At the beginning of the Taisho period, (1912) when Japan opened up to the West, people heard opera and operetta. These evolved into a Japanese version in the Asakusa district of downtown Tokyo. It became remarkably popular but diminished following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Otogi Kageki (fairytale operas) were performed until the end of the 1920s, as the centrepiece of Takarazuka repertoire, the all-women revue founded in 1913. Fascinating recordings from this period. 2 CDs, 21 tracks.