The Japanese kabuki star, who has recently become a household name, is looking to attract a younger audience Friday, so he will continue to focus on the traditional arts while adopting new approaches, including collaborating with artists in other genres around the world. said he wanted to keep
Danjuro Ichikawa XIII Hakudan, formerly known as Ebizo Ichikawa, was inaugurated this week as his family’s best stage name in centuries after a two-year delay due to the pandemic. Through December, the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo will be performing several of the Ichikawa family’s “Kouen Jyuhachiban.”
In the world of Kabuki, stage names are inherited only by male members of the family for generations, and bear a great responsibility and honor. The new successor must live up to the stage name’s expectations of style, spirit and skill. Actors usually have three stage names as they mature in their kabuki career.
Danjuro likened it to promotion to a senior position in a company, and said he was aware that there were many different views on the hereditary system.
As the 13th head of the Ichikawa family, Danjuro has a heavy responsibility to carry on the traditional performing arts that began around 1600.
“Nowadays, as a kabuki actor, I value the passing on of tradition more than anything else, but I am also worried that if we just protect the tradition, it will perish,” says the 44-year-old real name. Takatoshi Horikoshi. He said the challenge is for modern kabuki actors to attract young audiences and show them the enjoyment of centuries-old art.
“Some people say that just keeping the old is enough, but that’s not enough. That’s my resolution and resolution,” he said. “I want to challenge new things while preserving tradition.”
He has done part of it as Ebizo Ichikawa. In 2019, he starred in his “Star Wars Kabuki” as Kylo Ren, son of Han Solo, bringing the blockbuster film to Kabuki theater. Performed “The Tale of Genji” with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in Kyoto.
In addition to collaborating with world-famous works such as “Star Wars,” he said that he would like to increase the number of collaborations with performers of various genres of traditional Japanese performing arts, such as Noh and Kyogen.
“If there is an opportunity, I would like to collaborate with excellent artists from overseas,” he said.
Japan’s entertainment industry, including kabuki, is still recovering from the pandemic, and Danjuro said he was looking for ways to promote kabuki through social media.
He has performed in France, England, Italy, Monaco, Singapore and the United States.
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