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.
(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