JULY 2019

2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre) and 1 tour (Eastern Provinces)!

Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
Dates 3 ~ 27 July 2019
Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki
The 28th Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Iroke Banashi Oise Gaeri

Itsukushima Maneku Hi˘gi (Himanegi no Kiyomori)

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Tokaiya
  • Funayagura
  • Daimotsu no Ura
  • Evening

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

    Iya Sakae Shibai no Nigiwai

    J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Baishi, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Ichikawa En'ya, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Mantar˘

    Comments

    28th edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka. These programs celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society.

  • Iroke Banashi Oise Gaeri:
    (A Story of Love on the Way Back from a Pilgrimage to Ise Shrine)
    This is a Kabuki play adapted from a kind of comedy which was born and evolved in ďsaka. The idiotic plasterer Kiroku (Nakamura Ganjir˘) and the handsome carpenter Seihachi (Nakamura Shikan) drop in at the Aburaya brothel in Ise on their way back to ďsaka from their pilgrimage to Ise Shrine. Kiroku is under his wife's thumb, so, in order to make her jealous, he asks Seihachi to tell his wife Oyasu (Nakamura Senjaku): "Kiroku was embarrassed as the best courtesan Okon loved him". Though being Okon's customer, warmhearted Seihachi does as Kiroku asks him and mystifies Oyasu with his smooth talk, but then Okon comes to see Seihachi... Featuring also Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Band˘ Yajűr˘ in the roles of Okatsu, the proprietress of the Aburaya, and the yanushi Sh˘bŕ.
  • Himanegi no Kiyomori: Taira no Kiyomori (Kataoka Gat˘) is the powerful dictator that rules Japan in 12th century. He celebrates the completion of the Isukushima Shrine with his family and retainers. A female dancer Hotoke Gozen (Nakamura Tokiz˘) who dances celebrating tries to kill Kiyomori to avenge her father. She is the daughter of Minamoto no Yoshitomo in disguise who was a good friend of Kiyomori. Kiyomori was ordered to kill Yoshitomo as he was opposed to the emperor. She is caught by Kiyomori's retainers, but Kiyomori is so compassionate that he forgives her. The construction of some buildings of the shrine has not been finished. But he is so powerful that he calls back the setting sun beckoning with his fan. Featuring also Nakamura Kazutar˘.
  • Tokaiya/Daimotsu no Ura: these are two scenes from one of the greatest classics of the puppet theatre, which has also become a classic of Kabuki. After the wars between the Genji and Heike clans, the Genji are victorious and their leader Yoritomo is now Sh˘gun. But there is a falling out between Yoritomo and his brother Yoshitsune, the brilliant general responsible for the victory. Now Yoshitsune is fleeing through the country and this play fancifully has him encounter several famous warriors from the Heike clan, who are not dead, as history has it. Yoshitsune (Onoe Kikunosuke) books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually Taira no Tomomori (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), a general of the Heike clan that Yoshitsune helped to defeat. Tomomori was supposedly killed by Yoshitsune in the final battle of the war, but in this play, Tomomori is shown as surviving, living in disguise with the child emperor Antoku and his nursemaid (Kataoka Takatar˘). At one moment the captain is a gallant commoner, but in the next, he is Tomomori, a high ranking general close to the emperor. His wife as well is a cheerful commoner who shows her true identity as a high-ranking lady-in-waiting in the magnificent robes of the imperial court. Tomomori uses the opportunity to try to get his revenge on Yoshitsune but is defeated again. Finally Tomomori holds a giant anchor and plunges into the sea. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Ichikawa En'ya in the roles of Sagami Gor˘, Musashib˘ Benkei and Irie Tanz˘.
  • 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 his son Nakamura Mantar˘ as Yasuna.
  • Iya Sakae Shibai no Nigiwai: this play is of the type called Shibai Mae (literally in Front of the Theatre). The stage is made to resemble the D˘tonbori area in ďsaka where five theatres are gathered. Top-ranking actors line up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society and to pray for kabuki's everlasting prosperity.
  • J˘shű Miyage Hyakury˘ Kubi: this modern play was made famous early in the 20th century by Onoe Kikugor˘ VI and Nakamura Kichiemon I. Two childhood friends meet for the first time in fifteen years. One prides himself on his skill as a pickpocket, the other has always been very clumsy. The clever pickpocket steals his friend's purse, only to find that there is nothing in it and that his clumsy friend has stolen his purse instead. The two meet again and decide to live honestly and vow to meet again in ten years. The play shows the lives of the two during the turbulent final years of the Tokugawa regime. Starring Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Senjaku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Nakamura Kazutar˘.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 28 July 2019
    Shichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki
    July Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Takatoki

