Japanese idol Hideaki Takizawa grows beefier as a result of popular stage show

Takizawa Kabuki is a modern take on the traditional Japanese theatre form of kabuki. -- PHOTO: MBS
Takizawa Kabuki is a modern take on the traditional Japanese theatre form of kabuki. -- PHOTO: MBS

Japanese actor-singer Hideaki Takizawa says his shoulders have grown broader as a result of his his gruelling stage show that has been held annually in Japan for the past 10 years.

"Because the performance is so strenuous, I gained weight and I became more muscular. My shoulders have broadened by 3cm throughout the production. I trouble the costume designers (for my measurement) every year," says the 33-year-old star of the theatre show Takizawa Kabuki that is named after him.

In a video shown at the press conference held here on Tuesday where he was speaking, he is seen performing aerial stunts and hanging upside down while playing drums.

Takizawa Kabuki is a modern take on the traditional Japanese theatre form of kabuki. To mark the show's 10th anniversary this year, it will be staged at Marina Bay Sands from Aug 18 to 23, the first time it is held outside of Japan.

At the press conference, Takizawa, who shot to fame in the controversial student-teacher love affair drama Terms Of A Witch (1999), looked youthful in his coiffed hair and a suit. Unfortunately, his Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates said photos of the idol at the press conference are not to be published online. The handout photo given for online use is a graphic of the show's title.

In 2006, the young idol Takizawa, whose singing career was riding high as part of J-pop idol duo Tackey and Tsubasa, joined theatre in the "live song, dance and drama extravaganza" which started out with the title Takizawa Enbujo.

The move paid off and the annual shows have been a runaway hit. Since it started, the show has been staged more than 505 times. This year, all 72,800 tickets of the 52 performances in Japan were reportedly snapped up in a fortnight.

Takizawa wants to introduces audiences in Singapore, which experiences hot weather all year round, to the four seasons.

He says: "In Singapore it's very rare to understand the concept of winter. In Japan, winter is a very important season for us. I will try to stage a snow scene. In Japan, we have a mechanism thay can make snow on stage, it makes the stage cold. If possible, I want to share what it's like to be in winter."

Takizawa Kabuki will be staged at Marina Bay Sands' The Grand Theatre from Aug 18 to 23. Tickets at $95, S$115 and S$170 are on sale via Sistic.