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,
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
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, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.
Read More: Japan Journey