AUGUST 2017

8 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘), 1 in Nagoya (Chűnichi Theatre), 4 in ďsaka (Festival Hall, ABC Hall, National Bunraku Theatre, Kintetsu Art Kan)!

  • Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Ichikawa Chűsha perform at the Kabukiza !
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs at the Chűnichi Theatre and at the Festival Hall!
  • Onoe Matsuya performs at the ABC Hall and at the Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘!
  • All the others great Kabuki actors are on vacation ...
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 9 ~ 27 August 2017 (Hachigatsu N˘ry˘ Kabuki)
    August Cool-Breeze Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Irezumi Ch˘han

    Tama Usagi

    Dango Uri

    Afternoon

    Shuzenji Monogatari

    T˘kaid˘chű Hizakurige (Kobikich˘ Nazotoki Banashi)

    Evening

    Noda-ban Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Band˘ Shűch˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Mantar˘

    Comments

    The usual summer program at the Kabukiza! It is entitled Hachigatsu N˘ry˘ Kabuki (literally "the August cool-breeze Kabuki").

  • Irezumi Ch˘han:
    (Tattooed Hantar˘)
    A play by the early 20th century writer Hasegawa Shin, who portrayed the lives of those on the bottom of society, often gangsters forced to live their lives on the road. Though a good man, Hantar˘ (Ichikawa Chűsha) has a weakness for gambling. Having been forced to leave Edo due to this weakness, he marries Onaka (Nakamura Shichinosuke), a woman he saves from suicide by drowning. Though Hantar˘ has given up gambling for the sake of the ill Onaka, her dying wish is that he return to what he loves the most, and Hantar˘ is unable to ignore the request of his love. Featuring also Ichikawa Somegor˘ in the role of the local boss Masagor˘.
  • Tama Usagi:
    (The Rabbit in the Moon)
    This is a dance with musical accompaniment provided by the Kiyomoto Narrative Ensemble. It is the night of a full autumn moon. Looking up at the round moon, we see the shadow of a rabbit making rice dumplings. Before long, it springs out, landing in a field of pampas grass. It proceeds to demonstrate how it makes rice dumplings with a pestle and mortar. After this, it begins to relate a famous children's tale about Mt. Kachikachi, in which a tanuki racoon dog comes to blows with a rabbit. The story mixes in the antics of an elderly man and woman. On this moonlit night, the rabbit (Nakamura Kantar˘) seems in festive mood and continues to make merry through the night.
  • Dango Uri:
    (The Dumpling Peddlers)
    the mortar and pestle used for pounding rice cakes and dumplings are a symbol of a happily married couple. This short, lively dance shows a couple peddling dumplings with a series of songs and dances. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ and Ichikawa Ennosuke in the roles of the husband and the wife.
  • Shuzenji Monogatari: a mask carver (Band˘ Yajűr˘) has been ordered to make a portrait of Yoriie (Nakamura Kankur˘), the second Sh˘gun, but despairs of his artistic powers because no matter how many times he tries, the mask always shows the signs of death. But finally he learns that the mask holds the secrets of the tragic fate of Yoriie and his own daughter Katsura (Ichikawa Ennosuke). This modern play by Okamoto Kid˘ is probably the greatest classic of New Kabuki (Shinkabuki), a perfect blend of the technique of old Kabuki and modern ideas of drama. Featuring also Band˘ Minosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Band˘ Shűch˘.
  • T˘kaid˘chű Hizakurige:
    (Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi on the T˘kaid˘ Highway - The Curious Casebook of the Kabukiza)
    "T˘kaid˘chű Hizakurige" is a comical story of a fictional journey made by Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi who travel from Edo along the T˘kaid˘ Highway. The story was a great bestseller during the Edo period. It has often been performed as Kabuki and is popular as a comedy reflecting the topics of each epoch since the Sh˘wa era. Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi have gone on a pilgrimage to the Ise Shrine, and, after experiencing many hardships such as being blown up by giant fireworks in the Ise fireworks festival, and encountering a whale on their way to Las Vegas, they finally make it back to Edo (the old name for T˘ky˘). Now penniless after their travels, they have no choice but to work as black-robed stagehands at the Kabukiza Theatre. The Kabukiza Theatre is filled with big crowds day after day, and the run of the lively performance is extended again and again. But signs of unrest are found backstage and bad rumors of the actors appearing in the performance seem to be spreading. Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi blunder onto the stage again and again and, as ever, are scolded. One day, an actor falls on stage at the packed Kabukiza Theatre. The whole city of Edo is in uproar at this unprecedented and serious incident. People suspect Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi because of their blunders on stage, so the pair tries to find the real culprit to clear themselves of suspicion. Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Yajirobŕ and Ichikawa Ennosuke as Kitahachi.
  • Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita:
    (Noda-version: Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees)
    This noda-ban work, based on the novels of Sakaguchi Ango, was written by Noda Hideki for his theatrical company and is adapted for Kkabuki for the first time. Deep in a forest of cherry trees, it is said that something bad happens under the trees in full bloom. Is it because dead bodies are buried there, or is it the work of demons? It is the Era of Emperor Tenchi (7th century). The king of Hida (Nakamura Senjaku) summons three master sculptors called Mimio (Nakamura Kankur˘), Manako (Ichikawa En'ya) and ďama (Ichikawa Somegor˘), and orders them to compete with each other in carving a Buddhist statue. This statue is to protect the kingĺs daughters, Princess Yonaga (Nakamura Shichinosuke) and Princess Hayane (Nakamura Baishi). However, each of the sculptors has something to hide: Mimio is a fraud because he took the position of a master sculptor by killing his master. Manako is actually a bandit wrongly taken to be a master sculptor after he murdered the real master while stealing. ďama is a suspicious man of unknown origin. The three men are ordered to complete their Buddhist statues in three years. One day, Princess Hayane is found dead hanging from a cherry tree, and at the same time the Emperor Tenchi passes away in the capital. The king of Hida grieves at the news of these two deaths. However, when Princess Yonaga sees her younger sisterĺs corpse a smile comes to her lips. Finally, the three years pass and the sculptors complete their Buddhist statues. However, each individualĺs intentions become entangled... Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Kataoka Kamez˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Chűnichi Theatre (Nagoya)
    Dates 2 ~ 7 August 2017 (Roppongi Kabuki)
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Zat˘ Ichi

