ekusudei: (Default)
I found this English-language pamphlet on e-bay for $8, being sold by someone from Portland, OR, and it's awesome! No publishing date on it, but it mentions activities up to 1956, and includes photos of "The Tale of Genji" (1957), so my bet is that it was published around '59 to sell during the US Tour. It definitely looks like an official publication, with info on Hankyu and phone numbers if you're interested in booking a vacation to Japan.

The Story of Takarazuka (101 MB zip file)

Sorry they're not clean scans, but ye olde scanner doesn't work with my new operating system, so photos it is.


Jun. 30th, 2017 03:43 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
... I feel as though my IQ has shrunk just reading this summary.

First of all, oh my god.

Second of all, not even a bit subtle. Takarazuka otokoyaku, hide your sons and daughters.

Show Tent Takarazuka
BADDY -He Came from the Moon-
Script/Direction Ueda Kumiko

The setting is Earth metropolis TAKARAUKA-CITY. On a unified and peaceful planet called "Earth," where war and crime has been suppressed, a wanderer from the moon, a real "Baddy," arrives. Baddy is a too cool and elegant heavy smoker. However, all of the planet is a smoke-free zone. Hating restriction, Baddy leads a group of henchmen to do all kinds of evil things to make this boring planet more interesting. His ultimate goal is to steal the planetary savings from the Takarazuka Big Theater Bank. But the omnipotent female police investigator Goody is in pursuit, and in the end she'll track him down!

This is Ueda Kumiko's first revue show.


作・演出/上田 久美子


(Official Site)


Jun. 30th, 2017 02:40 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Random thing that I learned today that I never connected the dots on: Koike Shuuichirou, Ishida Masaya, and Tani Masazumi all had their debut Bow Hall work in 1986. They must have been hired around the same time.
ekusudei: (Default)
Going to post this here because it's not official TIP stuff yet.

So, remember 5 or so years ago when I said I was going to subtitle the Back Stage series and then never did? Yes, well, I've decided this will be the summer that actually gets done. I'll be releasing one episode a week (if I can keep up the pace). They're going up online temporarily, mostly as a prod to remind myself to keep going. Once they're all done, they'll be gathered together into a TIP disc.

Much thanks to Sakiko for helping me with some. All mistakes are mine, and I'll be the first to admit these are pretty rough.

I kind of want to skip down to ep 4, which is the coolest. But, no. In order, in order....

The Back Stage was a short, 15 minute show which aired on Sky Stage in 2012. Each episode featured various aspects of stagecraft for Takarazuka shows in 2011-2012.

The Back Stage #1: Set / Large Props
The Back Stage #2: Stage Manager & Set
The Back Stage #3: Lighting & Electricity
The Back Stage #4: Stage Mechanisms
The Back Stage #5: Dinner Shows
The Back Stage #6: Costumes
The Back Stage #7: Music / Orchestra
The Back Stage #8: Props
The Back Stage #9: Takarazuka Bow Hall
The Back Stage #10: Tokyo Takarazuka Theater (part 1)
The Back Stage #11: Tokyo Takarazuka Theater (part 2)

The website for Takarazuka Stage (crew) has the episodes posted, without translation, for anyone too impatient to wait for subtitles [link].
ekusudei: (Default)
Wow, okay, weird to not be using semagic to post, but I guess I'll get used to it. Deleted my old lj account, so this is officially the home of my Takarazuka journal/archive of old reviews and translations and things. Image links may be broken.
ekusudei: (Default)
ETA: We did it! We raised $873! Thank you so much for your generosity, everyone!

Ahahahaha. So, not so funny story. Today I received an email from the TakaWiki webhost saying that my card had been declined to pay for this month’s hosting fees. Somehow I had lost track of time and two years had gone by since our last fundraiser. Yup, that’s right, we currently have $0.46 left in our TakaWiki hosting coffers. Sadly, we had to upgrade our hosting from $15-ish/mo to $30/mo because of how big the database has grown, so the money didn’t last as long as hoped.

SO! We need to raise some money. If we can raise $720, we’ll have the next two (2) years worth of fees all set to go. ($30/mo x 24 mo = $720)

So this is my urgent plea for everyone who uses the TakaWiki to please think about dropping a few dollars into the coffers. The English-language Takarazuka fandom has always been extremely generous; it’s the only way we’ve kept the TakaWiki up and running for 10+ years. Even if money is tight and there’s no way you can contribute, please pass on the word over various social media.

I’ll take down the page once we meet our goal.

