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Takarazuka Revue

The Takarazuka Revue is a Japanese all-female musical theater troupe based in Takarazuka, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. Women play all roles in lavish, Broadway-style productions of Western-style musicals, sometimes stories adapted from shōjo manga and Japanese folktales; the company is a division of the Hankyu Railway company. The Takarazuka Revue was founded by Ichizō Kobayashi, an industrialist-turned-politician and president of Hankyu Railways, in Takarazuka, Japan in 1913; the city was the terminus of a Hankyu line from Osaka and a popular tourist destination because of its hot springs. Kobayashi believed that it was the ideal spot to open an attraction of some kind that would boost train ticket sales and draw more business to Takarazuka. Since Western song and dance shows were becoming more popular and Kobayashi considered the Kabuki theater to be old and elitist, he decided that an all-female theater group might be well received by the general public; the Revue had its first performance in 1914.

Ten years the company had become popular enough to obtain its own theater in Takarazuka, called the Dai Gekijō meaning "Grand Theater". Today, the company operates another theater, the Takarazuka Theater, in Tokyo. Takarazuka performs for 2.5 million people each year and the majority of its fans are women. Part of the novelty of Takarazuka is that all the parts are played by women, based on the original model of Kabuki before 1629 when women were banned from the theater in Japan; the women who play male parts are referred to as otokoyaku and those who play female parts are called musumeyaku. The costumes, set designs and lighting are lavish. Side pathways extend the wide proscenium, accommodating elaborate processions and choreography. Regardless of the era of the musical presented, period accuracy is relaxed for costumes during extravagant finales which include scores of glittering performers parading down an enormous stage-wide staircase and a Rockette-style kick line. Lead performers portraying both male and female roles appear in the finale wearing huge circular feathered back-pieces reminiscent of Las Vegas or Paris costuming.

Before becoming a member of the troupe, a young woman must train for two years in the Takarazuka Music School, one of the most competitive of its kind in the world. Each year, thousands from all over Japan audition; the 40 to 50 who are accepted are trained in music and acting, are given seven-year contracts. The school is famous for its strict discipline and its custom of having first-year students clean the premises each morning; the first year, all women train together before being divided by the faculty and the current troupe members into otokoyaku and musumeyaku at the end of the year. Those playing otokoyaku cut their hair short, take on a more masculine role in the classroom, speak in the masculine form; the company has five main troupes: Flower, Snow and Cosmos. Flower and Moon are the original troupes, founded in 1921. Snow Troupe began in 1924. Star Troupe was founded in 1931, disbanded in 1939, reestablished in 1948. Cosmos, founded in 1998, is the newest troupe. While on the surface it would appear that the Takarazuka Revue was intended to grant Japanese women freedom from social oppression it began as quite the opposite.

According to Takarazuka scholar Lorie Brau, "The production office and corporate structure that control Takarazuka are overwhelmingly patriarchal." Although Takarazuka embodies Shiraishi’s idea that the actresses become "good wives and wise mothers" upon leaving the company, it simultaneously represents progressive feminist points of view. Some believe that its appeal to the female audience is on account of the perceived link to freedom from traditional Japanese society’s imposed ideas of gender and sexuality. So while Takarazuka "reinforces the status quo and sublimates women's desires through its dreamy narratives, there remains some possibility that certain spectators find it empowering to watch women play men."Some Takarasienne shows, such as The Rose of Versailles and Elisabeth, feature androgynous characters. In Lorie Brau's view, the otokoyaku represents the woman’s idealized man without the roughness or need to dominate, the "perfect" man who can not be found in the real world, it is these male roles that offer an escape from the strict, gender-bound real roles lauded in Japanese society.

