APRIL 2021
Japan's Central Government has declared a third state of emergency due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with new restrictions imposed in several areas: T˘ky˘ Metropolis, ďsaka Prefecture, Ky˘to Prefecture and Hy˘go Prefecture. As a consequence, Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza have to stop from the 25th of April 2021.

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Makuhari Messe), 1 show in Nagoya (Misonoza), 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza) and 1 tour (Shungy˘ Special Tour)!

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Karoku, Ichikawa Chűsha and Onoe Matsuya perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and his troupe perform at the Misonoza!
  • The Nakamuraya brothers Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke are on tour Shungy˘ Special Tour!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 28 April 2021
    Shigatsu ďkabuki
    April Grand Kabuki
    1st program



    2nd program

    Ehon Taik˘ki (Amagasaki Kankyo)

    Dango Uri

    3rd program

    Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘
    The first half of this drama only


    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Karoku, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Baishi, Onoe Matsuya, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Juen, Kataoka Matsunosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke


    The three Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza! The second item in the first program, the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘", is divided into two subprograms, A and B. The roles of Musashib˘ Benkei and Togashi Saemon will be played by Matsumoto Haku˘ and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the A subprogram and by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ and Onoe Matsuya in the B subprogram. The A subprogram is staged the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 23rd, 25th and 27th of April 2021. The B subprogram is staged the 4th, 6th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th and 28th of March 2021. There is no performance the 9th and the 19th of April 2021.

  • Kokaji: a swordsmith named Munechika (Ichikawa Chűsha) prays at the Inari Shrine for a person who will forge a sword with him. Then the great god Inari Daimy˘jin (Ichikawa Ennosuke) appears in the form of a child, but in reality it is a fox. Munechika finishes forging the sword dancing dynamically with the fox in the figure of the great god. Featuring also Ichikawa Sadanji as the imperial envoy Tachibana no Michinari.
  • Kanjinch˘: probably the most popular Kabuki play today, it includes dance, comedy and the heart-warming pathos of a band of heroes during their last days. Disguised as a band of traveling priests the fugitive general Yoshitsune and his small band of retainers are stopped at a road barrier. They escape only through the quick thinking of the head retainer, a warrior priest named Musashib˘ Benkei, who improvises the text of an elaborate imperial decree. Having escaped danger Benkei and the others describe their days of glory and hardships on the road to escape in a moving dance. This program stars Matsumoto Haku˘/Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Jakuemon and Matsumoto K˘shir˘/Onoe Matsuya as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Amagasaki Kankyo: Akechi Mitsuhide (known in this play as Takechi Mitsuhide) is known as the "three day ruler of Japan", having only control for a brief time after attacking and killing Oda Nobunaga (known in this play as Harunaga) and before being defeated in turn by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (known in this play as Mashiba Hisayoshi). In the most famous act of this play, after assassinating Harunaga, Mitsuhide comes to see his mother, but she refuses to forgive him for betraying his lord. Mitsuhide sees his son and mother both die before his eyes as he tries to defeat his rival Hisayoshi, but instead is confronted with the drama of his own immediate family. Starring Nakamura Shikan and Nakamura Senjaku as Mitsuhide and Hisayoshi. Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Mitsuhide's wife Misao, Mitsuhide's son Jűjir˘, Jűjir˘'s fiancee Hatsugiku, Mitsuhide's mother Satsuki and Sat˘ Masakiyo.
  • Dango Uri:
    (The Dumpling Peddlers)
    the mortar and pestle used for pounding rice cakes and dumplings are a symbol of a happily married couple. This short, lively dance shows a couple peddling dumplings with a series of songs and dances. Starring Nakamura Baigyoku and Kataoka Takatar˘ in the roles of the husband and the wife.
  • Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘: Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755~1829) is most famous for his chilling ghost play "Yotsuya Kaidan". But many believe that "Sakurahime Azuma Bunsh˘" is an even finer play in its examination of human psychology and portrait of the dark side of life in the Edo period. The play takes the very old story of a priest falling in love with a princess, adds ghosts and slices of the grittiest faces of the bottom of Edo period society for a sensational play. A priest named Seigen goes to commit love suicide with a young temple page named Shiragiku. They are to plunge into the sea together, but at the last moment, Seigen loses his nerve and the boy dies alone. Seventeen years later, Seigen is a high-ranking priest who has been called to cure Princess Sakura, the seventeen-year old daughter of the Yoshida clan. He cures her, and learns that she is the reincarnation of Shiragiku. Princess Sakura wishes to become a nun, in fact because she has fallen in love with a thief named Gonsuke, who raped her one night. On the verge of becoming a nun, Princess Sakura encounters Gonsuke and quickly desire brings them together. Princess Sakura is denounced and becomes an outcast for her sexual crime and, although innocent, Seigen takes the blame, feeling guilty for having abandoned her in her previous incarnation as Shiragiku. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in the roles of Seigen/Gonsuke and Princess Sakura/Shiragiku. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku and Kamimura Kichiya.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 10 ~ 20 April 2021
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances

