayonara Kabuki” performance starts on May 2nd and runs until June 26th at the Ginza Kabuki-Za in Tokyo.  The deep-rooted structure stands honorably with class among newer constructions in the chic Ginza area.  News of its demolition did not go smoothly.  In order to keep protesters and kabuki aficionados silent, the authorities advocated that the old building did not meet earthquake standards and regulations.  So if you come to Tokyo in the next two months, or if you are simply a fan of all forms of authentic and live performance, you may want to part of history and share a moment of grandeur with these great actors before this landmark disappears.

*

Kabuki-za is contrasted by a modern environment

Kabuki-za is contrasted by a modern environment

*

It won’t be rebuilt before 2013, but the architecture will be quite different then. There is no question that Kabuki will survive this transformation and transcend time and space coefficients, but the aura and treasure of the ancient theater will have vanished and survive only in the memories of those who were there.

*

Posters of Kabuki play in front of Kabuki-za Tokyo

Posters of Kabuki play in front of Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

As a Kabuki performance can be very long and expensive, you can buy a single act ticket at the west gate of the theater and watch from the last balcony on the 4th floor; the sound is still good, the huge stage is impressive and the colorful costumes of the all-male cast are astonishing. To do so, you must stand in line to purchase your ticket (800 to 1000 yen) at least one hour before the opening.  Arrive even earlier if you can, as word is spreading very fast.  Don’t miss out.

*

Characters of Kabuki Play Kabuki-za Tokyo

Characters of Kabuki Play Kabuki-za Tokyo

*

For more information, please read a good article by Shane Sakata in The Nihon  Sun

Also, read this information on the new Sayonara series of performance

If you want to comment, please do so at the beginning of this article

Scene of Kabuki in front of the Kabuki-za Tokyo

Scene of Kabuki in front of the Kabuki-za Tokyo

Flea market at the controversial

Yasukuni Shrine

By Denis Plamondon

*

Yasukuni Shrine Tokyo

Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo

Every Sunday is flea market day at Yasukuni Shrine. The location continues to attract many visitors despite its controversy, and numerous vendors benefit by exhibiting their old and rare items under the shade of cherry trees.

*

Bottle of sake and coca-cola, Flea Market near Yasukuni Shrine

Sake holders and retro coca-cola bottles, flea market at Yasukuni Shrine

You will find second hand kimonos for really cheap – about 1000 yen – but you can also pay a substantial price for a couple of crystal glasses. This is a good place to acquire collection items.

Le marché aux puces Yasukuni Jinja, coupes de cristal pour collectionneur

Le marché aux puces Yasukuni Jinja, coupes de cristal pour collectionneur

You just need to sharpen your eyes and discriminate the valuable from the usual rubbish otherwise you can easily be trapped with a variety of not so great articles. Besides the Yasukuni Shrine, you can also visit the War Museum with historical artifacts.

Keep in touch with time Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo

Keep in touch with time.

This flea market is small and rarely advertised.  In the vicinity, there is a nice park, the Kitanomaru Park, northwest of the Imperial Palace. The nearest station is Kudanshita on the Tozai line. (Tokyo metro map).

Le marché aux puces près du Temple Yasukuni Jinja

Le marché aux puces près du Temple Yasukuni Jinja

Here’s a link for flea and antique markets in Tokyo and it’s surroundings.
Second link for flea markets in Tokyo and Yokohama.
*

Silent view in the Yasukuni Shrine Courtyard

Silent view in the Yasukuni Shrine Courtyard

The controversy surrounding Yasukuni Shrine has arisen with frequent visits by Japanese Prime Ministers who come to pay their respects to the soldiers who died for the nation during the wars. At first glance, one can think that it’s absolutely normal for government officials to honor the soldiers who gave their life to the nation.  Some neighboring countries to Japan though, perceive such a ritual as an insult since so many of their own citizens were the victims of many of these soldiers. Of the 2,466,000 men and women enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine, some 1,068 have been convicted of war crimes by a post World War II court. I suggest you read the article in the Sacred Destination Website for supplementary information.

Cherry Blossoms Yasukuni Shrine

Cherry blossoms, Yasukuni Shrine

If you would like to add a comment , please go back at the beginning of this article and click the comment link.

Hanami Season in Full Bloom

by Denis Plamondon

*

Hanami inspires a young woman artist Imperial Palace Gardens Tokyo

Hanami inspires a young artist at Tokyo's Imperial Palace Gardens

*

Although the Hanami Season is a recurrent event, its splendor has no comparison.  It’s a natural phenomenon that is guided by the weather and its uncertainty.

