Next weekend, handsome versions of some of Japan’s most prominent historical military figures will grace the stage in Asakusa for an interactive, foreigner-friendly show!
Between February 12-14 and again from March 29-31, a visiting group of actors from Nagoya who perform under the guise of some of the most prominent figures in Japanese history will visit Asakusa, home of Tokyo’s most important Buddhist temple Sensoji, for a series of special performances collectively called the Samurai & Ninja Show in Asakusa.
The group is known as the Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai (“Nagoya Hospitality General Team”), and its members have been charming visitors with their entertaining performances and historical reenactments since 2009. While they largely perform within the grounds of Nagoya Castle, they occasionally make excursions to other parts of the country and even overseas. Composed of six army generals and four foot-soldiers based on real historical figures such as Oda Nobunaga from the Sengoku Jidai (“Warring States Era,” c. 1467-c. 1603) of Japanese history, the men (and one lady!) have earned the nickname of the “Ikemen [Hottie] Army General Team” from their legions of adoring fans.
We’d definitely have to agree with the fans–these generals don’t look too shabby for having lived over 400 years ago, don’t you think?
We have some good news for current or soon-to-be foreign travelers in Tokyo: The upcoming shows in Asakusa will be conducted in both Japanese and in English, with Tokugawa Ieyasu’s actor providing most of the spoken English. The show is being billed as a chance to get up-close and personal with aspects of ancient Japanese culture, as well as a forum to transmit the spirit of the samurai to people around the world.
Audience members will have ample opportunities to participate in the approximately hour-long show, which will include staged sword battles between the army generals, ninja showcasing their skills, and even performances by geisha. This main segment will be followed by 30 minutes of “hands-on” activities, where audience members will have the chance to try on samurai armor modeled after Sanada Yukimura’s red armor and helmet from this year’s NHK Sanada Maru historical drama series, and even learn how to throw shuriken ninja stars.
Here are a few more activities as seen at past events:
We’ll leave you here with a promotional clip for the shows in Asakusa. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity if you’ll be in Tokyo during the performance dates!
Samurai & Ninja Show in Asakusa
Venue: Kaminari 5656 Kaikan
Address: 3-6-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
Dates & Times: February 12-13, March 29-30: 3-4:30 p.m. & 7-8:30 p.m. showtimes; February 14, March 31: 2-3:30 p.m., 6-7:30 p.m. showtimes
Admission: 3,000 yen (US$25.68) for adults and 2,000 yen ($17.12) for children
Website (Samurai & Ninja Show in Asakusa, English)
Website (Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai, Japanese)