APRIL 2019

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Makuhari Messe), 2 shows in Nagoya (Misonoza), 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza) and 3 tours (Classics Tour, Central Provinces, Zenshinza)!

  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji and Band˘ Yajűr˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Nakamura Shikan, Kataoka Ainosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku perform at the Misonoza!
  • Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Chűsha and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the Kanamaruza!
  • Matsumoto Haku˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku and Ichikawa Komaz˘ are on tour in the Central Provinces!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Ichikawa Udanji are on tour (Classics Tour)!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 April 2019
    Shigatsu ďkabuki
    April Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Osamaru Miyo Nagori no Emaki

    Shinpan Utazaimon

  • Zama Yashiro
  • Nozaki-mura

  • Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro

    Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori

    Evening

    Genpei Nunobiki no Taki
    (Sanemori Monogatari)

    Kurozuka

    Ninin Yűgiri

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Rakuzen, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Omez˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Ichimura Takematsu, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Ichikawa Otora, Terajima Mahoro

    Comments

    5 Living National Treasures on stage, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Kataoka Nizaemon and Nakamura T˘z˘, for two April Grand Kabuki programs with the following highlights:

  • The dance-drama "Osamaru Miyo Nagori no Emaki" with Nakamura Fukusuke and Band˘ Yajűr˘ staged to celebrate the end of the Heisei era.
  • The rarely-staged "Zama Yashiro" scene will open the staging of "Shinpan Utazaimon", with Nakamura Jakuemon in the role of Osome. This scene was staged for the last time more than 40 years ago, in January 1979 at the National Theatre.
  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ celebrates his 88th birthday in the dance-drama "Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro".
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon and Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ play the roles of Shirai Gonpachi and Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ in the drama "Suzu-ga-Mori".

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon play the prestigious role of Sait˘ Bett˘ Sanemori in "Sanemori Monogatari".
  • Ichikawa Ennosuke performs in "Kurozuka", a classic of the Omodakaya guild.

  • "Ninin Yűgiri" is staged with Nakamura Kaishun and Kataoka Takatar˘ in the roles of the two Yűgiri and Nakamura Ganjir˘ as Fujiya Izaemon.
  • Osamaru Miyo Nagori no Emaki: this is a brand-new play commemorating the end of the Heisei era. Set during the time when the Genji and the Heike clans were at war, the people of both clans appear one after another. The first will be Lady Tokiwa (Nakamura Fukusuke), mother of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, together with the Heike warrior Taira no Munekiyo (Band˘ Yajűr˘). They grasp the white banner of the Genji clan.
  • Shinpan Utazaimon: Hisamatsu (Nakamura Kinnosuke) is an apprentice at the Aburaya and becomes intimate with Osome, the daughter of the pawnbroker. As he meets Osome (Nakamura Jakuemon) at the Zama Shrine, he is swindled out of the money he collected from the shop's customer and is falsely accused of embezzling it by Kosuke (Nakamura Matagor˘), a sales clerk of the Aburaya. By this accident, Hisamatsu was brought back to Kyűsaku's house where Hisamatsu grew as an adopted child. Kyűsaku's daughter Omitsu (Nakamura Tokiz˘) rejoices to hear that Kyűsaku (Nakamura Karoku) intends to unite her with Hisamatsu. When Osome visits this place, Omitsu learns that Osome and Hisamatsu are determined to commit lovers' double suicide...
  • Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro: this is a dance celebrating Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘'s 88th birthday performed by himself, his son and his grandson. The Empress (Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘) appears in the palace at the time of the spring festival. A crane (Nakamura Ganjir˘) and a tortoise (Ichikawa Ennosuke) dance in front of her to celebrate longevity; the crane is believed to live for 1,000 years while the tortoise is said to live for 10,000 years.
  • Suzu-ga-Mori: The young samurai Shirai Gonpachi (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) is ambushed near the execution grounds of Edo on a dark night, but he manages to escape after a gruesome but humorous fight scene. He is watched by Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon), an Edo boss, who is impressed with his fighting skills and agrees to give him shelter in the city. This meeting between the handsome young Gonpachi and the heroic Ch˘bŕ is one of the most famous meetings in Kabuki.
  • Sanemori Monogatari: a play about the early days of the rivalry between the Genji and Heike warrior clans. The warrior Sait˘ Bett˘ Sanemori (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) has been charged by the leaders of the dominant Heike clan with finding Aoi Gozen, the pregnant wife of the leader of the enemy Genji clan. He is to kill her child if it is a son who can succeed to head of the clan, but old loyalties to the Genji lead him to protect the boy. Sanemori tells the story of how Koman (Kataoka Takatar˘), the daughter of the old couple who is protecting Aoi Gozen, bravely fought to protect the sacred standard of the Genji from the Heike. Koman mysteriously comes back to life when her severed arm is rejoined to it. Featuring also Nakamura Karoku as Senoo Jűr˘.
  • Kurozuka: a woman has grown bitter at the world after being rejected by her husband and now loves in seclusion, killing travelers and becoming a kind of demon. However, when she gives shelter to a holy man and his party, she rejoices at this opportunity to find salvation. She goes to get firewood to keep her visitors warm, cautioning them not to look into the back room, where the bodies of her victims are. She dances in joy among the dry autumn grasses under the full moon at her chance for absolution. But the porter in the holy man's party looks in the back room and they all leave in a panic. The old woman is furious at being betrayed and this transforms her into a demon, which is finally vanquished by the power of the holy man. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as the old woman and Nakamura Kinnosuke as the holy man.
  • Ninin Yűgiri: One of the most famous plays in the repertory of Kansai Kabuki is about the love affair of the top-ranking courtesan Yűgiri and fabulously wealthy Izaemon. Izaemon is disowned by his family and reduced to wearing a paper kimono, but still burns with love for Yűgiri. The original play was written to commemorate the death of a fabulously famous courtesan, but has come to be the most representative portrait of the Kansai pleasure quarters. This particular play is a kind of sequel to the original. After the death of the original Yűgiri, Izaemon (Nakamura Ganjir˘) lives with the courtesan who has succeeded to Yűgiri's name (Kataoka Takatar˘), but much to their surprise, the first Yűgiri (Nakamura Kaishun) is not dead, but has fallen on very hard times. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Danz˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 April 2019
    Y˘shun Hanagata Kabuki
    Spring Sun Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Nans˘ Satomi Hakkenden

