JULY 2016

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Cerulean Tower N˘ Theater), 3 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza, Kintetsu Art Kan), 1 in Matsumoto (Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre) and 2 tours (Eastern Provinces, Central Provinces)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 July 2016 (Shichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
July Young Actors Kabuki
MatinÚe

Yanagikage Sawa no Hotarubi

Ryűsei

Evening

Arakawa no Sakichi

Kotohoide Mimasu Kagekiyo

  • Kamahige
  • Kagekiyo
  • Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Unosuke, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Kudanji, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Takanosuke, Onoe Ukon

    Comments

    The zagashira for these two July Young Actors Kabuki programs is Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and the main performing troupe will be the Omodakaya under the command of Ichikawa Ennosuke. Ichikawa Sadanji and Nakamura T˘z˘ are also guest stars. A lighter version of "Kotohoide Mimasu Kagekiyo", which was premiered in January 2014 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ [more details], is made up of two spectacular dramas, "Kamahige" and "Kagekiyo", which belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection.

  • Yanagikage Sawa no Hotarubi:
    (The Ambition of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu)
    A modern play by a 20th-century playwright Uno Nobuo. Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) hopes nothing more than rising in the world as his mother hoped. Osame (Onoe Ukon) wants on the contrary nothing but love with him, but he recommends her as a concubine to Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (Ichikawa Chűsha), 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 Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura T˘z˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ and Ichikawa Emiya.
  • Ryűsei:
    (A Falling Star)
    In myth, the heavenly shepherd boy and celestial weaver maid only can meet once a year. They no longer are united than a falling star, or ryűsei appears with an urgent report, which actually turns out to be the story of marital discord in the family of the thunder god living in a poor tenement in heaven. The highlight of this dance is this story with the dancer changing instantly from role to role playing the thunder god, his angry wife, his little son and the elderly thunder goddess from next door who tries to break up the fight. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as a falling star, Band˘ Minosuke as the heavenly shepherd boy and Onoe Ukon as the celestial weaver maid.
  • Arakawa no Sakichi: a modern classic by Mayama Seika, this play set in the late Edo period combines tears and laughter as it focuses on a gang member caught between the bitter territorial battles of the people around him, and his fierce determination to raise his child. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Ichikawa Chűsha in the roles of Sakichi, Narikawa G˘emon and Sagamiya Masagor˘.
  • Kotohoide Mimasu Kagekiyo: this drama presents the world of Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo with new perspectives. He was a warrior in 12th century and famous for the episode in "The Tale of Heike" which depicts Heike clan at the height of its prosperity, its defeat to the Genji clan and its downfall. Aku in his name means bravery which he demonstrates in wars against the Genji clan. Many legendary stories have been passed down about him as a rebellious hero: He is said to have planned to overthrow the Genji clan even after the downfall of the Heike clan and have tried to assassinate the Genji general Minamoto no Yoritomo 37 times. His mysterious stormy life is taken up as an attractive material in many genres such as , Bunraku and Kabuki. Kagekiyo appears in 4 of the collection of the Eighteen Favorite Plays of the Ichikawa Family (Kabuki Jűhachiban). Two of them are staged within "Kotohoide Mimasu Kagekiyo" : "Kamahige" and "Kagekiyo". Ichikawa Ebiz˘ plays in the bombastic aragoto style the role of Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo. Featuring Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke and Ichikawa Sadanji in the roles of Akoya (Kagekiyo's lover), Chichibu no Sh˘ji Shigetada (Kagekiyo's enemy) and Mionoya Shir˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 July 2016 (Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki)
    The 25th Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Kosan Kingor˘

    Yűgiri Nagori no Sh˘gatsu

    Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi (Kirare Yosa)

  • Misome
  • Aibiki
  • Genjidana
  • Evening

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki (Kikubatake)

    K˘j˘

    Toribeyama Shinjű

    Imohori Ch˘ja

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Muneo

    Comments

    25th edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka. Nakamura Jakuemon V celebrates his shűmei in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza.

