Hatsune Miku Joins Kabuki! Experience a Unique Show That Transcends the Traditional in Kyoto this August

See how kabuki, a traditional Japanese performance art, and Hatsune Miku are fused to create a one-of-a-kind show this August in the historical Minamiza Theatre, the oldest kabuki theater in Kyoto! This new form of entertainment, which has become a series now, is the direct result of ICT technology implementation, which has allowed artists to do things like projecting real actors in 3D across the stage. This upcoming new performance will be played from August 2nd to 26th in 2019, so read on to learn more about the secrets behind this popular show.

*This article was sponsored by Kyoto Minamiza Theatre.


Cho Kabuki: 3 Ways That It Transcends Regular Kabuki

1. The Fusion of Two Opposites: Traditional Kabuki and Cutting-Edge Vocaloids (Hatsune Miku)

In recent years, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to kabuki and its recent attempts at incorporating modern pop culture and technology, such as with popular manga and anime. 

This time, they are once again attempting to combine the new with the old with the digital Vocaloid super star Hatsune Miku, taking the show to a whole new level and creating a completely new kabuki experience for the audience. The unimaginable fusion of these two uniquely Japanese icons is what makes it so intriguing, enticing more and more people to come and see the show for themselves. 


2. Ultra-Realistic Immersive Telepresence Technology Allows for the Fusion of Reality and the Imaginary

Every year the show gets better as they try more and more new things, while NTT, one of Japan's biggest telecommunications companies, supplies the extraordinary technology to support the show.

Developed by NTT, the ultra-realistic immersive telepresence technology named Kirari! uses ICT technology to collect and process information, then produce a real-time synchronized transmission which is then reconstructed in order to reproduce an entire arena in real-time at a remote location.

The experience of actually visiting the venue is further enhanced as it is capable of collecting information on a person's movements, record and reproduce it in a 3D space, all in real-time. By taking the movements of a real person playing out a scene, the system can apply these movements to a 3D frame, which can be created from a 2D image. And thus, a 3D CG character is born. 

Using a separate technology also produced by NTT - the double-sided transparent multilayer aerial-image display device - they're also able to have the virtual idol Hatsune Miku appear as if she was riding on a float. By having her interact with physical objects on stage while virtually projecting the actors in different ways, they have managed to truly blend both worlds into one show.

Which then begs the question: How will they surprise the audience this time at Minamiza?


3. Have Fun and Be a Part of the Show! [Cho Kabuki]

When you hear the words "virtual idol" and "kabuki" in the same sentence, you may have difficulty imagining what it might be like to go and see the show. With how unique it is, it's pretty safe to assume that one doesn't just sit and watch the show. Well, one of the remarkable things you'll experience is the sense of unity with everyone present, both on and off stage, as you wave your pen light in sync with the rest of the audience. It's such a refreshing change from traditional kabuki plays where a sense of propriety and restraint is the norm!

This time, plans to incorporate audience participation at the climax in the upcoming performance at Minamiza have already been announced. So don't miss out on this uniquely Japanese experience! 

What Is Kabuki?

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese art form that has over 400 years of history. It is a play performed by men, even for female roles, and it shares elements with both musical and dance theater. In 1965, kabuki was designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property, and in 2008, it was registered as an Intangible World Cultural Heritage.

What Is Hatsune Miku?

Vocaloid is a software that allows anyone to create a song by inputting a melody and lyrics. Developed by Crypton Future Media, Inc., many creators started using Hatsune Miku to create songs. These were then uploaded to the internet and shared by many around the world, gaining massive popularity. It attracted many fans just from the character design, and has since evolved into a virtual singer, performing live concerts from time to time and even having its own line of merchandise. With all sorts of events and promotions around the world, it has grown into a global phenomenon.


[Main Performance]
First class seats: 13,750 yen
Second class seats: 7,700 yen
Third class seats: 4,400 yen
[Limited Version]

S seats: 7,150 yen (1st, 2nd floor)
A seats: 4,400 yen (3rd floor)
* Sales commence from June 6th (Thursday), 2019, 10:00 am (JST)
* The limited version is a shorter program featuring a different cast performing only Hanakube Senbon Zakura
* 10% handling charge is included in the ticket prices.

Kansai Feature

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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About the author

Keisuke Tsunekawa
A Japanese native who likes to escape the Tokyo city life from time to time to discover new trails in other countries, where I enjoy connecting with something completely different from what I used to.
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