3rd edition of the Naniwa Hanagata Kabuki April program, staged by a troupe of young Kamigata actors.
The first program includes rarely-staged scenes. The third program is a newly-created drama.
Ise Ondo: this play is famous for its classical
depiction of a woman who must pretend to reject her lover for his sake and
for the beautiful and gruesome dance-like killing scene at the end,
done to the music of the Ise pleasure quarters. Fukuoka Mitsugi (Kataoka Ainosuke),
a young apprentice at the holy Shrine of Ise tries to help find the stolen
treasured sword of his clan out of duty to his former lord. Mitsugi has the sword
in his possession, but must now find the certificate of authentication and
in order to get it for him, Okon (Kataoka Takatar˘), a courtesan who is in love with Mitsugi
must pretend to forsake Mitsugi. But he believes that she has truly betrayed
him and further angered by the humiliating accusations of Manno (Kamimura Kichiya), the head
maid of the Aburaya brothel, Mitsugi inadvertently draws the sword, said
to be cursed, and the rampage begins.
Tsuchiya Chikara: this play is a specialty of the Nakamura Ganjir˘ family
and features the distinctive flashy acting of Kansai actors.
This month it will be performed by the younger members of this acting line. One of many stories set on the theme
of the revenge of the forty-seven loyal retainers features a lord named Tsuchiya Chikara (Nakamura Kanjaku)
who lives next door to the enemy of the loyal retainers and is disgusted because they do not seem to
be interested in avenging the death of the lord. He learns from his haiku
teacher that ďtaka Gengo (Nakamura Kikaku), one of his students who should be part
of the vendetta left a poem suggesting that he was forgetting his former lord and going to take service
with another samurai lord. But in fact, this poem is a riddle hiding the secret of the vendetta.
Featuring also Band˘ Takesabur˘, Band˘ Shinsha and Kamimura Kichiya.
Osome no Goyaku:
The 5 roles of Osome
A hayagawari dance, based on Tsuruya Nanboku IV's "Osome no Nanayaku" michiyuki.
The story of the love suicide of Osome, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and
Hisamatsu, a handsome young man that was an apprentice in her family's shop,
is one of the most popular stories in Kabuki and was dramatized countless times.
In 1813, Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755~1829) wrote up this story as a showpiece for
Iwai Hanshir˘ V, an onnagata specialist
in female roles. In this dance, the five roles are Osome, Hisamatsu, Omitsu (Hisamatsu's official fiance), the thunder god (raijin) and a snake charmer named Oroku.
Onnagata Kataoka Takatar˘ makes a virtuoso appearance in this dance,
acting in all five roles, including the fastest on-stage fast change in all Kabuki.
Featuring Kataoka Ainosuke and Kamimura Kichiya as two sarumawashi.
ďshio Heihachir˘: a new Kabuki drama, written by Okamoto Satoru, whose main character is the Neo-Confucianism scholar
ďshio Heihachir˘ (1793~1837), famous for his fierce opposition to the Tokugawa Shogunate.
This drama focuses on the 1837 events, when ďshio led an army consisting of his students, peasants
and some outcasts into the city of ďsaka. They managed to burn about a fifth of the city before government
troops put down the rebellion. Months later, ďshio committed suicide when he was found by the authorities.
Starring Nakamura Kanjaku in the role of ďshio Heihachir˘. Featuring also Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘,
Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha, Nakamura Kikaku and Kataoka Shinnosuke.
Sources: Earphone Guide website
Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website for "Tsuchiya Chikara"