My Takarazuka Page
...Now Approaching A Decade of Japanese Girls in Tuxes...
I first created this site nearly seven years ago, when I was still a fairly new fan. Since then, I and the troupes have gone through all sorts of changes, but my love still endures. This is the only hobby in my life that has had a hold on me for so long, and I think it's due to something special about the Revue that speaks to a place in me nothing else has.
Anyway, just so you know, over the last several years I've updated this site only intermittently, and mainly with new translations. Other stuff may be out of date by the time I put it up, much less when you're reading it. Such is life and the internet...So, what's Takarazuka? Cute jokes aside (they were here for years), and with a little wink for my husband, it would seem that Takarazuka is going to be the love of my life. As of this writing, I've been an active fan for nine years.
Takarazuka is a Japanese all female theater group. They perform musicals and all the male parts are played by women. (The female parts are too, by the way, and with an enhanced feminity that also requires years of special training.) That's the short answer; if you want the long answer check out the Takarazuka Wiki, which has made life way easier for fans the last few years. I wish I'd had such a great resource when I was starting out!
So why do you like it? Because it's so incredibly wonderful!! The singing! The dancing! The cross-dressing!
I've always liked musicals. My favorite movie is Oklahoma. (Yes, really!)
I also love Japanese... And when I first got interested in Takarazuka, while I was still in college, I was in a Low Japanese Self-Esteem period. The first part of third year Japanese was pure torture, and I often came home and cried. That term I watched my first DVD - a collection of songs from "Elisabeth" - almost every day (my husband took over a year to recover.) It helped me to remember that YES there are things in Japanese that still make me happy.
Over the years I've also found that there is something special about the theater itself, with it's layers and layers of tradition, the heartfelt melodrama of (most) of its plays, the almost-childlike joy of a sparkly revue, and it's ever-evolving cast of players. Takarazuka really is more than the sum of its parts, but instead holds a special magic for those who it touches in the right way.
Hey, what's up with those Otokoyaku?? (Otokoyaku is the term for the female performers who specialize in male roles). Yes, I like the cross-dressing aspect. From the beginning, it's been hard to articulate why I like it - I've given my reasons as:
- I like watching women get to behave in ways that I culturally would not be allowed to.
- It shows that "masculine" and "feminine" qualities aren't genetically based, but learned behavior.
- It shakes things up - how come we're okay with male-to-female crossdressers but not the other way around?
- For me, part of the fun is seeing how much of it is acting. The actress isn't convincing you that she's male, she's convincing you that she's a particular man - Romeo, Tony from West Side Story, whatever. It's about a character more than just gender.
I think those are all part of it, but not all of it. Frankly, at this point as a fan, it's not something I think about much anymore.
Why there are no images on this site (except my vintage gallery): Takarazuka does not permit its photos and images to be used on private fan sites. Although I disagree with this policy, out of respect for the company I have removed all images from my site. You can see pictures of stars and performances at Takarazuka's Official Homepage.
Note: The original Japanese texts used on this site are property of the Takarazuka Revue and Hankyu Corporation. They are used without permission, with the intent of publicizing the revue to a larger audience.
The translations on this site were done by me. I reserve all applicable copyright on them and DO NOT give permission for them to be redistributed, published, used as fansub scripts, etc.
I also reserve copyright on my writings and rantings. Do not quote me or use me in your article, paper, thesis, or whatever without my permission.