FEBRUARY 2010

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza) and 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 February 2010 (Nigatsu ďkabuki)
Kabukiza Sayonara K˘en
MatinÚe

Tsume˘

Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

K˘j˘

Jiisan Baasan

Evening

Tsubosaka Reigenki

Takatsuki

Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame

Casting

Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Shikan, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘

Comments

14th of the 16 Kabukiza Sayonara K˘en, the Kabukiza Farewell Performances, which will be held up to April 2010. It commemorates the 22nd anniversary (23rd memorial service) of late Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII:

  • Tsume˘:
    (The Talons of the King)
    This is a rare performance of a unique dance based on a childrenĺs story of a falconer and his young falcon by Togawa Yukio (1912~2004). His stories are based on a wealth of observation of nature and this unlikely theme for a Kabuki dance was first staged in a commemorative performance for the Saruwaka school of classical Japanese dance, a school closely associated with the Nakamura Kanzabur˘ family. Featuring Nakamura Kinnosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Kantar˘.
  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Ichikawa Sadanji as the evil emissary Senoo and Nakamura Baigyoku as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Shichinosuke as the island girl Chidori and Nakamura Kantar˘ as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • 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 commemorate the 22nd anniversary (23rd memorial service) of late Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII.
  • Jiisan Baasan: based on a short story by Mori ďgai, this modern play by Uno Nobuo shows a loving young couple. The samurai Iori travels to Ky˘to with his lord, leaving Run, his beloved wife, behind. While there, he attacks another man in a fight over a sword and is forced into house arrest, separating him from his wife. Many years later, he returns to his home as an old man. There he meets an elderly woman and they do not recognize each other until she sees the one thing that has not changed with age, Iori's peculiar habit of putting his hand to his nose. Starring Kataoka Nizaemon and Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as Iori and Run. Featuring also Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku and Kataoka Takatar˘.
  • Tsubosaka: this play stars Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Sawaichi, a blind masseur who has become utterly depressed by the prospect of never recovering his eyesight. His faithful wife, played by Nakamura Fukusuke, has been praying to the Kannon goddess daily for several years for his recovery, and Sawaichi agrees to accompany her to the Kannon shrine to pray. Once there he announces he will stay to pray and fast for three days, and so his wife leaves to pick up some supplies for them, but in her absence, Sawaichi throws himself off a cliff. When she returns, the distraught wife decides to join her husband in death. The final scene shows the Kannon goddess, who miraculously saves the couple and cures Sawaichi's blindness.
  • Takatsuki: in this relatively modern dance-comedy adapted from the style of classical Ky˘gen farces, the servant Jir˘kaja (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) is ordered by his lord (Band˘ Yajűr˘) 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 Hashinosuke) 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 Kanzabur˘.
  • Kagotsurube: one of the most sensational plays of late Kabuki, it shows a humble, pockmarked merchant from the country named Sano Jir˘zaemon (Nakamura Kanzabur˘). 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 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘) 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˘ (Kataoka Nizaemon) 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. Featuring also Kataoka Gat˘ and Kataoka Hidetar˘ in the roles of Tachibanaya Ch˘bŕ and Okitsu.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 February 2010 (Nigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    MatinÚe

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi
    t˘shi ky˘gen production ending with the spectacular dance-drama "Futa Omote D˘j˘ji"

