JUNE 2013

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza) and 1 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 3 ~ 29 April 2013 (Kokera Otoshi Rokugatsu ďkabuki)
Opening Ceremony June Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Sayaate

Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori (Kisen)

Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

Afternoon

Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

Tsuchi Gumo

Evening

Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori

Sukeroku Yukari no Edo Zakura

Casting

Onoe Kikugor˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kichiemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Matagor˘

Comments

Third month celebrating the opening of the new Kabukiza within a 1-year long cycle of kokera otoshi programs!

  • Sayaate: Two rivals for the love of one of the top courtesans in the pleasure quarters encounter one another and confront each other in a series of sarcastic, poetic and stately speeches. A play full of the color and ceremony of the most stylized age of Kabuki. Featuring Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke and Nakamura Kaishun in the roles of Nagoya Sanza, Fuwa Banzaemon and the tea house mistress.
  • Kisen: "Kisen" is part of a series of dances showing the six poetic geniuses of ancient Japan. The five male poets are all shown as being in love with the sixth, Ono no Komachi, one of the most famous beauties of Japan. The other dances are set in ancient Japan, but this dance suddenly jumps to the Edo period where the poet-priest Kisen wanders intoxicated by the beauties of the cherry blossoms and of Okaji, a tea stand waitress. Starring Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Kisen and Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Okaji.
  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Kichiemon) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Ichikawa Sadanji as the evil emissary Senoo and Kataoka Nizaemon as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Shibajaku as the island girl Chidori and Nakamura Baigyoku as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship. In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Kataoka Nizaemon as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Gor˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke as Jűr˘. Featuring also Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • Tsuchi Gumo: a dance play adapted from the classical theatre. The samurai Lord Minamoto Raik˘ is famous in legend for ridding Ky˘to of demons. While Raik˘ is confined to bed with illness, a priest (Onoe Kikugor˘) from a prominent temple comes to pray for his health. In fact, the priest is actually the spirit of the earth spider which has caused Raik˘'s illness in the first place and hopes to destroy him. The spider's plan to kill Raik˘ is defeated by his retainers (the famous shitenn˘) in an exciting fight. Featuring Nakamura Kichiemon as Raik˘. Featuring also Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kanjaku and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori: The young samurai Shirai Gonpachi (Nakamura Baigyoku) is ambushed near the execution grounds of Edo on a dark night, but he manages to escape after a gruesome but humorous fight scene. He is watched by Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), an Edo boss, who is impressed with his fighting skills and agrees to give him shelter in the city. This meeting between the handsome young Gonpachi and the heroic Ch˘bŕ is one of the most famous meetings in Kabuki.
  • Sukeroku: the dandy Sukeroku is the most famous patron of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. But his reputation as the lover of Agemaki, the highest ranking courtesan in the quarter is matched by that of his tendency to pick fights. In fact, Sukeroku is the samurai Soga no Gor˘ in disguise, and he uses the fights to find a lost heirloom sword. His search takes place in the colorful atmosphere of the Yoshiwara where processions of beautiful courtesans compete with the splendor of cherry blossoms in full bloom. All the top stars in Kabuki appear in a procession of beautiful, exciting and amusing roles. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Nakamura Fukusuke as Hanakawado Sukeroku and Miuraya Agemaki. Featuring also Ichikawa Sadanji, Onoe Kikugor˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Kichiemon and Nakamura Matagor˘ in the roles of Ikyű, the shirozake seller Shinbŕ, Fukuyama Jukichi, the courtesan Miuraya Shiratama, the passer-by, Kampera Monbei and Asagao Sempei. Matsumoto K˘shir˘ does a short k˘j˘ at the beginning of the play.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2013 (Rokugatsu Hakataza ďkabuki)
    June Hakataza Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Yamato Takeru

    Evening

    Ogurusu no Ch˘bŕ

    K˘j˘

    Sanmon Gosan no Kiri (Sanmon)

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa En'˘, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Tsukinosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘

    Comments

    Ichikawa En'˘ II, Ichikawa Ennosuke IV and Ichikawa Chűsha IX celebrate their shűmei in Fukuoka at the Hakataza!