  • Kosan Kingor˘: this is a rare revival of a play about the actor Kanaya Kingor˘ from the early Edo period who became famous for his love affair with the courtesan Kosan. Their story inspired all sorts of plays. In this particular one, Kingor˘ (Nakamura Ganjir˘) is a barber and Kosan (Kataoka Takatar˘) is a courtesan. They do not know each other, but get involved in helping a loving couple to be united by struggling to get a precious tea caddy which has been pawned for fifty gold coins. When they are successful, they gradually learn that they encountered each other five years before on a boat, fell in love, but parted without knowing the other's identity. Kingor˘ and Kosan are happily united. Featuring also Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kamimura Kichiya and Nakamura Kikaku.
  • Yűgiri Nagori no Sh˘gatsu: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. The young lover Izaemon (Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘) 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 Jakuemon), 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. Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ will also wear a real paper kimono, the trademark of Sakata T˘jűr˘ I. Featuring also Kataoka Hidetar˘ and ďtani Tomoemon.
  • Kirare Yosa: Yosabur˘ (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), the refined young son of a wealthy merchant falls in love with Otomi (Nakamura Jakuemon) the moment he first sees her on the beach. But Otomi is the mistress of a powerful gangster, and when their relationship is discovered, the two are attacked. Yosabur˘ is cut from head to toe and the two are dumped into the sea. Otomi lives and is taken in by a rich merchant (Nakamura Baigyoku) while Yosabur˘ is now covered with scars. Yosabur˘ turns into a petty thief and extortionist but one day, finds that the woman he is about to blackmail is none other than Otomi, alive and well. Featuring also Nakamura Hashinosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Nakamura Karoku.
  • Kikubatake: it is a great classic of period play Kabuki originally adapted from the Bunraku puppet theatre, full of larger-than-life characters and a stage full of dazzling color. In a garden of brilliant yellow and white chrysanthemums, there is Kiichi (Nakamura Karoku), an elderly strategist working for the dictator Kiyomori, his beautiful daughter Minazuru (Kataoka Takatar˘) and two footmen, the elegant young Toraz˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku) and the powerful Chienai (Nakamura Hashinosuke). But in fact, Toraz˘ is a young general from the enemy side here to steal Kiichiĺs secrets of strategy. Chienai is his retainer. But Kiichi has realized why they are there and also knows that Chienai is actually his younger brother. At the same time, Minazuru has fallen deeply in love with Toraz˘.
  • 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 Jakuemon V.
  • Toribeyama Shinjű:
    (The Love Suicides at Toribeyama)
    This play by 20th century playwright Okamoto Kid˘ mixes old and new Kabuki styles. The samurai Hankur˘ (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) is in love with the courtesan Osome (Nakamura Jakuemon). Visiting her one night in the pleasure quarters of Ky˘to, he gets into a drunken quarrel and ends up killing a man in a fight. Knowing that execution awaits him, the two lovers decide to die together instead. Hankur˘ and Osome travel the road to death in new kimono that ironically were made for them to celebrate the New Year together. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘ and Ichikawa Danz˘.
  • Imohori Ch˘ja:
    (The Sweet-Potato-digging Millionaire)
    The widow of the Matsugae family (ďtani Tomoemon) who reigns over the district gives a dance party to choose a husband for her daughter Midori Gozen (Nakamura Kotar˘). They plan to choose the man who dances the best. T˘gor˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke) the potato digger comes with his friend Jirokur˘ (Nakamura Kinnosuke) 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.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 July 2016 (Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Sanjűsangend˘ Munagi no Yurai (Yanagi)

    Casting

    Nakamura Kaishun, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Nakamura Matsue, 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 the drama "Yanagi".

  • Kabuki no Mikata: literally how to view Kabuki. A lively presentation of some aspects of the art of Kabuki.
  • Yanagi: some hunters are about to cut down a willow tree to recover a trapped falcon when a man named Heitar˘ (Band˘ Yajűr˘) deftly frees the falcon, rescuing both the bird and the tree. Some years later, the retired emperor is suffering great headaches and a fortune teller has revealed that the same willow tree should be cut down and used to build a temple. As Heitar˘ and his family hear the sounds of the tree being cut down, Heitar˘'s wife (Nakamura Kaishun) suddenly collapses in agony. In fact, she is the spirit of the willow tree that has taken human form and become Heitar˘ĺs wife in gratitude as he has saved her.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabuki Tour in the central provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 24 July 2016 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Narukami

    Fumi Uri

    Sanja Matsuri

    Casting

    Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘

    Comments

    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the central provinces!

  • Kabuki no Mikata: literally how to view Kabuki. A lively presentation of some aspects of the art of Kabuki.
  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Onoe Sh˘roku) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Nakamura Baishi) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • Fumi Uri: in the early Edo period (the early 17th century), peddlers would go around during the first few weeks of the new year with letters tied to a branch of plum blossoms. These letters were a kind of charm to bring wealth and romantic good fortune. In this particular dance, the highlight is a performance by the peddler (Nakamura Tokiz˘) who recounts a humorous story of a fight between high ranking courtesans that threw the brothel district into an uproar (from the pamphlet of "The Nishikawa School of Japanese Classical Dance Nihon Buy˘ in its San Francisco Premiere Performance").
  • Sanja Matsuri: a vigorous dance starring Band˘ Kametoshi and Nakamura Mantar˘. It is based on dolls at the Sanja festival showing the founding of the temple at Asakusa when two fishermen found a golden image of the Kannon in their nets. In this case, the holy spirits that they encounter are two spheres with the characters for "good" and "evil" on them, and the spirits possess the two and animate them into a lively dance.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the eastern provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2016 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Goaisatsu

    Sarashi Sanbas˘

    Matsuura no Taiko

    Awa Mochi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘

    Comments

    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the eastern provinces!

