JULY 2014

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre), 1 in Matsumoto (Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre), 2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), and 2 tours (Eastern Provinces, Ichikawa Ennosuke Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 5 ~ 29 July 2014
MatinÚe

Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Otai Jaya
  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Tajima-ch˘/Yane Ue
  • Evening

    Akutar˘

    Shuzenji Monogatari

    Tenshu Monogatari

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Unosuke, Ichimura Kakitsu, Nakamura Kikaku, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa Tsukinosuke, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa Juen, Onoe Ukon, Ichikawa K˘tar˘

    Comments

    First performance at the new Kabukiza for the Omodakaya guild along with Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ ... but without the head of the guild Ichikawa Ennosuke.

  • Kusazuri:
    (the Tug-of-War Over the Armor)
    A short dance in the oldest style of Kabuki, leisurely and full of humor, combining the charm of an onnagata female role specialist with the larger-than-life heroism of the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The strong woman Maizuru stops the powerful, but rash, warrior Soga no Gor˘ from rushing to a fight by pulling on the set of armor he is carrying. Starring Ichikawa Emisabur˘ and Ichikawa Ukon as Maizuru and Gor˘.
  • Natsu Matsuri: This popular play shows the pride and spirit of honor of commoners in old ďsaka. Danshichi (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ (Ichikawa En'ya) and the older Sabu (Ichikawa Sadanji). Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘) heroically helps out, in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji (Ichikawa Chűsha) and, in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby. Danshichi divorces his wife and parts with his family so that they will not be punished with him. Tokubŕ suggests Danshichi to flee with him as they are surrounded by the arresting official. Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ also plays the role of Danshichi's wife Okaji.
  • Akutar˘: this dance is based on a comic Ky˘gen play and was written for Ichikawa En'˘ I. This dance shows a wild drunkard named Akutar˘ (Ichikawa Ukon). He appears with a bushy beard and long halberd and waves it around wildly. But his uncle (Nakamura Kikaku) has a plan to cure him of drinking. Featuring also Ichikawa En'ya.
  • Shuzenji Monogatari: a mask carver (Ichikawa Chűsha) has been ordered to make a portrait of Yoriie (Ichikawa Tsukinosuke), the second Sh˘gun, but despairs of his artistic powers because no matter how many times he tries, the mask always shows the signs of death. But finally he learns that the mask holds the secrets of the tragic fate of Yoriie and his own daughter Katsura (Ichikawa Emisabur˘). This modern play by Okamoto Kid˘ is probably the greatest classic of New Kabuki (Shinkabuki), a perfect blend of the technique of old Kabuki and modern ideas of drama. Featuring also Nakamura Kikaku, Ichikawa Shun'en and Ichikawa Juen.
  • Tenshu Monogatari: Izumi Ky˘ka's "Tenshu Monogatari" creates the romantic and fantastic atmosphere for which the playwright is famous. Princess Tomi (Band˘ Tamasabur˘), a mysterious immortal spirit in Himeji Castle, lives in an elegant feminine world of her own at the top of the castle tower. But an encounter with the handsome young warrior Zushonosuke (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) brings her into the world of human beings and she is moved to sacrifice all to help him. Featuring also Kataoka Gat˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa Ukon and Ichikawa En'ya.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 July 2014 (Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki)
    The 23rd Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Tenp˘ Yűky˘ Roku

    Meoto Gitsune

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

    Evening

    Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku (Numazu)

    Migawari Zazen

    Shinkei Kasane-ga-Fuchi (Toyoshiga no Shi)

    Onna Date

    Casting

    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kanjaku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Kunio

    Comments

    23rd edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka.

  • Tenp˘ Yűky˘ Roku:
    (Record of an Unruly Life)
    Katsu Kokichi (Nakamura Hashinosuke), a low-ranking warrior, is universally disliked for his dissolute behavior but he reforms for the sake of his small son who later becomes Katsu Kaishű, one of the leading figures of the Meiji Restoration of 1868. A modern historical play, it was written by Mayama Seika, one of the most important Japanese dramatists of the twentieth century. Featuring also Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘.
  • Meoto Gitsune: one of the most famous plays in Kabuki features a magical fox that disguises himself as a samurai to get close to a precious drum made from the skins of his fox parents. This dance is a light parody of that play. The warrior Kusunoki Tatewaki Masatsura (Onoe Kikunosuke) carries a drum as a keepsake of his dead lover, but mysteriously encounters a couple, man and wife (Nakamura Kanjaku and Nakamura Senjaku), the woman being his lost lover. As it turns out, they are actually foxes and the drum that he carries is made from the skins of their parents.
  • 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 Kataoka Nizaemon as Matsu˘maru, Nakamura Hashinosuke as Genz˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Chiyo and Onoe Kikunosuke as Tonami. Featuring also Kataoka Ichiz˘ as Shund˘ Genba.
  • Numazu: a dramatization of one of the most famous historical vendattas of the Edo period. "Numazu" is one act that tells of the sacrifices of those not directly involved in the vendetta itself but members of the same family who are indebted to the two opposing sides. The kimono merchant Jűbŕ (Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘) meets a porter Heisaku (Nakamura Kanjaku) as he travels west on business. They find that not only are they long-separated father and son, but that they also lie on opposite sides of the vendetta. Their loyalties prevent them from openly acknowledging their relationship. Heisaku sacrifices his life to get information from his son essential to his side's cause. Featuring Nakamura Senjaku in the role of Heisaku's daughter Oyone.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Kataoka Nizaemon) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Nakamura Kanjaku). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Nakamura Hashinosuke) take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
  • Toyoshiga no Shi: the story of the vengeful spirit of the horribly disfigured woman Kasane is one of the most famous in Japanese folklore. In the Meiji period, rakugo storyteller Sanyűtei Ench˘ reworked this into a modern tale of psychology. The most famous episode shows Toyoshiga (Nakamura Tokiz˘), a middle-aged music teacher who is passionately in love with her young student Shinkichi (Onoe Kikunosuke). Shinkichi is in love with an attractive young neighbor, Ohisa (Nakamura Baishi) and wants to get away from Toyoshiga, who is ill and demanding, but even death will not stop her desperate passion.
  • Onna Date: Kataoka Takatar˘ stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 July 2014 (Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Casting

    Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Matsue, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Kamenoj˘

    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 Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Domo Mata".

    Kabuki Tour in the eastern provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2014 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Sum˘ba)

    K˘j˘

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    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 eastern provinces!

  • Sum˘ba: "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘" means "two butterflies" and also comes from the fact that two sum˘ wrestlers who play important roles in the full length play have names beginning with "ch˘": Ch˘kichi and Ch˘gor˘. In order to help his master Yamazakiya Yogor˘ (Nakamura Tanenosuke) buy out the contract of the beautiful Azuma (Nakamura Yonekichi), the senior wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ throws a match, letting the younger wrestler Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi win, hoping to get his help. But Ch˘kichi loses his temper and the two end up competing in a test of pride. Starring popular actor Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon as Ch˘gor˘ and Nakamura Kash˘ as Ch˘kichi.
  • 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.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku, who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Starring Nakamura Matagor˘ as Matahei and Nakamura Shibajaku as his wife Otoku. Featuring Nakamura Karoku as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu, Nakamura Kinnosuke as Utanosuke and Nakamura Hayato as Shűrinosuke.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Ichikawa Ennosuke Tour
    Dates 9 ~ 21 July 2014 (Ichikawa Ennosuke Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Ichikawa Ennosuke Special Dance Performances
    Program

    Yoshiwara Suzume

    Zadan

    Yoshinoyama

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Emiya

    Comments

    A 6-city Buy˘ tour for Ichikawa Ennosuke and Ichikawa Emiya, who do not perform this month at the Kabukiza with the Omodakaya troupe.

  • Yoshiwara Suzume: in this dance, a husband and wife come to the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters to sell caged sparrows for a ceremony to gain Buddhist merit by releasing living things. Caged sparrows were also images for the courtesans of the pleasure quarters, and the two dance a romantic meeting between a courtesan and her lover, showing the lively and erotic atmosphere of the pleasure quarters. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke and Ichikawa Emiya as the husband and wife.
  • Yoshinoyama: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as Tadanobu, with Ichikawa Emiya as Shizuka.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre (Matsumoto)
    Dates 20 ~ 25 July 2014 (Shinshű Matsumoto ďkabuki)
    Shinshű Matsumoto Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Sannin Kichisa

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Onoe Matsuya, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Sasano Takashi, Manako Keiji, ďmori Hiroshi, Oida Yoshi

    Comments

    4th edition in the city of Matsumoto (first time in July 2008; second time in July 2010; third time in July 2012) of a Kabuki program, which is called Shinshű Matsumoto ďkabuki (Shinshű is an old name for the province of Nagano, whose main city is Matsumoto). Same program as the 14th edition of the Cocoon Kabuki in T˘ky˘:

  • Sannin Kichisa:
    (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
    The late 19th century playwright Kawatake Mokuami excelled at plays about thieves and this play is considered to be one of his greatest. This month, it is a special version of this Kabuki classic staged by modern theater director Kushida Kazuyoshi with a direction in a new perspective. Three thieves, all with the name Kichisa, meet on a riverbank. Oj˘ Kichisa (Nakamura Shichinosuke) was once a Kabuki onnagata and robs in the guise of a woman. Ob˘ Kichisa (Onoe Matsuya) is a handsome young man while Osh˘ Kichisa (Nakamura Kankur˘) has more weight and stature as the head of a derelict temple. Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang. The three are bound by fate in many ways, with the crimes of one leading to hardship of the family of another. But the same sins and crimes also lead to rescue and salvation. The play combines dark drama with the most beautiful of poetry. In the famous scene on a riverbank Oj˘ Kichisa kills a young prostitute and then speaks in the playwrightĺs famous rhythmical speech of the moon on a hazy night and the gold coins that have fallen into his hands. Soon, these gold coins will link together the three thieves named Kichisa, and in turn, draw these three into a larger drama of crime and retribution. The play combines the playwright Kawatake Mokuami's gritty depiction of the lowest levels of society with intoxicatingly beautiful music and poetry to bring life to his vision of the cycles of sin and retribution.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

     
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