The SKD or Shochiku Kageki Dan was begun in 1928 by one of Kobayashi's rivals as one of many attempts to imitate the Takarazuka, and the only one of that era to achieve much success. There was a corresponding group in Osaka, called the Osaka Shouchiku Kagekidan or OSK. The various imitators have produced some beautiful work as far as I can tell, but none has ever equalled the Takarazuka in prestige or financial success.
The nephew of one of the SKD's founding members, Ouji Hiroi, grew up to become an anime creator. To his aunt he owes the inspiration for his popular Sakura Taisen or Sakura Wars, about an all-female dance troupe which also battles demons and evil robots.
The Shochiku Kakeki Dan also provided the dancers for the movie Sayonara.
Notice the mustache. This picture was in a program from the 50's. No Takarazuka otokoyaku would wear a mustache until 1977 when they performed Gone With The Wind for the first time; Rhett Butler just wouldn't be Rhett Butler without his mustache. It was well enough received that since then Takarasiennes have routinely worn facial hair.
This brief history of the Shochiku was included in several of their 1950's programs, with only slight variations.
Shochiku Revue Program
Autumn Dance Program
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"Gorochan" were a recurring theme in Shochiku productions.
Beautiful color images from a 1968 Shochiku program.
Images from a 1964 program.
Images from a 1973 program.
Shochiku postcards, probably from the 1930's
More 30's Shochiku postcards
Yet more 30's Shochiku postcards
Thank you to those on the Takarazuka Revue discussion list, particularly Ymke Simonis, for the information on this site.
SKD site. In Japanese, but if you click around there's pictures.