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Round Table: Moon Troupe Bow Hall Performance "Anna Karenina"
(From January 2019 KAGEKI)

Members: (playwright/director) Ueda Keiko, (Moon Troupe) Miya Rurika, Umino Mitsuki, Tsukishiro Kanato

Ueda: "Anna Karenina" was a 2001 Bow Hall show written for Asami Hikaru, and was designed to be a classic Takarazuka love romance. The musical adaption of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" centers on forbidden love, and included plenty of showcases for dancing. In 2008 we had the opportunity to re-stage it as a Star Troupe Bow Hall workshop, for the 30th anniversary of Bow Hall. In that production Miya-chan played Karenin, and now that time has passed I'm sure everyone wants to see the vehicle for her to star as Vronsky! (laughs)

All: (laughs)

Ueda: I've long thought that the expressiveness of Miya-chan's dancing is magnetic. I'm really looking forward to seeing how Miya-chan as a dancer brings that magnetism to life at this point in her career. And moreover I'm anticipating how she'll make the story her own and how the show will carry away the audience's hearts.

Miya: I really loved that first production of "Anna." I saw it as a yokasei¹ and fell in deep, and after that I spent all my days off watching "Anna" on video (laughs). Then, when I was in Star Troupe and it was decided to put it on again I was overjoyed, and there were auditions. At the time I was still figuring out what it meant to be a Takarazuka otokoyaku, so I was happy for the opportunity to see each iteration.... Karenin was a turning point for me in my studies, since the role was so central to the story and so profound. I believe that the otokoyaku I am today is because of that role. This time I'm happy to face Karenin (and the show) as Vronsky, and I'm so moved and grateful!

Ueda: Rehearsals have only just started, but how are things going?

Miya: It's tougher than the time I played Karenin, and I can't believe how tortured Vronsky is! (laughs) His love for Anna characterizes everything he does, and it continues to take over the meaning of his life, for which he pays an enormous price. But to have that joy and that emptiness side by side...?

Ueda: To others, Vronsky seems like the man who has everything, but the truth and the love that he is really searching for elude him, and he is unsatisfied. He and Anna are alike in how they tempestuously press on in their search for true love.

Miya/Umino: Yes.

Miya: The new theme song that you wrote for this performance really conveys that love is what brings meaning to people's lives.

Ueda: Miya-chan, I feel that you are an actress who can portray your own love and thoughts very clearly. I can see that you are someone who creates a role carefully, to be true to the feelings that the role was born from, and I look forward to seeing the Vronsky that you bring to life in rehearsals.

Umino: The first Bow Hall show that I ever saw was Star Troupe's "Anna," and I saw Miya-san's Karenin from the first row.

Miya: What!?

Umino: Just hearing that Miya-san had the lead role this time was enough to get me excited. Anna's meeting with Vronsky is when she falls in love with him and the beginning of her downfall, but it's moving because to Anna this meeting is a truly happy moment. I'd like to create a deep role that holds true to Anna's roots.

Ueda: I think the role of Anna is a very straightforward woman who has to live true to her heart, and a part of whom just can't be sensible. Umi-chan, when you're acting you overflow with emotions, which is splendid in an actress. You also can look at things from different angles, and let things hit your heart, so I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of Anna you create.

Miya: In "Azure Moment,"² Umi-chan and I were friends more than lovers, so to speak such straightforward words of love to each other and to interact with each other in this way is very fresh and new. Right now I don't want us reasoning things through too much, but rather coming together with the feelings of those searching for love. I want us both looking together.

Umino: Yes.

Ueda: What do you think, Tsukishiro-san?

Tsukishiro: Lately I've been realizing over and over how hard re-stagings really are, and particularly this time when it's a role Miya-san has so much emotional attachment to, I know I have to be doing it right! (laughs)

All: (laughs)

Tsukishiro: But right from the start when we were shooting the poster, I could feel that Miya-san wanted me to make my own version of Karenin, and I felt a fresh sense that this would be a time to soar. At first glance Karenin seems someone to be pitied and little more, but then you see how awkward he is towards those he loves. And then when the things boiling in his heart escape, you see how much he keeps locked away. But I think it is those things that Karenin conceals that are precious to him, which is what I hope to convey. It's difficult....