*

Cherry Blossom in full bloom in Naka-Meguro Tokyo

Cherry blossom in full bloom in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

As accurate as the Japanese may be in their ability to predict their environment, the arrival of cherry blossom season isn’t an exact science like a train that enters a station.  Hanami (literally “flower viewing”) offers an element of surprise every year .

*

Intense blue sky with Cherry Flowers at Imperial Palace Tokyo

Blossoms against an intense blue sky Tokyo's at Imperial Palace

In central Honshu, trees are now flourishing as the temperature warms up. At the moment, this topic is on everyone’s mind and featured in most blogs, magazines, ads, and window displays.  Its popularity is not only due to its exquisiteness, but also to the customs attached – a series of gatherings and parties all over Japan.

*

Picnic among friends in Ueno Park Tokyo

Picnic among friends in Ueno Park, Tokyo

*

Picnic under a Cherry Blossom Tree In Ueno Park, Tokyo

Picnic under a cherry tree in Ueno Park, Tokyo

People from all horizons come to enjoy this special event. Office colleagues, co-workers, students, teachers, old and young, converge at their favorite spots, a gesture that is repeated year after year with the same awe and astonishment.

*

Hanami captivates after sunset Ueno Park Tokyo

Hanami captivates even after sunset in Ueno Park, Tokyo

*

Hanami season is the perfect time to meet and share a picnic with others under a cherry tree in full bloom. Often, smaller groups may be more open to invite you to join. Don’t look down on the offer; it’s a great opportunity to meet Japanese and enjoy some local cuisine, sake and beer.

*

A flow of romance under the Sakura Tress Naka-Meguro in Tokyo

A flow of romance under the sakura trees in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

*

It’s also a good period for business for local citizens living in the vicinity of these popular locations.  Many open their little restaurants and bars onto the street.  If you go along the canal in Naka-Meguro, for example, you will be welcomed by spirited vendors selling all kinds of snacks and drinks that are especially made for the event.

*

busy-selling-alcool-during-hanami-season-in-naka-meguro

*

The crowd is dense during these rare weekends, so don’t rush your way through.  Enjoy a leisurely stroll under the blossoms instead.

*

Hanami is good for Business, Naka-Meguro Tokyo

Hanami is good for business, Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

*

Waiting for the train after the Hanami visit in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

Waiting for the train after the Hanami in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

*

A river of Cherry Blossom Trees in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

A river of blossom in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

*

Hanami in a mirror in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo

*

If you wish to comment, I would be delighted. Just don’t forget to go back at the top of this article to do so.

Real action for the Poorest:

“Hope at the Hilton Week”

April 12th to the 19th

You keep saying you care for the planet and its sustainability, right? What about the people who live on it? You do too, aren’t you? So, here are some original ways to show it and help to its sustainability without digging too deep into your pocket. Hope International Japan wants to reach to you during the “Hope at the Hilton Week” from April 12th to the 19th in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. The international community as well as all Japanese is invited to join in this global effort to support the poor nations to bring dignity and development to its populations. The beauty of this operation is a win-win relation on all fronts; you can even be acting from the comfort of your home.

Travel and Leisure Auction Event

For example, you can access the online Travel & Leisure Auction on the following link: www.hope-auction.com. The auction opens at noon on April 12th and closes at 18:00 P.M. on April 19th. There will be over 40 Hilton Packages up for bid plus a few other interesting items including adventure holidays in Japan, a trek bicycle, etc. Check the prizes you can win: See the Prizes.

Help While Having a Hair Cut for a Fair Price

You can have a Hair Cut for just 2000 yen and 100% of the money goes to HOPE. Book the date on your agenda and have your hair done for a fair price and help other earth citizens to drink clean water. This event is held all day on Monday, April 13th, from 10 A.M. to 18:00 P.M.
Call this number: 052-204-0530 or send a request at: info@hope.or.jp

What is Hope International Development Agency

Hope is an International Non-Profit Organization who supports dedicated volunteers from all over the world and focuses its mission on the urgent needs of the poorest of us on the planet. The organization targets 1 million people in Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia with their urgent and crucial needs. We all have an opportunity, here, to do something about it during the “Hope at the Hilton Week” Events. Learn more about this organization: http://www.hope.or.jp
*

Soon: A Sayonara Sale on Line for Hope Projects

The international community on Japan will be happy to know that Hope will soon launch a permanent online “Sayonara Sale website” where to sell its recycled goods and its sayonara sale items. Earnings from these sales will then be turned to Hope projects. Keep an eye on this very practical service to come.

What else can you do:

Please talk about this Hope at the Hilton Week in the coming days. Get the poster and spread the news: Click here to get the poster.
*
Watch a video on YOUTUBE: Hope Water Japan
*
If you want to “Comment”  Please go back at the beginning of this article

Fusuma Doors and Art Work in Kyoto

By Denis Plamondon
Photos: Sandra D'Sylva & Denis Plamondon

*

Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Marvel an Untold Story?

Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Marvel - an Untold Story?

Before we enter a temple in Japan, we take our shoes off and we open our eyes and soul all together hoping to grasp a new dimension of the human creativity. We all know about the existence of the Japanese sliding doors, but we are barely able to distinguish between the Fusuma door and the Shoji door.
When you visit old temples in Kyoto,   palaces of the imperial family or any castle of a shogun that is open to the public, the functionality of these two types of door is revealed to you in its ingenuity and its aesthetic as they both play the role of a door and a wall. In this short article, I will focus on the drawings and the paintings of the fusuma. If you want to go further on this topic, please use the links provided along the way. Here, I’m publishing two kinds of photos, and overview of fusuma art work and specific features of a temple, bridge or a detail to indicate the location.
The first places you could find these incredible “chef-d’oeuvres” are the facilities that come under the management of the Imperial Palace Household Agency, such as The Kyoto Imperial Palace, the impressive Shugaku-In Imperial Villa and Katsura Imperial Villa . If you want to visit these locations, bear in mind that you must get a reservation before entering. Click on this link to get the information. There are also beautiful works of art at the Tenryu-Ji (1) (2) in Arashiyama; the gardens and temples of Chishaku-In (2) are worth a detour, and Yamashina temple are surprises you can’t miss. I have not published photos on the beautiful fusuma doors in the Nijo Castle (shogun), the Ryoan-Ji rock garden and the famous Nishi Hongwan-Ji temple, but they shouldn’t be missed either.  (The latter is the headquarters of all Shin Buddhist affiliated temples in Japan and in globally. The Taimensho-Stork Chamber is particularly amazing). Follow the links to Byodo-In (2) in Uji; since no photography is permitted inside the precinct, you will have to see this breathtaking temple with your own eyes. The architecture of here is a true definition of beauty. Uji is famous all over Japan for its tea products.  Why not include a visit to a “macha” factory and taste the velvet flavor of traditional green tea?

*

Detail of Kyoto Imperial Palace with Outside painted Fusuma

Detail of Kyoto Imperial Palace with Outer Fusuma

*

Detail of Fusuma Doors Kyoto Imperial Palace

Detail of Fusuma Doors Kyoto Imperial Palace

*

A Roof from the Kyoto Imperial Palace

A Roof from the Kyoto Imperial Palace

*

Bridge in the gardens of Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

Bridge in the gardens of Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

*

Inside rooms Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

Inner Rooms of Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

*

Wisdon painted on Fusuma Doors in Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

Wisdom Painted on Fusuma Doors in Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

*

Detail Fusuma Doors in Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

Details of Fusuma Doors at Shugaku-In Imperial Villa

*

Open Shoji on the Katsura Garden Imperial Villa

Open Shoji at Katsura Garden Imperial Villa

*

Bridge in the Katsura Imperial Villa

Bridge at Katsura Imperial Villa

*

Chishaku-In Kyoto Beautiful painting on Walls and Fusuma

Chishaku-In Kyoto - Beautiful Wall and Fusuma Paintings

*

Chishaku-In Kyoto Painting on Fusuma Doors

Chishaku-In Kyoto

*

Chishaku-In Kyoto, Admiring a Garden Peacefully

Chishaku-In Kyoto, Admiring a Garden Peacefully

*

Drawings on Fusuma Chishaku-In Kyoto

Fusuma Drawings at Chishaku-In Kyoto

*

Detail Tenryu-Ji (Heavenly Dragon Temple) Arashiyama, West of Kyoto

Details at Tenryu-Ji (Heavenly Dragon Temple) in Arashiyama, West of Kyoto

*

Glass protected Art Tenryu-Ji Arashiyama

Glass-protected Art at Tenryu-Ji Arashiyama

*

Inside the Tenryu-Ji facilities in Arashiyama, west of Kyoto

Inside the Tenryu-Ji Temple in Arashiyama, West of Kyoto

*

Yamashina Temple East of Kyoto Drawing on Fusuma

Yamashina Temple East of Kyoto - Fusuma Drawings

*

View on Garden in Yamashina Temple East Kyoto

View on Garden in Yamashina Temple, East Kyoto

*

Painting on Wall Yamashina Temple East Kyoto

Wall Paintings at Yamashina Temple, East Kyoto

*

Wooden Bridge In Yamashina Temple East Kyoto

Wooden Bridge at Yamashina Temple, East Kyoto

*

A view of Beautiful Byodo-In in Uji near Kyoto World Heritage

A View of Beautiful Byodo-In in Uji, a World Heritage Site Just South of Kyoto

* Please Comment on this posting at the top of this article.