Then we took the train back to Tokyo. We wanted to go see kabuki, so we headed off to the Ginza, where the theater is located. It was sold out for the afternoon act, so we wandered around until the next act started: kabuki performances usually last almost all day, so one-act tickets are offered, with limited seating, for those who want to, as it were, sample kabuki.
This is the Kabuki-za, the rather baroque kabuki theatre...magnificent. And kabuki itself? Words can't describe it, really...we didn't purchase the English translation (via headsets)--we wanted to just absorb the sensory experience--but we got the gist of what we were seeing. (Did you know that women are not allowed to perform kabuki, even though women originated the art form and played both male and female roles? Apparently these performers attracted too much [or the wrong kind of] male attention, and around 1629 women were banned from kabuki. Today all of the female parts are played by boys and men.)
It was remarkable, amazing, beautiful, strange--and truly unforgettable. I'm so glad we got a chance to experience it.