FEBRUARY 2020

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in Nagoya (Misonoza), 1 in Komatsu (Urara Theater Komatsu), 1 in Kanazawa (Kagekiza), in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Naruto (ďtsuka Museum of Art) and 1 tour (Zenshinza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 February 2020
Nigatsu ďkabuki
February Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kamo Zutsumi
  • Hipp˘ Denju
  • D˘my˘ji
  • Evening

    Hachijin Shugo no Honj˘

    Hagoromo

    Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi

    Michiyuki Koky˘ no Hatsuyuki

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Kankur˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Karoku, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

    Comments

    The February Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza. 3 dramas are staged to commemorate the 26th anniversary (27th memorial services) of the passing away of Kataoka Nizaemon XIII: "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", "Hachijin Shugo no Honj˘" and "Michiyuki Koky˘ no Hatsuyuki".

  • Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami:
    (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy)
    Sugawara no Michizane (known in this play as Kan Sh˘j˘) was a high-ranking imperial court minister who was a brilliant calligrapher and scholar. But political rivalries forced him to be exiled to distant Kyűshű, where he died. After Michizane's death, a series of disasters in the imperial capital were attributed to his angry spirit and he was appeased by being made a god known as Tenjin, and he is now revered as the god of learning. His story was dramatized as an epic puppet drama in 1746 and the play remains a favorite in both Kabuki and the Bunraku puppet theatre.
  • Kamo Zutsumi:
    (The Kamo Riverbank)
    Young Sakuramaru (Nakamura Kankur˘) serves imperial prince Tokiyo (Nakamura Yonekichi) who has fallen in love with Princess Kariya (Kataoka Sennosuke), Michizane's beautiful daughter. Sakuramaru and his wife Yae (Kataoka Takatar˘) are charmed by the affair, since it reminds them of their own love. But the affair is discovered and Michizane's rivals use it as proof that he is attempting to take over the imperial court. This innocent love affair triggers the tragedies of the play.
  • Hipp˘ Denju:
    (Calligraphy Instruction)
    Michizane, in this play called Kan Sh˘j˘ (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), after his title, knows that he will soon be exiled. Before he goes, he hands over the scroll of his secrets to his most talented student Genz˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku). But Genz˘ was disowned forever for having an affair with Tonami (Nakamura Tokiz˘), another servant in the household. Only the intervention of Kan Sh˘j˘ĺs wife Sonoo-no-Mae (Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘) saved their lives. Even though Genz˘ receives his masterĺs teachings, he is not forgiven. Sugawara is arrested, but as Genz˘ and his wife leave, they rescue Kan Sh˘j˘ĺs young son and take him to safety. Featuring also Nakamura Hashinosuke as Ume˘maru.
  • D˘my˘ji:
    (At the D˘my˘ji Temple)
    On his way to exile, Kan Sh˘j˘ (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) is allowed to stop at the home of his aunt, Kakuju (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘). There he carves a statue of himself for his aunt. But Princess Kariya (Kataoka Sennosuke) is actually Kakuju's daughter and was adopted by Kan Sh˘j˘. She has come desperately hoping to say farewell to him, but she is punished severely by Kakuju for having been responsible for Kan Sh˘j˘'s downfall. At the same time, Kakuju has another daughter, Tatsuta (Kataoka Takatar˘) and Tatsuta's husband Sukune Tar˘ (Band˘ Yajűr˘) and father-in-law (Nakamura Karoku) are plotting to assassinate Kan Sh˘j˘ by pretending to be the emissary to take him to exile and then killing him. But miraculously, the statue Kan Sh˘j˘ carved comes to life and saves his life. Finally, when the real emissary Terukuni (Nakamura Shikan) appears, Kan Sh˘j˘ must part from his family as he goes into exile. Featuring also Nakamura Kankur˘ as the yakko Takunai.
  • Hachijin: this is a jidaimono period piece that dramatizes true historical events. Kat˘ Kiyomasa (1562~1611) was one of the fiercest generals under Toyotomi Hideyoshi and continued to defend the family and Hideyoshiĺs young heir Hideyori even after the world came to be ruled by crafty Tokugawa Ieyasu, who searched for any excuse he could find to destroy the clan of his most powerful rival. In the Edo period, the Shogunate banned all mention of contemporary events on stage and was especially sensitive to all mention of the Toyotomi clan and anyone associated with it. On stage, Kat˘ Kiyomasa always appeared under the thinly disguised name of Sat˘ Masakiyo. In this play, the aged Masakiyo defends the young heir of his late lord when he is summoned to a meeting with an old feudal lord who now rules the land. Masakiyo does not budge from his post even when he is weakened by poison. It also shows the touching romance of Masakiyoĺs young son. Starring Kataoka Gat˘ and Nakamura Kaishun as Masakiyo and Hinaginu (the wife of Masakiyo's son).
  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Kankur˘ as the fisherman and Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as the angel.
  • Bunshichi Mottoi: Ch˘bŕ spends his days and nights gambling, but is finally made aware of his family's problems when his daughter takes a job in the pleasure quarters. Having received the money for her contract, he shows his good side to save a young man on the edge of suicide after losing a large sum of money, but nobody believes Ch˘bŕ, thinking that he has gambled the money away. The performance stars Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Jakuemon and Nakamura Baishi in the roles of Ch˘bŕ, Ch˘bŕ's wife Okane and Bunshichi. Featuring also Nakamura Tokiz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji and Ichikawa Danz˘.
  • Michiyuki Koky˘ no Hatsuyuki: this is a dance adaptation of "Ninokuchi-mura" ['Ninokuchi Village'] from the play "Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai" ['The Love Messenger to Yamato']. In danger of losing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa (Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘), the money courier Kameya Chűbŕ (Nakamura Baigyoku) broke the seals on a package of money entrusted to him, even though the use of such money was punishable by death. In this scene, on their way to commit a lovers' double suicide (shinjű), the couple journey through the snow-covered landscape on their way to Chűbŕ's home town. Featuring also Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 4 ~ 25 February 2020
    SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando
    Super Kabuki II
    Program

