Warabi-za Theatrical Company
Warabi-za prides itself in depicting contemporary society through the arts. Warabi-za has dedicated its 65-year history to Japanese folk songs and dance. Founded in February 1951, Warabi-za chose Semboku, Akita, as the site for its headquarters. Warabi-za operates 5 performance groups that give 1000 performances annually throughout Japan. Overseas engagements include such regions as the U.S., Brazil, Asia, and Europe.
In addition to the performances offered by the touring groups, we have revitalized our home ground in Semboku to be able to accommodate a large number of guests. At this site, which we call "Akita Art Village", we offer a unique experience filled with arts, crafts, and local delicacy. Facilities include a hotel, a hot spring/bathing facility, restaurants that serve house brewed beer, a craft shop where guests can create their own crafts, and Warabi theater.
Warabi theater is highly touted for its musical performances; those musicals are created by Warabi-za and other guest artists, and the stories usually have roots in the Tohoku region where Akita resides. In Akita Art Village, Warabi-za also offers a variety of workshops that include; folk dances, drums, acting, and physical exercise.
Another aspect of Warabi-za is its long history of hosting school excursions. For 35 years, as many as 18,000 students from 150 schools have visited Akita Art Village, where they learn the folk dance "Soran-bushi" in addition to hands-on activities in the rice fields.
Our efforts to revitalize communities with unique use of folk songs and dance have been recognized by the presentation of various awards: Akita Art and Culture Award (1989), Minister of Education's Regional Culture Award (1994), Minister of National Land Award presented at the Regional Revitalization Conference (1995), Akita Culture Award (1996), Kahoku Culture Award (2002), and Senboku Art and Culture Award (2007).