In a sense, the otokoyaku provides the female audience with a "dream" of what they desire in reality. In addition to their claim to "sell dreams", the actresses of the Takarazuka Revue take on another role, empowering themselves as women in a male-dominated culture. Kobayashi's desire to make his actresses into good wives and mothers has been hindered by their own will to pursue careers in the entertainment business, it is becoming more common for women to stay in the company well into their thirties, beyond the conventional limits of marriageable age. The actresses’ role within the Takarazuka Revue thus overlaps into the culture surrounding it, adding to their appeal to the female-dominant audience. "In fact, it is the carrying over of this'boyishness' into everyday life and the freedom that this implies that captures the attention of some fans." The otokoyaku, however, is not bound to her assigned male role in the theater. Tsurugi Miyuki, top otokoyaku star of the Moon Troupe, said that she conceived male imper


Metaphrynella is a small genus of microhylid frogs from the southern Malay Peninsula and Borneo. They are sometimes known as the Borneo treefrogs or tree hole frogs; the common name refers to the microhabitat of these frogs: males call from tree holes and tadpoles develop in the water contained in those holes. Metaphrynella are arboreal frogs that have plump bodies and adhesive finger and toe tips. Metaphrynella may be paraphyletic, as molecular data suggest that Phrynella is phylogenetically imbedded within it. Another study suggests that its closest relatives are Kaloula and Ramanella. A molecular phylogenetic study by De Sá et al. shows Kaloula to be a sister clade of Metaphrynella. There are two species

Ignacy Łempicki (general)

Ignacy Czesław Łempicki was a Polish military officer, Major General of Poland's Crown Army, Royal Adjutant General, Official of the Military Commission. He was the son of a colonel in the Crown Army. Ignacy Czesław Łempicki was a major in the infantry regiment in 1766, he was elected a member of the 1767 Sejm as a representative of the Zakroczym Land. Russian minister plenipotentiary Nikolai Vasilyeich Repnin, in an attachment to the message to the President of the Foreign Affairs College of the Russian Empire Nikita Ivanovich Panin of October 2, 1767, described Łempicki as the MP responsible for the implementation of Russian plans at the 1767 Sejm for which the king is responsible, he was married to the daughter of Jan Wilhelm Hiż, the colonel of the Crown Guard. They had a son Ignacy and daughter Eufemia

J. Alfred Taylor

James Alfred Taylor, better known as J. Alfred Taylor, was an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party from West Virginia. Taylor was born near Ironton. After graduating, he worked in a printing office in Ironton, before he moved to Alderson, West Virginia, where he was engaged in the newspaper business. In 1905 he moved from Greenbrier County to Fayette County. Taylor served as a noncommissioned officer in the West Virginia National Guard from 1908 to 1911, his political career began in 1916, when he was elected and took seat in West Virginia House of Delegates. Taylor served in this body until 1918 and again two times, he rose to Speaker during his last term. In 1922 he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from West Virginia's 6th District, he served two terms from March 4, 1923 to March 3, 1927. He was defeated in his bid for a third term by Republican candidate Edward T. England. Taylor resumed the newspaper publishing business and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1928.

During his career he served on the West Virginia Liquor Commission and was elected a member of the Fayette County Board of Education in 1946 for a six-year term. Taylor was interred in Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville. Congressional biography


The Nandipada is an ancient Indian symbol called a taurine symbol, representing a bull's hoof or the mark left by the foot of a bull in the ground. The nandipada and the zebu bull are associated with Nandi, Shiva's humped bull in Hinduism; the Nandipada symbol happens to be similar to the Brahmi letter "ma". The Nandipada appears on numerous ancient Indian coins, such as coins from Taxila dating to the 2nd century BCE; the symbol appears on the zebu bull on the reverse if shown with a Nandipada taurine mark on its hump on the less worn coins, which reinforces the role of the animal as a symbol, religious or geographic, rather than just the depiction of an animal for decorative purposes. The same association was made on coins of Zeionises or Vima Kadphises; the Nanpida symbol saw evolution with branches becoming more decorated. It is sometimes confused with the Buddhist Triratna symbol; the term is often used in numismatics

