These pages are dedicated to all international fans of the Takarazuka Revue and their Japanese supporters. These pages were also created to facilitate English-language research on The Takarazuka Revue Company. Thank you kindly for your visit today.

TAKARAZUKA REVUE COMPANY (Takarazuka Kagekidan) motto: "Modesty, Fairness, and Grace"
(Hankyu Corp. brochure translation of the phrase "Kiyoku, Tadashiku, Utsukushiku." Another translation is "Pure, Righteous, and Beautiful." The literal translation of takarazuka is "treasure mound.")

heart Did you know...?
…there are five troupes (kumi; class, group, troupe, etc.),
plus an elite senka (special course) group?
Takarazuka Revue Flower Troupe logo Flower Troupe (Hana-Gumi, est. 1921)
Takarazuka Revue Moon Troupe logo Moon Troupe (Tsuki-Gumi, est. 1921)
Takarazuka Revue Snow Troupe logo Snow Troupe (Yuki-Gumi, est. 1924)
Takarazuka Revue Star Troupe logo Star Troupe (Hoshi-Gumi, est. 1933)
Takarazuka Revue Cosmos Troupe logo Cosmos Troupe (Sora-Gumi, est. 1998)

...that "Takarasienne" was fashioned from "Parisienne"?
...there is a highly competitive Takarazuka Music and Opera School (Takarazuka Ongaku Kageki Gakkō, est. Jan. 1919) to train future performers?
...that Takarazuka's first performance was in April 1914, but its first revue (Mon Paris) wasn't until 1927?
...their first overseas performance was in 1938?
...they did Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind in 1977? (Again in 2002 [Hankyu Annual Report 2003, p. 32].)

(main source: "The Takarazuka Revue Company Guide" brochure, © Hankyu Corporation)

heart Your first Takarazuka Revue experience will be more enjoyable...

...if you gather as much information from a variety of sources before you go. Things change.

...if you bring opera glasses or rent them at the theater. (I disregarded this advice my first time and regretted it. In 2006, the cost was 1,000 yen deposit plus 500 yen rental fee. The deposit is returned to you when the opera glasses are returned.)

...if you buy the souvenir program booklet to remember the performers and fantastic costumes and sets. The souvenir program used to have a play synopsis in English that was far more detailed than the free program flyer, but I noticed the two souvenir programs I bought in 2006 didn't have translations. Print out a translation from the official Web site. There is no English audio translation available like there is at the Kabuki-za Theater (Tokyo) or the National Bunraku Theatre (Osaka).

Kabuki-za Theater flyer      National Bunraku Theater flyer
flyers, audio translation guides, ticket, and ticket holder (2004)
from the Kabuki-za Theater and National Bunraku Theatre

...(for Tokyo) if you also visit the Kabuki-za Theater. It was sometimes possible to buy a tachimi in the morning, walk a few blocks to watch part of a Kabuki program (the makumi ticket) at 11:00 a.m., then walk back for a Takarazuka Revue show at 3:30 p.m.

...(for city of Takarazuka) if you also visit the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum, which is a 5-minute walk from the Grand Theater. I would allow two hours for an unhurried museum visit.

...if you decide beforehand whether to buy a regular ticket — or a cheaper tachimi (standing room-only) ticket. In 2003-2004 in Tokyo, I paid 8,000 yen (about 80 U.S. dollars for "S"-section) my first time, and only 1,500* yen (15 dollars) for tachimi for each performance after that. (*In the city of Takarazuka, I paid 2,500 yen.) In Tokyo, tachimi tickets become available when a non-matinee performance is sold out and can only be purchased the day of the sold-out performance in person, which usually meant a 2-1/2 hour wait in line (with no guarantee of getting a ticket) before the box office opened. You can only buy a tachimi for yourself and no one else. Also, are you physically fit enough to stand for 3 hours?

