Inishie Night & Day
When the theatre opened for seating, the stage was already covered with overlapping layers of blue/purple cloth. Hiromi Goto enters from left and plays the violin. Fumito Kawai (ABC) enters from right and starts dancing. Another junior enters from the hanamichi and does a sensu (a Japanese traditional paper fan) dance. Then, we hear Mori Mitsuko's recorded voice thanking and welcoming everyone to Takki's castle and watching Enbujo. She mentions something about Japanese history and that there were many heroes in Japanese history. But she adds on to say that in modern today, there are also heroes present. (Mochiron! Heeh, I'm assuming that she means Takki here. )
Then, Takki's recorded voice says something like now the show will start. The layers of cloth drop and the music increased tempo. There was a huge screen at the very back of the stage which showed images of castle wall/gates and rotating wheels in the air. There were many juniors on stage with many props. There were these 2 huge carts which were pushed to the front. The carts open up to reveal 2 halves of a huge potrait of Takki's face in his Yoshitsune costume and headgear. The juniors push the carts to join the 2 halves together. Red cloth was used to cover the potrait for a moment. Then, the red cloth were pulled apart and the potrait split into two. And then, TAKKI FLEW OUT
Kyahhh!!!!! It was such a shocker!! Everyone went mad I tell you.
Everyone was so excited, kyahing, screaming and clapping!! It was such a sugoi entrance
Audience on the 2nd floor were chou ureshi cos Takki flew out directly at about that level. We sat on the 2nd floor for our first show and we were really very excited. I remember seeing a few obaasans sitting on the left side on the 2nd floor and they were waving so excitedly at Takki.
Sugee ne? Takki's fans come from such a wide age group.
Takki landed on the main stage. There were many juniors and female dancers on the stage holding traditional paper fans to dance. The back screen on the main stage was used to make the stage seem bigger than it really is. In "Inishie Night & Day", the screen showed many dancers dancing. So it really looked like there were twice as many people on the stage than there really was. In the middle of the song, dancers held 2 white boards and walked across the back screen and Takki disappeared!
But the back screen still showed Takki's image dancing. I think it was meant to be a distraction? Then, the audience sitting on the 2nd floor had another shock! Takki appeared from a door on the right (see pic below)
He ran down the steps while a staff was busy clipping the flying rope to his back. Then, the spotlight shone on him and kyah!!! Takki looked chou kakkoii with one foot poised on the railing and then he flew again!!
Takki flew from right to left and landed on the hanamichi. All lights darkened and the spotlight focused on him. Takki gave a short speech on the hanamichi. He invited the audience to learn about Japanese history from watching Enbujo. Takki tripped over his words on the 16th and 17th. Takki could not help laughing whenever he made a mistake and he was sooo cute when he laughed!!!
Esp on the 17th cos he tripped over his words quite a few times (about 3 times?)!!!
After the speech, all lights darkened and focus is on the main stage. There are a few chibi juniors on stage playing around. One of them talks to Yabu (Ya3) about his grandfather. Then, Yabu turns his attention and talks to an ojisan who walks up the front steps of the stage. This was when lots of people couldn't help giggling cos the ojisan was Yokoyama Yu (K8)
Yoko scolds Yabu "Aho!" and so reveals that he is from Kansai. Yoko then says that 120 years ago, there was a very popular group named "Kanjani 8" and that everyone else have passed away except him.
Then, Yoko starts comparing the past and modern day. He says that now everyone is caught up with the Internet and games and have little knowledge of Japan's history. He said something about Shinbashi Theatre and Yabu also mentioned about Takki acting in Yoshitsune last year.
Young Chushingura and the 47 Samurais
Then, Yoko turns his back towards the audience and one of the chibi juniors hands Yoko some clothes. Yoko removes his ojiisan costume and puts on the new clothes on stage. A huge traditional Japanese mansion appeared from under the stage. Then, all the juniors came out on stage one by one holding a lighted electric lantern and introduced themselves. After each had finished their introduction, they would pretend to blow out the light in their lantern. Each of the introduction was unique as they tried to play with the use or pronounciation of the word so that it would be easy to remember their names. It was really interesting. For eg, Tamamori Yuta (KMF2) mentioned Tamori-san from Music Station and Kawai Fumito (ABC) said that he is kawaii. "Chushingura" is a very famous story of the vendetta carried out in 1703 by 47 rounin (masterless samurai). Upon finding that their master, in breach of the rule of the shougun, had been condemned to commit seppuku (suicide) for drawing his sword in anger inside the palace, they exacted their revenge. Subsequently, they too committed seppuku. The story of "Chushingura" is supposed to depict bravery and loyalty.
PS: Kimutaku had actually acted in a dorama series about Chushingura back in 2001.
Actually, the actual storyline of Chushingura was not used at all. I think they only wanted to use the title to introduce the many juniors involved in Enbujo. And no, I don't think there were 47 juniors involved in Enbujo.
