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Minamiza theatre, Kyoto, evening.jpg
Japan Japan
Coordinates35°00′13″N 135°46′20″E / 35.003518°N 135.772305°E / 35.003518; 135.772305
DesignationRegistered Tangible Cultural Property (1996)
TypeKabuki theater

Minami-za (南座, Minami-za) is the primary kabuki theatre in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded in 1610 as Shijō Minami-za. The current building with 1,086 seats was built in 1929.[1][2]


Minami-za is one of the earliest of the seven officially licensed Kabuki theaters built in the early Edo period (1615-1623) in the Shijo Kawara area in Kyoto, even before Tokyo and Osaka.[3]

The current Minami-za theater was built in 1929 in the architectural style of the Momoyama period, with a gabled roof and a traditional turret marking the official approval of the government. In 1991, after the end of the Shōwa period, the interior was drastically refurbished and modern stage mechanism was installed.[3]

In 1996, Minami-za was registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property in respects to its historical architectural value in connection to the city of Kyoto.[3]

Theater mechanism[edit]

The stage employs unique stagecraft tricks used in Japanese Kabuki theater such as Hanamichi (runway stage), Seri (trap-door lift stage mechanism), and Mawari-butai (revolving stage), all of which were invented in playhouses during Edo period.[3]


  1. ^ "南座の歴史". SHOCHIKU. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  2. ^ "Minami-za, Kyoto - Lonely Planet Travel Guide". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 2006-01-08. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  3. ^ a b c d "Experience the Stage of Minamiza" Kabuki Museum Minamiza. 〒605-0075 京都府京都市東山区四条通大和大路西入中之町198. April 15, 2013.

External links[edit]