JANUARY 2020

2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 8 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, Shinbashi Enbuj˘) and 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza)!

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘ perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Matagor˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Baishi, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Rakuzen, Ichimura Manjir˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Band˘ Kamez˘ perform at the National Theatre
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • The Zenshinza troupe perform at the Minamiza!
  • Lots of young talented actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘!
  • Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2020
    Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Tsuzura Ori (Ohide Seishichi)

    ďtsue D˘j˘ji

    Hade Sugata Onna Maiginu (Sakaya)

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Yűgiri Nagori no Sh˘gatsu

    ďatari Fushimi no Tomikuji

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Toranosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Sh˘chikuza.

  • Ohide Seishichi: at the End of the Edo period in Ky˘to, the Shogunate blames the financier Kitaniya Sen'emon (Band˘ Yajűr˘) for having financed the pro-Imperial (anti-Shogunate) party. Seishichi (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), a salesclerk of the Kitaniya, bears the blame and goes into hiding. Deeply moved by Seishichi's loyalty, the master Sen'emon promises to marry his daughter Ohide (Nakamura Kazutar˘) to Seishichi. However, five years later when Seishichi returns to Ky˘to, he finds that Sen'emon has adopted Shinz˘ (Kataoka Ainosuke) as Ohide's husband. Yasaka no Shinz˘ is the nephew of the local governor of Ky˘to, Yoshii Sakuzaemon (Arashi Kitsusabur˘), and this marriage is agreed on condition that the Yoshii family save the difficult situation in which Sen'emon finds himself. Now, Sen'emon does not want Seishichi to return and gives him 300 ry˘ in compensation for cutting connections with him. As Seishichi walks along the Shij˘ Riverbed, disappointed and drunk, he encounters Hinayű, a geisha who looks exactly like Ohide, and ....
  • ďtsue D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" or "The Maiden at Dojoji Temple" is the most famous dance to display the alluring charm of an onnagata female role specialist and has inspired many variations. It shows the ghost of a woman who was transformed into a serpent out of passion and destroyed a temple bell. In this particular version, a mysterious figure appears as various characters famous from the cartoon like pictures called ˘tsue before revealing that this is the woman of the "D˘j˘ji" story. Featuring Kataoka Ainosuke in the 5 roles of this hengemono and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of the Demon Queller.
  • Sakaya: this play is supposed to be about the love suicide of Hanshichi, the son of a sake merchant, and the dancer Sankatsu, but the true heart of the drama is the effect of this romance on his family. Hanshichi is forced to kill a man and although his father has apparently disowned him, in fact, he lets himself be arrested in his son's place. The most famous moment of this play is the lament of Osono, the wife that Hanshichi was arranged to marry. Even though she has never been loved by Hanshichi, in her heart is only selfless love and concern for him. Starring Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku as Hanshichi and Osono/Sankatsu.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura") features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum. Starring Kataoka Ainosuke as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
  • Yűgiri Nagori no Sh˘gatsu: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. The young lover Izaemon (Nakamura Ganjir˘) has been disowned by his family for loving a courtesan. This role is a classic example of wagoto, the gentle style of acting that was popular in the Kansai region. His lover Yűgiri (Nakamura Senjaku), the fabulous courtesan, died pining away with love for him. As he prays to Amida Buddha to hold a memorial service for her, he faints and she appears. They celebrate their reunion and reminisce about the past, but she disappears. He is pleased with seeing her though in dream. This particular version of the play was originally written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. But since the original script had long been lost, this version of the story was written in 2005. Nakamura Ganjir˘ will also wear a real paper kimono, the trademark of Sakata T˘jűr˘ I. Featuring Band˘ Takesabur˘ and Kamimura Kichiya.
  • ďatari Fushimi no Tomikuji:
    (A Winning Lottery Ticket of Fushimi)
    This is a light comedy portraying K˘jir˘ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), now a waste paper man but who was originally a clerk in a large business that went bankrupt. Now he dreams of restoring the shop of his old master. He has also lost his heart to the courtesan Nioteru (Nakamura Ganjir˘). It looks like his dreams will come true when he buys a winning lottery ticket, but it seems that the ticket gets lost among his wastepaper. This month's performance is a revival of this play, giving new life to old-fashioned ďsaka comedy. Featuring also Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Kamimura Kichiya.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2020
    Program