The last junior to introduce himself was Yabu. Then, Yoko introduced their leader (the Young Chushingura) and of course it was Takki!!! He rose from under the trapdoor at the hanamichi! Kakkoii!!
Takki then gave another short speech in really super formal Japanese and even gave a little bow at the end of it!
Dance of Spring
After Takki bowed, he removed the outer coat of the costume that he was wearing with the help of a junior. He walked to the main stage while 3 juniors each wheeled in a structure hung full of various types of drums and household items which could be used to produce sounds. For eg, like the wooden washing board used in olden days. The 3 structures formed an inverted U-shape around Takki, who was standing in the centre. Okura and another junior helped Takki put on this big ribbon which held up Takki's sleeves so that the sleeves would not obstruct Takki when he was beating the drums. (He really looked so cute wearing the ribbon!!! Of course, not forgetting that I could now see his super well-defined biceps!!! Ok, I must S-T-R-E-S-S that I do not like big bulky men ie. wrestler or body-building types. And I do not go gaa-gaa over any guy's biceps. I don't know why. But somehow, I only get doki doki and drool over Takki's biceps. )
Anyway, there were another 2 singular drums at each side of the inverted U-shape structure with Okura on the right and the other junior on the left. Okura started beating his drum and the other junior joined in soon after.
Then, traditional-modern fusion music started playing and Takki started beating the different drums and sound-making instruments in rhythm to the music. Chou kakkoii yo!!!
I remember there was this little thing that Takki did during this sequence. I'm not sure if it's part of the actual sequence but it didn't really seem like it? Takki would sometimes twirl the drum stick while holding it in his hand, usually his right hand. Although it was just a small action, I thought it looked quite cool and it kinda added in Takki's own style & flavour into the sequence.
And then, the 3 sides of the structure were wheeled away, revealing a pretty tall drum behind. Then, Takki simply hopped onto the drum and started jumping to beat the drum. The drum was almost the same height as Takki but he managed to hop onto it so effortlessly! Sugoi!!
Near the end of this sequence, Takki had to jump and turn circles at the same time. He turned 2 circles from his left and 2 circles on his right. (I can't remember whether right or left was first. But I was quite worried during this part. What if Takki got dizzy or lost his footing while jumping and turning at the same time and slip and fall or something?? That would be really terrible!!
Unfortunately, in the official pic above, I think the ribbon didn't manage to hold Takki's sleeves properly so can't see his biceps.
But Takki is smiling so cutely in the pic!! Kawaii!!!
Takizawa Commander and the White Tiger Unit
Then, our little drummer boy jumped off the big drum and exited off the main stage on the left. Many juniors and female dancers came on stage. There were many people on stage during this change of scene. (Takki’s exit here was the slowest and most calmed among all his exits in Enbujo. I remember Takki didn’t really sprint for this exit and there was once when he actually walked? There was also once when there was a really chibi junior rushing out from the side onto the main stage and he ran into the way of Takki’s. But Takki simply waited patiently for the junior to run off before exiting. This only delayed Takki’s exit by about 1 or 2 seconds, so you can imagine how rushed all the other Takki’s exits during Enbujo were.)
Anyway, the juniors started singing and dancing to a traditional song. (Eto, I have no idea what the title of the song is. Sorry! >.<)
Everyone was living peacefully and happily in the countryside. Then suddenly, a group of enemies attacked them. Everyone started fleeing. A few juniors dressed in white remained (including Yabu and Hikaru) and tried to protect the female and the young. These brave and young samurais were the Byakkotai.The Byakkotai (Unit of the White Tiger) went to Iimoriyama, because they had lost in Tonokuchihara, and wanted to prepare for the next war. But on August 23 1868, they saw smoke in the distance and mistakenly identified it as a fire destroying Tsurugajou, their daimyo's castle. So all the young samurais committed harakiri (ritual suicide). However, Tsurugajou which they thought had burned, and for which they killed themselves, in fact had not burned. Eventually, the war was lost and the castle destroyed. However, there was one survivor on Iimoriyama and the daimyo himself lived well into old age.
Then, Takki entered from the left (I think). He was the commander of the byakkotai. He shouted to them to fight and protect those that they love. Commander Takizawa and the Byakkotai started fighting the enemies. The enemies were all defeated leaving the leader of the enemies, who was Okura (with a purple hair wig).
Everyone surrounded the Okura and was going to kill him when Takki stopped them. Suddenly, gunshots rang out and Takki was shot! The enemy reinforcements entered from the hanamichi and shot at Takki to save their leader. (Another ingenious idea of making full use of the back screen was shown here. Before the gunshots, the audience could actually “see” the enemy reinforcements arriving from the huge back screen on the main stage. But because Commander Takizawa and the Byakkotai were back-facing the screen, they did not know and thus were ambushed.)
Then, the enemies started closing in. They also took the Byakkotai’s flag which signified that the Byakkotai had lost. A burning Tsurugajo Castle rose from below the stage.
