The Shōchiku Kagekidan (松竹歌劇団) was an all female revue and musical troupe that lasted from 1928 to 1996, and rivaled the famed Takarazuka Kagekidan (宝塚歌劇団).

  • For more information about Takarazuka, including links to Rekion recordings as well as OSUL catalog items, view the Focus on Rekion: Takarazuka post. 

Shōchiku Kagekidan was the work of Matsujirō Shirai (白井松次郎), co-founder and CEO of present day Shochiku Company, Ltd. After viewing a performance by the Takarazuka Girl’s Opera, Shirai recruited a Takarazuka composer and choreographer to aid in the creation of a new troupe in Tokyo. This new all-female revue opened its theater in Asakusa with the name Shōchiku Gakugekibu, (松竹楽劇部) just six months before Takarazuka made its Tokyo debut. They also formed a sister troupe in Osaka, the Ōsaka Shōchiku Kagekidan (大阪松竹歌劇団), commonly abbreviated as OSK.

The revue was popular in the era just before and after the war, but its success began to wane in the 1960’s due to both a decline in the popularity of revue and financial troubles within the organization. However, Shōchiku continued to perform shows until 1996.

  • Rekion access in OSUL – Rekion Identifier for songs by Shōchiku Kagekidan:
    • 「松竹レヴュー主題歌:海」info:ndljp/pid/8272858
    • 「踊る東京」info:ndljp/pid/1320327

NOTE: This is one of a series of posts highlighting content available in Rekion (れきおん), the Historical recordings collection of the National Diet Library (Japan), which is available at a dedicated computer in the Music and Dance Library at Ohio State.  See the Introductory post in this series for more information about the database.