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TOKYOMinamiza Theatre

Minamiza Theatre

Minamiza Theatre

Directions

East side, Shijō-ōhashi-bridge, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City

Access

City Bus to "Shijo Kawaramachi"
Hankyu Railways : Kawaramachi Station exit 1, 3 min walk
Keihan Railway : Gion -shijō Station exit 6, 1 min walk
JR Kyoto Station : Approx 15 min by Taxi

Floor Map

Seating Chart

Miscellaneous

English Audio Guide:
English Audio Guides available on the first floor inside the theatre.

Box Office

Located on the left side of the main entrance.
Automatic Ticket Dispensers are located next to the Box office and also on Basement Level 1.

Restaurant and Lunch Boxes

Japanese restaurants are located inside the theatre and are open for dining during the intermission (usually 20 - 30 minutes). Reservations are highly recommended. You may also eat and drink at your seats during the intermission.

Japanese Restaurant NADA MAN (Restaurant and Lunch Boxes)
Location:
2nd floor lobby of the Minamiza Theatre.
How to make a reservation:
Please call +81-75-541-1511

Concessions

Drinks, sweets, Kabuki goods, and various Japanese souvenirs are available at the concession stands in the theatre and adjoining facilities!

Izutsu Yatsuhashi Honpo
Location:
1st and 2nd floor lobby of the Minamiza Theatre.
Details:
[1st floor] Sweets and food as souvenirs [2nd floor] Other souvenirs

TORAYA
Location:

1st floor lobby of the Minamiza Theatre.
Details:
Café and sweets as souvenirs

History of Minamiza Theatre

The founding of the Minamiza Theatre goes all the way back to the beginning of the Edo Period (1596-1615). It is said that Izumo no Okuni performed 'kabuki odori' ('kabuki dances') in Kyoto in 1603 which attracted great attention, and during the same period, the dry bed of the Kamo River developed as a 'Theatre town' filled with the bustle and excitement of the people.
The Minamiza Theatre started around this time, and has stood at this place for over 400 years always remaining at the center of entertainment, including kabuki.

In 1906, the theatre came under the management of Shochiku General Partnership Company run by Shirai Matsujirō and Ōtani Takejirō. After some restructuring in 1913, the theatre was remodeled in 1929 as a gabled building in the Momoyama style. Various kinds of performances have been staged there ever since, and the 'Kichirei Kaomise Performance', a kabuki production held every year even during the war, is now known as an annual event in Kyoto.

In 1991, Nagayama Takeomi, the chairman of Shochiku Co,. Ltd, renewed the Minamiza Theatre, making it a modern theatre with the latest technology, but still keeping its historical appearance. It reopened in November, 1991, starting with the 'Kichirei Kaomise Performance'.
The Minamiza Theatre was designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property in 1996 and was even registered as a Structure of Historical Design in Kyoto shortly after.

After its large-scale reconstruction to make it earthquake proof, the Minamiza Theatre reopened in November, 2018

While retaining the former theatre's traditional beauty, the new Minamiza Theatre is fitted with the latest stage technology, enabling a wide variety of spectacular effects to be realized. It will stage a wide range of productions throughout the year, from 'traditional Japanese performing arts' to 'the newest live entertainments'.

History of Minamiza Theatre
1603 Izumo no Okuni performs 'kabuki odori' ('kabuki dances') in Kyoto.
(Mentioned in 'Tōdaiki'.)

minamiza_history2_min.jpg
1608 Troupes of women entertainers perform 'Onna Kabuki' ('Female Kabuki') on the dry bed of the Kamo River which becomes popular.
(Mentioned in 'Ozuki Takasuke no Sukune Hitsugi')
1614-1615 Theatres with yagura towers are constructed, mostly around the dry bed of the Kamo River, and performances of 'Onna Kabuki' and puppets flourish. This might be the original form of the Minamiza Theatre.
(Seen in the 'Rakuchū Rakugaizu Byōbu Funakibon'.)
1601-1620 The local governor of Kyoto ('Kyōto shoshidai') gives permission for seven theatres to operate to the east of the Kamo River.
(Mentioned in 'Yōshūfushi', 'Hinamikiji' written by Kurokawa Dōyū.)
1624-1644 Kabuki theatres on the dry bed of the Kamo River flourish.
(Mentioned in 'Tōkaidō Meishoki' written by Asai Ryōi.)
1658 - 1673 Sounds of the drums are heard from the theatre.
(Mentioned in 'Tōkaidō Meishoki' written by Asai Ryōi.)
1756 The bustle of the 'Kaomise Performance' is felt.
(Mentioned in 'Zaikyō Nikki' written by Motoori Norinaga.)
1804-1829 Only theatres to the North and South are left.
(Mentioned in 'Morisada Mankō'.)
1893 The theatre in the North closes in May and that on the South becomes the only remaining theatre.
1906 The Minamiza Theatre (in the South) comes under the management of the Shochiku General Partnership Company

minamiza_meiji_min.jpg
1913 The Minamiza Theatre is completely reconstructed in November.
The 'Kichirei Kaomise Production' is held in December and from this time the practice of having actors perform together from both the east and west of Japan is established.

minamiza_taisho_min.jpg
1929 The Minamiza Theatre is reconstructed.

minamiza1929.JPG
1990 After the performance in February, the Minamiza Theatre undergoes large-scale reconstruction.

minamiza1990.jpg
1991 It reopens in October.
1996 The building is designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property
2018 The reopening of the Minamiza Theatre takes place in November, 400 years since the opening of the first Minamiza Theatre.