APRIL 2020
Cancellation of most of the Kabuki performances in April 2020 due to coronavirus (COVID-19)!!!

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘, Makuhari Messe), 1 show in Nagoya (Misonoza), 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza), 1 tour (Western Provinces) and 1 in Midori (Nagame Yoky˘j˘)!

Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
Dates 3 ~ 14 16 ~ 27 April 2020
Shigatsu ďkabuki
April Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Aoto Z˘shi Hana no Nishikie

  • Hatsusedera Hanami
  • Mikoshi-ga-Take
  • Inasegawa Tanima
  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Gokurakuji Yane Rippuku
  • Sanmon
  • Namerigawa Dobashi
  • Migawari Zazen

    Evening

    Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame

    Sarashi Sanbas˘

    Amiuchi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Baishi, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke

    Comments

    As the Kabukiza is closed for maintenance and building repairs this month, the April Grand Kabuki performances are staged at the nearby Shinbashi Enbuj˘.

  • Aoto Z˘shi Hana no Nishikie:
    (A Brocade Print of the Age of Magistrate Aoto)
    Written by Kawatake Mokuami in 1862, this play focuses on the thief Benten Koz˘ and was inspired by a woodblock print of a sexy young man with tattoos covering his body with a woman's hairstyle and kimono. Benten Koz˘ is a swindler and thief who makes use of his beauty, both as a handsome young man and disguised as a beautiful woman. The sections about Benten Koz˘ are played frequently, but this marks a rare full-length performance that shows the stories of all five thieves in the gang who are tied together by bonds of fate and obligation. In the opening at a magnificent temple surrounded by cherry blossoms, Benten Koz˘ poses as a samurai youth and seduces a princess setting off events that will eventually destroy Benten and all around him. A beautiful young woman comes to a clothing store with her servant, but is discovered shoplifting and beaten. When she proves that she was not stealing, her servant demands compensation. However, a samurai who happens to be in the store reveals that the young woman is actually a man, and he proudly announces his name as Benten, the thief. The servant is his fellow gang member Nang˘ Rikimaru and the samurai is actually the head of the gang Nippon Daemon. However, they learn that the man they have defrauded is actually Benten Koz˘ĺs father and the five thieves realize they cannot escape and decide to wear magnificent matching kimonos as they meet their fate. The act ends with a kind of spectacle showing the five members of the gang in their finest kimonos under the cherry blossoms in full bloom. In elaborate speeches, they each announce their name in the poetic diction for which the playwright Mokuami is famous. Finally Benten Koz˘ fights off his pursuers in a spectacular fight on the roof of a temple. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as Benten Koz˘, Onoe Sh˘roku as Nippon Daemon, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Nakamura Baishi as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘ and Band˘ Kamez˘ as Tadanobu Rihei. Also featuring Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Onoe Ukon as the magistrate Aoto Saemon, Hamamatsuya K˘bŕ and Princess Senju.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Ichikawa Sadanji). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘) 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.
  • Kagotsurube: one of the most sensational plays of late Kabuki, it shows a humble, pockmarked merchant from the country named Sano Jir˘zaemon (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon). He is wealthy, but because of the way he looks, has never thought that it would be possible to have a woman. He and his servant go sightseeing in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters and a chance look at top courtesan Yatsuhashi (Onoe Kikunosuke) who smiles at him, makes Jir˘zaemon fall in love. However, the pleasure quarters are full of intrigue, and on the eve of the day that Jir˘zaemon is to buy up Yatsuhashi's contract, her true love Einoj˘ (Nakamura Kinnosuke) forces her to reject and humiliate Jir˘zaemon in the middle of the celebratory banquet. Jir˘zaemon seems to forgive her, but returns with the sword Kagotsurube to exact his revenge.
  • Sarashi Sanbas˘: the white banner of the Genji clan has been lost in the Hakone Gongen shrine. This loss causes a uproar. Soga no Ni-no-Miya is suspected by all around. Ni-no-Miya is in reality Princess Kisaragi (Onoe Ukon), the daughter of Taira no Tadanori. She starts to perform a sanbas˘ as a dedication dance to the Gods of Hakone Gongen. Shortly afterwards, she uses the nuno-zarashi technique with the white banner of the Genji clan to tell her story. Featuring also Nakamura Yonekichi.
  • Amiuchi: this is a dance portraying fishermen casting for fish with his net. It shows the daily lives of fishermen in a lively and nimble dance with brisk movements. While costumes in Kabuki dances are often concealing, in this case, the bare leggings and hand guards the actors wear reveal their skill as they perform. Featuring Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Mantar˘ and Nakamura Tanenosuke.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 11 ~ 26 April 2020 [CANCELLED]
    Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai
    Shikoku Konpira Kabuki Grand Theatre
    MatinÚe

    Sumidagawa Gonichi no Omokage (H˘kaib˘)

    Evening

    Kotobuki Shiki Sanbas˘

    K˘j˘

    Genpei Nunobiki no Taki
    (Yoshikata Saigo)

    Casting

    Matsumoto Haku˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Matsumoto Kingo, ďtani Hirotar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    36th edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku island! Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X celebrate their shűmei at the Kanamaruza!