  • Goaisatsu: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by this goaisatsu (literally greetings) k˘j˘ performed by Ichikawa Somegor˘.
  • Sarashi Sanbas˘: the white banner of the Genji clan has been lost in the Hakone Gongen shrine. This loss causes a uproar. Soga no Ni-no-Miya (Nakamura Kazutar˘) is suspected by all around. Ni-no-Miya is in reality Princess Kisaragi, the daughter of Taira no Tadanori. She starts to perform a sanbas˘ as a dedication dance to the Gods of Hakone Gongen. Shortly afterwards, she uses the nuno-zarashi technique with the white banner of the Genji clan to tell her story.
  • Matsuura no Taiko: Lord Matsuura (Ichikawa Somegor˘) lives next door to the enemy of the loyal retainers and is disgusted because they do not seem to be interested in avenging the death of the lord. He is especially upset because he studied with the same fighting teacher as Kuranosuke, the senior retainer who should be leading the vendetta. Moreover, he learns from the haiku teacher Takarai Kikaku (Arashi Kitsusabur˘) that his student ďtaka Gengo (Nakamura Kash˘) who should be part of the vendetta left a poem suggesting that he was forgetting his former lord and going to take service with another samurai lord. Gengo's sister Onui (Ichikawa Komaz˘) serves Lord Matsuura and in disgust he is about to dismiss her, when there is a disturbance from next door. The attack has begun, and in joy, Lord Matsuura counts out the strokes of the drum, struck in a pattern that is only known by students of his fighting teacher.
  • Awa Mochi:
    (Millet Dumpling Peddlers)
    There are many dances that show peddlers and other sights that you might have seen on the streets of old Edo. This short, energetic dance accompanied by the Tokiwazu style of music features a pair making and selling millet dumplings on the streets of Edo. Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura Kazutar˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre (Matsumoto)
    Dates 11 ~ 17 July 2016 (Shinshű Matsumoto ďkabuki)
    Shinshű Matsumoto Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Yotsuya Kaidan

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Shid˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Sasano Takashi, Manako Keiji, ďmori Hiroshi

    Comments

    5th edition in the city of Matsumoto (first time in July 2008; second time in July 2010; third time in July 2012; fourth time in July 2014) 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 15th edition of the Cocoon Kabuki in T˘ky˘:

  • Yotsuya Kaidan: this play is a famous ghost story and at the same time a story written as the microcosms of human society under the historical background that the warrior class is falling down. Tamiya Iemon (Nakamura Shid˘), a masterless samurai and ex-retainer of the En'ya family, asks his father-in-law Yotsuya Samon to allow his wife Oiwa (Nakamura Senjaku) to come back to him whom Samon took back to his house. But as he sees his wish not accepted and himself blamed for embezzling public money in the past, he kills Samon with his sword. Naosuke (Nakamura Kankur˘) who fell in love with Oiwa's sister Osode (Nakamura Shichinosuke) bears a grudge against Osode's husband Yomoshichi (Nakamura Senjaku) and murders him cruelly. Oiwa and Osode hurry to the place where Samon and Yomoshichi were murdered. Iemon promises Oiwa to avenge her father while Naosuke promises Osode to avenge her husband. A few months later as Oiwa is doing poorly after childbirth, Iemon is tired of his poverty and becomes bitter to her. At the moment a medicine and a present for their child's birth is sent from Iemon's neighbor It˘ Kihŕ (Sasano Takashi). As Iemon visits It˘ to express his gratitude, Ito Kihŕ's granddaughter Oume (Nakamura Tsurumatsu) pines for Iemon and Kihŕ appeals to him to marry Oume. As Kihŕ is a retainer of K˘ family, the enemy of the En'ya family, Iemon once declines the offer, but finally agrees to marry her. Taking the medicine from It˘ not knowing it is a poison Oiwa's face becomes disfigured. Finally Oiwa knows the truth and dies having a grudge. Osode who has lived with Naosuke as a provisional couple finally gives herself to him. Her husband Yomoshichi who should have died earlier appears there. Oiwa's spirit torments Iemon while Naosuke and Osode fall by the irony of fate. What will become of them in the end?
  • Source: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kintetsu Art Kan (ďsaka)
    Dates 29 July ~ 1 August 2015 (Sora no Kai)
    Program

    Ise Sangű Kami no Nigiwai

    Casting

    Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘, Kataoka Senju

    Comments

    The 2nd gala of the Sora no Kai, in ďsaka at the Kintetsu Art Kan, which stars Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘ and Kataoka Senju, 3 disciples of the Matsushimaya guild. Sora no Kai literally means "Sky Association". "Ise Sangű Kami no Nigiwai", based on a famous Kamigata rakugo story, is a newly-created drama. It is staged under the supervision of Kataoka Hidetar˘ and the dance master Yamamura Tomogor˘ III. These performances are entitled Abeno Kabuki (Abeno is the name of a famous district in ďsaka).

    Cerulean Tower N˘ Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 13 ~ 15 July 2016
    Program

    Shiokumi (suodori)

    Hashi Benkei

    Shinsetsu Buaku

    Casting

    Onoe Matsuya, Miyake Sukenori, Miyake Chikanari, Ichikawa Tsutanosuke, Onoe Otoichir˘, Sawamura Kuniya

    Comments

    The 8th gala program called Idomu (Challenge) for the young actor Onoe Matsuya. The first item is performed by Onoe Matsuya. The third item is a newly-revised version of the Ky˘gen drama "Bukaku" and it stars Onoe Matsuya and the two ky˘genshi Miyake Sukenori and Miyake Chikanari.

     
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