Kabuki star Ichikawa Ebizo (32) and freelance announcer Kobayashi Mao (28) held their wedding ceremony and a massive reception in Tokyo yesterday. The couple, who registered their marriage back on March 3, held a Buddhist-style ceremony at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo hotel in Shiba Koen with about 20 family members. It included making their vows in front of a statue loaned – for the first time ever – by the Narita-san temple, to which the Ichikawa stage family have been attached since the 17th century.
More than 1,000 guests were invited to the hotel for a reception that cost about ¥500 million. The guest list included political figures, sports stars and just about every major name in showbiz. Of course all the big names of kabuki were there, including those of Ebizo’s generation who have helped revive the popularity of the traditional theater. Ichikawa Somegoro (37), Nakamura Shido (37) and Nakamura Kantaro (28) each poured a glass of wine for the groom. Shido got a laugh when he said he’d been told not to make a speech as it was bad luck – he is divorced from actress Takeuchi Yuko (30).
Among the other celebrants were former prime ministers Mori Yoshiro (73) and Koizumi Junichiro (68), and singer Hirahara Ayaka (26), who performed her hit “Jupiter” in a live satellite hookup from Shimonoseki, where she was performing in concert. One surprise of the evening was a video of Ebizo’s secret visit to Vietnam, where he dug up a ruby that was used to make a necklace for his bride, ruby being her birthstone. The reception also featured a 2m-high wedding cake.
Between the morning wedding ceremony and the drawn-out, elaborate reception, the happy couple were on the go for a full 11 and a half hours.