Guests' comment 2018
Mardine (New York, USA)
Saw Matinee 23rd November at the Kabuki-za theatre (Regular tour)
Kazui, many, many thanks for an unforgettable Kabuki theatre experience. I'm an avid theater goer. Will have to add Kabuki as one of my theatrical interests. All of the information and background you presented really broadened my knowledge and appreciation for Kabuki.
Anna (Sakhaline, Russia)
Saw Matinee 15th July show at the Kabuki-za theatre (Regular tour)
Thank you very much for such a wonderful experience of watching Kabuki. It was a graet performance and we liked it very much. I knew that Kabuki is a very unique Japanese style of theater and I thought that it would be amazing to watch it, but I did not expect that I would like it as much as I did! When I wrote to you to ask for the help with the tickets, I thought I would visit a Kabuki performance just one time in my life. Howeherver today I realized that I definitely want to repeat this experience during my next trips to Japan.
We enjoyed the style of Kabuki, I now see the clear difference from the Noh theater. Kabuki is indeed very easy to enjoy and understand (thanks to the very clear English subtitles). I think that all emotions of the characters are so common for all people, regardless of their nationality.
We enjoyed watchin the horse (it was so natural, when it was moving its head!), the water falling to the stage (I have never imagine that this can be done in a theater), and the scene when the wife was beating the plates to show her feeling to her husband, and how her husband reacted.
We think that Ichikawa Ebizo's performance was excellent, we like very much the performance of his cute son, he is so lovely! We feel sorry for their family tragedy of losing the wife and mother, and we hope that they find the strength to accept what had happened and continue living.
Thank you for your help and your lecture. We are so pleased that you explained to us these details about Kabuki actors, performances, and how to enjoy Kabuki most (obento and taiyaki).
I would also like to say that the Kabuki-za theater is very beautiful and it is very relaxing to be there.
Again, thank you very much for this marvelous experience and I hope to see you again.
Tina (Oregon, USA)
Saw Matinee 26th June show at the Kabuki-za theatre (Premium tour)
I want you to know just how much we enjoyed the performance as well as your tour. It was such a pleasure to meet you and your lecture really helped us better understand the beautiful art of Kabuki on a deeper level than we otherwise would have been able to understand. Thank you for the pictures as well - they are great!
Judith and Peter (Geelong, Austraria)
Saw Matinee 17th June show at the Kabuki-za theatre (Premium tour)
We absolutely loved the performance and the whole experience, it was such a fantastic and memorable day. Your information added so much to our understanding and enjoyment of kabuki. We would have been truly lost without your help. The seating was excellent as was bento lunch. Thanks once again for all of your help. We think of you as a dear friend.
Ann (New York, USA)
Saw the evening 12th April show at the Kabuki-za Theatre (Private tour)
The tour and the Kabuki performance was a highlight of our trip! Your talk helped us understand the structure and subtleties of Kabuki theatre. The seats were perfect. The actors were all so talented and the lead actor’s performance was incredible. He stands out as one of the most talented performers I have seen in any cultural genre (we frequently attend dance, opera and theatre in NYC). Thank you for your guidance.
Terry (Blookline, USA)
Saw the Matinee 18th March at the Kabuki-za Theatre (Premium tour)
Kabuki is a vague and exotic abstraction for many Westerners. For Kazui Yabe, Kabuki is a lifelong passion that began with her visits to the theater with her grandmother. Kazui loves to share this passion with visitors to Tokyo, and she spares no effort to explain the art and the particular performances to her clientele. Her English is superb, and she conveys as much preparatory "homework" to you before the performance as you have time and interest to absorb so you will get the most out of what you see and hear.
It is hard to score good tickets in a timely manner to a Kabuki performance. Once you set your date and your budget, Kazui will acquire for you and your party the absolutely best seats for the performance that match your budget (she has access to early ticket sales and competes only with the avid Kabuki fan clubs for scoring your prize seats).
Kazui helps in so many other little things that add up to complete the perfect Kabuki experience. She helps you with the "bento box" purchase for the intermission, she goes as far as you want in explaining the proud tradition and lineage of Kabuki families, and she offers as an "extra" a guided visit to the small but interesting hands-on museum in the Kabuki-za Theatre. She helps with precious little insider tips, e.g., "Be sure to run up during intermission to the third floor and buy the taiyaki pastries before they run out--they are the best!" She was right--our adult daughter (who is studying Japanese in Yokohama) bolted up to the third floor and triumphantly brought the delicious treats to our second floor box.