    Shinpan Oguri

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Shingo, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Asano Kazuyuki, Kashima Noritoshi, Ishibashi Sh˘ji, Shimomura Ao, Ishiguro Hideo, Takahashi Y˘

    Comments

    The SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando drama "Shinpan Oguri" is a revised version of 1991 SűpÔ Kabuki drama "Oguri".

  • Shinpan Oguri:
    (Oguri, a New Version)
    Oguri Hangan (alternatively Ichikawa Ennosuke or Nakamura Hayato) is the heaven-sent child of Vaisravana, a good-looking youth and a master of the martial arts and horsemanship. He comes across Princess Terute who lives in Sagami Province. They fall in love and pledge their troth. However, this is against the law and he is killed by her father. Oguri comes before Enma Dai˘, the King of Hell, who sends him back to the world with his face disfigured and his limbs wasted away as a punishment for his self-indulgence and refusal to take notice of others. Totally disfigured, he cannot walk, and makes his way to Kumano Shrine to be cured, sitting in a cart drawn by volunteers. On the way, fatefully, he meets Princess Terute again but she does not notice him. Will he be able to return to his original appearance? What will become of his love for her?
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    ďtsuka Museum of Art (Naruto)
    Dates 13 ~ 16 February 2020
    Sistine Kabuki
    Program

    NOBUNAGA

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya

    Comments

    10th 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.

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 31 January ~ 2 February 2020
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Hagoromo

    Goaisatsu

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    A special program starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in Nagoya at the Misonoza.

  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Kotar˘ as the angel.
  • Goaisatsu: a k˘j˘ on stage.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Urara Theater Komatsu (Komatsu)
    Dates 8 ~ 9 February 2020
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Hagoromo

    Goaisatsu

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    A special program starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in Komatsu at the Urara Theater Komatsu.

  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Kotar˘ as the angel.
  • Goaisatsu: a k˘j˘ on stage.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kagekiza (Kanazawa)
    Dates 10 February 2020
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Hagoromo

    Goaisatsu

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    A special program starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in Kanazawa at the Kagekiza.

  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Kotar˘ as the angel.
  • Goaisatsu: a k˘j˘ on stage.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 14 ~ 23 February 2020
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Hagoromo

    Goaisatsu

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    A special program starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in Ky˘to at the Minamiza.

  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Kotar˘ as the angel.
  • Goaisatsu: a k˘j˘ on stage.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 26 February ~ 1 March 2020 26 February 2020
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Hagoromo

    Goaisatsu

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    A special program starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in Fukuoka at the Hakataza. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the performances from the 27th of February to the 1st of March were canceled!

  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Kotar˘ as the angel.
  • Goaisatsu: a k˘j˘ on stage.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 18 February ~ 1 March 2020
    Program

    Ushiwakamaru

    Casting

    Tamaura Yűnosuke, Tadamura Shin'ya, Hayase Einoj˘, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Arashi Ichitar˘, Watarai Motoyuki

    Comments

    A short tour for the Zenshinza troupe:

  • Ushiwakamaru: this newly-created Kabuki drama about Ushiwakamaru (the future young general Minamoto no Yoshitsune). The three first ideograms of the title are yuki (snow), tsuki (moon) and hana (flower). Each one symbolizes one of the 3 parts of this drama. The first part is the village of Fushimi under the snow : after her husband Minamoto no Yoshitomo was murdered in 1160, Lady Tokiwa (Hayase Einoj˘) and her son Ushiwakamaru escape through the snow from Ky˘to to nearby Fushimi. She is caught by her enemy Taira no Munekiyo. Instead of killing her and her son, he rescue the mother and his boy. The second part is set at the Goj˘ Bridge at night under the moon. Ushiwakamaru (Tamaura Yűnosuke) is now a powerful warrior picking fights on the Goj˘ Bridge in Ky˘to. A stout warrior priest named Benkei (Watarai Motoyuki) challenges him. Vanquished, he becomes a disciple of Ushiwakamaru. The third part is set in Mount Kurama during the autumn leaves season. Ushiwakamaru, who cherishes the ambition of destroying the Heike clan, discovers that his new friend is actually a tengű, who promises to teach him secret tactics and war strategies.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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