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Japan's Kabuki theatre goes global through internet

Kabuki, the traditional Japanese theater, is seeking to become more global, and to that end, an "online" project was introduced Friday, a platform for connecting fans of this ancient discipline across the world.

The online service, launched by the theatrical promoter Shochiku, and the OKWave internet operator, seeks to serve fans in 20 different languages helping them to communicate among themselves and assist in answering and translating Kabuki-related questions.

"People all over the world can overcome language barriers and learn about Kabuki," the OKWave CEO said during the presentation ceremony at the Ginza Kabukiza, the most iconic theatre of this art form.

During the ceremony, veteran actor Nakamura Kyozo demonstrated how the actors, who are always men, underwent a long and meticulous process of makeup so that they could play female characters.

In the mid-17th century, Japanese authorities prohibited women from acting in Kabuki due to its excessive erotic content, something which has been maintained down to the present day.

Kabukiza Ginza reopened its doors in 2013 after three years of renovation in which an office block was built onto the original facade to ensure its economic viability.

Famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma was commissioned to carry out the fifth reconstruction of the legendary Tokyo theatre that, since its opening in 1889, has been damaged by fire, bombings and earthquakes.

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