    Saig˘ to Butahime

    Su˘ Otoshi

    Uir˘ Uri

    Evening

    Hoshi Awase Jűsandan (Narita Senbon Zakura)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichikawa Juen, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Baika, Band˘ Kamez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Takanosuke, Ichikawa Otora, Horikoshi Kangen

    Comments

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

  • Takatoki: the last H˘j˘ regent in the Kamakura period was arrogant and given to pleasure and in this play we see him mocked by a band of flying tengű goblins. First performed in 1884, this is one of the most famous of the "Living History" plays (katsureki) that replaced the fantasies of Edo Period history plays with a new attention to historical accuracy. Starring Ichikawa Udanji as Takatoki.
  • Saig˘ to Butahime: this play, written by the early 20th century playwright Ikeda Daigo, presents a love story between an unlikely couple. Saig˘ Kichinosuke (Nakamura Kinnosuke), a leading member of the Meiji Restoration, was known for his brusque manner and stout physique. Having been disowned by the lord of his clan and pursued by assassins of the enemy faction, the young Saig˘ is hiding in a Ky˘to brothel where he meets the maid Otama (Nakamura Shid˘). The plump Otama has the nickname, "Butahime", or the "pig princess". The two fall in love in a bittersweet romance and having given up all hope in the world, even decide to die together. But in the end, events suddenly turn in Saig˘'s favor.
  • Su˘ Otoshi:
    (The Dropped Coat)
    This play transforms a classical Ky˘gen farce into Kabuki dance. Delivering a message for his lord (Nakamura Shid˘), the servant Tar˘kaja (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) charms a princess (Nakamura Kotar˘) and in reward for a dance showing a famous battle, he receives a formal coat and large amounts of drink. Knowing his lord is a greedy man, he tries to hide the coat on his return, but unfortunately, the sake that helped him feel so good earlier works against him.
  • Uir˘ Uri: there are many plays based on the revenge by the Soga brothers on Kud˘ Suketsune, the man that arranged to have their father killed. In this particular play, this dramatic fight is transformed into light fantasy by showing one of the Soga brothers disguised as a peddler of uir˘, a medicine that makes it possible to speak quickly and elegantly. The highlight of the play is a long speech full of puns and wordplays. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as the peddler. Horikoshi Kangen (Ichikawa Ebiz˘'s son) will try his hand at the famous tongue-twisting dialogue as the uir˘ peddler and will relate the origins and explain the efficacy of the medicine in a fluent speech.
  • Narita Senbon Zakura: This is an adaptation of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", one of the greatest classics of Kabuki. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ displays traditional acting techniques such as quick changes of role (hayagawari) and an aerial stunt (chűnori). During the war between the Genji and Heike clans, Minamoto no Yoshitsune receives a precious hand drum as a reward for subjugating the Heike. But there is a falling out between Yoshitsune and his elder half-brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, the leader of the Genji forces. As a result of this, Yoshitsune must now flee from the capital and leaves his lover Shizuka in the care of Sato Tadanobu. Yoshitsune books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually the Heike general Taira no Tomomori in disguise. He uses this opportunity to try to get his revenge on Yoshitsune but is finally defeated again. The Heike commander Taira no Koremori now lives disguised as Yasuke, the humble apprentice of a sushi shop. Knowing of the bounty on Koremori's head, the ne'er-do-well Gonta hands over Koremori's head, as well as his wife and daughter, to the Genji commander. However, it turns out that he only pretended to kill Koremori. In fact, he sacrificed his own wife and son to save the real Koremori and his family. Tadanobu and Shizuka come to see Yoshitsune on Mount Yoshino. This Tadanobu is actually a fox which took on human form to be close to the precious drum which is made from the skins of his fox parents. Touched by this, Yoshitsune eventually gives him the drum. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the roles of Fujiwara no Tomokata, Ky˘-no-Kimi, Kawagoe Shigeyori, Musashib˘ Benkei, Tokaiya Ginpei (in reality Taira no Tomomori), Irie Tanzo, Shume no Kokingo, Igami no Gonta, Yazaemon (the owner of the sushiya), Yasuke (in reality Taira no Koremori), Sat˘ Tadanobu, a magical fox disguised as Sat˘ Tadanobu and Yokawa no Kakuhan (in reality Taira no Noritsune). Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon (Shizuka Gozen), Ichikawa Udanji (Sagami Gor˘), Nakamura Kotar˘ (Wakaba no Naishi, Kosen), Nakamura Kaishun (Oryű, in reality Suke no Tsubone), Ichikawa Sadanji (Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki) and Nakamura Baigyoku (Yoshitsune).
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 July 2019
    Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Kurumabiki)

