FEBRUARY 2016

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Orchard Hall), 1 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in ďsaka (ďsaka NHK Hall), 1 in Naruto (ďtsuka Museum of Art) and 1 tour (Zenshinza)!

  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Band˘ Hikosabur˘ perform at the Kabukiza !
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs at the Hakataza!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs with the GRAND JAPAN THEATER at the Orchard Hall and at the ďsaka NHK Hall!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 February 2016 (Nigatsu ďkabuki)
    February Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Shinsho Taik˘ki

    Evening

    Hirakana Seisuiki (Genta Kand˘)

    Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame

    Hamamatsu Kaze Koi no Yomibito (Kofuji Konobŕ)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Matsue, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Baishi, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Mantar˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘

    Comments

    The troupe for these February Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza is led by two Living National Treasures, Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon. The Taik˘ki-based drama "Shinsho Taik˘ki", with Nakamura Kichiemon, Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Baigyoku in the roles of Kinoshita T˘kichir˘/Hashiba Hideyoshi, Akechi Mitsuhide and Oda Nobunaga, which was based on Yoshikawa Eiji's 1941 eponymous novel, was staged for the last time 20 years ago, in February 1996 at the Kabukiza. The evening program ends with a rarity: the dance "Hamamatsu Kaze Koi no Yomibito", which was staged for the last time in January 1954 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘.

  • Shinsho Taik˘ki: it is originally a history novel written by Yoshikawa Eiji which depicts the younger days of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who named himself first Kinoshita T˘kichir˘, then Hashiba Hideyoshi and unified Japan in 1590 after the Age of Civil Wars (the Sengoku period) during which each war lord ruled his own country independently. Yoshikawa Eiji considers Hideyoshi not as a super hero but a magnanimous man who loved the vulgar crowd. He is a very human hero who knows himself also to be foolish, hence he has been loved by people in general. You will see this play scaled up in this month's performance as new scenes are added. Kinoshita T˘kichir˘ (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) was a son of a lower rank samurai. He appeals directly to Oda Nobunaga (Nakamura Baigyoku) to be his servant. He gets rapid promotion by his distinguished service. Oda Nobunaga defeats warlords around him to enlarge his territory. He attacks and burns Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei which has been strongly opposed to him allied with other warlords around him. Akechi Mitsuhide (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) who also serves Oda Nobunaga begins to feel antipathy toward his cruelty and thinking that not a few people are opposed to Nobunaga, Mitsuhide rebels against him while many of his servants are away. At the news of this, Hideyoshi, who was also far away in the Chűgoku region to fight against the enemies, makes peace with them and hurries back to fight the battle against Mitsuhide to avenge his death. Featuring also Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji.
  • Genta Kand˘:
    (Genta Disowned)
    This jidaimono period play shows the gentle warrior Kajiwara Genta. At the battle of the Uji River, he competes with a fellow warrior Sasaki Takatsuna to be first into battle. Out of the shame, his father sends a letter ordering him to commit ritual suicide. But to save her son's life, Genta's mother Enju disowns him instead. Knowing that the lady-in-waiting Chidori is in love with Genta, Enju dismisses her from service, secretly allowing the two lovers to be together. Featuring Nakamura Baigyoku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Kajiwara Genta Kagesue, Chidori, Genta's father Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki, Genta's brother Kajiwara Heiji Kagetaka and Enju.
  • 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˘ (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) 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 Nakamura Kaishun, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Matagor˘.
  • Kofuji Konobŕ: It is a dance adaptation from the folk story of Matsukaze and Murasame (matsukaze-murasamemono). The woman diver Kofuji (Nakamura Tokiz˘) longs for Ariwara no Yukihira, a poet and court noble in 9th century who once lived in Suma. She loves him so much that she becomes insane, and the spirit of Matsukaze who also loved Yukihira haunts her. She wanders to the shore at Suma carrying sea water in a pail. The boatman Konobŕ (Onoe Sh˘roku) draws near to her and tries to get her love.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 4 ~ 21 February 2016 (Nigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    February Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Funa Benkei

    Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

    Ninin Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs in Fukuoka at the Hakataza in a special Buy˘ program. He plays the roles of Shizuka Gozen and the ghost of the warrior Taira no Tomomori in the dance-drama "Funa Benkei". He also performs in "Ninin Fuji Musume", a special version of "Fuji Musume" which was premiered in January 2014 at the Sh˘chikuza with Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke. This time the second wisteria maiden is Nakamura Kotar˘.