    Casting

    Nakamura Shikan, Kataoka Ainosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Baishi, Band˘ Shingo, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke

    Comments

    The return of the spring program at the Misonoza with young actors.

  • Hakkenden:
    (The Eight Dog Warriors)
    the original novel is an immense epic by 19th century novelist Takizawa Bakin published over many years, but eventually reaching one-hundred and sixty volumes. The Satomi clan is being attacked and its lord offers his daughter Princess Fuse to the warrior that will bring him the head of the enemy. It is his loyal dog that kills and beheads the enemy and, saying that her father must not go back on his word, Princess Fuse goes with the dog. Nevertheless, the Satomi clan is defeated and one of its loyal retainers goes to rescue Princess Fuse, shooting the dog, but unfortunately shooting Princess Fuse as well. The eight crystal beads of her rosary, each engraved with the Chinese characters of one of the Confucian virtues, goes flying through the air. Miraculously, each will be found with a newborn baby. These eight children, all of whom have the character inu for "dog" in their names, eventually meet and join together to restore the Satomi clan. The play features all the stars of the company and follows the adventures of the eight dog warriors as they meet and gradually join together, leading to a climactic fight on the roof of a dizzyingly high tower.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website


    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 6 ~ 21 April 2019
    Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai
    MatinÚe

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Sushiya)

    Shinjű Tsukiyo no Hoshinoya

    Evening

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Takatsuki

    Shibahama no Kawazaifu

    Casting

    Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Chűsha, Kataoka Kamez˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu

    Comments

    35th edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku island!