(Editted on 17th May 2006 @ 1PM)
Many thanks to Snuffles's friend who helped us get tickets to all 3 shows and even treated us to such a great dinner!!! Book-san, hontou ni arigatou gozaimashita!
Event: Takizawa Enbujo
Venue: Shinbashi Theatre @ Tokyo (Full Capacity @ 1,428 seats)
Dates: March 2006 to 25th April 2006
Duration: Part 1 @ 1hr 15mins, Interval @ 35mins, Part 2 @ 1hr 25mins
Shows Attended: 060414, 060416, 060417
Takki's Castle!! (Back & Front View) Shinbashi Theatre
is not a very big theatre. You can get a pretty good view of Takki and the main stage from most of the seats. But when we were seated on the 2nd floor, we had to keep leaning forward in our seats to get a better view of the hanamichi.
There is a snack bar and souvenir shop on the 1st floor and a small restuarant and another souvenir shop on the 2nd floor. The snack bar, souvenir shop and restuarant were selling everything relating to Takki that they possibly could ie. Top Stage magazine and kabuki magazine that Takki was on the cover of, Takki bento/ramen sets and Meiji's Amino Collagen too!!
Meiji Amino Collagen
There were also mini cakes with Takki's different characters' faces in Enbujo selling as omiyagae!!!
The souvenir shop was even selling the Venus single and K8's FTO album too!! I think the restaurant was the one selling the most expensive bento set of 3,500yen. But I think you have to pre-order it before the show started.
3,500 yen bento set
You can also eat this bento set at your seat if you are sitting at the really expensive seats at the left and right side of the theatre. You will have your own individual table with tea served in proper cups too! We each bought the cheapest bento set that we could find. Oishiikatta yo!!!
We were all busy snapping photos of the bento set before we started eating.
Taki Komi Gohan Bento Set @ 1,500yen
Inside the train station, near the exit and also on both the 1st and 2nd floors outside the theatre hall, the official Enbujo promotional poster was put up. Everyone was using their kettai and digicams snapping away furiously.
Enbujo Promotional Poster
Well, it's obvious why everyone was trying to take a picture of the promotional poster. There was kakkoii Takki in a suit standing on the left and Takki as Sagimusume on the right. You can really see that lots of attention was spent on the make up and hair in order to bring out all the feminine features a female should have. Takki really looks like a female in the pic! If no one pointed out that the picture was of Takki, he can easily pass off as a geniune female Extra Notes: Hanamichi
- This is a long walkway running from the back of the auditorium to stage right (audience left). It literally means "flower way" and is one of the main acting areas in conjunction with the stage itself. The name is thought to derive from gifts of money, or hana, given by fans or sponsors on this walkway to the actors of their choice.
Shinbashi Theatre's hanamichi (trapdoor is the pink square)
Many entrances were done along the hanamichi. The audience seated near the hanamichi are really extremely lucky!! They could really see Takki's facial expressions sooo clearly!! The trapdoor located along the hanamichi was used as an entrance many times too. Mawari Butai
- This is the revolving stage which allows scenes to be changed rapidly without a break in the action, as characters 'walk' to the next set which appears around from the back of the previous decor.
Many times, the mawari butai would make a 180 degrees turn and the new set would rise from below while the old set would lower itself and disappear. The stage set-up was really amazing. We were wondering how much space there was underneath the stage as many of the sets were actually hidden underneath the stage, like the burning Tsurugajou and Yoshitsune's burning shelter. Bukkaeri & Hikinuki
- These are techniques used for quick costume changes.
, the upper half inside part of the costume is pulled down by a stage assistant to cover the lower half outside part. So, the design will match the new upper half costume's design revealed by the change.
, the actor wears 2 costumes, with the outer one being kept in place with some threads hiding the inner one. At the right time, the stage assistants will help to pull the threads and completely pull away the outer costume to reveal the inner one.
The above screencaps were taken from a old junior performance clip from MS I believe. Takki is the one performing and both Tsubasa and Matsujun were the ones helping Takki with his costume. Early training from young for Enbujo ne?
Takki used both "bukkaeri" and "hikinuki" numerous times throughout Enbujo. Either the female dancers or jrs will help Takki with these quick costume changes on stage. Reports said that there were supposedly 37 costume changes in total Act 1: JaPaniizu HiStory
- 春の踊り (Dance of Spring)
- 少年忠臣蔵 四十七士 (Young Chushingura and 47 Samurais)
- 山寺の和尚さん (Yamadera no Osyousan = Monk of the Mountain)
- 滝沢隊長と白虎隊 (Takizawa Commander and the White Tiger Unit)
- 滝の白糸 (White Threads of the Waterfall)
- 男の花道 (Man's Flower Path)
- 七変化 (Seven Changes)
- 五条大橋 (Gojou-Oohashi Bridge) Act 2: 義経 Yoshitsune Act 3: Tackey's World
Act 1 was Part 1 while Part 2 included both Act 2 and Act 3. However, the actual performance did not follow in sequence as written above in the pamphlet.