Bundt cake

A Bundt cake is a cake, baked in a Bundt pan, shaping it into a distinctive doughnut shape. The shape is inspired by a traditional European cake known as Gugelhupf, but Bundt cakes are not associated with any single recipe; the style of mold in North America was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, after cookware manufacturer Nordic Ware trademarked the name "Bundt" and began producing Bundt pans from cast aluminum. Publicity from Pillsbury saw the cakes gain widespread popularity; the Bundt cake derives in part from a European brioche-like cake called Gugelhupf. In the north of Germany Gugelhupf is traditionally known as Bundkuchen, a name formed by joining the two words Bund and Kuchen. Opinions differ as to the significance of the word Bund. One possibility is that it means "bunch" or "bundle", refers to the way the dough is bundled around the tubed center of the pan. In Dutch, the cake is called "tulband,", Dutch for'turban.' The pronunciation of the second part of this word is similar to that of'bundt.'

Another source suggests that it describes the banded appearance given to the cake by the fluted sides of the pan, similar to a tied sheaf or bundle of wheat. Some authors have suggested that Bund instead refers to a group of people, that Bundkuchen is so called because of its suitability for parties and gatherings. Uses of the word bund outside of Europe to describe cakes can be found in Jewish-American cookbooks from around the start of the 20th century; the alternative spelling "bundte" appears in a recipe as early as 1901. Bundt cakes do not conform to any single recipe. A Bundt pan has fluted or grooved sides, but its most defining design element is the central tube or "chimney" which leaves a cylindrical hole through the center of the cake; the design means that more of the mixture touches the surface of the pan than in a simple round pan, helping to provide faster and more heat distribution during cooking. The shape is similar to that of Bundkuchen. A Gugelhupf differs from contemporary Bundt-style cakes in that it follows a particular yeast-based recipe, with fruit and nuts, is deeper in shape and more decorative.

Similar in shape is the Eastern European Babka, dating from early 18th century Poland. Today, there is no single recipe for "Bundt cake." Recipes range from spicy pine-nut-and-chili cakes to ice fruit concoctions. Nordic Ware and other vendors sell Bundt-style pans in a variety of novelty shapes. Since a toroidal cake is difficult to frost, Bundt cakes are either dusted with powdered sugar, drizzle-glazed, or served undecorated. Recipes designed for Bundt pans have a baked-in filling. Since the name "Bundt" is a trademark, similar pans are sold as "fluted tube pans" or given other similar descriptive titles; the trademark holder Nordic Ware produces Bundt pans only in aluminum, but similar fluted pans are available in other materials. The people credited with popularizing the Bundt cake are American businessman H. David Dalquist and his brother Mark S. Dalquist, who co-founded cookware company Nordic Ware based in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. In the late 1940s, Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield and members of the Minneapolis Jewish-American Hadassah Society approached Dalquist asking if he could produce a modern version of a traditional cast iron Gugelhupf dish.

Dalquist and company engineer Don Nygren designed a cast aluminum version which Nordic Ware made a small production run of in 1950. In order to trademark the pans, a "t" was added to the word "Bund". A number of the original Bundt pans now reside in the Smithsonian collection; the Bundt pan sold so poorly that Nordic Ware considered discontinuing it. The product received a boost when it was mentioned in the New Good Housekeeping Cookbook in 1963, but did not gain real popularity until 1966, when a Bundt cake called the "Tunnel of Fudge", baked by Ella Helfrich, took second place at the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off and won its baker $5,000; the resulting publicity resulted in more than 200,000 requests to Pillsbury for Bundt pans and soon led to the Bundt pan surpassing the tin Jell-O mold as the most-sold pan in the United States. In the 1970s Pillsbury licensed the name Bundt from Nordic Ware and for a while sold a range of Bundt cake mixes. To date more than 60 million Bundt pans have been sold by Nordic Ware across North America.

November 15 has been named "National Bundt Day". Angel food cake, a North American sponge cake baked in a tube shaped pan Gugelhupf, Austrian and Swiss version with a similar shape Wonder Pot, a stovetop pot which uses a similar design "Bundt Cake Recipes". Food Network. "Bundt pan". MNopedia