JULY 2018

2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre) and 2 tours (Eastern Provinces, Central Provinces)!

Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
Dates 3 ~ 27 July 2018
Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki
The 27th Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki

Kuruwa Sanbas˘

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Kurumabiki)

Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)



Genroku Chűshingura
(Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘)


Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku


Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto Haku˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Chűsha, Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke


27th edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka. Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X celebrate their shűmei in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza.

  • Kuruwa Sanbas˘: the sanbas˘ is an auspicious dance based on the ritual play Okina in the classical theater which shows an old man as a symbol of longevity and the energetic sanbas˘ as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. In Kabuki there are many different versions, but this particular one sets the dance in the pleasure quarters and has a beautiful top-ranking courtesan in place of the old man and a taiko mochi entertainer instead of the boisterous sanbas˘. This dance features Kataoka Takatar˘ as the courtesan, Nakamura Kazutar˘ as the shinz˘ and Nakamura Kash˘ as the taiko mochi.
  • Kurumabiki: this short scene shows the three brothers that dominate the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", each with a distinctive personality. Sakuramaru (Nakamura Senjaku) and Ume˘maru (Nakamura Ganjir˘) have been rendered masterless by Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile. The third brother Matsu˘maru (Nakamura Matagor˘) serves the villain Shihei (Band˘ Yajűr˘), who is responsible for the downfall of Kan Sh˘j˘. Sakuramaru and Ume˘maru try to destroy Shihei's carriage but are stopped by Matsu˘maru and the magical glare of Shihei. Finally the brothers agree to suspend their disputes until they all meet at their father's seventieth birthday party.
  • 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 (kA() 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 Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘.
  • Kanjinch˘: probably the most popular Kabuki play today, it includes dance, comedy and the heart-warming pathos of a band of heroes during their last days. Disguised as a band of traveling priests the fugitive general Yoshitsune and his small band of retainers are stopped at a road barrier. They escape only through the quick thinking of the head retainer, a warrior priest named Musashib˘ Benkei, who improvises the text of an elaborate imperial decree. Having escaped danger Benkei and the others describe their days of glory and hardships on the road to escape in a moving dance. This program stars Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of Benkei, with Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and his son Kataoka Takatar˘ as the barrier keeper Togashi and Yoshitsune.
  • Ohama Goten: there are few plays more popular in Kabuki than "Chűshingura" or the Treasury of the Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers. In the modern period, this play was reworked by Mayama Seika as "Genroku Chűshingura", a play focusing on different incidents and different characters in this revenge classic adding historical details reflecting the Genroku period. One of the most popular parts of this play shows the man that will be the next Sh˘gun, seemingly detached from the vendetta, but in fact, intensely interested in the progress of the quest of the band of loyal retainers. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon as Lord Tsunatoyo and Ichikawa Chűsha as Tominomori Sukeĺemon. With Nakamura Kazutar˘ as Okiyo, Nakamura Senjaku as Ejima and Nakamura Karoku as Tsunatoyoĺs teacher Arai Kageyű.
  • 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 in ďsaka of Matsumoto Haku˘ II and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X. Featuring Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘.
  • Abura no Jigoku: this play has become phenomenally popular in modern times for its hard-boiled sensibility and sensuous killing scene with the protagonists slipping and struggling through puddles of spilled oil, but was virtually ignored at the time it was written. It shows Yohŕ, the wastrel son of a well-to-do merchant, who constantly tries to borrow money from Okichi, the wife of a neighboring oil merchant. Pressed for funds, he tries to blackmail her, but ends up killing her in the long, dream-like scene that gives this plays its title, "the woman killer and the hell of oil". Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ and En3 in the roles of Yohŕ and Okichi. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Band˘ Takesabur˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 29 July 2018
    Shichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki
    July Young Actors Kabuki

    Sangoku Mus˘ Hisago no Medetaya
    (Shusse Taiheiki)


    Genji Monogatari


    Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichikawa Udanji


    The usual July Grand Kabuki programs at the Kabukiza with a troupe led by Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 July 2018
    Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class

    Nihon Furisode Hajime


    Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Band˘ Shingo


    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 a drama ("Furisode Hajime").

    Kabuki Tour in the Central Provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 29 July 2018
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki

    Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi


    B˘ Shibari


    Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Baigyoku, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Nakamura Baika


    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the Central Provinces. Nakamura Shikan VIII and two of his three sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV and Nakamura Fukunosuke III, celebrate their shűmei.

    Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2018
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki

    ďmi no Okane

    Soga Moy˘ Tateshi no Goshozome
    (Gosho no Goroz˘)



    Onoe Kikunosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘


    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces.

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