AUGUST 2014

12 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Shinbashi Enbuj˘, Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘, National Theatre, Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada, Cerulean Tower N˘ Theater) and 2 in ďsaka (National Bunraku Theatre)!

  • Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Nakamura Shid˘ perform at the Kabukiza !
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • All the others great Kabuki actors are on vacation ...
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 27 August 2014 (Hachigatsu N˘ry˘ Kabuki)
    August Cool-Breeze Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Ky˘fu Jidai

    Ryűko

    Afternoon

    Shinshű Kawanakajima Kassen (Terutora Haizen)

    Tanuki

    Evening

    Kioi Jishi

    Kaidan Chibusa no Enoki

    Casting

    Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Kunio, Namino Naoya

    Comments

    The usual summer program at the Kabukiza! It is entitled Hachigatsu N˘ry˘ Kabuki (literally "the August cool-breeze Kabuki"). There is the first stage appearance (omemie) of Nakamura Kankur˘'s son Namino Naoya, who plays the role of Kinbŕ's son Umekichi in Osaragi Jir˘'s drama "Tanuki".

  • Ky˘fu Jidai:
    (The Age of Terror)
    This is a modern play by Tanizaki Jun'ichir˘ written in 1916 and first performed as Kabuki in 1951. The Shund˘ clan is a daimy˘ family which has a spacious second residence in the Fukagawa district of Edo (old T˘ky˘). The lord Shund˘ Unemenosh˘ĺs favorite mistress Ogin (Nakamura Senjaku) plots with her lover Shund˘ Yukie (Band˘ Yajűr˘), an evil chief retainer of Unemenosh˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke), to poison Unemenosh˘ĺs pregnant legal wife and let Oginĺs son Teruchiyo, in fact born to Yukie and her, succeed to the Shund˘ clan. She makes the house doctor Gentaku (Kataoka Kamez˘), who is attached to her, prepare poison for her plan and poisons him, making him believe that she will answer his love. Then she frightens a tea server Chinsai (Nakamura Kankur˘) into undertaking to poison Unemenosh˘ĺs legal wife. Oginĺs maidservant Umeno (Ichimura Manjir˘) loves Isogai Iorinosuke (Nakamura Shichinosuke), a beautiful page of Unemenosh˘, and is engaged to him, but he is in fact in love with Ogin. Chinsai rushes to them and reports that Ujiie and Suganuma, Unemenosh˘ĺs two loyal retainers from the home province, seize Unemenosh˘ and remonstrate with him about indulging in songs and dances and slaying innocent people every day as an entertainment at a drinking party. Iorinosuke appears and challenges them to a fight with real swords, as they desire to kill Ogin, because they think she escalates the lordĺs misconduct and does harm to the lordĺs family. He slays them down in an instant. Unemenosh˘ gets excited to see blood, and orders Umeno, who is skilled in the military arts, a fight with real swords against Iorinosuke. He slays her cruelly, too. It is reported that Unemenosh˘ĺs legal wife is poisoned and Chinsai is suspected. Ogin and Iorinosuke smile to each other as they are left alone. Noticing that Yukie witnesses this, Iorinosuke slays Yukie. Moreover Iorinosuke slays Unemenosh˘, when Unemenosh˘ gets angry at them to learn of their plot from Chinsaiĺs confession. Ogin and Iorinosuke stab each other, as he has murdered too many people and their plan to take over the clan has failed.
  • Ryűko: this is a modern piece created after the end of World War II on the universal theme of the unending fight between the dragon, the greatest power in the sky, and the tiger, the greatest power on land. Starring Nakamura Shid˘ as the spirit of the dragon and Band˘ Minosuke as the spirit of the tiger.
  • Terutora Haizen: a rare performance of a historical play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. The warlord Nagao Terutora (Nakamura Hashinosuke) wants the services of the great strategist Yamamoto Kansuke who is now the strategist for his rival Takeda Shingen. The wife of one of Terutora's retainers is Kansuke's sister and so Terutora invites Kansuke's wife and mother to see her. When the two women arrive, Terutora brings the food tray himself and knowing what he has in mind, the old woman Koshiji (Ichimura Manjir˘) kicks it. The furious Terutora wants to kill them all, but is restrained by Kansuke's wife Okatsu (Nakamura Senjaku), who desperately defends her mother, despite the fact that she cannot speak and must express herself in koto music instead. Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘.
  • Tanuki: in Japanese tradition, tanuki, an animal like a raccoon dog, is supposed to be crafty, magical creatures. In this modern play by Osaragi JiroOsaragi Jir˘, human beings are shown as being even more deceitful than tanuki. A man named Kashiwaya Kinbŕ (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) dies and is about to be cremated when he strangely comes back to life. He decides to live with his mistress Osome (Nakamura Shichinosuke) only to see that she actually has a lover, Sayama Sangor˘ (Nakamura Shid˘), on the side and has been lying to him all the time. Kinbŕ is disgusted with his family and mistress and decides to change his name and make a new life. But one day, he happens to go by his old house. His young son Umekichi is the only one to recognize him and, moved by Umekichiĺs sincere love, Kinbŕ returns home. Featuring also Nakamura Senjaku (Kinbŕ's wife Oseki), Nakamura Kankur˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Band˘ Shűch˘.
  • Kioi Jishi: this dance shows an Edo festival with its lively lion dance and other entertainments. The festival is full of handsome firemen and attractive geisha who do a series of graceful dances. One of the highlights of this dance is the story of the Soga brothers avenging the death of their father by attacking their enemy during a hunting party for the Sh˘gun at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Featuring Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Shid˘ and Band˘ Yajűr˘.
  • Chibusa no Enoki:
    (The Ghost and the Milk-Giving Tree)
    Based on a rakugo story by Sanyűtei Ench˘, this is a showpiece for the star actor (Nakamura Kankur˘) who plays multiple roles, culminating in a thrilling fight scene in a waterfall where he switches rapidly from one to another. An artist named Hishikawa Shigenobu (Nakamura Kankur˘) is killed by a handsome samurai named Isogai Namie (Nakamura Shid˘) who makes love to Shigenobu's wife Oseki (Nakamura Shichinosuke). He carries out the murder with the help of Shigenobu's honest, but simple minded, servant Sh˘suke (Nakamura Kankur˘) and the tattooed villain Uwabami no Sanji (Nakamura Kankur˘). But the baby is rescued by the ghost of Shigenobu and finally the boy avenges the death of his father by killing Isogai.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 10 August 2014 (ABKAI - Ebikai)
    Ebiz˘ Gala
    Program

