Japan’s stately traditional kabuki theater yesterday resumed performances after a five-month break due to COVID-19, with musicians in masks, actors farther apart on stage and only half the usual number of seats.
The reopening of Tokyo’s famed Kabukiza Theatre, which called off performances from March due to the spread of COVID-19, came even as new cases have spiked to record highs around the country.
“We’re reopening based on guidelines from infectious disease experts, paying attention to audience safety from the time they enter until the time they leave,” Kabukiza manager Yoshitaka Hashimoto said at a Friday preview for journalists.
Onstage, the number of musicians is limited and all wear draped black cloth masks from nose to chest.
Performers stand farther back on stage and keep a greater than normal distance from each other.
Actors and staff are completely different for each act, to shorten contact.
Although the traditional black-dressed stage assistants who approach the performers most closely wore masks and face shields during a rehearsal, the company that runs the theater said they wore only masks from yesterday’s performance because the shields apparently made their job harder to do.
Audience members face temperature checks at the entrance and must wear masks. Seats are roped off so fewer than half are usable, and the auditorium is to be sterilized between each act.
Eating boxed lunches between acts, a long cherished kabuki custom, is currently prohibited.
Tokyo on Friday confirmed a record 463 cases and Governor Yuriko Koike warned that the capital could declare a state of emergency should things deteriorate further, a situation Hashimoto said they are reluctantly keeping in mind.
“Of course if there are limits and requests from the government, we’ll ... look into a different form of performing — which might mean halting partway through the run,” he said.
Chiaki Sakurai, a 46-year-old Tokyo resident who usually watches kabuki two or three times a month and was dressed in a green kimono, said she was grateful and excited.
“To say nothing good has happened the last five months may be an exaggeration, but I feel as if I’ve finally come back to life,” she added.
About 1,000 people have died in Japan due to COVID-19.
When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight. “It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift. “Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote. Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the next year’s letter,
Part of a huge rocket that launched China’s first module for its Tianhe space station is falling back to Earth and could make an uncontrolled re-entry at an unknown landing point. The 30m-high core of the Long March 5B rocket on Thursday launched the “Heavenly Harmony” uncrewed core module into low Earth orbit from Wenchang in China’s Hainan Province. The Long March 5B then itself entered a temporary orbit, setting the stage for one of the largest-ever uncontrolled re-entries. Some experts fear it could land on an inhabited area. “It’s potentially not good,” said Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard
Remnants of China’s largest rocket launched last week were expected to plunge back through the atmosphere late yesterday or early today, a US federally funded space-focused research and development center said. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that most debris from the rocket would be burned up on re-entry and is highly unlikely to cause any harm, after the US military said that what it called an uncontrolled re-entry was being tracked by US Space Command. In a Twitter post sent on Friday evening in the US, the Aerospace Corporation said that the latest prediction for the re-entry of
SPIKE LOOMING: Many scientists believe a lack of testing is resulting in a sharp undercounting of cases, with one model forecasting 1,018,879 deaths by the end of July The COVID-19 wave that plunged India into the world’s biggest health crisis has the potential to worsen in coming weeks, with some research models projecting that the death toll could more than double from present levels. A team at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru used a mathematical model to predict that about 404,000 deaths would occur by June 11 if current trends continue. A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington forecast 1,018,879 deaths by the end of July. While COVID-19 cases can be hard to predict, particularly in a sprawling nation like