APRIL 2017

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Akasaka Act Theater, Makuhari Messe), 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza), 1 in Shimonoseki (Shimonoseki Shimin Kaikan) and 1 tour (Classics Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 April 2017 (Shigatsu ďkabuki)
April Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Daigo no Hanami

Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba

  • Ai no Yama/Yadoya/Okkake/Jiz˘-mae/Futami-ga-Ura
  • Aburaya/Okuniwa
  • Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki (Kumagai Jin'ya)

    Evening

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Katsuragawa Renri no Shigarami (Obiya)

    Yakko D˘j˘ji

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Baishi, Onoe Matsuya, Ichikawa Udanji, Ichimura Manjir˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Kash˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Matsue, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hayato, Ichimura Takematsu, Ichikawa Otora, Ichikawa Ukon, ďtani Ryűsei

    Comments

    The highlights of the two programs for the April Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza are:

  • A t˘shi ky˘gen production of "Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba" in two acts (five scenes) with Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Ichikawa Ennosuke in the roles of Fukuoka Mitsugi and Manno.
  • The jidaimono "Kumagai Jin'ya" with Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane.
  • The all-time favourite "Domo Mata" with Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon and Onoe Kikunosuke in the roles of Matahei and Otoku.
  • The rarely-staged (in T˘ky˘) Kamigata drama "Obiya", the love story of the young girl Ohan for her middle-aged neighbour Ch˘emon, with Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ in the role of Ch˘emon and his grandson Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the role of Ohan.
  • Moreover, ďtani Ryűsei, the son of ďtani Keiz˘, makes his hatsubutai. He performs in the dance "Yakko D˘j˘ji". He will perform in the dance "Yakko D˘j˘ji". Here are below the details of the April Grand Kabuki Programs at the Kabukiza:

  • Daigo no Hanami:
    (Blossom-viewing in Daigo)
    This is a dance portraying the famous blossom-viewing party held by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 3rd lunar month of 1598 in the garden of the Daigoji Temple in Ky˘to. It was a grand banquet to which Hideyoshi's family, many daimy˘ lords, their wives and retainers were invited. Featuring also Nakamura Senjaku, Ichikawa Udanji and Onoe Matsuya.
  • Ise Ondo: this is a sewamono play, a drama portraying in a realistic way the lives of ordinary people in the Edo period. It was based on a true incident involving a sword that occurred in a brothel in Furuichi, near the Grand Shrine of Ise. In Awa Province (present day Tokushima Prefecture) the lord's uncle Hachisuka Daigaku is plotting to take over the Hachisuka clan. As the head retainer Imada Kur˘emon who enjoys the lord's confidence is in his way, he tries to bring Kur˘emon down by stealing the heirloom sword Aoe Shimosaka and laying the blame for its loss on Kuroemon's son Manjir˘ (Kataoka Hidetar˘). Manjir˘ goes to Ise to investigate the theft and to clear himself of losing the heirloom which at last he finds. Enticed by the henchmen of Daigaku's retainer Tokushima Iwaji, Manjir˘ pays frequent visits to the courtesan Okishi of the Furuichi pleasure quarter. Having no more money to visit her, he pawns the Shimosaka sword, the certificate for which is taken away through deception by Iwaji's faction. Fukuoka Mitsugi (Ichikawa Somegor˘), a lowly acolyte in Ise who serves the Imada clan, intercepts a secret letter from Daigaku to Tokuji. He recovers the sword and comes to the Aburaya brothel to regain the certificate from Iwaji. In order to get the certificate for him, Mitsugi's lover Okon (Nakamura Baishi) pretends that she no longer loves Mitsugi and that she has fallen for Iwaji instead. Not knowing Okon's true feelings, Mitsugi believes that she has truly betrayed him and, further angered by the humiliating accusations of Manno (Ichikawa Ennosuke), the head maid of the Aburaya brothel, he inadvertently draws the sword and slays many of the people in the brothel, driven on by the mysterious power of the sword Shimosaka. Featuring also Onoe Matsuya in the role of the cook Kisuke.
  • Kumagai Jin'ya: this play is a dramatization of the clash between the Genji general Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane and the Heike warrior Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani, one of the most famous passages of the epic "Tales of the Heike". In the Kabuki version, on the cryptic orders of the Genji leader Yoshitsune, Kumagai hides the enemy warrior Atsumori and has his own son take the warrior's place. On the battlefield, Kumagai has to kill his own son in Atsumori's place. Things become worse when his wife Sagami and Atsumori's mother Fuji-no-Kata arrive at his camp. In the highlight of the play, he tells them the story of his mortal battle with Atsumori, keeping Atsumori's well-being and his own sacrifice a secret. He then shows the head of Atsumori for inspection by his leader to see if he has interpreted his orders correctly. This performance stars Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Kumagai, with Ichikawa Ennosuke as Kumagai's wife Sagami, Ichikawa Komaz˘ as Fuji-no-Kata, Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Yoshitsune and Ichikawa Sadanji as Midaroku.
  • 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 Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon as Matahei and Onoe Kikunosuke as his wife Otoku. Featuring Nakamura Karoku as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu, Nakamura Matagor˘ as Utanosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke as Shűrinosuke and Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ as Sh˘gen's wife Kita-no-Kata.
  • Obiya: one of the most famous love stories in Kabuki is the love of the young girl Ohan for her middle-aged neighbour Ch˘emon, finally culminating in a love suicide between the two. This month at the THEAT features the drama leading up to the romance between the two. Ch˘emon (Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘) is the proprietor of an obiya (a kimono belt shop) and his wife (Nakamura Senjaku) is very understanding, but the pressures of his family and the lustful jealousy of the boy apprentice next door (Nakamura Kazutar˘) finally drive Ch˘emon and Ohan (also Nakamura Kazutar˘), the beautiful young daughter of the family next door, together. This eventually leads to tragedy. Starring Nakamura Kazutar˘ in two contrasting roles, this play is a specialty of the Kansai style of Kabuki represented by his grandfather Sakata T˘jűr˘.
  • Yakko D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at D˘j˘ji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version the dancer is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke in a dance important to his family tradition.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 8 ~ 23 April 2017 (Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai)
    MatinÚe

    Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi

    Shinobi Yoru Koi no Kusemono (Masakado)

    Omatsuri

    Evening

    Ashiya D˘man ďuchi Kagami (Kuzu-no-Ha)

    K˘j˘

    Migawari Zazen

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Jakuemon, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, ďtani Tomoemon, Band˘ Shingo, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Kataoka Matsunosuke

    Comments

    33rd edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku island! Nakamura Jakuemon V celebrates his shűmei at the Kanamaruza!

  • Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi: this play was written by Hiraga Gennai, an Edo inventor, explorer and writer of comic fiction. Young Ofune is the obedient daughter of her evil father Tonbŕ, the keeper of a river crossing. She meets and falls in love with a young fugitive. Unfortunately, her father wants to capture the fugitive for a reward and Ofune can only save his life by sacrificing her own. Starring Kataoka Takatar˘ and Band˘ Yajűr˘ in the roles of Ofune and Tonbŕ.
  • Masakado: after the death of Masakado, the great pretender to the imperial throne, the only one to carry on his cause is his daughter, Takiyasha (Nakamura Jakuemon). She appears mysteriously in the ruins of her father's palace and tries to seduce Mitsukuni (Onoe Sh˘roku), a warrior sent to investigate mysterious happenings at the mansion. In dance Takiyasha tells of how she fell in love with Mitsukuni, then, also in dance, Mitsukuni tells the story of how the traitor Masakado was killed. Takiyasha breaks down in tears, revealing her true identity. After a dance-like fight, the mansion collapses and Takiyasha poses on the roof with the banner of her clan.
  • Omatsuri: Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon as a gallant fireman boss at a festival telling a rueful tale of failure in love and showing the vigorous work songs of firefighters.
  • Kuzu-no-Ha: Abe no Yasuna, a court astrologer in disgrace, has married a beautiful woman named Kuzu-no-Ha, not knowing that she is actually a fox that has taken human form to repay his kindness in saving his life. The couple has a child and lives happily together until the real woman whose form the fox borrowed appears. Knowing that she can no longer stay, Kuzu-no-Ha writes a tearful farewell poem on the paper screen and returns to the wilderness. Starring Nakamura Jakuemon as Kuzu-no-Ha and ďtani Tomoemon as Yasuna.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. In this case, all the stars of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Jakuemon V.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Band˘ Yajűr˘). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Onoe Sh˘roku) 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.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Akasaka Act Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 6 ~ 25 April 2017 (Akasaka ďkabuki)
    Akasaka Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Yume Maboroshi-ka Koi Z˘shi (Akame no Tensei)

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Ich˘

    Comments

    5th edition of the Akasaka Grand Kabuki, which was started in September 2008 by Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII, the head of the Nakamuraya guild.

  • Akame no Tensei:
    (Fantastic Love Story Ś Reincarnation of the Red-Eye)
    This newly-created drama tells the tale during the Edo period of Tar˘ (Nakamura Kankur˘) and Uta (Nakamura Shichinosuke), a young couple whose marriage fails due to Tar˘ĺs weak character. However, Tar˘ loves Uta so much that he strives to make her happy through repeated reincarnations in which his personality changes and his eye gets redder each time [more details].
  • Classics Tour
    Dates 1 ~ 23 April 2017 (Koten he no Izanai)
    Invitation to the Classics
    Program

    Migawari Zazen

    Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Botan

    Comments

    A special tour in 14 cities for the heir of the Naritaya guild. The dance-drama "Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara" was created and premiered in 2014.

    Shimonoseki Shimin Kaikan (Shimonoseki)
    Dates 7 ~ 9 April 2017 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Dance Performances
    Program

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Keisei

    Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Shimonoseki at the newly-renovated Shimonoseki Shimin Kaikan (Shimonoseki Civic Center).

  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by stage announcements, usually lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. This month at the Yachiyoza, it is a stage speech done by Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Keisei: a beautiful top-rank courtesan (keisei) with her attendants makes parade along the Nakanoch˘ Boulevard of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter in Edo. She enters a room in the brothel and expresses her pure love for her lover in a graceful manner, though complaining that he does not come how long she waits for him. Then she expresses in dance the scenic beauty in each season and the elegant atmosphere in the pleasure quarters, and her love for him grows stronger. A scene from a seven-transformation hengemono "Nijirigaki Nanatsu Iroha", this is an old-fashioned, tasteful dance. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • 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 Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Makuhari Messe (Chiba)
    Dates 29 ~ 30 April 2017 (Ch˘kabuki)
    Ultra-Kabuki
    Program

    Kuruwa Kotoba Awase Kagami

    Casting

    Nakamura Shid˘, Hatsune Miku

    Comments

    The world of Kabuki and the world of Otaku collide for the second time in Kabuki history! Resulting from this spectacular collision, a new genre, the Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki), was born in 2016 [more details]. Nakamura Shid˘ shares the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They perform "together" in a newly-created Ch˘kabuki drama. It is staged at the Makuhari Messe as part of the Niconico Ch˘kaigi 2017 event, an important yearly event for the Otaku tribes.

     
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