The Rose of Versailles ticket
my tachimi ticket for Star Troupe's Berusaiyu no Bara (The Rose of Versailles), 2006

At the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater, the system for the tachimi tickets is much better than at the Takarazuka Grand Theater. Your ticket has a number that matches one on the handrail, so you have a RESERVED space (49 spaces available). At the Grand Theater, you could end up BEHIND someone else because it is first come-first served along the rail (very frustrating); however, the two times I bought tachimi at the Grand Theater all I had to do was walk up to the ticket counter and ask for it.

Another difference: In Tokyo the audiences heavily favored women, but I found the audiences at the Takarazuka Grand Theater to be more mixed and I saw more families. Attendance at both theaters is about the same, with slightly more visitors going to the Grand Theater (Hankyu Annual Report 2004, p. 25).

heart Card Gifts

Below, the phone card and train fare card were gifts from a friendly elderly woman I ran into several times during 2003-2004 while waiting in line for a tachimi (standing room-only) ticket at the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater. One time she surprised me by writing "Forever Takarazuka" in English on the back of a postcard.

Romance de Paris phone card
Romance de Paris telephone card,
Snow Troupe, 2003

Tokyo Takarazuka Theater train fare card
Tokyo Takarazuka Theater
train fare card

Forever Takarazuka postcard
"Forever Takarazuka"

Takarazuka Revue ticket holder
ticket holder, 2004, Takarazuka Grand Theater

Tokyo Takarazuka ticket holder
ticket holder, 2003, Tokyo Takarazuka Theater

Takarazuka Review Spring 2004 guide
Takarazuka Revue Spring 2004 guide
with Snow Troupe's stars for Susano-o
Links checked: 29 July 2009

heart Official Sites
Takarazuka Revue official website. History and current show information.
Quatre Reves Online. Takarazuka Revue official merchandise. (DVDs, CDs, books, photos, and other collectibles.)
Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc. (formerly Hankyu Corp. [est. 1907]; owns Takarazuka Revue). Annual reports.
Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. (Info paragraph on Takarazuka Revue.)
Kansai Digital Archives: Takarazuka Revue.

heart Fan Sites
Revue Sphere - Takarazuka. Stephanie M. Taylor's fan site. (Set computer to block pop-ups).
Shojo Kageki (Girls' Dance Troupe). Kadorienne's fan site for Takarazuka and similar groups.
Takarazuka Revue Community. Fan postings.
Takarazuka Revue Spectacular! David and Kimberly J. Ramsay's fan site.
Welcome to TakaWiki. A community-maintained information database.

heart Books
Gender Gymnastics: Performing and Consuming Japan's Takarazuka Revue by Leonie R. Stickland. Melbourne, Australia: Trans Pacific Press, 2008.
Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan by Jennifer Robertson. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998, third printing with corrections 2001. Associated working paper #181, "Butch and Femme On and Off the Takarazuka Stage: Gender, Sexuality, and Social Organization in Japan," by Jennifer Robertson, University of California, San Diego, March 1989. HQ 75.6 J3 R62 1989.

heart My Articles
"Welcome to Romance Theatre," by Kat Avila, Jade, March 2004. (Correction: The Takarazuka Revue—first as the Takarazuka Choir (Takarazuka Shōkatai), then Takarazuka Girls' Opera Training Association (Takarazuka Shōjo Kageki Yōseikai)—was founded in 1913, not 1914 as my article states. The first performance was in 1914.)
"My Travelogue Manga of Japan (Sans Drawings)," by Kat Avila, Sequential Tart, May 2006. (The Takarazuka Revue was one of my stops. See March 26th entry.)

