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HOME > Travel Magazine > Kagawa Prefecture > The playhouse from the Edo period remains in Kotohira Town, Kagawa Prefecture. A staff explained well to us about the stage set. Even if you are not a Kabuki fan, this is the place you can enjoy. I want to see a real Kabuki for next time.

香川県の琴平町には江戸時代の芝居小屋が今も残っている。説明上手なスタッフが舞台装置について熱く語ってくれた。歌舞伎ファンじゃなくても楽しめる。今度来たときはリアルな歌舞伎が見てみたい。

The playhouse from the Edo period remains in Kotohira Town, Kagawa Prefecture. A staff explained well to us about the stage set. Even if you are not a Kabuki fan, this is the place you can enjoy. I want to see a real Kabuki for next time.

2021/01/22

 

Konpira Grand Theatre (Kanamaru-za)” in Kotohira Town, Kagawa Prefecture is the oldest existing playground in Japan built in the late Edo period (1835). In Kotohira Town, “Kotohira-gu” which is known as “Konpira-san” for a long time has been enshrined. In the Edo period, Konpira-san was said as the “must go place once in a lifetime” and lots of people visited there from all over the country. “Monzenmachi (a commercial town created around famous temples and shrines)” was created around the Kotohira-gu and entertainment such as Kabuki, Sumo and puppet play were held for visitors.

「金毘羅大芝居」は、江戸や大坂の人気の歌舞伎役者が舞台を踏み、その舞台を鑑賞した金刀比羅宮の参詣者によって全国に「金毘羅大芝居」の名前が広まりました。

The stages of “Konpira Grand Theatre” were performed by popular Kabuki actors from Edo and Osaka and the name of “Konpira Grand Theatre” was spread throughout Japan by visitors of Kotohira-gu who watched that Kabuki show.

しかし、時代の移り変わりとともに人々の娯楽も変化して、明治時代以降、一時は映画館になった時もありましたが、江戸末期の重要な劇場建築として評価されて、1970年に国の重要文化財に指定されました。

However, as times change the entertainment of people also changed. After the Meiji period, it once became a movie theater, but in 1970, it was evaluated as the important theatre from the late Edo period and designated as the important cultural property of Japan. From 1972, it took 4 years to be restored and relocated to its current location. For now, the historical folk museum has been built on that site.

1985年より毎年4月に「こんぴら歌舞伎」が公演されていて琴平町の春の風物詩にもなっています。公演がない時は、舞台・客席・控室・舞台装置など舞台裏が一般公開されています。見どころは、「奈落」と呼ばれる舞台や花道の床下です。床下の深さは2.5m、壁は石積みになっていて足元は土間になっています。暗い場所が地獄をイメージさせるので、地獄を意味する「奈落」と名付けられました。奈落にある舞台装置はすべて人力で動かします。

“Konpira Kabuki” has been performed every April since 1985 and it is a spring feature of Kotohira Town. When there is no Kabuki performance, backstage such as the stage, audience seats, waiting rooms, stage equipment, etc. are open to the public. The highlight is the underfloor of the runway or stage called “Naraku”. The depth of the underfloor is 2.5m, it has a masonry structure wall and the earthen floor. Because its darkness gives an image of hell, it was named as “Naraku” which means hell in Japanese. The stage equipment in Naraku is moved by human power. I recommend you to see the exhibition in the hall with the staff.

 

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