    Kabuki Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Terajima Shinobu

    Comments

    Second edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances, which was premiered in T˘ky˘ at the EX THEATER in February 2017. Based on a script written by Lily Franky, the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). The story is about Zat˘ Ichi, the zat˘ Ichi, a blind masseur and blademaster who was created by novelist Shimozawa Kan. The guest star of this production is not a Kabuki actor but the actress Terajima Shinobu, the daughter of Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.

    ABC Hall (ďsaka)
    Dates 4 ~ 6 August 2017 (IDOMU)
    Challenge
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Sanja Matsuri

    Futari Bakama

    Casting

    Onoe Matsuya

    Comments

    A gala program called Idomu (Challenge), 9th edition, for the young actor Onoe Matsuya, with performances in ďsaka (ABC Hall) and T˘ky˘ (Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘).

    Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 22 ~ 24 August 2017 (IDOMU)
    Challenge
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Noriaibune Eh˘ Manzai

    Casting

    Onoe Matsuya, ďtani Keiz˘

    Comments

    A gala program called Idomu (Challenge), 9th edition, for the young actor Onoe Matsuya, with performances in ďsaka (ABC Hall) and T˘ky˘ (Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘).

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 6 August 2017 (S˘ch˘kai)
    Program

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
    (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Casting

    Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Ch˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ch˘shi, Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘, Nakamura Umeno, Nakamura Matanosuke

    Comments

    3rd edition of the S˘ch˘kai (literally "the Two Butterflies Association"), which stars Nakamura Kash˘ and his brother Nakamura Tanenosuke. Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Yonekichi are the guest stars of this program.

  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan. Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance. Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy. This performance stars Nakamura Tanenosuke as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Kazutar˘ as Tokiwa Gozen, Nakamura Kash˘ as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Yonekichi as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku, who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Starring Nakamura Kash˘ as Matahei and Nakamura Yonekichi as his wife Otoku.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Dates 11 ~ 12 August 2017 (Ne no Kai)
    Program

    Asazuma Bune

    Dokugin Sandai

    Sukeroku

    Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi

    Comments

    19th edition of the summer program of the association Ne no Kai (the Sound Association). "Dokugin Sandai" is a mix of famous music coming from "Banch˘ Sarayashiki", "Kamiyui Shinza" and "T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan". Only "Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi" is staged with Kabuki actors.

    Dates 16 ~ 20 August 2017 (Chigyokai/Kabukikai)
    Program

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Iro Momiji Tsugiki no Futsutsuka (Benikan)

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Comments

    23rd 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 with the guidance of Nakamura Baigyoku/Nakamura Kaishun ("Banch˘ Sarayashiki"), Nakamura Umeya ("Benikan") and Nakamura Shikan ("Hikimado").

    Dates 27 ~ 28 August 2017 (Ken no Kai)
    Program

    Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi

    Hane no Kamuro

    Tomo Yakko

    Casting

    Onoe Ukon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Onoe Matsuya, Sawamura Kuniya, Ichikawa Tsutanosuke

    Comments

    3rd edition of the Ken no Kai, which stars Onoe Kikugor˘ VI's great-grandson Onoe Ukon. Ken no Kai literally means "Ken's Association" with Ken being the first ideogram in Onoe Ukon's real first name Kensuke. Kataoka Ichiz˘and Onoe Matsuya are the two guest stars of this program.

    Kintetsu Art Kan (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 6 August 2017 (Sora no Kai)
    Program

    Yotsuya Kaidan

    Casting

    Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘, Kataoka Senju, Kataoka Yűjir˘, Kataoka Rikiya

    Comments

    The 3rd gala of the Sora no Kai, in ďsaka at the Kintetsu Art Kan, which stars Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘, Kataoka Senju, Kataoka Yűjir˘ and Kataoka Rikiya, 5 disciples of the Matsushimaya guild. Sora no Kai literally means "Sky Association". "Yotsuya Kaidan" is based on Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan". These performances are entitled Abeno Kabuki (Abeno is the name of a famous district in ďsaka).

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 24 ~ 25 August 2017 (Kamigata Kabukikai)
    Program

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kamo Zutsumi
  • Ga no Iwai
  • B˘ Shibari

    Comments

    27th 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, with the guidance of Kataoka Nizaemon, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Kataoka Gat˘.

    Festival Hall (ďsaka)
    Dates 10 ~ 13 August 2017 (Roppongi Kabuki)
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Zat˘ Ichi

    Kabuki Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Terajima Shinobu

    Comments

    Second edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances, which was premiered in T˘ky˘ at the EX THEATER in February 2017. Based on a script written by Lily Franky, the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). The story is about Zat˘ Ichi, the zat˘ Ichi, a blind masseur and blademaster who was created by novelist Shimozawa Kan. The guest star of this production is not a Kabuki actor but the actress Terajima Shinobu, the daughter of Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.

     
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