Sunday, October 24, 2010

ooshika kabuki : 大鹿村歌舞伎

while we were all up to our necks in the kotatsu watching some "variety" (game show) program on tv, otoosan suddenly perked up and said that we all had to be awake and ready to leave the house at 8am in the morning. wtf!

turns out he wanted to take me to see a traditional kabuki show some nearly 200 kilometers away in a tiny village called ooshika (大鹿村).
on hearing this i was both excited and slightly worried as it bought back memories from the last time i went to watch a kabuki show in kyoto many years ago. although a privileged experience it was also a painful one as it lasted for like six hours or so. pretty tough to sit through when you can't even understand the story line.

anyway, come the next morning and the car was packed and ready to go at 9am; 1 hour late. after we got off the express way the narrow road to ooshika village was enough to make anyone car-sick. it wound round and round the southern alps with barely enough room to let another car pass. must admit the scenery was pretty stunning and i wish i could have taken a few photos.

ooshika village has a population of only 1400 people and i guess it swelled to around 1600 for this rural event. we made it just in time to see the opening at noon.
just in case you don't know; kabuki (歌舞伎) is a traditional "play" in which all the performers are male; even those acting out the female roles. some of the guys looked really famine; they could have fooled me if they wanted to.
i stood and watched and tried to understand the story line for about an hour while the others went off in search of some lunch.

after two hours i had had enough and lucky for me little kou-chan was feeling the cold so we decided to call it quits.
amazing setting for a kabuki show though.

we went for a bit of a ticky-tour on the way home stopping off at some antique shops where i picked up some cool glass jars, small plates and a silver tray for next to nothing.
we ended our day with a nice long soak in a hot spring (onsen : 温泉) which surprisingly kou-chan absolutely loves.
he's been about 10 times since we've been back to japan!


Sun said...

it might killed me to watch it for 6 hours and not understand what they try to say, haha. I prefer to walk around the village though :-p looks nice and refreshing, but i like the fact, it's an outdoor stage, with lot of pines behind?

Hopefully Kou-chan will be ok :-(

pascale said...

Your otousan is trying to give you a good time! :)
That is so nice of him.

So Kou-chan loved onsen! I've never seen a baby or toddler who doesn't like onsen. Must be the warm water around them reminding them of mommy's tummy when they were in there. hehe (again giving credit to myself)

Today's a good day to go to onsen... wish there was one that I can go in 5 mins or something :p

Life for Beginners said...

I'd love to watch a kabuki performance (and at such a rustic locale at that) but I guess a long soak at an onsen afterwards would be a great reward for not understanding the storyline. :)

world of sekimachihato said...

* Sun
yeah, like you i enjoy walking around the village; not much to see in this one but it's still cool to see the slow pace of this small village

world of sekimachihato said...

* pascale
i think all babies must like onsen, just gotta make sure you don't go to a real hot one or one that's too strong (the minerals).

also have to be careful that the baby doesn't poo or wee in the bath. thank god kou-chan hasn't done that yet at an onsen or at home.

living in tokyo makes it a bit hard to get to an onsen...
i heard there is a nice one in odaiba, but that's still quite far away.
we're lucky that there are so many onsen around here.

world of sekimachihato said...

* Life for Beginners
"rustic"!! that's the word i was looking for!!
although i still don't really enjoy getting eyed-up at onsens (being "different" and all) i love having a long soak especially in the outdoor hot springs during winter.
wish i could take some photos to show you; but i think the other guys may give me some strange looks if i went in with a camera and a zoom lens *wink wink*

Mary said...

sounds like a superb weekend!
i love for tiki touring in new places :)

Life for Beginners said...

Haha, no worries. Thanks for the kindly thoughts. I've been to onsens before, only at Hakone though. And that during spring. I'm sure it's an entirely new experience during winter. :)

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