    B˘ Shibari

    Casting

    Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Kamez˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Matsue, Onoe Sakon, Nakamura Tamatar˘

    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 on stage (Kabuki no Mikata) of Kabuki or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes. It is followed by "Kurumabiki" and "B˘ Shibari".

  • Kurumabiki: this short scene shows the three brothers that dominate the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", each with a distinctive personality. Sakuramaru (Band˘ Shingo) and Ume˘maru (Band˘ Kamez˘) have been rendered masterless by Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile. The third brother Matsu˘maru (Onoe Sh˘roku) serves the villain Shihei (Nakamura Matsue), 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.
  • B˘ Shibari:
    (Tied to a Pole)
    A dance play based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master (Nakamura Matsue) is irritated that his two servants always drink his wine while he is out. He plots with his servant Tar˘kaja (Band˘ Kamez˘) to trick the other servant Jir˘kaja (Onoe Sh˘roku) into demonstrating his skill at stick fighting, tying him to the stick. The master then ties up Tar˘kaja as well. But he is outsmarted when the two still manage to drink his wine while tied up. Their happy singing and dancing while tied up is a dazzling display of virtuoso dancing and star two of the finest young dancers in Kabuki.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2019
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame (Kasane)

    Casting

    Matsumoto Haku˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Matsumoto Kingo, ďtani Hirotar˘, Matsumoto K˘jaku

    Comments

    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces, with the celebration of the shűmei of Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X.

  • 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 main actors of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X.
  • Hikimado: originally written for the puppet theater, this play shows a tragedy of commoners caught between their duty and their feelings toward their loved ones. A sum˘ wrestler named Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (Matsumoto Haku˘) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) has been ordered to arrest him. All of these complicated conflicts are symbolized by the lightness and darkness created by the humble skylight (hikimado in Japanese) as a rope is pulled to move a wooden shutter. Featuring also Ichikawa Komaz˘ in the role of Ohaya.
  • Kasane: one can never escape past evils. Yoemon is fleeing to the countryside, but Kasane, the woman he abandoned, refuses to let him go. She catches up with him at a lonely river bank. A skull stabbed with a scythe appears and Kasane is possessed by its spirit, actually the spirit of her dead father, and her face suddenly becomes disfigured. She pours out her feelings of jealousy and resentment and Yoemon kills Kasane, but even after her death, he cannot escape her vengeful spirit. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as Kasane and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Yoemon.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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