APRIL 2014

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza), 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza), 1 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 1 shows in Ky˘to (Minamiza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 April 2014 (H˘˘sai Shigatsu ďkabuki)
Phoenix Festival April Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Iwau Haru Kobiki no Nigiwai

Kamakura Sandaiki
(Kinugawa-mura Kankyo)

Kotobuki Utsubo Zaru

Sonezaki Shinjű

Evening

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

Onna Date

Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘ (Kamiyui Shinza)

Casting

Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Utae, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Baishi, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Matsumoto Kintar˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘

Comments

A special program celebrating the 1st anniversary of the opening of the new Kabukiza. This special program is called H˘˘sai, which means Phoenix Festival. The Phoenix bird is the symbol of the Kabukiza as it is also the mon of this theater. This program should have been the second month of the shűmei of Nakamura Utaemon VII and Nakamura Fukusuke X but it was postponed as the former actor was on sick leave. Three events will be celebrated:

  • Iwau Haru Kobiki no Nigiwai: an elegant dance to celebrate the first anniversary of the Grand Opening of Kabukiza Theatre. Featuring Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Gat˘ and Nakamura Senjaku.
  • Kamakura Sandaiki: a rare performance of a classical history play from the Bunraku puppet theatre, which shows a heroic warrior, unbending mother and delicate princess in romance and intrigue on a grand scale. Miuranosuke (Nakamura Baigyoku) is a samurai serving the lord of a besieged castle. Princess Toki (Nakamura Kaishun), the woman he is betrothed to marry, is the daughter of the lord leading the attack on the castle. While he is away at battle, she comes to a lonely farming village to care for his sick mother. Miuranosuke comes back from the battle to see his mother, but she refuses to let him in since he has come away from his duties. In turn, Miuranosuke refuses to see Princess Toki because she is the daughter of the enemy. Finally, all is revealed to be a plot by the brilliant strategist Takatsuna (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), to force Princess Toki to assassinate her father. Princess Toki is considered to be one of the most difficult princess roles in the Kabuki repertory. Nakamura Kamenoj˘ plays the role of T˘zabur˘'s wife Okuru.
  • Utsubo Zaru: in front of a Shrine, Lady Miyoshino (Nakamura Matagor˘) captures a monkey and asks the saruhiki (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) to sell her the monkey so that she can use its skin to make a leather quiver. At first, the saruhiki refuses, but when Miyoshino shows that she is about to kill the monkey, he reluctantly agrees to part with his monkey. Fortunately, the monkey dance will bring a happy ending to "Utsubo Zaru". Featuring also Band˘ Mitsugor˘'s son Band˘ Minosuke.
  • 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. Featuring also Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji.
  • 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 Kichiemon as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Kaishun as Tokiwa Gozen, Nakamura Baigyoku as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Shibajaku as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘. Nakamura Kamenoj˘ plays the role of Kageyu's wife Naruse.
  • Onna Date: Nakamura Tokiz˘ stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
  • Kamiyui Shinza: Shinza is a barber that goes from door to door, but at the same time, he is a villain that kidnaps Okuma, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy household, and even resists the efforts of Yatagor˘ Genshichi, the most prestigious strongman in town, to get her release. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Shinza, Nakamura Kotar˘ as Okuma, Nakamura Hashinosuke as Chűshichi and Nakamura Karoku as Yatagor˘ Genshichi.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 5 ~ 20 April 2014 (Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai)
    MatinÚe

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kamo Zutsumi
  • Kurumabiki
  • Terakoya
  • Evening

    Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku

    Casting

    Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Onoe Matsuya, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Tanenosuke

    Comments

    30th edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku island!

  • Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami: Sugawara no Michizane was a high-ranking imperial court minister who was a brilliant calligrapher and scholar. But political rivalries forced him to be exiled to distant Kyűshű, where he died. After Michizane's death, a series of disasters in the imperial capital were attributed to his angry spirit and he was appeased by being made a god, Tenjin, and he is now revered as the god of learning. His story was dramatized as an epic puppet drama in 1746 and the play remains a favorite in both Kabuki and the Bunraku puppet theatre. The two acts of this month production don't focus on the drama of Sugawara himself but on the triplets, Matsu˘maru, Ume˘maru and Sakuramaru, three brothers named after the pine, plum and cherry trees, who each serve the heads of different political factions.
  • Kamo Zutsumi:
    (The Kamo Riverbank)
    Young Sakuramaru (Onoe Matsuya) serves imperial prince Tokiyo (ďtani Hirotar˘) who has fallen in love with Princess Kariya (Nakamura Yonekichi), Michizane's beautiful daughter. Sakuramaru and his wife Yae (Nakamura Kazutar˘) are charmed by the affair, since it reminds them of their own love. But the affair is discovered and Michizane's rivals use it as proof that he is attempting to take over the imperial court. This innocent love affair triggers the tragedies of the play.
  • Kurumabiki:
    (The Tug-of-War Over the Carriage)
    There are three brothers serving three masters. Ume˘maru serves Kan Sh˘j˘. Sakuramaru serves imperial prince Tokiyo. Kan Sh˘j˘ has been sent into exile and Tokiyo is in disgrace. Ume˘maru (Nakamura Kash˘) and Sakuramaru (Onoe Matsuya) lament the disaster that has overtaken their masters. But they hear that the carriage of Fujiwara no Shihei (Arashi Kitsusabur˘) is coming. Shihei is the villain that has sent Kan Sh˘j˘ into exile. But when the two brothers confront the carriage, they are stopped by their brother Matsu˘maru (Ichikawa Somegor˘), who serves Shihei. Nonetheless, they attack the carriage and are driven back by the magical powers of Shihei. The three brothers agree to meet again at the seventieth birthday of their father.
  • Terakoya:
    (The Village School)
    Genz˘ (Onoe Matsuya) and his wife Tonami (Nakamura Kazutar˘) run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru (Ichikawa Somegor˘) is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo (Ichikawa Komaz˘) mourn their dead son. Featuring also Kataoka Kamez˘ as Shund˘ Genba.
  • Abura no Jigoku: this play has become phenomenally popular in modern times for its hard-boiled sensibility and sensuous killing scene with the protagonists slipping and struggling through puddles of spilled oil, but was virtually ignored at the time it was written. It shows Yohŕ, the wastrel son of a well-to-do merchant, who constantly tries to borrow money from Okichi, the wife of a neighboring oil merchant. Pressed for funds, he tries to blackmail her, but ends up killing her in the long, dream-like scene that gives this plays its title, "the woman killer and the hell of oil". Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the roles of Yohŕ and Okichi.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 5 ~ 21 April 2014 (Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en)
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Genji Monogatari

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘

    Comments

    A special program mixing Kabuki, and Opera. The young heir of the Naritaya guild performs in a special version of "Genji Monogatari", featuring the actors Katayama Kur˘emon X, Umewaka Kish˘ II and Kanze Yoshimasa and the Opera Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 5 ~ 20 April 2014 (SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando)
    Super Kabuki II
    Program

    Sora o Kizamu Mono

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Fukushi Seiji, Asano Kazuyuki, Sasaki Kuranosuke

    Comments

    "Sora o Kizamu Mono" means the Man who sculptures the Sky. In 2014 Ichikawa Ennosuke IV starts on forming a theatrical space which has never existed before. It is called SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando (the second generation of SűpÔ Kabuki). He succeeds to the spirit of Super Kabuki (SűpÔ Kabuki) which was originated by his uncle Ichikawa Ennosuke III and creates a completely new theatrical space with talented actors who represent the present theatrical world. He performs with actors of modern plays in addition to the Kabuki actors who appeared on the stage of Super Kabuki. This play is written and directed by a young and spirited dramatist Maekawa Tomohiro. The scene is set in ancient Japan. A talented young sculptor of Buddhist images named Towa (performed by Ichikawa Ennosuke) lives in a mountain village. He is irritated at Buddhism which can save neither the villagers' living nor his ailing mother. Kazuma (performed by Sasaki Kuranosuke), a friend of Towa from his childhood, worries about the villagers who are troubled by poor crop. He goes to the capital and enters government service to improve their lives. Towa's mother dies. Towa fights against an official from the capital and has to leave the village. He is imprisoned, but matures as he associates with robbers. Kazuma on the other hand feels himself helpless as a lower-level official, though he has gone to the capital. Towa and Kazuma went their own ways according to their own thought. The day has come when their courses of life cross and they happen to meet again.

     
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