With masks and social distancing Tokyo's kabuki theatre reopens
November 23, 2020

With masks and social distancing Tokyo’s kabuki theatre reopens

TOKYO (JAPAN) – Performances at Tokyo’s traditional kabuki theatre resumed on Saturday after a five-month hiatus because of the coronavirus outbreak. While musicians wore face masks, the actors on stage maintained a distance and only half the seats were occupied.

The re-opening of Kabukiza Theatre comes even as the number of new infections is surging to record highs in the country.

“We’re re-opening based on guidelines from infectious disease experts, paying attention to audience safety from the time they enter until the time they leave,” Kabukiza manager Yoshitaka Hashimoto said.

The number of musicians onstage is limited and they sport black cloth masks from nose to chest. The stage assistants dressed in black approach the performers wearing face masks and face shields.

The performers stand further apart from each other than the normal distance while the actors and staff are changed for each act to minimise contact.

Viewers have to wear masks and there are temperature checks at the entrance. Seats are cordoned off and less than half are available. After each act the hall is sterilised.

Enjoying packed food between acts has been a long-cherished custom, but it is no longer allowed.

The capital city on Friday confirmed a record 463 cases, forcing Governor Yuriko Koike to warn of a state of emergency if things deteriorate further.

Clad in a green kimono, Tokyo resident and kabuki enthusiast Chiaki Sakurai, 46, who used to watch performances twice or thrice a month, said she was grateful and excited that it has restarted.

“To say nothing good has happened the last five months may be an exaggeration, but I feel as if I’ve finally come back to life,” she added.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field

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