Thank you all! -Jen (Feb. 14th, 2017)


ekusudei: (Default)
If anyone has some 1983 Graph or Kageki magazines and could help me fill in some of the missing retirement dates, I would be much obliged!

ekusudei: (Masaki Hamlet)
I'm sorry that I've been radio-silence all over the board. Just as I think I have free time and RL is all sorted out, the TakaWiki will spring a leak, or the podcast will need some love, or TIP will feel neglected. I actually caught myself thinking "maybe it's time to leave LJ" today on the drive home from work. *HISSSSS* My reaction to that vile, traitorous voice is to immediately post something.

Lately, it's been cancer in the family. But it's just when we feel at our worst that Takarazuka is there for us, so... Yeah.

Got mail from Japan yesterday which included a white envelope. It was the official after retirement "thank you" from club. Which.... I wasn't sure I would get, because mail from club has been very spotty the last 4 years. So, thank you to Western fandom friends for paying it forward and helping me out with everything over this past taidan year♥ I would have been miserable if I had missed out on everything.
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
*cough* Erm, yes, I have been reaaaaally delayed in getting this up and posted. Many, many apologies. And many thanks to everyone who contributed Otome pictures so that I could make the game, including [livejournal.com profile] quinquin, Miranda, and [livejournal.com profile] kugelfischli

This was one of the games that we played at the NYC Meet Up last summer play along at home and see if you can put the Otome pictures in order. :)

Otome Puzzle Game (pdf)

Otome Puzzle Game Key (pdf)
ekusudei: (Moon Troupe)
Aaaaahhhhh, Rachel, Hayami-chan mentioned us in her blog! Kinda. She was really happy that we talked to her, and she mentioned the fans who did their best to talk to her in Japanese at demachi, such as saying they had "watched her since Scarlet Pimpernel." :D

Her selfies are the cutest! Looks like she was busy doing her own fangirling. :D
ekusudei: (Default)
So, I am intending to write a nice long account of my really wonderful trip to NYC. Soon!

But in the meantime, before I forget, I have two extra playbills for the show. They're not programs, mind you, and the only picture from the show is actually an advertisement. But there are several pages about the show and actresses in there somewhere. If you're interested, just comment below. I'll mail them out for free, unless you want more than regular 1st class, and then I'll ask you to pay for shipping. If more than two people are interested I'll do a quick raffle on Sunday.

Please, if you saw the show and already have a playbill, don't put your name in. Let those who couldn't make it to NY have a chance at them.
ekusudei: (Default)
OG CHICAGO @ Lincoln Center
Koch Theater
July 20-24, 2016

Cast: Hatsukaze Jun, Mine Saori, Isono Chihiro, Mori Keaki, Asaji Saki, Shizuki Asato, Wao Youka, Kozuki Wataru, Hoshina Yuri, Asami Hikaru, Mizu Natsuki, Yamato Yuuga, Suzu Haruki, Makise Kai, Maishiro Nodoka, Manami Sora, Otohana Yuri, Kayou Kirari, Yuuzumi Shun, Tsukio Kazusa, Hanazuki Yuma, Kaon Yuuki, Mishou Kazuki, Koumi Maito, Kitori Mariya, Urara Moe, Maki Izumi, Hayami Sei

Let me just say straight out up front that I'm not a huge fan of the musical Chicago. However, there were members of this tour group who I thought I would never see live on stage, and others who I thought I would never see again live on stage, so this was very precious to me. When I got into the fandom about 10 years ago, Mariko (Asaji Saki) was eight years retired and living in Brazil with her husband and child. Then she started doing OG performances here and there, but I was never in the right place at the right time. This was AMAZING. And Wataru, who was the top star in the very first live show that I saw in 2005. And Mizu, who I had loved so much as a young star, and Marimo, my absolute favorite top musumeyaku ever, and the list goes on and on.... Even Hayami Sei and Maki Izumi ended up being in the NY cast after all!

I saw the Mariko-Mizu-Tani cast twice, once with Hatsukaze-san and once with Mori-san. I saw the Zunko-Wataru-Komu cast on closing night with Mori-san.