  • Yamato Takeru: first performed in 1986, "Yamato Takeru" was the first SűpÔ Kabuki ("Super Kabuki") play that Ichikawa Ennosuke III created. SűpÔ kabuki combines the acting techniques of Kabuki with modern stage technology and techniques borrowed from other genres of theatre. With gorgeous costumes and sets, exciting fight scenes and a final flight through the air as Yamato Takeru is transformed into a great white bird, this is the most famous and spectacular of all the creations of SűpÔ Kabuki. The script is by philosopher Umehara Takeshi and describes Yamato Takeru (the new Ichikawa Ennosuke), the legendary hero from the historical chronicles of early Japan. Yamato Takeru is sent by his father the emperor (the new Ichikawa Chűsha) to go and conquer the outlying territories of Japan, first the fierce fighters of Kyűshű. Takeru vanquishes them by disguising himself as a seductive woman. Then he goes to the eastern provinces and fights fire and water and only succeeds when his wife sacrifices herself. Finally Takeru tries to return to the imperial capital, but fights with the god of Mt. Ibuki in the form of a gigantic boar. Takeru is punished for this hubris and falls sick and dies, but bursts out of his grave in the form of a giant white bird. As the centerpiece of this program to celebrate the nametaking of the new Ennosuke, this performance marks Ichikawa Ennosuke IV taking on the most famous of his uncle's spectacular creations of SűpÔ Kabuki. Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa Tsukinosuke, Ichikawa Juen and Ichikawa K˘tar˘.
  • Ogurusu no Ch˘bŕ: a modern comedy by Okamoto Kid˘ (1872~1939) about a famous historical event. The village of Ogurusu is famous as the place where Akechi Mitsuhide met his death. Mitsuhide assassinated his master, the warlord Nobunaga, but after only three days of ruling Japan, was killed himself, passing control to Hideyoshi. The farmer Ch˘bŕ (the new Ichikawa Chűsha) is the bad boy of the village and the object of everyone's laughter and contempt, until a samurai comes and hails Ch˘bŕ as a hero for killing Mitsuhide. Featuring also Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Tsukinosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa K˘tar˘ and Ichikawa En'ya.
  • 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 Ichikawa En'˘ II and Ichikawa Ennosuke IV and Ichikawa Chűsha IX in Fukuoka at the Hakataza.
  • Sanmon: though short, this play is one of the most visually spectacular in Kabuki. The famous villain Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Chűsha) enjoys a sea of cherry blossoms while sitting on top the large gate of Nanzenji Temple. His enjoyment of the scene is cut short, though, by the appearance below of his arch-nemesis, the general Mashiba Hisayoshi (Ichikawa En'˘ only the 2nd of June/Ichikawa Ukon afterwards).
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura") features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum. This play ends with a spectacular chűnori. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as the fox Tadanobu. Featuring also Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ (Yoshitsune), Kataoka Hidetar˘ (Shizuka Gozen), Ichikawa Juen (Kawatsura H˘gen) and Band˘ Takesabur˘ (Kawatsura's wife).
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 June 2013 (Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    June Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Momijigari

    Casting

    Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Band˘ Shinsha, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Toranosuke

    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 of Kabuki or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes, followed by the dance-drama "Momijigari".

  • Momijigari: the general Taira Koremochi (Nakamura Kinnosuke) travels to the mountains to view the autumn leaves when he suddenly encounters a beautiful princess (Nakamura Senjaku) and her entourage. Aided by the elegant dancing of the princess and a large amount of sake, Koremochi falls asleep, not knowing that she is actually a fierce demon. The god of the mountain (Nakamura Senjaku's son Nakamura Toranosuke) dances vigorously to try to wake up Koremochi. But as the demon appears in its true form, Koremochi is saved by the magical power of his sword.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 23 ~ 27 June 2013 (Kamigata Kabuki Kansh˘kai)
    Kamigata Kabuki Appreciation Gala
    Program

    Goaisatsu

    Kabuki Yakusha Kataoka Nizaemon

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Ninokuchi-mura)

    Casting

    Kataoka Gat˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Shinnosuke

    Comments

    First edition of the Kamigata Kabuki Appreciation Gala. The first item (goaisatsu) is a stage speech. The second item is one different part each day of the long (10 hours and 46 minutes!) movie "Kabuki Yakusha Kataoka Nizaemon", which was about the life and the art of the great actor Kataoka Nizaemon XIII. It was directed by Haneda Sumiko between 1987 and 1994. The third item is a Kabuki drama.

  • Ninokuchi-mura: in the pleasure quarters, the most important possessions were money and reputation. In danger of losing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa (Kamimura Kichiya), the money courier Chűbŕ (Kataoka Shinnosuke) breaks the seals on a package of money entrusted to him after being taunted by a rival, even though the use of such money is punishable by death. In this scene, on their way to love suicide, the couple go through the snow covered landscape on their way to the man's home town where they will meet their end. Featuring also Kataoka Gat˘ in the role of Chűbŕ's father Magoemon.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

     
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