Za Kabuki, ANU
Za Kabuki, founded in 1976 at the Australian National University, is the longest running Kabuki troupe outside of Japan. Directed by Mr. Shun Ikeda of the ANU Japan Centre, with a cast and crew consisting mainly of ANU students of various nationalities, the troupe performs traditional Kabuki plays almost entirely in Japanese, with some English translations and ad-libs inserted to English-speaking audience who have little or no knowledge of the Japanese language.
The three core aims and objectives of the ANU Za Kabuki are:
- To enrich the cultural experience of our members
- To share out knowledge with the ANU and wider Canberra community;
- To have fun!
In the interests of cultural exchange, the original Japanese text is interspersed with English, making the performances vibrant and fun, inspiring lively humour with an Australian twist. In keeping with the Japanese tradition of onnagata, female roles are taken on by male cast members... but in the interests of fairness, the male roles are subsequently played by female cast members. ANU Za Kabuki is composed of university students who are studying Japanese Language and Culture, Japanese exchange, and international students. And throughout the practice, students are able to improve their Japanese and enrich their cultural knowledge and experience, working with native Japanese speakers to produce a spectacular show.
We have been continuously performing at the Japanese Evening annually with a few high schools where students perform the traditional art of humourous story-telling called Rakugo. It is in our interest to continue the tradition of this culturally-enriched event to connect with the community without limiting ourselves to just the Japanese communities of Canberra.
We hope that our various audience members from diverse communities enjoy our performance that is rich in both Japanese and Australian flavours!