FEBRUARY 2012

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘), 3 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza, National Bunraku Theatre), 2 in Nagoya (Misonoza) and 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza)!

Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 February 2012 (Nigatsu ďkabuki)
February Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Narukami

Tsuchi Gumo

Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)

Evening

Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori

K˘j˘

Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

Jiisan Baasan

Casting

Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Kataoka Nizaemon, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Shingo, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Muneo, Nakamura Kunio

Comments

Nakamura Kantar˘ II takes the name of Nakamura Kankur˘ VI at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!

  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Nakamura Hashinosuke) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Nakamura Shichinosuke) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • Tsuchi Gumo: a dance play adapted from the classical theatre. The samurai Lord Minamoto Raik˘ is famous in legend for ridding Ky˘to of demons. While Raik˘ is confined to bed with illness, a priest (the new Nakamura Kankur˘) from a prominent temple comes to pray for his health. In fact, the priest is actually the spirit of the earth spider which has caused Raik˘'s illness in the first place and hopes to destroy him. The spider's plan to kill Raik˘ is defeated by his retainers (the famous shitenn˘) in an exciting fight. Featuring Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Raik˘. Featuring also Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke and Nakamura Fukusuke.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Kataoka Nizaemon) is a skilled thief and extortionist, but cannot turn down a request to help those in need. He disguises himself as a high-ranking priest to try to gain the freedom of a girl held by a powerful samurai lord (the new Nakamura Kankur˘) because she will not become his mistress. Using the famous poetic cadences of the late 19th century playwright Mokuami, K˘chiyama not only succeeds in his mission to rescue the girl, but he manages to extort a fair amount for himself. Featuring also Kataoka Hidetar˘.
  • Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori: The young samurai Shirai Gonpachi (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) 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 (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.
  • 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 Kankur˘.
  • Kagami Jishi: one of the most important dances for onnagata female role specialists and is an audience favorite. The maidservant Yayoi performs an auspicious lion dance for the Sh˘gun in his opulent palace, but she gradually finds herself under the control of the lion spirit. In the second half of the dance, the lion spirit itself appears and performs its crazed dance among peonies and fluttering butterflies. Starring the new Nakamura Kankur˘ as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • 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 Band˘ Mitsugor˘ and Nakamura Fukusuke as Iori and Run. Featuring also Nakamura Senjaku and Nakamura Hashinosuke.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 February 2012 (Nigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    February Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Keian no ďkami (Marubashi Chűya)

    ďatari Fushimi no Tomikuji

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Sushiya)

    Togitatsu no Utare

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanjaku, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura Karoku, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Shinsha, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi

    Comments

  • Keian no ďkami:
    (The Wolf of the Keian Period)
    In the time of the third Tokugawa Sh˘gun Iemitsu, many samurai lords had their domains confiscated and clans disbanded. This resulted in many samurai losing their positions and created an atmosphere of social unrest. The rebellions of the samurai Marubashi Chűya and Yui Sh˘setsu are particularly famous. There are many Kabuki plays about Marubashi Chűya, but this 20th century play by Obata Kinji was written for the Shin Kokugeki Troupe and shows Marubashi Chűya as a man living in difficult times and torn between his loyalty to his clan and old friends and his desire to fight for justice and a better life. Featuring Nakamura Shid˘ (Marubashi Chűya), Ichikawa Somegor˘ (Yui Sh˘setsu) and Kataoka Ainosuke (Nonaka Koyata).
  • ďatari Fushimi no Tomikuji:
    (The Winning Lottery of Fushimi)
    Written in 1881 for Nakamura Ganjir˘ I, the biggest star in Kansai Kabuki, this is a light comedy showing K˘jir˘ (Ichikawa Somegor˘), the waste paper man who was originally a clerk in a large business that went bankrupt and dreams of restoring the shop of his old master. He also is lost in dreams of love for the courtesan Nioteru. It looks like his dreams will come true when he buys a winning lottery ticket, but it looks like the ticket might be lost among his wastepaper. This performance is a new revival of this play, giving new life to old-fashioned ďsaka comedy. Featuring also Nakamura Shid˘ (Kurozumi Heima) and Kataoka Ainosuke (Shinanoya Denshichi).
  • 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 (Ichikawa Somegor˘), the heir to the Taira clan is hiding in a sushi shop disguised as a humble apprentice, and Osato (Nakamura Kazutar˘), the daughter of the house, falls in love with him. However, Gonta (Kataoka Ainosuke), the evil son of the house plots to gain a reward by turning in Koremori to the top Genji general Kajiwara (Nakamura Shid˘), but in the end, he has a surprising change of heart in one of the most heart-rending scenes in Kabuki. Also featuring Nakamura Karoku as Yazaemon, the proprietor of the sushi shop.
  • Togitatsu no Utare:
    (Togitatsu's Revenge)
    This is a 20th century comedy originally written as one of many plays questioning the tradition of revenge plays. A skilled sword polisher (Ichikawa Somegor˘) gets promoted to a high position in a samurai clan, but cannot stand the constant criticism of the chief retainer and he finally kills him. The man's sons, a pair of brothers are forced by the samurai ethic to pursue their father's murderer, but as the murderer constantly flees, the brothers must continue their quest endlessly, putting their own lives on hold. Featuring Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Shid˘ as the brothers Hirai Kuichir˘ and Hirai Saijir˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 4 ~ 26 February 2012 (Nigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    February Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Tokaiya
  • Funayagura
  • Daimotsu no Ura
  • Onna Date

