JULY 2013

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Akasaka Act Theater), 2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), and 2 tours (Eastern Provinces, Central Provinces)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 4 ~ 28 July 2013 (Kokera Otoshi Shichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
Opening Ceremony July Young Actors Kabuki
MatinÚe

Kagamiyama Gonichi no Iwafuji

Evening

T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan

Casting

Onoe Kikunosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Onoe Matsuya, Onoe Ukon, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Tamatar˘

Comments

4th month celebrating the opening of the new Kabukiza within a 1-year long cycle of kokera otoshi programs. Two spectacular dramas full of keren with young stars!

  • Gonichi no Iwafuji:
    (The Return of Iwafuji)
    This play is a sequel to an earlier classic in which the evil lady-in-waiting Iwafuji caused the death of her rival Onoe by excessively persecuting her, including beating Onoe with a saddle. One ear later, Onoe's servant Onoe II (Onoe Kikunosuke), who avenged her death by killing Iwafuji, has come to pray for the comfort of Iwafuji's spirit (Onoe Sh˘roku). Iwafuji's bones come together magically and her spirit floats among the cherry blossoms. Later the spirit appears at the mansion to beat Onoe II with a saddle. Evil forces are plotting to take over the Taga household where Onoe works. The servant Torii Matasuke (Onoe Sh˘roku) is harboring the faithful retainer Motome (Onoe Matsuya). He decides to kill his lord's consort, an evil woman who is one of the main forces in the plot, but through the scheming of another, he ends up killing his lord's wife instead. The death is blamed on Motome, and Matasuke must take his own life to clear Motome's name. In the end, the lord defeats all the evil forces threatening his realm and the ghost of Iwafuji returns to the afterworld. This play features spectacular special effects and large-scale fight scenes. Featuring also Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Kataoka Ainosuke.
  • Yotsuya Kaidan: Iemon, a villainous masterless samurai (Ichikawa Somegor˘) is in love with Oiwa (Onoe Kikunosuke) and even kills her father to be united with her, cynically promising to help her to avenge her father's death. But at the same time, the granddaughter of a wealthy doctor falls in love with him and her grandfather tries to ensure the match by sending a horrible disfiguring poison to Oiwa. In the most famous scene of the play, face destroyed, hair falling out, Oiwa carefully dresses and puts on make-up to pay a proper visit to those who have wronged her. Iemon kills Oiwa and his servant Kohei (Onoe Kikunosuke), has their bodies nailed to a door and thrown into the river. Iemon is happily married into the wealthy family, but no sooner does the beautiful young bride arrive than Oiwa's ghost causes Iemon to kill her. The vengeful ghosts do not rest until all of their enemies are dead and, in another famous scene, Oiwa and Kohei appear floating on the river, calling out to Iemon. The concluding scene shows the ghost of Oiwa appearing mysteriously from inside a paper lantern and pulling her enemies into the wall and disappearing magically. Featuring Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku in the roles Sat˘ Yomoshichi and Naosuke Gonbŕ.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 4 ~ 28 July 2013 (Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki)
    The 22nd Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Yanagikage Sawa no Hotarubi

    Yasuna

    Evening

    Soga Monogatari

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

    Kakitsubata Iro mo Edozome (Dote no Oroku)

    Casting

    Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kanjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kikaku, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    22nd edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka.

