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‘Super Kabuki’: Traditional Japanese Drama Gets A Modern Twist




A new and unique type of kabuki play, Oguri, is being shown at the Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre and causing a sensation. The performance is distinctive from that of classic kabuki works.


Inheriting his uncle’s spirit and drive, Ennosuke Ichikawa IV spearheads the new project in creating “Super Kabuki,” an innovative take on the performance art.


The play’s story is set in the medieval period, with court nobles, samurai, and common people as characters. However, the story suggests the views on religion and mentalities of the modern Japanese people.



At the same time, it illustrates the love and bond between married couples, parents and children, as well as friendships, making it into a script that audiences from any generation, gender, or part of the world can relate to.


Living up to its “Super Kabuki” name, the play’s stage direction uses cutting edge imaginative techniques, including projection mapping and LED lighting. Even modern audiences who have probably seen a good variety of theatrical performances will surely be astonished by the extremely flamboyant program, including a great amount of water spewing out onto the stage and actors dressed in novel costumes showing off double aerial stunts.


The mawaributai (revolving stage), hanamichi (a long and raised platform passageway), tsuke (the beating sound of two hard wood clappers), and the stylistic beauty of the music are all truly classic kabuki, which boasts a history of over 400 years. 


This cutting-edge program is a stage performance that will leave a strong impression on you that kabuki is alive, and breathing well. 






Show: Super Kabuki II SHINPAN OGURI 

Where: Shinbashi Embujo Theater, Ginza 6-18-2, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 

Dates: Sunday, October 6, to Monday, November 25

Times: 11:00 A.M. Matinee, 4:30 P.M. Evening Performance

Off-Days: No performance on Tuesdays October 15, 22 and 31.

Tickets: Ticket prices range from ¥3,000 JPY to ¥17,500 JPY, depending on seat location. To purchase tickets, go to the bottom of the page at this link.  


Access: By subway, take the Hibiya or Asakusa Lines to Higashi Ginza Station, Exit 6 (5-minute walk to theater)

Or take the Oedo-Line to Tsukiji Shijo Station, Exit A3 (3-minute walk to theater)

Follow this link or this link for additional information.





Show: Super Kabuki II SHINPAN OGURI

Where: Minamiza Theatre, Shijo Ohashi Bridge, Kyoto 


Dates: Wednesday, March 4, 2020, to Thursday, March 26, 2020

Times: 11:00 A.M. matinee; 4:30 P.M. evening performance

Tickets: Ticket prices range from ¥5,500 JPY to ¥18,000 JPY, depending on seat location. Tickets go on sale beginning Friday, December 13, and may be purchased after that date by going to the bottom of the page at this link.   

Access: By Hankyu Railway, Kyoto Kawaramachi Station, Exit 1 (3-minute walk to theater)

By Keihan Railway, Gion-Shijo Station, Exit 6 (1 minute walk) 

Follow this link or this link for additional information on the performance.




 Author: Yukihiro Watanabe