    SOU (S˘)

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘

    Comments

    2nd edition of ABKAI - Ebikai, the gala of the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘. The first item in this program is a newly-created dance. The second item is the classic "Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata" of the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs a chűnori at the end of this play.

    Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 13 ~ 15 August 2014 (IDOMU ~ Atsuki Yakusha no Arata na Kiseki)
    Challenge ~ A New Trajectory for a Passionate actor
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Omatsuri

    Casting

    Onoe Matsuya, Kamimura Kichiya

    Comments

    A gala program called Idomu (Challenge) for the young actor Onoe Matsuya

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 9 ~ 10 August 2014 (Ne no Kai)
    Program

    Tsuru Kame

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Ninokuchi-mura)

    Comments

    16th edition of the summer program of the association Ne no Kai (the Sound Association).

    Dates 14 ~ 18 August 2014 (Chigyokai/Kabukikai)
    Program

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kurumabiki
  • Ga no Iwai
  • Terakoya
  • Comments

    20th 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.

    Dates 21 August 2014
    Program

    Kuruwa Sanbas˘

    Genzai D˘j˘ji

    Tenaraiko

    Teidan

    Yoshinoyama

    Kane no Misaki

    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Shibajaku, ďtani Tomoemon, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Ky˘z˘

    Comments

    A special dance program (Buy˘) which commemorate the 2nd anniversary (3rd memorial service) of the passing away of Living National Treasure Nakamura Jakuemon IV. There are two programs (one afternoon show and one evening show) which are almost identical.

  • Kuruwa Sanbas˘: the sanbas˘ is an auspicious dance based on the ritual play Okina in the classical theater which shows an old man as a symbol of longevity and the energetic sanbas˘ as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. In Kabuki there are many different versions, but this particular one sets the dance in the pleasure quarters and has a beautiful top-ranking courtesan in place of the old man and a taiko mochi entertainer instead of the boisterous sanbas˘. This dance features Nakamura Jakuemon's disciples.
  • Genzai D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" or "The Maiden at D˘j˘ji Temple" is the most famous dance to display the alluring charm of an onnagata female role specialist and has inspired many variations. It shows the ghost of a woman who was transformed into a serpent out of passion and destroyed a temple bell. In this particular version created in 1749, the shiraby˘shi is replaced by a keisei named Kiyotaki. This is the oldest Kabuki d˘j˘jimono. Starring Nakamura Ky˘z˘.
  • Teidan: a conversation on stage about late Living National Treasure Nakamura Jakuemon with either Matsumoto K˘shir˘ (afternoon show) or Nakamura Kichiemon (one evening) and somebody from the Sh˘chiku Company.
  • Yoshinoyama: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring ďtani Hirotar˘ as Tadanobu, with ďtani Hiromatsu as Shizuka.
  • Kane no Misaki: ďtani Tomoemon appears as a beautiful young girl, expressing her love and feelings of jealousy. This is the same story as the colorful "Musume D˘j˘ji" dance, but is performed in a restrained chamber style.
  • Kagami Jishi: one of the most important dances for onnagata female role specialists and is an audience favorite. The maidservant Yayoi performs an auspicious lion dance for the Sh˘gun in his opulent palace, but she gradually finds herself under the control of the lion spirit. In the second half of the dance, the lion spirit itself appears and performs its crazed dance among peonies and fluttering butterflies. Starring Nakamura Shibajaku as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Dates 22 August 2014 (Yamashiroya Sakata T˘jűr˘)
    Program