heart Articles in General
"90 Magical Years of Takarazuka: All-Female Revue Celebrates Anniversary." Trends in Japan, March 17, 2004.
"Crept into Her Soul: Analysis of the Kabuki and Takarazuka Theaters" by Bea Arendt Schattschneider. (link no longer exists)
"The feminine 'kabuki' alternative." AFP Tokyo, Taipei Times, June 11, 2006.
"Girl power: Japan's sensational showgirls: 'Takaraziennes' exchange disciplined lives for glamour, stardom," by Dennis Cavagnaro. Special to Stars and Stripes (a U.S. military newspaper), May 8, 2005.
"Influence on Shoujo and Bishounen Characters" (in anime and manga) by Michelle Rogers.
"Japan's Takarazuka Theater makes women, and men, of talented girls" by Ronald E. Yates., first pub. Chicago Tribune, June 10, 1990.
"Kansai Time Out — September 1999." Hankyu Corp. celebrates 2 anniversaries (Takarazuka Revue's 85th). (link no longer exists)
"Review/Dance; From Japan, Scaling Down the Grand" (22-woman group) by Anna Kiselgoff. New York Times, November 6, 1992. (must login)
"Review/Theater; Japan's Answer to the Ziegfeld Follies" by Stephen Holden. New York Times, October 27, 1989. (must login)
"Rose Of Versailles Revival." Anime News Network, November 2, 2005.
"Takarazuka." Japan Zone, 2001(?).
"Takarazuka Revue." Wikipedia entry.
"Takarazuka - Tinseltown" by Mary King. Metropolis, 2001(?).
"Viewing notes for Dream Girls" (1994 film). Prepared by William Kelly for ANTHRO 254, Yale University.

heart Related Info
• 2007. "Exhibition: The Takarazuka, the Eternal Rondo" (featured Tezuka's Princess Knight, Riyoko Ikeda's The Rose of Versailles), Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum, March 1-July 10, 2007. (must login)
• 2006. Takarazuka Revue's performances of The Rose of Versailles — adapted from Riyoko Ikeda's popular 1972-1974 manga series Berusaiyu no Bara (BeruBara) — pushed cumulative total audience to over 4 million (Hankyu Annual Report [HAR] 2006, p. 30). (Previous BeruBara performances in 1974-1976, 1989-1991 [source: Jennifer Robertson's book Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan], 2001.) In 2002, the theatre was attracting over 2 million visitors a year (HAR 2002).
• 2006. "Hankyu opposed to listing of Takarazuka Revue [on stock exchange]," Asian Economic News, January 17, 2006.
• November 2005. "Takarazuka Revue Friendship Performance in Korea," for 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Japan. (HAR 2006, pp. 8, 30)
• 2004. Takarazuka Revue 90th anniversary logo 90th anniversary of the Takarazuka Revue.
• 2004. "Takarazuka: The Land of Dreams - Artists fascinated by Takarazuka and its era" exhibition, Suntory Museum TEMPOZAN, April 17-June 20, 2004. (news release)
• 2003. Takarazuka Revue performed in three cities in China — Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou — for 30th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. (HAR 2003, p. 23; Asian Economic News, Sep. 16, 2002)
• 2002. Corporate goals: "1) Creation of high quality contents (Takarazuka Revue, etc.) capable of presentation via a variety of media, 2) Expansion of content genres, 3) Distribution of new contents via new media (satellite broadcasting, etc.)" (HAR 2002).
• Takarazuka Revue is referred to as the Takarazuka Girls' Opera (Takarazuka Shōjo Kagekidan) in Your Guide to Japan, Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), November 1976 (though the official theatre Web site says the name changed to The Takarazuka Revue Company in 1940). Other names include Takarazuka Choir (Takarazuka Shōkatai, used in mid-1913), Takarazuka Chorus, Takarazuka Girls' Opera Training Association, Takarazuka Girls' Theater, and Takarazuka Young Women's Musical Theater Company (some historical, others different translations). The JNTO pamphlet also mentions former Takarazuka rival the all-female Shochiku Revue (Shochiku Kagekidan, est. 1928); that revue closed in 1982 (Benito Ortolani, The Japanese Theatre [Brill, 1990]).
Takarazuka Grand Theater & Bow Hall
1-1-57 Sakaemachi, Takarazuka, Hyogo 665-8558, JAPAN (5-10 min. walk from JR Takarazuka Station)
3,000-seat GT built in 1924, reopened in 1994. Bow Hall is reserved for top star recitals and junior member performances.
Photos copyright © 2004, 2006 Kat Avila
Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle
The city of Takarazuka is only a
train ride away from Osaka.
Phoenix monument
Hi no Tori (Phoenix)
The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum
is a 5-min. walk from the theater.
Takarazuka statue
looking toward theater from
Hana no Michi (Flower Avenue)
Takarazuka statue
close-up of same statue
Takarazuka statues
Oscar & André
The Rose of Versailles
(April 2, 2004)
Takarazuka statues
Oscar & André
The Rose of Versailles
(April 2, 2004)
Oscar and Andre      Takarazuka statues
Oscar & André, The Rose of Versailles
In 2006, I was too early for the cherry blossoms.
(March 31, 2006)
Takarazuka statues
Hana no Michi (Flower Avenue)
(April 2, 2004)
Takarazuka statues
(March 31, 2006)
sidewalk tile
sidewalk tile
Grand Theater main entrance
main entrance
Grand Theater main entrance
main entrance
looking toward Bow Hall
looking toward Bow Hall
Takarazuka post office
post office
theater mall shops
It says "PARADISE" above the pillars.
Takarazuka info booth
information booth
looking toward the Grand Theater
Takarazuka Sky Stage
Takarazuka Sky Stage* billboard
*Digital satellite broadcasting
est. July 1, 2002. (HAR 2003, p. 32)
Quatre Reves store
Quatre Reves
official merchandise store
piano in lobby
left side of lobby
Grand Theater lobby
looking toward right
side of lobby
lobby exit to mall
lobby exit to the mall
Premiere Day (April 2, 2004)
This day was the premiere of Snow Troupe's drama Susano-o and the Takarazuka Glory! grand revue celebrating the theatre's 90th anniversary. The revue included the debut of the 50-member 90th graduation class of the Takarazuka Music School. I was told by a fan that all five of the Takarazuka Revue troupes were in the area.
front of Takarazuka Grand Theater      front of Takarazuka Grand Theater
Takarazuka Grand Theater & Bow Hall, main entrance

