Revival of Musical Masterpiece “OKUNI”
- “EXPO 2005 Aichi” Exclusive Special Live Version in the Works -



Project Profile

“OKUNI” is a stage production that has earned stellar reviews as a masterpiece “made-in-Japan musical” ever since its debut in 1990 (with follow-up runs in 1992, 1993, 1995 and 2003).

The special version of this musical to be presented at “EXPO 2005 Aichi” will be entitled “LIVE! OKUNI.” While remaining true to the original story, it will be staged in a concert style planned to feature unique singing and dancing routines.

To best serve the needs of the Expo, the musical will be presented in a format and content certain to appeal to the wide range of age groups that will comprise the audience.

Renowned actress and entertainer Nana Kinomi will star as the leader of the Okuni dance troupe, with the band Shang Shang Typhoon and local dancers joining to stage a gala concert version of “OKUNI” to reach truly breathtaking scale. The show will run during the final three days of the Golden Week extended holiday season in early May, and promises to transform the EXPO 2005 Aichi stage into an energy-packed festival scene.


May 4 (Wednesday and a national holiday) ~ 6 (Friday)
<5 performances in all>
* Curtain times 5:30 p.m. on May 4; 1:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. May 5-6.


EXPO Dome (seats 3,000)


Nana Kinomi (Okuni), Yukiko Ikeda (2nd Generation Okuni),Atsushi Fukasawa (Toppa),
Takeshi Wakamatsu (Sankuro), Kenji Urai (Ichizo), Yusuke Tomoi (Nizo), Mizuki Kazama,
Yoshiko Narumi, Yuko Momosawa, Sayaka Harukawa, Kyoko Iketani, Tomoko Tokugaki,
Female dancers and chorus (10 troupe members), Ensemble (approx. 50 troupe members),
Shang Shang Typhoon (Okuni dancers: 6 members)


Original work: Hiroko Minagawa (“The Two Okunis”)
Script/adaptation: Satoshi Suzuki
Direction/choreography: Kyomi Maeda
Art direction: Kappa Senoo
Wardrobe: Jusaburo Tsujimura
Music: Koryu (Shang Shang Typhoon)
Producer: Michihiko Ikeda

Original Story

The setting is Kyoto, at the turbulent time in Japanese history at the start of the 17th century, when the reigns of power were shifting from the Toyotomi family to the Tokugawa family. The Okuni Dance Troupe, a group of dancers who perform under a large bridge spanning the Kamo River in Kyoto, literally mesmerizes audiences with a totally unique and explosive dancing style. However, as the society stabilizes, Okuni's incomparable dance team comes to be suppressed by the authorities, with a form of kabuki staged by prostitutes (and bankrolled by big money behind the scenes) rising to fame and popularity. Otan, an idol-like harlot in the new tradition, is christened the “Second-Generation Okuni” and continues to expand her following. The original Okuni, meanwhile, is gradually forgotten and fades sadly from the scene.

* Please understand that changes may be made in the plan described in this profile as required.