    Fuji Musume

    Ninin Wankyű

    Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

    Casting

    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kazutar˘

    Comments

    The 8th edition of an NHK-sponsored program, which is called Gei no Shinzui (the Essence of Art in English) and is dedicated to the Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘.

  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘.
  • Ninin Wankyű: the fabulously wealthy Wanya Kyűbŕ (nicknamed Wankyű) is disowned by his family for falling in love with the courtesan Matsuyama. Then, when she dies, he goes mad with grief and wanders through the countryside. This dance shows him as he imagines meeting Matsuyama again and there is a lively dance recalling their happiness together before the vision fades and he is left alone. No actor on stage, only the Nagauta ensemble.
  • Yoshidaya: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. Izaemon, the son of a wealthy family, has been disowned for loving a courtesan and now has nothing but a paper kimono. This role is a classic example of the wagoto or soft style of acting that is one of the representative acting styles of the Kansai region. Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ stars as Izaemon, a role that is a specialty of his family's Kansai acting style. Featuring his grandson Nakamura Kazutar˘ as his lover, the courtesan ďgiya Yűgiri (Izaemon's lover), Band˘ Takesabur˘ and Kamimura Kichiya as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Dates 30 ~ 31 August 2014 (Matsuo-juku Kodomo Kabuki)
    Matsuo Academy of Kabuki ~ Kabuki for Kids Performance
    Program

    Shinpan Ukina no Yomiuri (Kuramae)

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Suminuri

    Comments

    The Matsuo-juku Kodomo Kabuki [website in Japanese] is a kodomo shibai troupe, founded in ďsaka in 1988 by Matsuo Hazue, the wife of Matsuo Kuniz˘ (1899~1984), whose name is closely associated to the Matsuo Artistic Awards (Matsuo Gein˘ Sh˘). The troupe is now led by Matsuo Hazue's daughter Matsuo Hideko. The troupe celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012.

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 16 ~ 17 August 2014 (Matsuo-juku Kodomo Kabuki)
    Matsuo Academy of Kabuki ~ Kabuki for Kids Performance
    Program

    Shinpan Ukina no Yomiuri (Kuramae)

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Suminuri

    Comments

    The Matsuo-juku Kodomo Kabuki [website in Japanese] is a kodomo shibai troupe, founded in ďsaka in 1988 by Matsuo Hazue, the wife of Matsuo Kuniz˘ (1899~1984), whose name is closely associated to the Matsuo Artistic Awards (Matsuo Gein˘ Sh˘). The troupe is now led by Matsuo Hazue's daughter Matsuo Hideko. The troupe celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012.

    Dates 23 ~ 24 August 2014 (Kamigata Kabukikai)
    Program

    Shinshű Kawanakajima Kassen (Terutora Haizen)

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Kokingo Uchijini
  • Sushiya
  • Comments

    24th 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.

    Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 15 ~ 17 August 2014
    Program

    Kabuki Koku he no Izanai
    Shibuya Konn˘maru Densetsu (Special Version)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Onoe Kikunoj˘ III

    Comments

    A newly-created Kabuki program full of dances for children based on the legend of the hero Shibuya Konn˘maru. "Kabuki Koku he no Izanai" means "Invitation to the Country of Kabuki". Not for the adults! The first adventures were staged in the same location in November 2010. A website dedicated to this project has opened.

    Cerulean Tower N˘ Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 17 August 2014
    MatinÚe

    Buy˘ to Nagauta no Tanoshimikata

    Gor˘ Tokimune

    Shiokumi

    Evening

    Buy˘ to Nagauta no Tanoshimikata

    Miyakodori

    Kokaji

    Casting

    Ichikawa Enshi, Ichikawa Emino

    Comments

    2nd edition of the Tensh˘kai, a gala for the young actor Ichikawa Enshi, a disciple of Ichikawa Ennosuke. "Buy˘ to Nagauta no Tanoshimikata" is a stage speech which can be translated by "How to enjoy Buy˘ and Nagauta". Others items in this program are dance-dramas.

     
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