Takarazuka Revue Company (1913--) By Nakano, Masaaki
The popular Takarazuka Revue Company, based in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, is the oldest established musical theater company in Japan. The performers are unmarried women; if a dancer marries, she must retire from the company. The Takarazuka Revue Company—actually five separate troupes—is managed by the Hankyu Railway Corporation. It has a training school with a dormitory system and exclusive theaters, publishes magazines, broadcasts television programs, and owns the Communication satellite channel. The Takarazuka Revue Company can be viewed as an example of the modernization and Westernization of Japanese theater and the industrialization of its business during the early 20th century by rejecting the traditional kabuki style as well as introducing female performers to the Japanese stage and adopting Western subject matter and theatrical practices by establishing multiple performance groups to meet audience demands.