Written by nazon. The original text is available here.

The official fanclub of the Takarazuka Revue Company is “Takarazuka Tomo no Kai.”

As the details of this club, its explanations and registration methods, are described on a special website on the left-hand side of the official site, please refer there.

Translator’s Note: Foreigners outside of Japan, lacking Japanese credit cards and addresses, cannot register for Tomo no Kai.
Now then, for the Takarazuka Revue Company, fan clubs for individual seito do not exist.


Even so, fanclubs for upperclassmen and popular seito do exist in a “private” way. Among Takarazuka fans these are popularly called “kai” (clubs).

Depending on the club, how things are done and the kind of organization differ slightly.

I have not been affiliated with any clubs other than Wao Youka’s and Ryouga Haruhi’s, and it appears that some clubs other than these two differ in some respects. Even so, I will only describe the truly basic things here. For details, please ask the club staff of the particular seito.

For the clubs that I have been in, there was only one organization. However, usually a club is separated into “West” for the Grand Theater and “East” for Tokyo. You must definitely ask the staff of a particular club about whether it’s best to join both clubs or just one, or for how much the membership fee is.

Translator’s Note: Based on an entirely unscientific sample, fees range from 3,000 yen per annum for an underclassman club, to 6,000 yen for a ranked upperclassman club, to 10,000 or more for a top star club. Please bear in mind that as foreigners, we also bear a responsibility to at least offer to cover the additional postage and other costs. Often clubs will kindly refuse to let you cover all of your additional costs, but you should at least try.

The things you can do once registered with a club seem to be,
 1. Ticket commission (you can purchase tickets)
 2. Participation in guard at iri-demachi
 3. Information about tea parties and participation at a reduced cost
 4. Notices and information about publications, etc. by email

Those are all the things I can think of at the moment. Although #4 is something you can’t do in a club that doesn’t do an email newsletter....

Well then, “kai” are different from typical fanclubs, in that active participation is requested. For #1, the ticket commission, is ticket reservations. Although it’s popularly called “support,” it’s basically the following.

 1. Participation on the first day of ticket sales at the Takarazuka ticket counter (popularly called narabi). (Update: From 2009, narabi will not occur.)
 2. Ticket reservations through Takarazuka Tomo no Kai
 3. Participation in guard
 4. Participation in tea parties (inviting friends, etc.)
 5. Theater-going through the ticket commission (inviting friends, etc.)

Although #3-#5 are “privileges” of membership, they also form part of “support.”

Now then, let’s explain the “privileges” from #1.

For seats received through the club, since you receive them on the day you go to the theater, you will not know what kind of seats they are or whom you’re sitting next to. Generally, there is a tendency to assign good seats to the people who have contributed a great deal.

As for obtaining tickets through the club, it is “support” because it appeals to the Company by saying, “So-and-so has this much popularity and sells tickets.” (Even so! I’m not suggesting that “it can somehow appeal to the company even though it’s private.”)

Although #2 is participation in guard at iri-demachi, there are some things that are necessary to know about the customs of iri-demachi particular to Takarazuka.

In Takarazuka, iri-demachi is a thing where the general fans who are not in clubs line up behind the fanclub members who are called to guard. No matter how early they come, if a general fan takes up a position first, they will be asked to go behind the club members.
Also, only club members will be informed by email as to what time irimachi or demachi will be that day. As a non-club member, if you ask a club member or calculate back from the performance time to “it should be around this time,” you could come at an unreliable time and wait a long while....

There are some rules for guard, like:
- purchasing and wearing club wear
- kneeling when a seito passes through
- not taking photos
- waiting until the entire troupe’s clubs have dispersed after the seito you support has gone home

Kneeling and waiting for dispersal is painful....

Even if you feel that way, why would you participate in guard?
- to be able to personally deliver your letters (although there are days you can’t)
- to appeal to the Company (I believe it’s so... probably)
- to be able to catch a glimpse of the seito’s off-stage style

Letters are most often written on postcards of the seito purchased in Quatre Reves the theater gift shop. This purchasing is also a kind of support. Even so, I do write on postcards of flowers or things I like since I’m picky. When I don’t have anything on hand, I make a quick dash to Quatre Reves.

There’s no guarantee as to whether you will be able to personally deliver your letters.

Even though there are times when letter-collecting is done in a rush, there are always the plans of the seito and the club to consider (clubs gather before the seito leaves, and the gathered things are passed to the seito).

Afterwards, you can see the seito’s fashion and depending on the seito she might say a few words.

Although #3 is information and participation in the tea parties, as far as participation itself in tea parties, even non-members can participate. However, there is a difference in price, and information on when it is held only goes to the club members. If as a non-member you would like to participate, please ask about and listen to the date at the ticket distribution (detailed hereafter).

Translator’s Note: For every performance, there will be fanclub staff distributing tickets either from tables or boxes. (This is different from the official ticket counter or box office.) There will be a sign with the seito’s name on it. If you would like to talk to a particular seito’s staff members, this is an ideal time to find them, provided that they aren’t busy with club matters at that moment.

Tea parties are a valuable chance to be able to see the seito in an “off mode” (I guess it’s called?) that differs from the stage. You will also hear a lot of inside stories about the stage and her hobbies.

Also, you will probably be able to shake hands if it’s a club where not a lot of people participate, though not a top star club.

Incidentally, a determined former ‘sienne who decisively participated in hand-shaking for more than 2000 people was Wao Youka.... Although I think that’s not typical.... I was pleased (a maudlin reminiscence).

There’s not really an explanation for #4. It’s self-explanatory.
An email notification system is used and you are also notified of iri-demachi times.

Well then, I’ve roughly explained about “clubs.”

To support a seito and join a club, or to support one while not joining, is a personal liberty. That is to say, that once you have become a fan, it is entirely not necessary to join a club.

I believe it’s best to decide whether to join or not after you have first seen the atmosphere of that club, participated in their tea parties and observed them after guard.

Should you want to join a club,

 if you send a letter in which you write to the seito (on the official site, the way to send it is on “Frequently Asked Questions” -> “Star Related”) having written “I would like to join the fanclub” with a self-addressed stamped envelope

 or if you request, “I would like to join,” if you see that there is a free moment when tickets are distributed (if in Tokyo this is to the left hand side of the entrance, if in the Grand Theater this is in the lobby, with the guideposts that are signs or boxes with the seitos’ names written on them),

I believe that you will receive an application form.

Well then, to a fun Takarazuka life!

Created by lliriblanc. Last Modification: Thursday 02 of July, 2009 07:48:29 GMT-0000 by lliriblanc.