What more can I say? Perhaps that Kazui is a genuinely intelligent, warm, and responsive individual who delights in enhancing your Kabuki experience.
If you have a day in Tokyo and an interest in Kabuki--just do it. Kazui will not disappoint you!
Mark (California, USA)
Saw the evening 12nd June show at the Kabuki-za theatre (Private tour)
First of all, thank you fot the tour and for arranging for the tickets and the performance! As you know, both 11 year old girl and 8 year old boy decided they wanted to stay for 2 acts (I was not sure if they would want to leave after one act), so the whole night was a big success, starting with your tour and the tea!!! It was just the right amount of information and going to the gallery in Kabuki-za and getting all the tips from you was great! Thank you again for your help and guidance. It was absolutely great!
Your guide, Kazui's comment
Thank you for joining my tour. I am glad to know you enjoyed the 2 acts with your two children. Your idea, late meeting time and seeing the last two acts after per-performance lecture and Kabuki-za gallery, was good!
Sara and Ben (California, USA)
Saw Matinee 2nd June at the Kabuki-za theatre (Regular tour)
Thank you, Kazui! We absolutely loved the Kabuki and only wish we could have stayed longer. Your tour was very helpful and informative. It was a pleasure to meet you!
Anne (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Saw the evening 23rd May show at the Kabuki-za theatre (Regular tour)
Thank you so much for helping us with the Kabuki experience. We adored the performance and your introductionwas a big help. It was very moving and I actually cried a little bit. The actors were fantastic and I will try to go again next time I'm in Japan.
Demar (California, USA)
Attended Kaubki-za Gallery tour and saw the evening 3rd May show at the Kabuki-za theatre. (Premium tour).
I would like to thank you for everything you did to make our Kabuki-za theatre experience wonderful. We learned a great deal from you that helped us better appreciate the richness of the Kabuki-za performance. We thank you greatly. If any of my friends travel to Tokyo, I will recommend them take the tour with you.
Chuck (Oregon, USA)
Attended Kabuki-za Gallery tour and saw the evening 20th April show at the Kabuki-za theatre. (Premium tour)
You were great. We really enjoyed the theater due in large part to you imparting your understanding of how Kabuki works.
Janinka (Melbourne, Australia)
Attended Kabuki-za Gallery tour and saw the evening 9th April show at the Kabuki-za theatre. (Premium tour)
Kazui Thanks for providing the most informative introduction for my night at Kabuki. Your background information about the history of Kabuki, the types of roles and characters and looking at the Kabuki gallery, all enriched my understanding of what I was to experience that night. I appreciated your help in choosing refreshments and meals which were part of the night's traditions as well. Can I say that as a first time Kabuki visitor I was overwhelmed by how magnificient the production was and I felt so stunning and performances by actors, singers and musicians was just breathe taking. You have helped to create a new Kabuki fan!
Saw Matinee 27th March at the National Theatre. (Premium tour)
Attended Kabuki-za Gallery tour and saw the evening 7th April show at the Kabuki-za theatre. (Premium tour)
Kazui is the wizard of Kabuki. A long-time enthusiastic fan and aficionado, she knows this art form inside and out. Whether you already know about Kabuki (like I do) or if you are not absolute beginner, I highly recommend you spend a couple of hours with her to prepare you to understand this unusual and exciting performance art which combines music, dance and acting. Her lectures not only cover the history and conventions of Kabuki which are important to know to appreciate it, but she also provides photos and videos to see, and handouts which you can read and keep. Especially useful for me was the sheet lisiting all the key actors, listing their ages, family names, roles in the play, which scenes they appear in, and relationships to each other. I looked at it often during and even after the performance. She prepares this uniquely for each production. Included also are accompanied tours of the museums and information centres of, in my case, both the National Theatre and the Kabuki-za. You can go yourself alone, but her guidance makes it much more interesting and brings it alive. I ended up staying on my own afterwards and watching videos and browsing around to learn even more. Kabuki Theatre is a delightful experience you should not miss on your trip to Tokyo. Kazui will make the time meaningful and enjoyable for you.
Arne (London, UK)
Saw the evening 21st March show at the Kabuki-za theatre. (Regular tour)
I enjoyed all plays today especially becuase of your research information and fine lecture. The lion dance program was very special. I hope to see you again. I will recommend you highly.