Online streaming of videos of kabuki plays, including an adaptation of a manga and an animated film by Oscar-winning Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, began at the end of August amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Shochiku Co., the operator of the Kabukiza Theatre and producer of kabuki performances, is offering the works for a fee on its official site Kabukibito. It is the first time it has made Kabuki performances available for paid online viewing, according to the company.

Since March, live performances of the traditional Japanese drama with an audience have been suspended across Japan as part of efforts to stop the spread of the virus, including those at the theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

The company said it made the decision to stream the performances after getting many requests from fans across the country who said they wanted to seek kabuki.

Shochiku has teamed up with a video streaming service company for the paid service “Kabuki on demand” within its Kabukibito site.

Content available for streaming includes a four-part play that was performed in the theater in August for ¥3,300 per part and is available until Sept. 8. A two-part episode of the kabuki adaptation of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind can be viewed for ¥2,500 per part until Sept. 25.

The 1984 film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is one of Miyazaki’s well-known works.

Shochiku also plans to make available famous plays from the past for a fee between September and December.


This article originally appeared in The Japan Times on August 26, 2020, and has been reposted with permission. To read the original article, click here.


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