    Shiraby˘shi no Hana no En

    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu


    The April Kabuki program at the Misonoza with a troupe led by the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

  • Shiraby˘shi no Hana no En:
    (The flowery Banquet of the shiraby˘shi)
    In the medieval period there were beautiful dancers called shiraby˘shi who wore male court costume. they were famous for dances called otoko mai or "male dance". In this dance, Nakamura Kotar˘ evokes one of these beauties of ancient Japan.
  • Benten Musume: this play is a sewamono (realistic play about commoners) written by the late 19th century playwright Mokuami who is famous for his plays about thieves. The thief Benten Koz˘ dresses up as a woman to commit extortion, but his plans are ruined when his disguise is seen through. In the highlight of the play, he undresses, showing his colorful tattoos and introduces himself in a famous poetic speech. Afterwards, he is joined by the members of his gang on a riverbank, and, using the playwright's famous poetic rhythms, in turn, they each boast of their careers as thieves. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ stars as Benten Koz˘, with Ichikawa Omez˘ as Nippon Daemon, Ichikawa Udanji as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Ichikawa Kudanji as Tadanobu Rihei and Nakamura Kotar˘ as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates ??? ~ ??? April 2021 [CANCELLED]
    Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai
    Shikoku Konpira Kabuki Grand Theatre







    Due to heavy renovation works at the Kanamaruza, started in October 2020, the 37th edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku Island, is not holden this year!

    Shungy˘ Special Tour
    Dates 30 March ~ 4 April 2021
    Shungy˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    The Dawn of Spring Special Performances

    Tsuru Kame

    T˘ku K˘nÔ

    Ayatsuri Sanbas˘

    Niwaka Jishi


    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘, Nakamura Kosabur˘, Nakamura Ich˘, Sawamura Kunihisa


    The 2nd edition of the Spring Tour of the Nakamuraya guild with performances in 4 cities (5 venues). The second item (T˘ku K˘nÔ) in this program is a talk on stage (literally 'Talk Corner'). In April, the troupe performs in Nishinomiya at the Hy˘go Performing Arts Center the 2nd of April and in T˘ky˘ at the Line Cube Shibuya the 3rd of April and at the Shinjuku Bunka Center the 4th of April.

  • Tsuru Kame: the crane (tsuru) is said to live for a thousand years, the tortoise (kame) is said to live for ten thousand years. Together, they are a traditional symbol of longevity. There is no particular plot to this play, but simply shows a visit by an okina to the Moon Pavilion where two courtiers dance as the spirits of the crane and tortoise. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as the okina, Nakamura Shichinosuke as the spirit of the crane and Nakamura Tsurumatsu as the spirit of the tortoise.
  • T˘ku K˘nÔ: a talk on stage (literally 'Talk Corner') with Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘.
  • Ayatsuri Sanbas˘:
    (The Puppet Sanbas˘)
    The Sanbas˘ is part of the ritual play "Okina", a prayer for prosperity and in Kabuki the vigorous Sanbas˘ dance is often performed separately. To make the dance especially auspicious, the old man Okina and attendant Senzai appear as well. In Kabuki, the Sanbas˘ dance appears in all kinds of versions. In this particular version, the Sanbas˘ is actually a giant marionette (Nakamura Tsurumatsu), dancing lightly until his antics tangle his strings, creating problems for his puppeteer.
  • Niwaka Jishi: this lively dance evokes the atmosphere of an Edo period festival. The highlight of the piece is the lion dance performed by two of the handsome young men of the neighborhood. Starring Nakamura Shichinosuke (the geisha Otaka) and Nakamura Kankur˘ (the tobigashira Matsuz˘). Featuring also Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘ as tobi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Makuhari Messe (Chiba)
    Dates 24 ~ 25 April 2021

    Otogi Z˘shi Koi no Sugatae [In Japanese]


    Nakamura Shid˘, Hatsune Miku


    The world of Kabuki and the world of otaku collide for the 6th 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 2021 event, an important yearly event for the otaku tribes.

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