"Eternal Lighting" at Renovated Minamiza TheatreYear-round Night-time Illumination in Kyoto
A lighting ceremony was held at the Minamiza Theatre in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, on October 9. This is to celebrate the year-round night-time illumination of the theater which will reopen on November 1 after the structure's renovation for earthquake-resistance. The supervisor of the illumination was Akari-Lisa Ishii, an internationally renowned lighting designer who has been in charge of illumination projects at various sites, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo. The theater with gables and a turret, featuring traditional Momoyama-period architecture style, emerged from the darkness, illuminated with warm white light.
This is the first time that the Minamiza Theatre has been illuminated by any professional lighting designer. The most advanced light-emitting diode (LED) lights have been installed for the entire illumination. The lighting is adjusted according to each location, such as "the moon-lit-like white lighting" for the main roof, and "the votive-candle-light-like warm and white lighting unique to Kyoto" for the entrance.
Ishii gave a speech at the lighting ceremony, saying, "I hope that everyone can feel the glory and dignity of the theater itself, as well as the history of this place as the birthplace of kabuki." Koshiro Matsumoto, a kabuki actor, also appeared at the event, saying, "I've been feeling sad and lonely when passing in front of the building during its renovation since it was very dark. Now the Minamiza Theatre is making its comeback with its lights on eternally. I can't wait for the wooden, 'Maneki' nameboards to be displayed to announce the actors to perform on the upcoming stage." A ceremony where he will succeed to a certain stage-name along with his father and his son is scheduled to take place at this November's Kaomise performance. All the lights of the theater are on till 10:00 p.m., while some lights keep shining until before dawn to illuminate parts of the building, including the roof.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)