AUGUST 2010

7 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘, National Theatre, Zenshinza Gekij˘), 1 in Ky˘to (Shunjűza), 1 in Nara (Yakushiji) and 1 in ďsaka (National Bunraku Theatre)!

Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
Dates 7 ~ 28 August 2010 (Hachigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
MatinÚe

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Torii Mae
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Afternoon

    Kurayami no Ushimatsu

    Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji

    Evening

    T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘

    Comments

  • Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura:
    (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees)
    This play was first performed in the Bunraku puppet theatre and is an epic story about the famous 12th century general Yoshitsune fleeing from the wrath of his brother Yoritomo, after the end of the war. Although Yoshitsune is the title character, the main characters of the play are actually different and this month features the three acts of the play about the magical fox Tadanobu.
  • Torii Mae:
    (In Front of the Fushimi Inari Shrine)
    Yoshitsune (Nakamura Kantar˘) is forced to flee from the troops sent by his brother Yoritomo. The trip will be hard and he decides that he must leave behind his lover Shizuka Gozen (Nakamura Shichinosuke), despite her passionate pleas to remain with him. As a reminder of himself, he presents her with a precious hand drum that he had received from the emperor. Yoshitsune's retainer Tadanobu (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) rescues Shizuka from Yoritomo's troops and Yoshitsune decides to leave her in his care.
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi:
    (Mt. Yoshino)
    The story continues with a musical travel scene. Hearing that Yoshitsune has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino, Tadanobu (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) and Shizuka (Nakamura Shichinosuke) go to try to meet him there. Although Tadanobu keeps disappearing, he always appears when Shizuka plays the precious drum that she received from Yoshitsune. In dance Tadanobu recounts episodes from the Genpei war, including the battle in which his brother died.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata:
    (The Mansion of the Priest Kawatsura)
    Yoshitsune (Nakamura Kantar˘) has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino at the mansion of an old ally. Tadanobu (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) arrives but has no recollection of Shizuka being placed under his care. Shizuka (Nakamura Shichinosuke) herself soon arrives with the other Tadanobu and after an investigation they discover that he is actually a fox (Ichikawa Ebiz˘). In a touching story, the fox tells how he took on human form to be close to the hand drum which is made from the skins of his fox parents. Moved, Yoshitsune gives the fox the drum and he flies away joyously. This scene features the Kabuki technique of flying through the air (chűnori).
  • Kurayami no Ushimatsu: a modern masterpiece by Hasegawa Shin (1884~1963) first performed in 1934. It shows Ushimatsu, an cook with a very strong sense of justice who is forced to kill the evil stepmother of his lover Oyone. Ushimatsu flees, but entrusts Oyone to Shirobŕ, his trusted workmate. Some years later, he sneaks back into Edo, but on his way, he encounters Oyone as a prostitute in an inn outside of town. She tries to explain that Shirobŕ treacherously seduced her and then sold her into prostitution as soon as Ushimatsu was gone. Ushimatsu refuses to listen to her, and heartbroken, Oyone commits suicide. In the final scene, Ushimatsu goes to kill Shirobŕ as he is in the public bath. This tense human drama is set against the details of common life in Edo: a roadside inn, the backroom of a bathhouse, ... Starring Nakamura Hashinosuke as Ushimatsu. With Nakamura Senjaku as Oyone, Nakamura Fukusuke as Shirobŕ's wife, Nakamura Shid˘ as the cook Yűji and with Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Shirobŕ.
  • Musume D˘j˘ji: a beautiful young woman dances under cherry blossoms at a dedication ceremony for a temple bell. She dances the many aspects of a woman in love, but is actually the spirit of a serpent, driven to destroy the bell out of jealousy. In addition to being the most famous of all Kabuki dances, "Musume D˘j˘ji" is considered to be the pinnacle of the art of the onnagata. This monthĺs production stars Nakamura Fukusuke as the maiden and also features a rare performance of the second part of the dance where the maiden appears as a serpent and is pushed back by a powerful hero played in the bombastic aragoto style. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ appears as the hero ďdate Samagor˘ Teruhide and aragoto is the specialty of his acting family.
  • Yotsuya Kaidan: Iemon, a villainous masterless samurai (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) is in love with Oiwa (Nakamura Kantar˘) and even kills her father to be united with her, cynically promising to help her to avenge her father's death. But at the same time, the granddaughter of a wealthy doctor falls in love with him and her grandfather tries to ensure the match by sending a horrible disfiguring poison to Oiwa. In the most famous scene of the play, face destroyed, hair falling out, Oiwa carefully dresses and puts on make-up to pay a proper visit to those who have wronged her. Iemon kills Oiwa and his servant Kobotoke Kohŕ (Nakamura Kantar˘), has their bodies nailed to a door and thrown into the river. Iemon is happily married into the wealthy family, but no sooner does the beautiful young bride arrive than Oiwa's ghost causes Iemon to kill her. The vengeful ghosts do not rest until all of their enemies are dead and, in another famous scene, Oiwa and Kohei appear floating on the river, calling out to Iemon. The concluding scene shows the ghost of Oiwa appearing mysteriously from inside a paper lantern and pulling her enemies into the wall and disappearing magically. Featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Shid˘ in the roles of Oiwa's sister Osode, Sat˘ Yomoshichi and Naosuke Gonbŕ.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shunjűza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 24 ~ 27 August 2010 (Kamejir˘ no Kai)
    Program

