(EDS: ADDING WORD KABUKI IN LEAD, SOME DETAILS)
Kyoto's Minamiza Theater, famed for Kabuki, reopened Thursday after around two years and nine months during which it was reinforced against earthquakes.
The theater in Shijogawara, where Kabuki originated, has a history that dates back 400 years and the current building, with its traditional Momoyama-style exterior design, was completed in 1929. It had been closed since February 2016 for major refurbishment.
While the outward appearance has been retained, theater equipment has been updated. Removable audience seating was also newly installed on the first floor so that the stage floor can be extended.
The "kaomise" first production of the season will run for two months, celebrating the building's renewal. The program and players will change every month.
Actors performing in the November "Renjishi" program, depicting a lion training his cub, include Matsumoto Koshiro and his son Ichikawa Somegoro.
The Minamiza Theater was designated by the state as a tangible cultural property in 1996, according to operator Shochiku Co.