Great musicals and stars produced over the ages
Takarazuka Revue has offered numerous plays, such as The Rose of Versailles, Gone with the Wind, and Love Blooms Out on the Murasakino. The company started as the Takarazuka Shokatai in 1914.
The girls’ choir made a debut as a feature at the Takarazuka Shin Onsen amusement park. In 1919, Takarazuka Musical School was established. The Takarazuka Girls Review was set up based on the school. The girls-only troupe became very popular as the Taisho democracy bloomed.
In 1927, the troupe was Japan’s first company that introduced the revue system that was popular in Europe at that time, to perform ”Mon Paris”. They played an important role in show business in Japan.
However, that was also the time when World War II was approaching. The Takarazuka Revue had to accept the trends of the times. The use of foreign language was forbidden in their performance, and they were forced to make programs militaristic. In 1943 as the war intensified, they held the final event because military forces requisitioned the theater hall. On the day of the final performance, many fans formed a long line from the theater to the Takarazuka Station.
Takarazuka Revue restarted after the war, and produced stars such as Fubuki Koshiji, Kaoru Yachigusa, Yukiji Asaoka, and Hanayo Sumi. They had their prime in the 1970s when The Rose of Versailles was performed. There was an unprecedented boom: the annual number of audiences exceeded 1,400,000. Gone with the Wind and Love Blooms Out on the Murasakino were also very successful. The company proactively gave performances overseas as well.
They had to suspend business yet again after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. Two months later, they restarted their performances. They produced the masterpiece Elisabeth – Rondo of Love and Death in 1996.
Takarazuka Revue celebrated the 100th anniversary of its foundation in 2014. Today, after a show, there are lines of fans waiting for the stars to come out of the theater. Keep an eye out for the next generation of stars produced by Takarazuka Revue.