    Gyosh˘ Mond˘

    J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Kamimura Kichiya

    Comments

    The Ky˘to leg of the 8th edition of the gala of the association Kamejir˘ no Kai, which supports the young and talented actor Ichikawa Kamejir˘. 3 special guests for this gala: the non-Kabuki actor Watanabe Tetsu and Fukushi Seiji, and the Buy˘ dancer Onoe Seifű.

  • Gyosh˘ Mond˘: a Nagauta-based dance, which depicts the quarrel between a lumberjack and a fisherman. Starring Ichikawa Kamejir˘ and Onoe Seifű.
  • J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi: a modern drama by Kawamura Kary˘, which was premiered in September 1933 at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ and starred Onoe Kikugor˘ VI and Nakamura Kichiemon I. This is the story of two Edo childhood friends, Kiba Sh˘tar˘ and Buraikan Gajir˘, who met by chance after 15 years. They are both thieves. In a heaven-like forest, they promise to mend their ways, to work honestly and steadily and to meet again in ten years in the same place. One will become an honest cook and the other ... Starring Ichikawa Kamejir˘ and Fukushi Seiji in the roles of Sh˘tar˘ and Gajir˘.
  • National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 5 August 2010 (Ne no Kai)
    Program

    Ataka no Matsu

    Shizuka to Tomomori

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi)

    Comments

    12th edition of the summer program of the association Ne no Kai (the Sound Association). The first two items feature only the geza musicians and the Nagauta music ensemble. The last one is a dance, which stars disciples of major actors.

    Dates 18 ~ 22 August 2010 (Kamejir˘ no Kai)
    Program

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa Juen

    Comments

    The T˘ky˘ leg of the 8th edition of the gala of the association Kamejir˘ no Kai, which supports the young and talented actor Ichikawa Kamejir˘. 3 special guests for this gala: the non-Kabuki actors Watanabe Tetsu and Fukushi Seiji, and the actress Morita Nao.

  • Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura:
    (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees)
    This play was first performed in the Bunraku puppet theatre and is an epic story about the famous 12th century general Yoshitsune fleeing from the wrath of his brother Yoritomo, after the end of the war. Although Yoshitsune is the title character, the main characters of the play are actually different and this month features the three acts of the play about the magical fox Tadanobu.
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi:
    (Mt. Yoshino)
    The story continues with a musical travel scene. Hearing that Yoshitsune has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino, Tadanobu (Ichikawa Kamejir˘) and Shizuka (Nakamura Shibajaku) go to try to meet him there. Although Tadanobu keeps disappearing, he always appears when Shizuka plays the precious drum that she received from Yoshitsune. In dance Tadanobu recounts episodes from the Genpei war, including the battle in which his brother died.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata:
    (The Mansion of the Priest Kawatsura)
    Yoshitsune (Ichikawa Somegor˘) has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino at the mansion of an old ally. Tadanobu (Ichikawa Kamejir˘) arrives but has no recollection of Shizuka being placed under his care. Shizuka (Nakamura Shibajaku) herself soon arrives with the other Tadanobu and after an investigation they discover that he is actually a fox (Ichikawa Kamejir˘). In a touching story, the fox tells how he took on human form to be close to the hand drum which is made from the skins of his fox parents. Moved, Yoshitsune gives the fox the drum and he flies away joyously. This scene features the Kabuki technique of flying through the air (chűnori).
  • J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi: a modern drama by Kawamura Kary˘, which was premiered in September 1933 at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ and starred Onoe Kikugor˘ VI and Nakamura Kichiemon I. This is the story of two Edo childhood friends, Kiba Sh˘tar˘ and Buraikan Gajir˘, who met by chance after 15 years. They are both thieves. In a heaven-like forest, they promise to mend their ways, to work honestly and steadily and to meet again in ten years in the same place. One will become an honest cook and the other ... Starring Ichikawa Kamejir˘ and Fukushi Seiji in the roles of Sh˘tar˘ and Gajir˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi"

    Dates 20 ~ 23 August 2010 (Chigyokai/Kabukikai)
    Program

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Michiyuki Tabiji no Yomeiri
  • Comments

    16th edition of the common program for 2 associations, the Chigyokai (the Young Fishes Association) and the Kabukikai (the Kabuki Association), which stars stars' disciples in the leading roles of all the items in the program.

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 21 ~ 22 August 2010 (Kamigata Kabukikai)
    Program

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Modori Kago Iro ni Aikata

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

    Comments

    20th edition of the Kamigata Kabukikai (the Kamigata Kabuki Association), a summer program in ďsaka which stars Kamigata Kabuki stars' disciples in the leading roles of all the items.

    Zenshinza Gekij˘ (Kichij˘ji)
    Dates 21 August 2010
    Program

    Chatsubo

    Narukami

    Casting

    Arashi Keishi, Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Yamazaki Ryűnosuke

    Comments

    The Zenshinza will tour in the USA in November 2010. In order to prepare this North-American tour, the two Kabuki dramas, which will be staged there, are staged at the Zenshinza Gekij˘:

  • Chatsubo: the farces of the classical Ky˘gen theater have universal appeal, showing the relationships of masters and servants and husbands and wives. In this particular dance play, the servant Magoroku carries a precious tea caddy which the thief Kumataka Tar˘ (Fujikawa Yanosuke) then claims is his. The servant and the thief must both explain who owns the treasure, first in words, then in dance.
  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Arashi Keishi) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Kawarasaki Kunitar˘) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Yakushiji (Nara)
    Dates 2 ~ 3 August 2010 (Sekaisan Yakushiji H˘n˘ ďkabuki)
    World Heritage Yakushiji Offering Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Funa Benkei

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘

    Comments

    This special Kabuki performance within the precincts of the famous Yakushiji temple in Nara is staged as one of the seasonal events, which are held throughout Nara Prefecture in 2010 to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of Nara Heij˘-ky˘ Capital.

  • Funa Benkei: in this powerful dance-drama, which is based on the well-known play of the same title, Nakamura Kanzabur˘ performs two strikingly different characters, Yoshitsune's mistress Shizuka and the ghost of Taira no Tomomori. The first part of the drama shows Benkei persuading Yoshitsune to part with Shizuka. Then, when Yoshitsune and his retinue embark, the ghost of Tomomori, believed to have perished in the battle of Dan-no-Ura between the Minamoto and Taira forces in 1185, emerges from the raging waves and begins to attack Yoshitsune. Overpowered by Benkei's fervent prayer, Tomomori's ghost finally retreats in agony.
  • Source: Sasaguchi Rei

     
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