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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Japan Journey Day 2 Kabuki

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ June 15, 2017

Went to see the Imperial Palace today, but discovered it is closed on Fridays, so instead walked in the Kitanomaru Park.

We missed the cherry blossoms, but I was delighted with the pink azaleas absolutely everywhere. Even small hedges lining the sidewalks.

Then to the Imperial Hotel, on former Palace grounds, 

for tea. 

This is the third Imperial Hotel. The 1890 structure was destroyed by fire. The second, built in 1923, was deigned by Frank Lloyd Wright. Part of his structure was moved to a museum and a modern high rise was built in 1968. One wall designed by Wright is incorporated in the present structure.

Then our son Stanley took us to his office. Outside

and in.

This map shows how astonishingly close Japan is to Russia. Actually, that is Siberia just across the Sea of Japan, and yet the Japanese climate is tropical. What an education, my mental geography of this part of the world has been woefully vague.

Tonight, the Kabukiza Theatre. What a delight. I first studied Kabuki when a junior at Nampa High School, thank you Elva Reid, and had always wanted to see it.
 
This highly stylized form of musical drama is 400 years old. The actors, all male, are born to it. Many of the families trace their ancestry back through generations of Kabuki actors. 

We saw three plays, each from a different historical period. The first from the 13th century, second from the Edo Period 17-19th centuries, and the last from the early 20th century. Each quite different and very enjoyable. Electronic earphones kept us up on the action in English. 

Almost as fascinating as the action on stage was the audience. Six plays are performed to full houses every day. The audience was largely made up of Japanese women wearing kimonos. Because it is an all day event the theatre includes a large selection of food vendors and people eat throughout the performances. I have read that the experience can be addictive and I can understand why.

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Footnote: Elva Reid was my high school drama teacher, and lifelong inspiration. I kept thinking of the slogan, "If you can read this thank a teacher."
-Donna, June 15, 2017

What an amazing trip. I'm always amazed how different the map of the world looks from different locations.
-Sheila Deeth, June 20, 2017

Japan, China, Russia, Korea--all muddled in my mind. Now I have a much better idea of where they are. I had looked at maps before, but being there really gives one perspective.
-Donna, June 20, 2017

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