Activities, History and museums
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.
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.
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 Showa period, the interior was drastically refurbished and modern stage mechanism was installed.
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.
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.