The Takarazuka Revue, founded in 1913, is Japan’s premier (but not only) all-female musical theatre company. Their repertoire ranges from Japanese and Chinese classics to Western popular shows like “West Side Story”.

Women were only allowed on the Japanese stage late in the nineteenth century, so this was really just a reversal of the long-standing tradition of the all-male kabuki theatre.

Most fans are women. For most, the courtly, debonair otokoyaku (man-players) are idealized men, like the heroes of romance novels.