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May 14, 2009

Takarazuka...Treasure Hill

About 5 miles north from where I live is a city called Takarazuka (which translates to Treasure Hill).
Since there were a lot of small slopes to walk up I wasn't sure when I was actually on the 'hill', but that is beside the point for today's post.

Most people in Japan associate Takarazuka City with the theater troupe that goes by the same name.

The Takarazuka Revue is a group of women that perform musicals...
Phantom of the Opera, The Rose of Versailles etc...

They are trained since high school under strict supervision by teachers and superiors. 
To get accepted into the school you need to be able to dance ballet and sing.

The fans of the Takarazuka Revue also well known in Japan for their enthusiasm. They are more like worshipers and since the history of the troupe dates back to the 1920s, the audience consists of a wide range of age groups.

I am not a Takarazuka fan (I think it is the makeup that scares me away...) but I do like theater so, to see one of their stages is on my "to do" list...

So, what was I doing in Takarazuka?
...

There was a man who lived in Takarazuka  when he was a young boy.
This young boy was a fan of the Takarazuka Revue, and he loved to draw and write stories.
He studied to be a doctor in university but he ended becoming a man who inspired people...
This man was fascinated with bugs...so much that he used the character for the word bug (mushi虫)in his name...手塚 治虫 Tezuka Osamu.

Welcome to the Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum.
the inside...and the outside...

That bird is the famous phoenix...the bird that is reborn from its own ashes.



There were people from around the world visiting the museum on this cloudy day.

Maybe you know these guys...
Kimba and his father...kind of like the Lion King except earlier...
Anyway...
Tezuka Osamu is known for writing manga for both adults and children.  His animations have been praised not only for their characters but their cinematic shots as well.  
His stories have focused on things that transcend barriers... the environment, technology, war, religion, self sacrifice, patience and love.

...and if you are wondering, "who is this boy?"...
He is Atom.
In other parts of the world he is called Astro Boy.
He is going to be in a movie (movie trailer can be seen here).
I have mixed emotions about how the characters look, but if this movie will help make Tezuka Osamu more well known around the globe, well then I am dancing a happy dance.

Here are some of his other characters that "posed for me" in the museum.

After I left the museum I walked to a park.  I saw a greenhouse, so how could I not take a peek?


5 comments:

Butternut Squash said...

I found the Takarazuka review a little unsettling as well. I remember Astro Boy! I will have to learn more about Tezuka Osamu.

Jelica said...

Nice museum! I wonder if you are going to reveal what the greenhouse is hiding?

willow said...

Your little excursions are always so interesting and lovely. Makes me feel like I've been to Japan for a visit!

I_am_Tulsa said...

Butternut Squash, there are English editions of his manga available in the US, but of course Japanese versions are good if you are learning Japanese!

Jelica, I am choosing pictures to post from the greenhouse ;-)

Willow, your excursion to the museum and the picture with your daughter in front of the painting is beautiful!
It's like we are swapping experiences!

Delwyn said...

Tulsa,
I am showing my age but my KIDS grew up on a diet of ASTRO BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY, I can hear the music now....

I went to see part of a kabuki session in Tokyo and thought it quite amusing. The chestnuts at the vendor outside were yummy too...

Thanks for the trip to Takarazuka...

Happy Days