    Kiku Ichiza Reiwa no Adauchi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Baishi, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Rakuzen, Ichimura Manjir˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Ichimura Takematsu, Onoe Ukon, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichimura Hikaru, Onoe Sakon, Ichimura Kitsutar˘

    Comments

    Revival at the National Theatre of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's new year sogamono drama "Okuni Iri Soga Nakamura", which was premiered the 1st lunar month of 1825 at the Nakamuraza. It is entitled "Kiku Ichiza Reiwa no Adauchi" (In Japanese). As this is usually the case for the new year program, the zagashira is Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘. Kiku Ichiza in the new title means the troupe led by Kikugor˘, Reiwa is of course the Reiwa era and adauchi (revenge) is a hint at the sogamono. Two hanamichi are used in this production.

  • Kiku Ichiza Reiwa no Adauchi: The very first show at the National Theatre (T˘ky˘) celebrating the upcoming new year of the Reiwa era, which began in May 2019, is the performance originally written by famous Japanese dramatist Tsuruya Nanboku IV, which premiered Edo in 1825. The original piece by Nanboku IV was arranged into a new shape using several typical drama-writing techniques, especially for Kabuki theatre. One of them, the so-called naimaze, literally means the combining of two or more entirely different but very well known sekai (a dramatic world with its well-defined set of characters), while adding new incidents or plot twists. This is especially true of Nanbokuĺs plays depicting the social underclass. They were actually often the combination of several sekais and are still very popular among theatre-goers. This January's Kabuki production is titled ôKiku-ichiza Reiwa no Adauchi,ö which means that the famous vendetta (adauchi) is staged by Kabuki theatre's top stars and leading actors Onoe Kikugor˘ VII and their troupe. This permeation of the names of the real actors into the title of the play is very often a phenomenon in Kabuki theatre. This play also benefits from the sekai of ôGonpachi-Komurasaki playsö about the lovers, samurai retainer Shirai Gonpachi and his mistress Komurasaki (whose grave site known as Hiyokuzuka, double grave of lovers, you can still visit at T˘ky˘ĺs Meguro site). Originally, Gonpachi's arguments over the purchase of Komurasaki and a man named Banzuiin Chobŕ helped to settle the matter. This scene is well-known as ôSuzugamori,ö which combines two historically unconnected stories ľ Gonpachi and Komurasaki on one side and Banzuiin Chobeiĺs on the other side. Last but not least, there is one more surprising element used in the play. It is a character whose name is Sasano Gonza, known from the famous puppet play by dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon ôGonza the Spearmanö. He is a vassal of ďe no Hiromoto, the regent of the Kamakura Shogunate, and ľ stunningly ľ in the surprising relationship with the Gonpachi. They are both searching for ôInĺy˘ no hanö - a lost treasure handed down through generations in the clan. Furthemore, Gonpachi is mistaken for a woman and he claimes to be courtesan whose name is Komurasaki! Thus, using the changes of famous plots and their characters as they please, Nanboku IV together with current playwrights entice theatre-goers into the magic, bizzare and fancy world of kabuki theatre to celebrate the beginning of a new and prosperous year.
  • Courtesy of Petr Holř, Adjunct Researcher, The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University

    Dates 18 January 2020 (Dent˘ Kabuki Hozonkai Kenshű Happy˘kai)
    Training Recital of the Organization for the Preservation of Kabuki
    Program

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • ďgiri

    Comments

    25th Training Recital at the National Theatre produced by the Organization for the Preservation of Kabuki. The final item in the program, "ďgiri", is staged with Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku.