There is a line of uniformed women standing in front, perhaps greeters
for the premiere. The trees in front of the theater were bare, but the
cherry trees along Hana no Michi (Flower Avenue) were in full bloom.
Takarazuka performers      Takarazuka performers      Takarazuka performers
Formally attired performers arriving for the premiere
through a side entrance. That does not include the
schoolchildren who were just walking by the theater.
Tokyo Takarazuka Theater
1-1-3 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0006, JAPAN (5-10 min. walk from JR Yurakucho Station)
First performance in 1934. Reopened January 1, 2001. Seats 2,069 (plus 49 tachimi). Stage diameter 15 meters.
Photos copyright © 2004, 2006 Kat Avila
Imperial Palace in Tokyo
Imperial Palace
I've walked from here to the theater,
but it's a long walk!
street corner statue
street corner statue
street corner statue
street corner statue
The Seal of Roses poster
The Seal of Roses:
A Vampire's Requiem,

Moon Troupe, 2004
90th anniversary in 2004
90th anniversary in 2004
A lead otokoyaku (plays male roles)
greets seated fans and picks up mail.
Behind her, the man with the face
mask has a cold and doesn't want to
pass it on, a common sight in Asia.
Takarazuka fans
Fans awaiting arrival of
performers in front of the
Tokyo Takarazuka Theater.
The front theater entrance for
performers is just to the left.
Takarazuka fan clubs
Fan club tables in front of the
Tokyo Takarazuka Theater.
Quatre Reves store
Quatre Reves
official merchandise store
Tokyo Takarazuka lobby
lobby stairway on ground floor
Tokyo Takarazuka lobby
lobby stairway on ground floor
Tokyo Takarazuka lobby
Berusaiyu no Bara
(The Rose of Versailles)
(Fersen & Marie-Antoinette version),
Star Troupe, 2006
La Rose de Versailles manga
Riyoko Ikeda's Berusaiyu no Bara/
La Rose de Versailles
at a bookstore in Shinjuku.
La Rose de Versailles manga
Berusaiyu no Bara
manga (graphic novels) display
La Rose de Versailles manga
The manga display has a tie-in with the Takarazuka Revue.
Snow Troupe's Oscar stars are shown on the covers.
(The Oscar version was scheduled after Star Troupe's
Fersen & Marie-Antoinette version.)