Minosuke Bando

The Appeal of Tokyo for Minosuke Bando

Tokyo is a city where change happens incredibly fast.

Once, after a month-long performance tour, I returned to my home in Tokyo to find that a lovely little building near my home had been bulldozed and turned into a convenience store. I was shocked. But now I shop at that store every day. Tokyo is a city of rapid changes, but I’m used to it.

Yet at the same time, Tokyo’s other attraction is its fast hold on traditions handed down from long ago. For instance, Tokyo is still home to Kabuki-za, which offers kabuki performances almost every day of the year. Kabuki is a traditional performing art, but it’s also an entertainment genre that continually refreshes itself by incorporating new elements with each successive era. Tokyo continually generates one totally new culture after another, yet these new trends always manage to coexist harmoniously with traditional performing arts such as kabuki. It’s truly an astonishing city.

Anyone who is interested can easily reach across the ages and touch any one of these cultures. I guess that’s the attraction of Tokyo in a nutshell for me.

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Minosuke Bando

Born in Tokyo in 1989. Minosuke Bando is the eldest son of the late Mitsugoro Bando, the 10th head of the Bando family of kabuki performers. In 1991, at the tender age of 3, Minosuke performed for the first time at Ginza's famous Kabuki-za under his own name, portraying a puppet in Kairaishi in a Buddhist service marking the 17th anniversary of the death of Mitsugoro Bando, the eighth heir to the Bando crown. In 1995 he appeared for the first time in a kabuki performance at Kabuki-za in the role of Ranpei's son Shigezo in Ranpei Monogurui and as a small monkey in Kotobuki Utsubozaru, when he took the name of Minosuke Bando, the second Bando patriarch. In recent years Minosuke has enjoyed great acclaim as a young kabuki artist, being a frequent performer at the Asakusa Shinshun ("New Year") Kabuki show during the New Year holiday and at the Kabuki-za Noryo ("Cool Evening") Kabuki Show in August. Minosuke Bando also continues to expand his activity in roles outside kabuki. He has appeared in the movies Sakurada Gate Incident (2010) and The Kiyosu Conference (2013) and in information and travel programs on TV.

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