  • Tepp˘ Watashi/Futatsudama/Kanpei Harakiri: this section of the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura" is about Hayano Kanpei and his wife Okaru. Kanpei survives as a hunter and is desperate for the money that will allow him to become a samurai again. He encounters two former retainers of Lord En'ya Hangan who offer to allow him to participate in a vendetta to avenge Lord En'ya Hangan's death by attacking K˘ no Moron˘. Unknown to him, though, Okaru's family has decided to raise the memory by selling her into prostitution as a courtesan in the Gion district of Ky˘to. Okaru's father travels on a dark mountain road, eager to bring the first half of the money to Kanpei. But he is attacked and robbed by Sadakur˘, also a former retainer of Lord En'ya Hangan who has gone bad and become a thief. At this point, Kanpei aims and fires at s wild boar and instead kills Sadakur˘. He finds the purse with all the money and, thinking that is the gift of heaven, rushes home. At home, the brothel keeper is already there to collect Okaru and Kanpei wants to refuse to let her go, until he realizes where the money came from and believes that he killed Okaru's father by mistake. He urges Okaru to go to the pleasure quarters, not wanting her to know what has happened. In one of the dramatic highlights of the play, Kanpei commits suicide to atone for his multiple failures in duty.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2020
    Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Daigo no Hanami

    ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara (Sodehagi Saimon)

    Su˘ Otoshi

    Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘ (Goto Sanba)

    Renjishi

    Iwashi Uri Koi no Hikiami

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Nakamura Takanosuke, Ichikawa Danko, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘

    Comments

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

  • Daigo no Hanami:
    (Blossom-viewing in Daigo)
    This is a dance portraying the famous blossom-viewing party held by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 3rd lunar month of 1598 in the garden of the Daigoji Temple in Ky˘to. It was a grand banquet to which Hideyoshi's family, many daimy˘ lords, their wives and retainers were invited. Featuring Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • Sodehagi Saimon: a larger-than-life history play originally written for the puppet theater, this is an epic of the intrigues in the T˘hoku region of Japan. It shows the larger political movements of the region as the individual tragedies of various people that are caught in this turmoil. In the most famous section, this play tells the tragic story of Sodehagi (Nakamura Jakuemon), a woman disowned by her family after falling in love with a man that they did not accept. Now she is alone and blind from weeping. She wanders with her child, supporting them as a musician and comes to her family's house. They do not let her in and sitting outside in the snow, she sings her tragic tale. Meanwhile, her husband Abe no Sadat˘ (Nakamura Shikan) is inside the house, in a story of political intrigue. Featuring also Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Kankur˘ in the roles of Hachiman Tar˘ and Abe no Munet˘.
  • Su˘ Otoshi:
    (The Dropped Coat)
    This play transforms a classical Ky˘gen farce into Kabuki dance. Delivering a message for his lord, the servant Tar˘kaja (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) charms a princess and in reward for a dance showing a famous battle, he receives a formal coat and large amounts of drink. Knowing his lord is a greedy man, he tries to hide the coat on his return, but unfortunately, the sake that helped him feel so good earlier works against him. Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon and Nakamura Matagor˘.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Matsumoto Haku˘) 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 (Nakamura Shikan) 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 Nakamura Karoku.
  • Goto Sanba: though set in the 12th century, this history play in fact concerns Toyotomi Hideyori and his retainers who will be crushed by the military dictator Tokugawa Ieyasu. Minamoto no Yoshitsune (Nakamura Shikan) is suspected by his brother Yoritomo of being a traitor, despite his distinguished service in destroying their rival Heike clan. He indulges in drinking after being turned down by his brother. His retainer Kamei no Rokur˘ (Ichikawa Ennosuke) remonstrates with him, but he will not listen. Another loyal retainer Izumi no Sabur˘ (Nakamura Karoku) leads in Gotobŕ (Matsumoto Haku˘), who is disguised as a swordsmith of hilt ornaments, to recommend as a strategist for the battle against Yoritomo, but his evil retainers make Gotobŕ drunk. Yoshitsune is enraged at Gotobŕ's drunkenness and Sabur˘ exits mortified. Gotobŕ performs the sanbas˘ dance while fighting off the Takeda footmen before leaving the mansion.
  • Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes. The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong. This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son. This performance features Ichikawa Ennosuke in the role of the parent shishi and Ichikawa Danko in the role of the cub.
  • Iwashi Uri:
    (The Princess and the Sardine Seller)
    A modern play by novelist Mishima Yukio, this recreates the leisurely, comic atmosphere of early 18th century Kabuki. A sardine seller famous for his vigorous chanting falls in love with a beautiful courtesan and disguises himself as a wealthy patron, only to discover that she is actually a princess that ran away from her family after falling in love with the call of a sardine seller. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as the sardine seller and Nakamura Shichinosuke as the princess. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Monnosuke.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 January 2020
    Hatsuharu Kabuki K˘en
    Early Spring Kabuki Performances
    MatinÚe

