|Takarazuka, the shiniest drag kings you will ever see! Photo from here.|
Ah, Takarazuka, where do I start? It may be my favorite form of Japanese theater; I love the costumes, the music, the actors... Takarazuka may not have the history and the depth of more traditional types of Japanese theater, but in my opinion they're one of the most exciting and enjoyable to watch.
So what is Takarazuka? They're an all-female acting troupe originating from the town of Takarazuka, near Osaka. They perform Broadway-style musicals based on Western and Asian influences. The takara part of Takarazuka (宝塚) means treasure or jewel, and they certainly live up to the flashiness of their name. They're famous for their over-the-top costumes, often covered head to toe in sequins, jewels and feathers reminiscent of Vegas showgirls. The stage itself also glitters with lights and bright backdrops.