APRIL 2009

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza), 1 in Nagoya (Misonoza), 2 in Ky˘to (Minamiza, Shunjűza) and 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 April 2009 (Shigatsu ďkabuki)
Kabukiza Sayonara K˘en
MatinÚe

Meiboku Sendai Hagi

  • Hanamizubashi
  • Goten
  • Yukashita
  • Taiketsu
  • Ninj˘
  • Evening

    Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi (Keya-mura)

    Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

    Sonezaki Shinjű

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kichiemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘

    Comments

    4th of the 16 Kabukiza Sayonara K˘en, the Kabukiza Farewell Performances, which will be held up to April 2010.

  • Meiboku Sendai Hagi: this play is about the attempt to take over one of the most famous samurai households in the Edo period, a scandal that caused a sensation in its day.
  • Hanamizubashi: the daimy˘ Yorikane (Nakamura Hashinosuke) has fallen in love with a courtesan and has neglected responsibilities, causing high ranking retainers to plot the takeover of his domain. Returning from the pleasure quarters, he is attacked at Hanamizu Bridge, but is able to escape thanks to the help of a sum˘ wrestler retainer.
  • Take-no-Ma/Goten: Masaoka (Band˘ Tamasabur˘), a loyal maidservant, is taking care of the lord's young heir. Afraid he will be poisoned, she refuses to let anyone see him who might try to assassinate him. She even fixes his meal in her quarters using her delicate tea ceremony implements to cook rice. The plotting faction does not give up, though, and sends poison in the form of candy as a present from the Sh˘gun. Masaoka's son sacrifices his life for the young lord by eating the poisoned candy, and when he is killed, she thinks only of protecting her lord. Her fierce devotion to duty convinces the plotters that she is on their side. Masaoka's actions help save the young lord, and only when she is alone can she grieve for her son. With Kataoka Nizaemon as the villainous Yashio, a court woman who kills Masaokaĺs son.
  • Yukashita: Another faithful retainer Otokonosuke (Band˘ Mitsugor˘), stands guard underneath the room, but the evil Nikki Danj˘ (Nakamura Kichiemon) appears as a giant rat, but then slips away, walking calmly through the clouds.
  • Taiketsu/Ninj˘: the elderly Geki (Nakamura Karoku), a faithful retainer, brings charges against Danj˘. Danj˘ cleverly protests his innocence, but his lies are seen through by the wise judge Katsumoto (Kataoka Nizaemon). Condemned to death, Nikki tries to take his revenge on Geki.
  • Keya-mura: Rokusuke (Nakamura Kichiemon), a sword master who lives a simple country life, is taking care of a small foundling child. He hangs the boy's kimono outside his house in the hope that the boy's relatives will see it and know where he is. One day he finds himself attacked by a woman named Osono (Nakamura Fukusuke) who turns out to be the aunt of the child. As they talk, they find that they are in fact linked by promises of marriage although they have never met directly. Osono is searching for the killer of her father, Rokusuke's master, and Rokusuke promises to help in her vendetta.
  • 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. Kataoka Nizaemon stars as Izaemon, a role that is a specialty of his family's Kansai acting style. Featuring Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as his lover, the courtesan ďgiya Yűgiri (Izaemon's lover), Kataoka Gat˘ and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse.
  • Sonezaki Shinjű: a young merchant named Tokubŕ has long been in love with the courtesan Ohatsu and is diligently trying to buy out her contract. But he is swindled out of his money by someone he considered a friend. Then he is beaten and humiliated in the precincts of the Ikutama shrine. He sneaks into the teahouse where Ohatsu is and she hides him under the veranda. At this point, Tokubŕ's "friend" comes and calls him a criminal. Ohatsu fiercely defends Tokubŕ and asks whether he is prepared to defend his honor by committing love suicide. Silently, from under the veranda, he holds her bare foot and draws it across his neck. The journey to the forest where they commit love suicide is like a dream, half-way between this world and the next and has some of the most famous lines in Japanese theatre: "Farewell to this world and to this night, farewell. To what should we who go to our deaths be likened? We are like the frost on the road leading to the graveyard, vanishing with each step". Starring Nakamura Kanjaku and Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ in the roles of Tokubŕ and Ohatsu.
  • Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 April 2009 (Y˘shun ďkabuki)
    Program

    Narukami Fud˘ Kitayama Zakura

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Unosuke, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Band˘ Shinsha, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Sawamura S˘nosuke

    Comments

    T˘shi ky˘gen production of the spectacular drama "Narukami Fud˘ Kitayama Zakura", which includes "Kenuki", "Narukami" and "Fud˘" (which all belong to the Kabuki Jűhachiban). Ichikawa Ebiz˘ plays the roles of Kumedera Danj˘, the wicked priest Narukami, Prince Hayagumo, Abe Kiyoyuki and the Deity Fud˘ My˘˘. The role of Princess Taema is played by Nakamura Shibajaku.

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 7 ~ 25 April 2009 (Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai)
    MatinÚe

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Ninokuchi-mura)

    Migawari Zazen

    Evening

    Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku (Numazu)

    Yami no Ume Hyaku Monogatari

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke

    Comments

    25th edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku island.

  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Kataoka Kamez˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Band˘ Yajűr˘ as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Shichinosuke as the island girl Chidori and Nakamura Kantar˘ as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Ninokuchi-mura:
    (Ninokuchi Village)
    Chűbŕ (Nakamura Senjaku) and Umegawa (Nakamura Shichinosuke) couple on their way to love suicide goes through the snow covered landscape on their way to the man's home town where they will meet their end. They travel throughout the countryside with the stolen money, hoping for a few fleeting moments of happiness before the money runs out and they are captured and punished.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Nakamura Kantar˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Nakamura Senjaku). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
  • Numazu: a dramatization of one of the most famous historical vendattas of the Edo period. "Numazu" is one act that tells of the sacrifices of those not directly involved in the vendetta itself but members of the same family who are indebted to the two opposing sides. The kimono merchant Jűbŕ (Nakamura Kantar˘) meets a porter Heisaku (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) as he travels west on business. They find that not only are they long-separated father and son, but that they also lie on opposite sides of the vendetta. Their loyalties prevent them from openly acknowledging their relationship. Heisaku sacrifices his life to get information from his son essential to his side's cause.
  • Yami no Ume Hyaku Monogatari: a humorous and spectacular dance, whose main characters are some of the most famous y˘kai, like Yuki Onna (the Snow Woman, the supernatural winter beauty whose eyes can strike terror into mortals), Karakasa Koz˘ (the one-eyed, single-footed and long-tongued spirit of an Umbrella), a kappa, a tanuki or a skeleton. Featuring Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website
    Sh˘riya Aragor˘ for "Yami no Ume Hyaku Monogatari"

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 20 ~ 26 April 2009 (Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    Program

    Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji

    Casting

    Kamimura Kichiya

    Comments

    17th edition of a pedagogical show in Ky˘to combining explanation for beginners (done by the professional storyteller Katsura Kujaku) and a dance-drama.

  • 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. The role of the shiraby˘shi is played by Kamimura Kichiya.
  • Shunjűza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 21 April 2009 (Kabuki Buy˘ K˘en)
    Program

    Ninin Wankyű

    Urashima

    Mochizuki

    Casting Ichikawa Danjir˘, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Juen
    Comments

    A special dance program at the Shunjűza, a theater located within the Ky˘to University of Arts and Design (Ky˘to Z˘kei Geijutsu Daigaku).

     
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