    Yuki no Yűbe Iriya no Azemichi (Naozamurai)

    Evening

    Aoto Z˘shi Hana no Nishikie

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

    Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Sawamura Tanosuke, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Baishi, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Mantar˘

    Comments

  • Tokaiya/Daimotsu no Ura: these are two scenes from one of the greatest classics of the puppet theatre, which has also become a classic of Kabuki. After the wars between the Genji and Heike clans, the Genji are victorious and their leader Yoritomo is now Sh˘gun. But there is a falling out between Yoritomo and his brother Yoshitsune, the brilliant general responsible for the victory. Now Yoshitsune is fleeing through the country and this play fancifully has him encounter several famous warriors from the Heike clan, who are not dead, as history has it. Yoshitsune (Nakamura Baishi) books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually Taira no Tomomori (Onoe Sh˘roku), a general of the Heike clan that Yoshitsune helped to defeat. Tomomori was supposedly killed by Yoshitsune in the final battle of the war, but in this play, Tomomori is shown as surviving, living in disguise with the child emperor Antoku and his nursemaid (Onoe Kikunosuke). At one moment the captain is a gallant commoner, but in the next, he is Tomomori, a high ranking general close to the emperor. His wife as well is a cheerful commoner who shows her true identity as a high-ranking lady-in-waiting in the magnificent robes of the imperial court. Tomomori uses the opportunity to try to get his revenge on Yoshitsune but is defeated again. Finally Tomomori holds a giant anchor and plunges into the sea.
  • Onna Date: Nakamura Tokiz˘ stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
  • Naozamurai: the thief Naozamurai has been betrayed and is on the run. He risks one last meeting with his lover, the courtesan Michitose, but he has never revealed his true identity to her and as far as she knows, he is a wealthy merchant. On a freezing, snow-bound night, in a romantic scene accompanied by the lush and erotic singing of Kiyomoto narrative music, the two lovers Naozamurai and Michitose meet and part forever. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as Naozamurai and Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Michitose.
  • 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˘, Ichikawa Danz˘ as Nippon Daemon, Onoe Sh˘roku as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Nakamura Baishi as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘ and Band˘ Kamesabur˘ as Tadanobu Rihei. Also featuring Band˘ Kametoshi and Onoe Ukon as the magistrate Aoto Saemon and Princess Senju.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 6 ~ 26 February 2012 (Nigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    February Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Tenjiku Tokubŕ Imay˘ Banashi

    Evening

    Kaka Saiyűki

    Onizoroi Momijigari

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘

    Comments

  • Tenjiku Tokubŕ: written in 1804, it was one of the first hit plays by the playwright Tsuruya Nanboku IV, who is famous for his ghost plays. The play features Tokubŕ, a villain who has magical skills. He escapes from pursuers by transforming himself into a giant toad and the star reveals himself as the actor inside the suit in an exciting fight scene. A mysterious blind monk arrives at the mansion of a samurai lord and entertains with the music of a strange xylophone-like instrument and stories of foreign countries, only to be unmasked as Tokubŕ. He jumps into the pond in the garden, with a spray of real water, only to appear instantly in a new guise at the end of the hanamichi runway. In the Edo period, rumors that these tricks were performed with illegal Christian magic led to an investigation by officials of the Shogunate. (These rumors may have been started deliberately as a publicity stunt). Instead of closing down the show, it made it wildly popular and gave it a sensational three-month run - unprecedented for a play that started as a stopgap, summer production. The play begins with a mysterious old man (Ichikawa En'ya) who reveals to Tokubŕ (Ichikawa Kamejir˘) that he is his son, and that he is actually Chinese and aims to take control of Japan. The old man commits suicide to pass on his secrets of magic. The mansion collapses and soon, Tokubŕ can be seen on the roof, standing on a giant toad holding the cut-off head of the old man. This production features all the spectacular scenes of the original play, using all the modern technical resources of the stage at the Hakataza for a play that is guaranteed to be an enjoyable treat. Featuring Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en and Ichikawa Juen.
  • Kaka Saiyűki:
    (Journey to the West)
    One of the most popular Chinese classics is the story of the Journey to the West, about a Buddhist priest that traveled along the Silk Road from China to India to collect Buddhist scriptures. He is accompanied by a magical monkey spirit and some other creatures who protect him as they encounter all sorts of hazards on their journey. This play shows the group as they meet a beautiful princess, who is actually the spirit of spider. This play was originally written for Ichikawa Ennosukeĺs great grandfather and was a sensation with all kinds of stage tricks. Featuring Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen and Ichikawa K˘tar˘.
  • Onizoroi Momijigari:
    (The Autumn Leaves and the Demon of Mt. Togakushi)
    This dance is a modern adaptation of a colorful Kabuki play based on an austere classic. The aristocrat Koremochi (Ichikawa Monnosuke) has travelled to view the autumn leaves and encounters a beautiful princess (Ichikawa Kamejir˘) and her entourage. The entire party of beautiful women turns out to be vicious demons and attack Koremochi after lulling him to sleep with a beautiful dream-like dance.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 9 ~ 19 February 2012
    Program

    Kenuki

    K˘j˘

    T˘nasuya

    Casting

    ???

    Comments

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