The re-opening of Tokyo’s famed Kabukiza Theatre, which called off performances from March due to the spread of the coronavirus, came even as new cases have spiked to record highs around the country.
Onstage, the number of musicians is limited and all wear draped black cloth masks from nose to chest.
Performers stand farther back on stage and keep a greater than normal distance from each other. Actors and staff are completely different for each act, to shorten contact.
Though the traditional black-dressed stage assistants who approach the performers most closely wore both masks and face shields during a rehearsal, the company that runs the theatre said they wore only masks from Saturday’s performance because the shields apparently made their job harder to do.
WOMAN: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
INTERPRETER: I'm so moved, and I want to show my appreciation that they have reopened despite many difficulties. There wasn't much to look forward to during the last five months, so I feel as if I've finally come back to life.