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 4 ~ 26 April 2020 [CANCELLED]
    Program

    NARUTO

    Casting

    Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Baigyoku

    Comments

    Kishimoto Masashi's internationally popular manga "NARUTO" got its Kabuki adaptation in August 2018 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, under the supervision of G2 (both writer and director). This month it is staged in Nagoya at the Misonoza. The roles of Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke are played by Band˘ Minosuke and Nakamura Hayato. The guest star Nakamura Baigyoku plays the role of Uchiha Madara.

  • NARUTO: Once upon a time, a monstrous fox demon called Nine-Tails controlled by a mysterious masked man visited the Land of Fire and created chaos and disaster. In the Land of Fire, there was a village of ninjas called Konohagakure Village. In an attempt to save the land, the chief of the village, the 'Fourth Hokage', sacrificed his own life to seal Nine-Tails into the stomach of his newborn son, Uzumaki Naruto (Band˘ Minosuke). Naruto attends the Ninja Academy with the aim of becoming a mature Ninja, but instead he proves a problem child. He has been lonely throughout his life due to the hatred everyone feels towards him for having Nine-Tails sealed within him. After graduating the Ninja Academy, together with Uchiha Sasuke (Nakamura Hayato) and Sakura Haruno, he joins the team commanded by Kakashi Hatake and works as a Ninja of Konohagakure Village. Naruto works hard to be accepted by the villagers, but at the same time he feels a sense of rivalry with Sasuke who is always ahead of him. Yet, somehow, he also has sympathy with the shadow Sasuke casts over him and feels a bond of friendship. On the other hand, Sasuke himself has a dark past. When he was just a child, his elder brother Itachi Uchiha killed the whole Uchiha clan including his own parents. Since that time, Sasuke has built an emotional barrier between himself and others and has trained to become stronger than anyone else with the sole intention of killing his brother who had escaped the village. Naruto and Sasuke face many challenges but soon meet Jiraiya, who will become Naruto's master, and Tsunade, who will become the Fifth Hokage. He also has a fight with Orochimaru, a fugitive Ninja who tries to destroy Konohagakure Village. Eventually, Naruto's battle against his powerful earth-shaking enemy Uchiha Madara (Nakamura Baigyoku) begins.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the western provinces
    Dates 1 ~ 26 April 2020 [CANCELLED]
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Kokingo Uchijini
  • Sushiya
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Band˘ Kamez˘

    Comments

    The usual Grand Kabuki Tour in the western provinces, in April and not in September this year.

  • Kusazuri:
    (the Tug-of-War Over the Armor)
    A short dance in the oldest style of Kabuki, leisurely and full of humor, combining the charm of an onnagata female role specialist with the larger-than-life heroism of the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The strong woman Maizuru stops the powerful, but rash, warrior Soga no Gor˘ from rushing to a fight by pulling on the set of armor he is carrying. Starring Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Hashinosuke as Maizuru and Gor˘.
  • Ko-no-Mi/Kokingo Uchijini: (The Chestnut Tree and the Death of Kokingo)
    Wakaba-no-Naishi(Sawamura S˘nosuke), the wife of the Heike commander Koremori, travels with her young son and their retainer Kokingo (Nakamura Hashinosuke), searching for her husband. While resting in a small mountain village, they are met by Gonta (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), a local bully who skillfully cons them out of their money. Later they are set upon by Genji forces, and in a spectacular fight scene, Kokingo sacrifices himself to save his mistress and her son.
  • Sushiya: (The Sushi Shop)
    Gonta's father Yazaemon (Band˘ Yajűr˘) runs a sushi shop, but was formerly a retainer of Taira no Koremori. With his clan defeated, Koremori (Kataoka Takatar˘) now lives with Yazaemon's family disguised as a humble apprentice. Innocently, Yazaemon's daughter, Osato (Nakamura Kazutar˘) is in love with him. But knowing of the bounty on Koremori's head, her brother Gonta kills him and turns his wife and child over to the Genji commander. Furious at his son, Yazaemon stabs him, but before his death, Gonta reveals that he only pretended to kill Koremori and sacrificed his own wife and son to save the real Koremori and his family.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Makuhari Messe (Chiba)
    Dates 18 ~ 19 April 2020
    Ch˘kabuki
    Ultra-Kabuki
    Program

    Otogi Z˘shi Koi no Sugatae

    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 2020 event, an important yearly event for the otaku tribes.

    Nagame Yoky˘j˘ (Midori)
    Dates 12 April 2020 [POSTPONED]
    Yű no Kai
    Program

    Yuki no Sato Himeru Chűshin

    Sukeroku (Buy˘)

    Casting

    ďtani Keiz˘, ďtani Ryűsei

    Comments

    2nd edition of the Yű no Kai, a gala which stars ďtani Keiz˘ and his son ďtani Ryűsei, at the Nagame Yoky˘j˘ (Nagame Entertainment Theater), a traditional wooden-built theater (1937) in the city of Midori in Gunma Prefecture.

     
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