Starting Young

Starting Young Starting Young

It was a good way for my mother to have me go for (dance) lessons during the time when she was busy. Although I was only about three years old, they at least give you the basics."

"I remember sitting there, and you have to sit on your feet, which is very uncomfortable. They would just teach me a few words to say at the beginning. Because I was three years old, you know, there is just so much you can learn. They would dress me up with the costumes, and then usually I played a boy’s role. You just sit there and do things. You just copy what other people did.”

May Sasaki, shibai performer of Mimasukai Entertainment Group


May Sasaki mostly stayed on the hanamichi (side stage) of the Nippon Kan Theater because she was so young. This narrow path led to the central stage where multiple actors could perform at one time. Primary characters often occupied the central stage while secondary characters lined the hanamichi.
(Top) Mimasukai Performers at the Nippon Kan Theater (April 17, 1927)
Wing Luke Museum Collection
(Bottom) May Sasaki
Wing Luke Museum Collection