    Evening

    Ry˘ma ga Yuku

    Sanja Matsuri

    Mabuta no Haha

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Tanetar˘, Hayabusa Tar˘

    Comments

  • Hikimado: originally written for the puppet theater, this play shows a tragedy of commoners caught between their duty and their feelings toward their loved ones. A sum˘ wrestler named Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (Nakamura Shid˘) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Ichikawa Somegor˘) has been ordered to arrest him. All of these complicated conflicts are symbolized by the lightness and darkness created by the humble skylight (hikimado in Japanese) as a rope is pulled to move a wooden shutter. Featuring also Ichikawa Komaz˘ in the role of Ohaya.
  • Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi: first performed in 1829, this Tsuruya Nanboku IV's spectacular drama mixes the sekai of the rebel warriors Taira no Masakado and Fujiwara no Sumitomo, and the sekai of Princess Kiyo and the priest Anchin (d˘j˘jimono). After the defeat of both Masakado and Sumitomo, the angry spirit of Masakado takes possession of the body of Princess Takiyasha. Both Masakado's sister Princess Nanaaya and the k˘shitsu Nyogetsuni's daughter Princess Kiyo are in love with the priest Kitashirakawa no Anchin (in reality Minamoto no Raik˘). The latter girl is put under a giant bell and, burning with hate and jealousy, transformed herself into a demon. Fujiwara no Tadabumi, whose mission is to chase Masakado, falls in love with Princess Nanaaya. Pursuing her and Anchin to the Kizugawa river, he is killed and becomes a revengeful ghost. "Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi" was revived in January 1964 at the Nissay Theatre (more details) and was put by the star Ichikawa Ennosuke in his collection of plays called Ennosuke Jűhachiban. Featuring the young promising actor Ichikawa Kamejir˘, who does a chűnori, in the roles of Princess Kiyo and Fujiwara no Tadabumi. Featuring also Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura Baishi in the roles of Kitashirakawa no Anchin (in reality Minamoto no Raik˘) and Princess Nanaaya.
  • Futa Omote D˘j˘ji: a spectacular futa-omotemono which concludes "Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi". Featuring the young promising actor Ichikawa Kamejir˘ in the roles of the shiraby˘shi Hanako (in reality the ghost of Princess Kiyo) and the ky˘genshi Masuroku (in reality the ghost of Tadabumi). Featuring also Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Baishi and Ichikawa Somegor˘ in the roles of Tawara no T˘ta Hidesato, Princess Nanaaya and Raik˘.
  • Ry˘ma ga Yuku: this is a dramatization of the first section of the tremendously popular historical novel by Shiba Ry˘tar˘ (1923~1996) about Sakamoto Ry˘ma (1836~1867), a visionary revolutionary at the end of the Tokugawa Period who brought various rival factions together to battle the Shogunate and would have led Japan boldly, if he had not been assassinated in a bloody battle. Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa En'ya and Nakamura Karoku.
  • Sanja Matsuri: a vigorous dance starring Ichikawa Kamejir˘ and Ichikawa Somegor˘. It is based on dolls at the Sanja festival showing the founding of the temple at Asakusa when two fishermen found a golden image of the Kannon in their nets. In this case, the holy spirits that they encounter are two spheres with the characters for "good" and "evil" on them, and the spirits possess the two and animate them into a lively dance.
  • Mabuta no Haha: this modern play by Hasegawa Shin (1884~1963) is about the matatabi Banba no Chűtar˘ (Nakamura Shid˘), who meets up with his mother Ohama (Hayabusa Tar˘) again by chance during one of his wanderings. She refuses to recognize this good-for-nothing offender as his son. Being turned away, Chűtar˘ has no choice but hitting the road again. Shaken by the encounter, the mother attempts to catch up with him but it is too late...
  • Sources: Earphone Guide website
    Sh˘riya Aragor˘ for "Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi", "Futa Omote D˘j˘ji" and "Mabuta no Haha"

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 10 ~ 14 February 2009 (Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    Program

    Keisei Awa no Naruto
    (Kuni Namari Futaba no Oizuru)

    Casting

    Kamimura Kichiya, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    18th edition of a pedagogical show in Ky˘to combining explanation for beginners (done by the professional storyteller Katsura Kujaku) and the drama "Kuni Namari Futaba no Oizuru", in which Kamimura Kichiya plays the role of Oyumi.

  • Keisei Awa no Naruto: it is one of the most popular scenes performed in the traditional puppet repertoire. In the "The Scene of the Pilgrim's Song", Oyumi meets her daughter Otsuru, whom she had been forced to abandon as an infant ten years earlier in Tokushima. But now, because of the perilous situation of the girl's samurai father, Oyumi must send her daughter away for the girl's own safety without revealing that she is the mother whom her daughter is seeking. Starring Kamimura Kichiya and Kamimura Kichitar˘ in the roles of Oyumi and Otsuru.
  • Source: bunraku.org

     
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