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Japanese Phrases for Theatre and Performance Arts

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Learning the language of the art form you’re passionate about can deepen your understanding and appreciation for it. If you’re interested in Japanese theatre and performance arts, familiarizing yourself with key phrases can enhance your experience whether you’re an artist, a crew member, or audience. Here are some essential Japanese phrases that will help you navigate the vibrant world of Japanese theatre and performance arts.

Meaning: Curtain (in a theatre context)
(When does the curtain rise for today’s performance?)

舞台 (butai)
Meaning: Stage
(He acts very naturally on stage.)

観客 (kankyaku)
Meaning: Audience
(The audience was particularly attentive tonight.)

役者 (yakusha)
Meaning: Actor/Actress
(He is one of the most famous actors in Japan.)

衣装 (ishou)
Meaning: Costume
(Her costume faithfully reproduces that of the period.)

演技 (engi)
Meaning: Acting; Performance
(His performance is always moving.)

台詞 (serifu)
Meaning: Lines; Script
(It took me all night to memorize these lines.)

照明 (shoumei)
Meaning: Lighting
(The lighting creates the atmosphere for this scene.)

音響 (onkyou)
Meaning: Acoustics; Sound
(The sound team did a fantastic job.)

小道具 (kodougu)
Meaning: Props
(Please place the props at the edge of the stage.)

リハーサル (rihaasararu)
Meaning: Rehearsal
(We go into final rehearsals before the show starts from tomorrow.)

劇団 (gekidan)
Meaning: Theatre company; Troupe
(He belongs to a famous theatre company.)

専門用語 (senmon yougo)
Meaning: Technical term; Jargon
(Actors use technical terms to communicate effectively.)

おじぎ (ojigi)
Meaning: Bow (a sign of respect or gratitude in Japanese culture)
(Actors bow during the curtain call to show gratitude to the audience.)

アンコール (ankooru)
Meaning: Encore
(When the audience asked for an encore, they came back onto the stage again.)

Grasping these terms not only aids in practical communication within the Japanese theatre setting but also enriches the cultural experience. Whether you’re engaging directly with a Japanese-speaking audience or participating in a performance, these phrases will serve as a bridge connecting you to the rich traditions of Japanese theatre and performance arts.

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