Ueda: Karenin won't admit his feelings of jealousy towards Vronsky, but while he continues his married life with Anna I feel there is a lot that he doesn't notice. From Anna and Vronsky's meeting, what will that bring to each of their lives...? I hope to leave the audience with the impression that people live in order to feel love. Umi-chan, I also wonder how your relationship with Tsukishiro-san that started with "The Last Party"³ will influence this performance? It is something that reassures me.

Miya: I was also an underclassman when I played Karenin, so there was a part of me that thought to be just like Kashige-san (Takashiro Kei)4. But I feel that Reiko (Tsukishiro) is working to find her own version of Karenin.

Tsukishiro: Yes, I'm trying. I was paired with Umi-chan in "The Last," so luckily we could bump along easily as a married couple right from the start.

Umino: I think this work is a real turning point for me. I hope to have true sparks fly between Anna's straightforward heart and Karenin.

Ueda: The finale this time is similar to the Snow Troupe version, and the duet dance is a new one choreographed by Ōishi Haruka-san.

Miya: I'm really looking forward to it.

Ueda: For this re-staging I thought about how I could update the visual aspects. The visuals for the poster that you were just talking about too....

Miya: Yes. In Takarazuka there are a lot of gentlemen in uniform with a Regent hairstyle, so we added the rarer wavy-style hair to the front.

Ueda: I think it looks great.

Miya: It's a wig, but there are those who think it's my real hair (laughs).

All: (laugh)

Tsukishiro: Just by looking at the poster I can feel that this will be a new "Anna." The members want to portray the depths of the human heart.

Umino: I'm so happy to be in a production with such a focal love theme. I will try to portray the emotional struggles of such an honest heart.

Miya: I think it truly is a joy to portray love, this all-important human foundation. When I think on love, I reflect that my own life has been made richer from it. All kinds of love are what make the world work, and among them perhaps the most simple is love of another human being--This is what I feel this role portrays, and what I look forward to showing the audience.

Ueda: I think that as a Takarazuka work, the lovely visuals and magnetism of the love scenes will appeal to the audience. But, more than anything, it is Vronsky and Anna's love for each other, more than the consequences they must pay and the misery, the most important thing is their meeting and love for each other, and it is the wonder and light of that love that I want this work to leave in the hearts of the audience.

(1) yokasei = first year Takarazuka Music School student
(2) "Azure Moment" = 2017 Drama City show starring Miya Rurika, Umino Mitsuki, and Tsukishiro Kanato
(3) "The Last Party" = 2018 Drama City show starring Tsukishiro Kanato and Umino Mitsuki as the tempestuously married F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda.
(4) Takashiro Kei played Karenin in the 2001 version

For Sale

Sep. 3rd, 2018 02:31 pm
ekusudei: (Masaki Jump!)
It's time. I need to clear out some space and I need some extra $. So... even if it's like killing myself slowly.... Time for someone else to love these darlings.

If you're interested in more than one, I can knock some off the total. Let me know and I'll give you a quote.

Shipping is not included in the cost, and will depend on how you'd like me to send them, etc. I can give you a total quote once you tell me where it's going and if you'd like a box or if an envelope is fine, etc.

You can drop a note in the comments below, or pm me here on dreamwidth or over on Tumblr @caithion.