    Gion Sairei Shink˘ki (Kinkakuji)

    Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori

    Yukibotaru Koi no Taki

    Evening

    Kami no Megumi Wag˘ no Torikumi
    (Megumi no Kenka)

    Setsugekka Mitsu no Nagame (Nakakuni)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura Kikaku, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Ichikawa Otora, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Horikoshi Kangen, Ichikawa Botan

    Comments

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

  • Kinkakuji: "Kinkakuji" retains the epic scale of plays adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater and is full of miracles and larger-than-life characters common on the puppet stage. It is full of the classical forms of all kinds of stylized characters and the role of Princess Yuki is considered to be one of the most difficult and beautiful roles for an onnagata female role specialist. Matsunaga Daizen (Nakamura Shid˘) has defeated the Sh˘gun and has set up base in the Golden Pavilion. The brilliant strategist Hisayoshi, disguised as a disgruntled retainer named T˘kichi (Ichikawa Udanji), pretends to come under Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within. Princess Yuki (Kataoka Takatar˘) is being held prisoner by Daizen, but is able to free herself by drawing a mouse in the cherry petals of the tree that she is tied to. It comes to life and chews the ropes holding her. Starring the best of the actors in their prime in a production sure to be full of fire and excitement. Featuring also ďtani Tomoemon and Ichikawa Sai'nyű in the roles of Kan˘nosuke Naonobu and Keijuin.
  • Suzu-ga-Mori: The young samurai Shirai Gonpachi (Nakamura Kangyoku) 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 (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), 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. Featuring also Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu and Ichikawa Kudanji.
  • Yukibotaru Koi no Taki: This is a brand-new kabuki play created and directed by Akimoto Yasushi who is one of the most famous creators of Japanese pop-culture. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Udanji and Nakamura Shid˘.
  • Megumi no Kenka: they used to say that fights and fires were the flowers of the city of Edo and many plays feature the gallent members of firefighting troupes, who were popular heroes. This particular play depicts a rivalry between the members of the Megumi firefighting band and a group of sum˘ wrestlers, which ultimately is a confrontation between the firefighters, who represent the commoner class and the samurai patrons of the sum˘ wrestlers. The fight begins with a minor incident, but grows into a situation of such tension, that when Tatsugor˘, the leader of the firefighting gang, goes to his final fight, he goes with the full intention that this may be a fight to the death. Before he leaves, he has an emotional parting from his family. Featuring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Tatsugor˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as the leader of the group of sum˘ wrestlers. Featuring also Kataoka Takatar˘ (Tatsugor˘'s wife Onaka), Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Ichikawa Kudanji.
  • Nakakuni: This is a play selected as one of the Shin Kabuki Jűhachiban ('The New Eighteen Favorite Kabuki Plays of the Ichikawa Danjűr˘ Family'). It has not been performed for a long time. On this occasion, Ichikawa Ebiz˘ revives it and performs with his daughter Ichikawa Botan.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2020
    Shinshun Asakusa Kabuki
    New Year Asakusa Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Hana no Ranpei

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

    Chatsubo

    Evening

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Ehon Taik˘ki (Amagasaki Kankyo)

    Kanadehon Chűshingura
    (Gion Ichiriki Jaya)