I agree with the NY Times review, the show itself was solid but not anything original or likely to steal your heart away. Of the casts that I saw, the Mariko-Mizu-Tani-Mori was my favorite. Mariko just has that charm and appeal, and while Zunko's singing was of course better she just didn't seem as into the performance. Mizu was hands-down the best performer in the cast. Her charisma just took over the entire stage any time she set foot on it, and her singing was strong and Broadway-esque, which is not true for most Takarazuka voices. Wataru had a lot of fun in the role, and I love her to pieces, but she certainly didn't take over the entire stage like Mizu did. I was not expecting Tani to be my favorite Roxie, but her comedy and comedic faces have always been strong (I still love her Nathan Detroit best), and she didn't pull any punches here. Komu's Roxie was woah sexy, but not as funny. Over-all, the Mizu-Tani interactions were more vicious, and you could really buy them as unrepentant killers, while Wataru and Komu seemed to be enjoying life more.

I wasn't certain about Isono-san's Amos Hart at first, but by the time "Mr Cellophane" rolled around I was sold. Very solid, and strongest in the second act. I was SUPER excited to see Hatsukaze-san live on stage. She was a star in the 60s and 70s, one of the first top musumeyaku when the top star system started to develop, and played Marie-Antoinette in the first Takarazuka production of The Rose of Versailles. She is also Hatsukaze Midori's aunt. She returned to the stage in 2000 with the Toho production of Elisabeth and has been steadily acting since. Her voice is certainly as strong and gorgeous as ever, but she seemed frail on stage and I think she was also having some trouble with her sight.

The two big surprises in this show to me were Mori Keaki and Manami Sora. Stay with me! I've seen Mori-san in TMP Specials, in smaller roles, and possibly in a few shows as top star, but nothing ever grabbed me. But with this production I fell in a big way. Her voice is enormous and rich and lovely and "Broadway-esque." Her encore number "That's Life" was my favorite. Manami Sora, wow was she on point as the Jury. She got the biggest laughs every show with her quick-changes and exaggerated comical performances. Really impressive!

Marimo (Aono Yuki) showed off her dancing chops. She had the intro bit, then she was front and center throughout most of the dance numbers, and then she was really awesome as Go-to-Hell Kitty. Man, the Chicago costumes brought back memories.... I miss her in Moon Troupe. Hoshina Yuri was also excellent as Hunyak. .... Actually, it's a little eerie how those two roles matched the personality of a lot of the roles they played while in the Revue.

There were a couple of places that got laughter that I think they weren't expecting at first, but by closing night they were kind of hamming it up. Like the lines at the very end, where Velma and Roxie talk about how they represent American values. Ironic in the original show, it was hilarious spoken in Japanese.

The rest of the company was also excellent. I was impressed by their dancing every time. And the youngest members, who were not listed in the cast lists for NY, actually were there! (Although only for the Encore.) I was so happy! Especially because I was always stage right and a couple of times Hayami-chan was RIGHT THERE. :3

OK, so let's talk Encore! The gentleman from Lincoln Center who arranged to have the performance is also apparently the one who requested a little mini-revue, so this was something added just for the NYC leg of the tour. And it was AMAZING. Basically a jumble of famous revue numbers from the past.

The first three numbers were in the 2015 "Guys and Dolls" line-dance costumes. Four of the ladies were out in the audience for part of it. It was Koumi Maito (I think?) and Hayami Sei stage right, not sure who was stage left.
"Hello Takarazuka!"
"Mambo! No. 5"
"Mira Cats"

"Solamente Una Vez" - Asaji Saki as otokoyaku, Mizu Natsuki and Yamato Yuuga as femme fatales, not sure who sang the shadow chorus
"El Tango de Roxanne" - Shizuki Asato sang as otokoyaku, Kozuki Wataru, Hoshina Yuri, and Aono Yuki as femme fatales. Zunko is not a dancer, so I am not sure why they had her dancing in this number instead of just singing. She managed to drop someone 2 out of the 3 times that I saw the show, poor thing.
"That's Life" - Mori Keaki as otokoyaku with company. Gorgeous. Takarazuka.
"Glory to Be Takarasiennes (Takarasienne ni Eikou Are)" - aka the "Fairy" song. Wao Youka and Asami Hikaru
"Takarazuka, Home in My Heart (Takarazuka, Wa ga Kokoro Furusato)" - Mine Saori and company (Eeeeeverbody in an otokoyaku gunbu dance. I reeeeaaaaally want to know what the musumeyaku felt to get to dance in it.)
"Sumire no Hana Sakugoro" - Hatsukaze Jun as etoile while the company took their bows with feather fans, and the three principals from the performance came out in feathers.

