JANUARY 2019

2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 7 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, Shinbashi Enbuj˘) and 1 in Ky˘to (Ky˘to Gekij˘)!

  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kamimura Kichiya and Nakamura Kazutar˘ perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku perform at the National Theatre
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • The Zenshinza troupe perform at the Ky˘to Gekij˘!
  • Lots of young talented actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘!
  • Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2019 (Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki)
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Tsuchiya Chikara

    Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro

    Shinjű Ten no Amijima (Kawash˘)

    Evening

    Kinmon Gosan no Kiri
    t˘shi ky˘gen production including the famous "Sanmon" scene

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Toranosuke

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Sh˘chikuza with a troupe led by Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘.

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2019
    Program

    Himeji-j˘ Oto-ni Kiku Sono Ishizue

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, ???

    Comments

    Revival at the National Theatre of Namiki Gohei I's 1780 drama "Sode Nikki Banshű Meguri". This Otowaya-powered revision is entitled "Himeji-j˘ Oto-ni Kiku Sono Ishizue".

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2019
    Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Shitadashi Sanbas˘

    Kichirei Kotobuki Soga (Shigitatsusawa Taimen)

    Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
    (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

    Evening

    Ehon Taik˘ki

    Kioi Jishi

    Sh˘chikubai Yushima no Kakegaku

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza.

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2019
    Hatsuharu Kabuki K˘en
    Early Spring Kabuki Performances
    MatinÚe

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Torii Mae)

    Kiwametsuki Banzui Ch˘bŕ

    Mimasu Kuruwa no Kasauri

    Evening

    Narukami

    Natorigusa Hana no Jűichidai

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Horikoshi Kangen, Horikoshi Reika

    Comments

    The traditional New Year Kabuki at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ with a troupe led by the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2019
    Shinshun Asakusa Kabuki
    New Year Asakusa Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Modori Kago Iro ni Aikata

    Genpei Nunobiki no Taki
    (Yoshikata Saigo)

    Imohori Ch˘ja

    Evening

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Noriaibune Eh˘ Manzai

    Casting

    Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Umemaru

    Comments

    The yearly show for young promising actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ in Asakusa, a lively and colorful neighboorhood that keeps the scent of old Edo.

  • Otoshidama: a special k˘j˘ for new year greetings (nenshi goaisatsu in Japanese).
  • Modori Kago: two palanquin bearers, one from ďsaka, the other from Edo (pre-modern T˘ky˘), decide to stop and rest. As they do so, each boasts of the respective merits of his native town. Finally, the little apprentice courtesan (kamuro) they have been carrying, alights from the palanquin and joins them in their dance. Featuring Nakamura Kash˘ as the palanquin bearer from ďsaka (in reality Ishikawa Goemon), Nakamura Tanenosuke as the palanquin bearer from Edo (in reality Goemon's arch-enemy Mashiba Hisayoshi) and Nakamura Umemaru as the kamuro.
  • Yoshikata Saigo: the full-length play shows the early rise of the Genji clan after a time of oppression. Yoshikata (Onoe Matsuya) is the lone member of the Genji clan and pretends to have no interest in reviving its fortunes, but Yukitsuna (Nakamura Hayato) a good-humored footman who is actually a spy, realizes his true intentions. Yoshikata is about to have a son, the general Yoshinaka, who will lead the Genji to victory, but Yoshikata himself is attacked and surrounded and dies in a spectacular scene where he falls from the top of a flight of stairs.
  • Imohori Ch˘ja:
    (The Sweet-Potato-digging Millionaire)
    The widow of the Matsugae family who reigns over the district gives a dance party to choose a husband for her daughter Midori Gozen (Band˘ Shingo). They plan to choose the man who dances the best. T˘gor˘ (Band˘ Minosuke) the potato digger comes with his friend Jirokur˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke) pretending to be the best dancer in Japan. In contrast to T˘gor˘, Jirokur˘ is a good dancer and he knows that T˘gor˘ is ardently in love with Midori Gozen. Jirokur˘ wears a mask and dances pretending to be T˘gor˘. Then asked to dance without a mask, T˘gor˘ dances badly. The widow accepts Jirokur˘'s suggestion and orders Midori Gozen to dance with T˘gor˘ and Jirokur˘. Unable to dance well, T˘gor˘ begins to express potato digging in dance. The people have never seen such an interesting dance and praise his dance to be the best in Japan. T˘gor˘ reveals his true identity and apologizes to them, but Midori Gozen would rather marry T˘gor˘ the potato digger than the best dancer. Finally they all dance expressing potato digging and congratulate T˘gor˘ and Midori Gozen.
  • Otoshidama: a special k˘j˘ for new year greetings (nenshi goaisatsu in Japanese).
  • Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship. In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Nakamura Kinnosuke as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Onoe Matsuya as Gor˘ and Nakamura Kash˘ as Jűr˘. Featuring Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Umemaru, Band˘ Shingo and Nakamura Hayato as Kobayashi no Asahina, the courtesan Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ (Gor˘'s lover), the courtesan ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover) and Oni˘ Shinzaemon (Jűr˘'s retainer).
  • Banch˘ Sarayashiki: the story of Okiku, who became a ghost after breaking one of a precious set of plates and being killed in punishment by a quick-tempered lord, is one of the most famous in Japanese tradition. But this is a modern play, which transforms the ghost story into a portrait of the interaction of contrasting and incompatable personalities. The samurai lord Aoyama Harima (Nakamura Hayato) is passionate and quick to fight and is in the middle of a fight when he is stopped by his aunt. She has arranged a marriage for him and Harima is unable to admit that the reason he will not marry is because he is deeply in love with Okiku (Nakamura Tanenosuke), a lady-in-waiting in his household. As strong as Harima is, his aunt's will is much stronger. But this makes Okiku wonder about the strength of Harima's love for her and she tests him by breaking one of a set of heirloom plates. When she tests Harima's feelings, this seals her fate and sets the tragedy of the play in motion.
  • Noriaibune: at the new year a group of merrymakers happen to meet on a ferry boat. They include a pair of manzai entertainers, who would go from door to door performing auspicious songs and dances. Featuring all the young actors.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Ky˘to (Ky˘to Gekij˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 14 January 2019
    Zenshinza Tokubetsu K˘en
    Zenshinza Special Performances
    Program

    Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki

    Casting

    Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Tadamura Shin'ya

    Comments

    The traditional Zenshinza New Year performances in Ky˘to. Not at the Minamiza, as it used to be, but at the Ky˘to Gekij˘. "Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki", which was written by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji and was premiered in May 2017 at the National Theatre, is based on two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan".

     
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