  • Funa Benkei: although he won a war against the enemy Heike clan, the young general Yoshitsune (Nakamura Kotar˘) has gained the disfavor of his brother, the Sh˘gun, and tries to flee to Kyűshű by boat. Before he sets sail, he must say farewell to his lover Shizuka (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘), who performs a dance expressing her grief at their separation. Once the boat sets sail, the spirit of the great Heike general Tomomori (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘), killed by Yoshitsune in battle at sea, appears and attacks to take revenge for the destruction of his clan. They are only saved by the prayers of Yoshitsune's companion, the warrior-priest Benkei (Nakamura Shid˘). The roles of both Shizuka and Tomomori are played by the same actor.
  • 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 Kotar˘ and Nakamura Shid˘ as Maizuru and Gor˘.
  • Ninin Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. The scene is set in ďtsu City near the Lake Biwa. This dance is one of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances. Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will give his definitive performance of this dance in a special double version together with young onnagata star Nakamura Kotar˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 3 ~ 28 February 2016
    Program

    Musume Gonomi Ukina no Yokogushi (Kirare Otomi)

    Casting

    Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Masuki Hiroshi

    Comments

    A 2-month 34-date (17 in January and 17 in February) tour all over Japan:

  • Kirare Otomi: there are many plays in Kabuki that take some famous classic and change it around so that a very masculine character becomes a female character with both the strength of the original and a feminine delicacy and grace. The story of scarfaced Yosabur˘ is popular in Kabuki. Yosabur˘ is the handsome young son of a wealthy family, but he falls in love with Otomi, the mistress of a gang boss and ends up being cut up and tossed overboard at sea, together with Otomi. He survives, terribly scarred, and becomes a criminal. He goes to blackmail a woman who seems to be kept by a wealthy merchant only to discover that it is Otomi. In this version, it is Otomi that is scarred and who becomes a blackmailer. Starring Kawarasaki Kunitar˘ as Otomi, Masuki Hiroshi as the gang boss and Arashi Yoshisabur˘ as Yosabur˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    ďtsuka Museum of Art (Naruto)
    Dates 19 ~ 21 February 2016 (Sistine Kabuki)
    Program

    La Belle et la Bŕte (Bijo to Yajű)

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘

    Comments

    7th edition of the Sistine Kabuki, a Kabuki program within the Sistine Hall of the ďtsuka Museum of Art, which is located in the city of Naruto (Tokushima prefecture). Inside this museum, there are more than 1,000 replicas of priceless masterpieces of Western art, from ancient murals to modern paintings, which are reproduced in ceramic to their original size. The Sistine Hall is of course a "reproduction" of the Vatican Sistine Chapel.

    This newly-created play is based on Marie Leprince de Beaumont's fairy tale "La Belle et la Bŕte". More precisely, it is based on Jean Cocteau's 1946 movie adaptation "La Belle et la Bŕte", which was somehow related to Kabuki. In May 1936, Jean Cocteau was in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza, where he could enjoy Onoe Kikugor˘ VI performing in the dance-drama "Kagami Jishi". In this dance-drama a young girl is transformed into a resplendent shishi. This transformation inspired Jean Cocteau when he conceived and directed his own "La Belle et la Bŕte".

    Orchard Hall (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 2 February 2016 (GRAND JAPAN THEATER)
    Program

    Sanbas˘
    (Ky˘gen)

    Tsuchi Gumo
    ()

    Kagami Jishi
    (Kabuki)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Fukutar˘, Kanze Yoshimasa, Shigeyama Ippei, Umewaka Kish˘ II, Kamei Tadao, Kamei Hirotada

    Comments

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ leads in T˘ky˘ at the Orchard Hall the GRAND JAPAN THEATER, an original troupe which gathers Kabuki, and Ky˘gen performers.

    ďsaka NHK Hall (ďsaka)
    Dates 5 ~ 6 February 2016 (GRAND JAPAN THEATER)
    Program

    Sanbas˘
    (Ky˘gen)

    Tsuchi Gumo
    ()

    Kagami Jishi
    (Kabuki)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Fukutar˘, Katayama Kur˘emon X, Kanze Yoshimasa, Nomura Taichir˘, ďtsuki Bunz˘, Kamei Tadao, Kamei Hirotada

    Comments

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ leads in ďsaka the GRAND JAPAN THEATER, an original troupe which gathers Kabuki, and Ky˘gen performers.

     
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