“I want to be a great actor.”
As a Kabuki actor, I have always kept this phrase at the front of my mind.
I believe that if he is to shine on stage, an actor must apply himself assiduously to his art every day of his life. Whether the audience laughs or cries, theatre provides a cleansing of the soul. I also believe that an actor must never forget this.
But in the world of today, the role of mass media such as television, newspapers and magazines is becoming ever more important. I have struggled with how, in this world, I can communicate my ideas without errors and how best to have them understood by the public.
But then I learnt of the Internet, which has been expanding so rapidly in recent years. Here, I immediately felt, was a medium that transcended distance to link the world, and here was a way I could communicate with my fans directly. I have come to believe that the Internet is a way to transmit the excitement of Kabuki to those who live abroad or to those who have never seen it, as well as to those who have long supported the Ichikawa family. And perhaps, the Internet provides us with a new way to reduce the distance between the actor and the fans.
This is why we have decided to open the Naritaya Official Website.
The traditional arts of Japan must continue to be handed down from one generation to the next. Nothing would bring me greater happiness than if this site were to grow and act as a guidepost for the next generation to the depths of Kabuki, and to the world of traditional culture as a whole.
And of course, I shall be overjoyed if this site inspires even one of you to visit a theatre to see a live Kabuki performance.