Too Short a Time to Fall in Love / Heat on Beat! (Moon 2012) $70
Classic Takarazuka Dance / A Guide to the Future / Takarazuka Flower Poems 100 (Moon 2014) $85

Dragon Night!! (Moon 2015) $70
The Rose of Versailles -Oscar and Andre- (Sou Kazuho Andre) (Moon 2013) $50
The Rose of Versailles -Oscar and Andre- (Ranju Tomu Andre) (Moon 2013) $50 SOLD

Takarazuka Revue mooks

(These include the making of DVD)
Takarazuka Revue 2009 $12
Takarazuka Revue 2010 $12
Takarazuka Revue 2012 $15

Photo Books

Ozuki Tooma My Style $14 ON HOLD
Misuzu Aki My Style $14 ON HOLD

Daichi Mao $14
Mao Karei naru Sekai (Daichi Mao) $14

Amami Yuuki Sayonara Photo Book $14

Kuze Seika Sayonara Photo Book $14
Sanctuary (Kuze Seika) $14

Asaji Saki fanclub sayonara photo album $16
Asaji Saki Takarazuka Fantasy (magazine) $8

Asaji Saki On-Off sayonara photo book $16

A Good Fellow -Kozuki Wataru in N.Y.- $18 SOLD
Kouju Tatsuki Mani $16
ekusudei: (Default)
Hahaha, so I though: Y'know, it's been a few months since I typed out a chapter of Oura-san's book. ... Try three years. Oops.

[ Dream of Takarazuka table of contents ]

30 ~*~ The Windfall (?) of Nibante )
ekusudei: (Default)

As some of you may have heard, the actresses Mariho Erina, Shiho Nanami, Ayaka Rei, and Tama Mayura, as well as their manager, had some unexpected trouble when they came to the US to give a nonprofit performance of "World of Dreams" in Seattle last weekend. Because of a mix-up, they ended up each having to pay a hefty fine to be allowed in in time for the concert and were stuck in customs for a long time.

Despite that, they were unfailingly cheerful and polite to fans, and gave an amazing performance.

As fans, we really, really, REALLY don't want this experience to sour Takarazuka OG actresses on performing abroad! So after the performance we put our heads together and discussed what we could do, and we decided to raise some fan donations to at least help defer some of the cost of the fines they were forced to pay.

Every 3-4 years when I ask for donations to help keep the TakaWiki going, the fan generosity is always staggering. I am hoping that as fans we can be similarly generous for these OGs.

Donations collected here will go into the TakaWiki PayPal account, but I will earmark them and send them to Sakiko, the show's producer, who will make sure they get back to the actresses. This is an unofficial, fan crowdfunding event, and will only run from now until December 23rd, 2017. On that weekend I will take down the button and send the money on.

If you can't afford to donate, please pass on word through your various social media accounts. But please consider tossing in $2-5. Every bit will help!

Thank you, everyone, for your time and generosity!


ekusudei: (Default)
Could someone with the 100th Anniversary actress book please tell me what they list the reading of 23期 (23rd class) 嵯野 久子 name pronunciation as? I've always read it as "Sano," but Japanese Wikipedia has it listed as "Sono" with the source as the 100th anniversary book. I'm still wondering if it's a typo, because I can't find any examples of 嵯 being pronounced as "so."
ekusudei: (Default)
Oookay. Please read the summaries of "Xango" and "Pop News."

What do you think?

"Xango" I kind of expected, with the title being an African deity.

"Pop News," um, not what I was expecting when trying to do something to cheer myself up from the horror show that was "The Exterminating Angel." I wonder what Paddy Stone thought of it?
ekusudei: (Default)
Something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I’m just getting started, but I’m starting to go cross-eyed from editing all the photos, so I think I’m going to leave it be for a couple of weeks and focus on something else.

Sad to realize how much I had to sell before I left Japan. And starting to suspect I lost more than I knew from that one box that broke open on the way back over. T_T

Takarazuka Revue Book & Magazine Collection
ekusudei: (Default)
Could someone with the 100th anniversary actress book look up 小田野巻子 of the 21st class for me? Everywhere I look on the internet the reading for her name is written おのだ, but that can’t be right. I’m guessing everyone is propagating a mistake. It must be おだの……
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
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... 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.


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January 2019

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