  • Sushiya: this is one act of an epic originally written for the Bunraku puppet theatre. The full-length play shows the fate of various Taira generals in hiding after the victory of their enemy, the Genji. In this act, Koremori (Nakamura Senjaku), the heir to the Taira clan is hiding in a sushi shop disguised as a humble apprentice, and Osato (Nakamura Tsurumatsu), the daughter of the house, falls in love with him. However, Gonta (Nakamura Kankur˘), the evil son of the house plots to gain a reward by turning in Koremori to the top Genji general Kajiwara (Kataoka Kamez˘), but in the end, he has a surprising change of heart in one of the most heart-rending scenes in Kabuki. Also featuring Ichikawa Chűsha as Yazaemon, the proprietor of the sushi shop.
  • Shinjű Tsukiyo no Hoshinoya: this is a newly written play adapted from a rakugo story. Teruz˘ (Ichikawa Chűsha) has lost his money in a speculative venture. He and his concubine Otaka (Nakamura Shichinosuke) promise to commit shinjű, 'lovers' double suicide', but when the time comes he alone jumps into the river and she returns home as her mother recommended. Later, T˘suke (Kataoka Kamez˘) tells her that Teruz˘'s ghost appeared warning that he will haunt her. Terrified, she takes the tonsure and becomes a nun, after which Teruz˘ himself reappears. The double suicide was Teruz˘'s test of her sincerity. Featuring also Nakamura Senjaku.
  • 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 Senjaku as Matahei and Nakamura Shichinosuke as his wife Otoku. Featuring Kataoka Kamez˘ as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu, Nakamura Kankur˘ as Utanosuke and Nakamura Toranosuke as Shűrinosuke.
  • Takatsuki: in this relatively modern dance-comedy adapted from the style of classical Ky˘gen farces, the servant Jir˘kaja (Nakamura Kankur˘) is ordered by his lord (Keizo2) to buy a takatsuki, which is a kind of ceremonial sake cup on a stand. Jir˘kaja does not understand his lord's orders and is persuaded by a fast-talking geta clog salesman (Nakamura Toranosuke) to buy a pair of clogs instead, thinking that this is the stand for which he was sent. After drinking a good amount of sake, he brings his purchase to the lord and responds to the lord's anger with a dance on the clogs, a virtuoso routine inspired by tap dancing, showing off the dancing skills of Nakamura Kankur˘.
  • Shibahama no Kawazaifu: this is a play adapted from a rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ which was originally performed in vaudeville by a solo performer. This tells the story of a man who is a drunk and good for nothing who picks up a leather purse full of coins while fishing. He takes it home and celebrates with a big drinking party. In the morning he asks his wife for the purse, but she insists that it was all a dream and shows how much money he has wasted with his drunken party. He decides to reform and becomes a hard worker. Three years later, the couple now lives comfortably and the wife says that she must apologize. She lied and hid the purse because she felt that this was the only way to get her husband on the right path. He thanks her and this purse which has given them so much. Starring Ichikawa Chűsha as the man and Nakamura Shichinosuke as his wife.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the Central Provinces
    Dates 31 March ~ 25 April 2019
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kamo Zutsumi
  • Kurumabiki
  • Yakko D˘j˘ji

    Casting

    Matsumoto Haku˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘

    Comments

    The usual Grand Kabuki Tour in the Central Provinces, in April and not in July this year. Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X celebrate their shűmei.

  • 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 main actors of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X.
  • Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami:
    (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy)
    Sugawara no Michizane (known in this play as Kan Sh˘j˘) 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 known as 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.
  • Kamo Zutsumi:
    (The Kamo Riverbank)
    Young Sakuramaru (Nakamura Baigyoku) serves imperial prince Tokiyo (Sawamura S˘nosuke) who has fallen in love with Princess Kariya, Michizane's beautiful daughter. Sakuramaru and his wife Yae (Ichikawa Komaz˘) 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 (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) and Sakuramaru (Nakamura Baigyoku) lament the disaster that has overtaken their masters. But they hear that the carriage of Fujiwara no Shihei (Matsumoto Kingo) 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 (Matsumoto Haku˘), 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, Shiratayű.
  • 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 Matsumoto K˘shir˘.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Classics Tour
    Dates 9 ~ 25 April 2019
    Koten he no Izanai
    Invitation to the Classics
    Program

    Kasa no Dan
    A drama with performers

    Ya-no-Ne

    K˘j˘

    Uwanari

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji

    Comments

    A special tour in 11 cities for the heir of the Naritaya guild.

    Makuhari Messe (Chiba)
    Dates 27 ~ 28 April 2019
    Ch˘kabuki
    Ultra-Kabuki
    Program

    Hana Kurabe Senbon Zakura

    Casting

    Nakamura Shid˘, Hatsune Miku

    Comments

    The world of Kabuki and the world of otaku collide for the 4th 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 2019 event, an important yearly event for the otaku tribes.

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 13 March ~ 27 April 2019
    Program

    Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki

    Casting

    Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Tadamura Shin'ya

    Comments

    A March and April tour all over Japan for the Zenshinza troupe. "Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki", which was written by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji and was premiered in May 2017 at the National Theatre, is based on two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan".

     
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