    Casting

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

    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).
  • Hana no Ranpei: this is a dance adaptation of Act IV of "Yamatogana Ariwara Keizu", commonly known as "Ranpei Monogurui" ('The Madness of Ranpei') which is sometimes performed in Kabuki. The footman Ranpei (Nakamura Hashinosuke) goes mad at the sight of a naked blade. After losing consciousness, he is awoken by his comrades and suddenly gets up and dances madly in a comical manner.
  • Terakoya: Genz˘ and his wife Tonami run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo mourn their dead son. Starring Onoe Matsuya as Matsu˘maru, Nakamura Hayato as Genz˘, Band˘ Shingo as Chiyo and Nakamura Yonekichi as Tonami. Featuring also Nakamura Kash˘ as Shund˘ Genba.
  • Chatsubo: the farces of the classical Ky˘gen theater have universal appeal, showing the relationships of masters and servants and husbands and wives. In this particular dance play, a servant (Nakamura Kash˘) carries a precious tea caddy which a thief (Band˘ Minosuke) then claims is his. The servant and the thief must both explain who owns the treasure, first in words, then in dance. Featuring also Nakamura Kinnosuke in the role of the magistrate.
  • Otoshidama: a special k˘j˘ for new year greetings (nenshi goaisatsu in Japanese).
  • Amagasaki Kankyo: Akechi Mitsuhide (known in this play as Takechi Mitsuhide) is known as the "three day ruler of Japan", having only control for a brief time after attacking and killing Oda Nobunaga (known in this play as Harunaga) and before being defeated in turn by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (known in this play as Mashiba Hisayoshi). In the most famous act of this play, after assassinating Harunaga, Mitsuhide comes to see his mother, but she refuses to forgive him for betraying his lord. Mitsuhide sees his son and mother both die before his eyes as he tries to defeat his rival Hisayoshi, but instead is confronted with the drama of his own immediate family. Starring Nakamura Kash˘ and Nakamura Kinnosuke as Mitsuhide and Hisayoshi. Featuring also Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Yonekichi and Nakamura Hashinosuke as Mitsuhide's wife Misao, Mitsuhide's son Jűjir˘, Jűjir˘'s fiancee Hatsugiku and Sat˘ Masakiyo.
  • Gion Ichiriki Jaya: "Chűshingura" is one of the most popular plays in the theatre and shows a true event when forty-seven masterless samurai avenged the death of their lord by killing his enemy. The seventh act is one of the most popular and shows the leader of the vendetta Yuranosuke as he is hiding his intention to avenge his lordĺs death by pretending to be only interested in pleasure, but also encountering key figures on his side and the side of the enemy. Yuranosuke (Onoe Matsuya) spends his days and nights in the pleasure quarters of Ky˘to in an effort to make their lordĺs enemy, Moron˘, believe he is not planning a vendetta. His acting is so good that even men in his own group believe he has given his life up to pleasure. Moron˘ is not so easily convinced, though, and has sent spies, including a former retainer of their late lord, En'ya Hangan, to find Yuranosuke's true intentions. Okaru (Nakamura Yonekichi), the wife of one of the retainers is now a courtesan at the Ichiriki Teahouse, unaware that her husband is dead. Okaru's brother Heiemon (Band˘ Minosuke), a servant in the Hangan household, has also come to the teahouse and the interaction of these characters becomes a matter of life and death and ends with Yuranosuke preparing to lead the vendetta.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Dates 30 ~ 31 January 2020
    Baish˘kai
    Program

    Shiki Sanbas˘

    Honch˘ Nijűshik˘ (Kitsunebi)

    Takeminakata

    Casting

    Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Shinobu, Ichikawa Emino

    Comments

    2nd edition of the Baish˘kai, a gala program which stars Nakamura Shinobu and Ichikawa Emino.

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 11 ~ 18 January 2020
    Zenshinza Hatsuharu Tokubetsu K˘en
    Zenshinza Early Spring Special Performances
    Program

    Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka

    Casting

    Fujikawa Yanosuke, Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Tadamura Shin'ya, Tamaura Yűnosuke

    Comments

    The traditional Zenshinza New Year performances in Ky˘to at the Minamiza.

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 2 ~ 4 January 2020
    Shinshun Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en
    New Spring Special Dance Performances
    Program

    Onenga K˘j˘

    Yuki

    Sankyoku Ito no Shirabe Akoya Kotozeme

    Kane-ga-Misaki

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special new year Buy˘ program in Nagoya at the Misonoza, starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

     
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