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101104-0005 - Chitoseza Theater

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Tokyo Meiji 1880s Unknown
The Chitoseza Theater (千歳座) in Hisamatsu-cho (久松町), Tokyo. One of the major theaters of Meiji Tokyo, it is the forerunner of the Meijiza (明治座), still operating in Nihonbashi-Hamacho (日本橋浜町) today.

The theater first opened as the Kishoza (喜昇座) in 1873 (Meiji 6). In 1879 (Meiji 12), it underwent a great reconstruction and reopened as Hisamatsuza (久松座). This burned down in 1880 (Meiji 13). It was rebuilt and reopened in 1885 (Meiji 18) as Chitoseza, the building in this image. This theater in its turn burned down in 1890 (Meiji 23).

It was rebuilt, and eventually became the Meijiza in 1893 (Meiji 26) when it was bought by the actor Ichikawa Sadanji I (初代市川左團次, 1842-1904).

Although it is represented in ukiyoe woodblock prints, photos of it are extremely rare.

On the left, the Hisamatsubashi Bridge (久松橋) can be seen.
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