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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1936. Volume 7. Number 11.

The "Takarazuka Girls"

The "Takarazuka Girls"

While in Japan, we saw many entertainments of various kinds but the one that we voted the best, was the "akarazuka Girls," performing in the Takarazuka Theatres in Tokyo and Osaka. The programmes change every month and consist usually of two dramatisations of Japanese tales (in old Japanese constumes) alternating with two musical comedies of the "Student Prince' 'type. The Japanese stories were only m oderately enjoyable, because they depended for much of their effect on witty dialogue, quite unintelligible to us. But the European-style musical comedies made us take notice. The costumes, the scenery and the lighting were breath-taking in their lavishness. The stages were larger than any in New Zealand, and being of the revoling type enabled the shows to go on without breaks. The singing and music were quite good and for the most part original, althogh we noticed one or two tunes that had been plundered from popular hits such as Jack Buchanan's "The Grass is Green."

The ages of the girls ranged from sixteen to twenty. All male parts were taken by girls who were naturally a little unconvincing. Even less than that of a Western woman does the walk of a japanese woman reemble that of a man. The figures of the girls were scarely ample enough to look well in ballet garb, although a few of the fellows maintained that they were quite as well proportioned as the average New Zealand girl. Nevertheless, some of the girls were exceedingly beautiful even to Western eyes.

The performance begins at 5 p.m. and finishes at 9.45 with inervals of fifteen minutes between each of the four productions. The Japanese do not applaud as we do in unison at the end of a song, but individually as a particular line appeals. The clapping is done gently and does not, therefore, interrupt.