One of the most celebrated works by Hayao Miyazaki is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Yesterday it was announced that the story is being adapted into a traditional kabuki play, to be performed at the Shinbashi Enbujō theatre in December of 2019.
The production will feature celebrated Onoe Kikunosuke V and Nakamura Shichinosuke II. Kikunosuke will play the lead role, with Shinnosuke performing the role of Kushana. Shinnosuke is a fan of the film and was the person who suggested making a kabuki version of the story. Shichinosuke is familiar with Ghibli films, as he was a voice actor in director Isao Takahata’s final animated work, Kaguyahime. Kabuki performers, who are all male, assume traditional names as they move into the peaks of their careers.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was the first Studio Ghibli film and marked the explosion of popularity of director Miyazaki. It won fans all around the world, contributing to the rise of anime as a world cultural phenomenon. It’s the story of a heroic girl with commentary about war and man’s destruction of nature.