  • Yanagikage Sawa no Hotarubi:
    (The Ambition of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu)
    A modern play by a 20th-century playwright Uno Nobuo. Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu (Nakamura Hashinosuke) hopes nothing more than rising in the world as his mother hoped. Osame (Nakamura Fukusuke) wants on the contrary nothing but love with him, but he recommends her as a concubine to Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (Nakamura Kanjaku), the 5th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. Thus he gets ahead in the world by making up to Tsunayoshi and his mother Keishoin. He has no hesitation in killing anybody who stands in his way, but what he ultimately obtained is only love of his lover Osame. Featuring also Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Kataoka Hidetar˘.
  • Yasuna: after the death of his lover, the handsome young Yasuna wanders through the open fields madly searching for his love. The tragedy is a contrast to the beautiful setting, a field of brilliant yellow flowers and the lush, sensuous Kiyomoto narrative music that accompanies it. Starring the young onnagata star Kataoka Nizaemon in the role of Yasuna.
  • Soga Monogatari:
    (The Tale of Soga Brothers)
    A modern play by Okamoto Kid˘. Soga brothers Jűr˘ (Nakamura Kanjaku) and Gor˘ (Kataoka Shinnosuke) have waited for 18 years to avenge their father's death. Their elder brother Ky˘ no Kojir˘ (Kataoka Gat˘) will neither prevent them from taking their father's revenge nor participate in it, because he feels stronger longing for his real father than for his second father, the real father of Jűr˘, Gor˘ and Zenjib˘ (Band˘ Shinsha). Their youngest brother Zenjib˘ comes long way from Echigo province to visit their father's grave. As he hears his brothers taking their father's revenge, he would like to take part in it. But they object to it; as a monk he is not skilled in handling swords and they hope he will pray to the Buddha for the repose of their soul after they have succeeded in avenging their father's death that will result in a death penalty.
  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan. Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance. Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy. This performance stars Kataoka Nizaemon as Lord ďkura, Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Tokiwa Gozen, Nakamura Hashinosuke as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘ as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Dote no Oroku:
    (Beautiful Purple Iris in Edo)
    A drama by Tsuruya Nanboku IV about fascinating characters against the background of a bygone, decadent age. A samurai Sano Jirozaemon (Nakamura Kanjaku) loses a precious sword which is the heirloom of his lord and becomes masterless. He searches it to return to his lord's service. He kills the courtesan Yatsuhashi (Nakamura Senjaku) whom he believes has betrayed him; a female snake-charmer Oroku (Nakamura Fukusuke) commits blackmail in league with the evil priest Gantetsu (Nakamura Hashinosuke). The word Kakitsubata in the title is associated with Yatsuhashi, a place name in Mikawa Province famous for iris and also a name of a character in this drama. Another possible reading for Kakitsubata is Tojaku, the haimy˘ of the Edo star Iwai Hanshir˘ V, who played the role of Oroku in 1815.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 July 2013 (Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Ashiya D˘man ďuchi Kagami (Kuzu-no-Ha)

    Casting

    Nakamura Tokiz˘, Ichikawa Unosuke, Ichimura Kakitsu, Band˘ Shűch˘, Nakamura Mantar˘

    Comments

    Educational program at the National Theatre called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki Appreciation Class"). This is a very interesting formula for the beginners because there is lively presentation of Kabuki (or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes) on stage, followed by the drama "Kuzu-no-Ha".

  • Kuzu-no-Ha: Abe no Yasuna, a court astrologer in disgrace, has married a beautiful woman named Kuzu-no-Ha, not knowing that she is actually a fox that has taken human form to repay his kindness in saving his life. The couple has a child and lives happily together until the real woman whose form the fox borrowed appears. Knowing that she can no longer stay, Kuzu-no-Ha writes a tearful farewell poem on the paper screen and returns to the wilderness. Starring Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Kuzu-no-Ha and Band˘ Shűch˘ as Yasuna.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabuki Tour in the Central Provinces
    Dates 1 ~ 29 July 2013 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    K˘j˘

    Renjishi

    Casting

    Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Yonekichi

    Comments

    Nakamura Matagor˘ III and his son Nakamura Kash˘ IV celebrate their shűmei touring in the central provinces!

  • 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 Kichiemon) 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 Shibajaku), 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.
  • 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 Matagor˘ III and his son Nakamura Kash˘ IV.
  • 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 Nakamura Matagor˘ in the role of the parent shishi and his son Nakamura Kash˘ in the role of the cub.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces
    Dates 1 ~ 29 July 2013 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Kenuki

    K˘j˘

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Ichikawa Juen

    Comments

    Ichikawa Ennosuke IV celebrates his shűmei touring in the eastern provinces!

  • Kenuki: in this play, which retains the light, festive atmosphere of early-period Kabuki, a princess has a mysterious ailment that makes her hair stand on end, an ailment that prevents her from carrying out her long-awaited marriage. Kumedera Danj˘ comes from the groom's household to investigate and finds a plot to take over the household when his tweezers float in mid-air. Ichikawa Ukon stars in a play that features the bombastic aragoto style of acting that is a specialty of the Ichikawa clan.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ennosuke IV.
  • 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 Ichikawa Ennosuke as the fox Tadanobu. Featuring also Ichikawa Monnosuke (Shizuka Gozen) and Nakamura Baigyoku (Yoshitsune).
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Akasaka Act Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 28 July 2013 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Amaterasu

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and the Kod˘ taiko drummers revive "Amaterasu", which was staged for the first time in May 2006 at the Minamiza [more details].

     
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