Each time I saw the show people became more and more confident about clapping when the former top stars made their appearances during their encore numbers. My three times I made certain there was clapping for Marimo and Yuri, who I think a lot of non-fans and younger fans don't really know. After the show and before the encore, the three principals of the cast gave a super-titled talk to introduce Takarazuka and the encore. On closing night Zunko, Wataru, and Komu kept forgetting their lines. XD

It was supremely awesome. So awesome. The best of Takarazuka revue show vibes with 12 former top stars. And my tickets were all row A & B, so this was really the closest I've ever been to the stage during a Takarazuka performance. Those 20 minutes made sitting through Chicago three times worth it. So worth it.

Have you seen a production of OG Chicago? What did you think?
ekusudei: (Default)
So, I'm debating with myself and I think I'm going to go without renting a phone this trip to Japan. I really only rented one last time so that I'd get iride updates through my email, and I think I can chance the same thing using intermittent wifi. Getting in touch with friends.... it's not ideal, but email and messenger and Skype will have to do. I might miss quick updates from club that way, and so miss some iride, but overall... I really think a rental phone will be $100 at the least, and that's without getting a smartphone rental.

Mmmm, lots of apps for connecting with wifi hotspots around Yurakucho and Ginza. Yeah, I think I'll chance it. I usually spend all my down time between iri and de in Mickey-Ds and Sutabaa anyway.

Just gotta find that portable battery-charger, since searching for hot spots is gonna kill my phone battery. After 4 years and two moves, I have no idea where it ended up.....
ekusudei: (Default)
Just a reminder that there is 5 days until the deadline for the party @ Lincoln Center during the OG Chicago run. We're getting some cool games, activities, and prizes organized, and it's also a chance to make some Zuka Fan Friends!!!

Details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/takarazuka-fan-brunch-lincoln-center-tickets-25605263031
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
Hey everyone! I'm looking to get some materials together for a game for our NYC fan meet, and I need fandom's help. I need to get all of the Otome pictures of the ladies below. If you have Otome from the relevant years and could scan or snap a photo of them for me, that would be awesome! And, to avoid spoiling the game before we play, please send them to the following email: takawiki.webmistress@gmail.com

Received (Thank You!!): 1979, 1982, 1984, 1991, 1993-1995, 1998, 2000-2003, 2006

Shizuki Asato 姿月 あさと 1987, (Flower 1988-1993), (Moon 1994-1997), (Cosmos 1998-2000)
Kozuki Wataru 湖月 わたる 1989, (Star 1990-1997), (Cosmos 1998-2000), (Senka 2001-2003), (Star 2004-2006)
Asami Hikaru 朝海 ひかる 1991, (Flower 1992-1997), (Cosmos 1998), (Snow 1999-2006)
Mori Keaki 杜 けあき 1979, (Snow 1980-1993)


Jul. 4th, 2016 10:51 am
ekusudei: (Snow Troupe)
Gonna need a Susano-o beta soon, if anyone is interested. :)
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
Ever been to an ochakai or ochanomikai and played an awesome game? Heard about one from a friend? Please share!

I know there are some faves that are used again and again, but there are also even neater ones that seem to depend on the seito and her staff’s creativity.

I’m collecting game/activity ideas for the fanmeet in NYC this summer and also *cough* for future fanmeets *coughcough*.
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
Do you want to go to Masaki's last ochakai in Tokyo on August 14th? Please let me know a definite yes or no ASAP (like, by June 2nd), because I am an idiot and the deadline has snuck up on me and staff already hates me for getting all my other forms in majorly late and I still need to find someone to help me with the transfer. But, er, yes, it's 8500 yen. I'll pay 3000 yen out of the 8500 for anyone who wants to go, and you don't have to get the other 4500 to me until the night of the ochakai. Also, my birthday is the 13th, so how sad would it be if I didn't have anyone to drag along with me? (*is shameless*)
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
If you're planning to come to see the OG Chicago in NYC this July, please consider coming to the fan brunch! It should be a lot of fun, and Carly has worked hard to set it up for us.

Location: Indie Food and Wine -- 144 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023
Time: Sunday, July 24, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

Come eat, socialize, and flail with your fellow Takarazuka fans in celebration of OG Chicago at the Lincoln Center festival! The venue is a short walk from the David H. Koch theater.

Vegan and gluten free options will be available!




May. 14th, 2016 05:40 pm
ekusudei: (Default)
Okay, I admit I'm confused. Why is Fuu-chan playing some made-up character? Kirino Toshiaki had a lover Murata Sato in Kyoto and a wife Hisa in Satsuma, right?

This is where I admit everything I know about the Satsuma rebellion I learned from the Atsuhime TV drama.... and they didn't really care about Kirino. XD


ekusudei: (Default)

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