JUNE 2017

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in Ky˘tango (Tango Bunka Kaikan) and 4 in Nagoya (Aichi Arts Center, Heisei Nakamuraza, Heisei Nakamuraza Shienkai)!

  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Onoe Sh˘roku, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Band˘ Takesabur˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Ichikawa Danz˘ perform at the Hakataza!
  • Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the Heisei Nakamuraza!
  • Nakamura Kinnosuke and Kataoka Takatar˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs at the Aichi Arts Center!
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs at the Tango Bunka Kaikan!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs at the Theatre Cocoon!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2017 (Rokugatsu ďkabuki)
    June Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Meigetsu Hachiman Matsuri

    Ukiyo Buro

    Gosho Zakura Horikawa no Youchi (Benkei J˘shi)

    Evening

    Kamakura Sandaiki
    (Kinugawa-mura Kankyo)

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

    Ippon Gatana Dohy˘ Iri

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Onoe Sh˘roku, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Minosuke, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Juen, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichikawa En'ya, ďtani Keiz˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi, Ichikawa Otora, Ichikawa Ukon

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza.

  • Meigetsu Hachiman Matsuri:
    (The Autumn Hachiman Festival)
    Miyokichi (Ichikawa Emiya) is a spirited geisha in the Fukagawa district with a distinguished lord as a patron and Sanji (Ichikawa Ennosuke), a good for nothing boatman, as a lover. On the occasion of the Hachiman festival, she tries to raise an enormous sum of money for Sanji, but refuses to try to get it from the patron who has been so good to her. Instead, she tries to get it from the merchant Shinsuke (Onoe Sh˘roku). Shinsuke has long been in love with Miyokichi and brings the money to make her his own, but instead, she gets the money from her patron and so, has no further interest in Shinsuke. When the ardent merchant learns that he has been deceived, love turns to anger and he kills Miyokichi in a beautiful and gruesome scene in the rain, under the full moon of the autumn festival.
  • Ukiyo Buro: this lively dance evokes the lively atmosphere of the Edo bathhouses. In the Kinoshi-yu bathhouse, the young attendant Sansuke is busy taking care of the customers, pouring hot water on their back. A Japanese slug, shaped as a beautiful woman, nestles close to him and engages Sansuke in a beautiful kudoki. This Nagauta-based dance was premiered in 1937 and starred Ichikawa Ennosuke II. It was added by his grandson Ichikawa Ennosuke III in 1975 in the Omodaka Jűshu collection of dances. Featuring Ichikawa Ennosuke and Nakamura Tanenosuke in the roles of Sansuke and the slug.
  • Benkei J˘shi:
    (Benkei the Emissary)
    Benkei (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon), the warrior-priest who served Yoshitsune, is the subject of many plays and legends. He is said to have slept with a woman only once and also to never have cried. In this play, he is forced to be the emissary to tell Yoshitsune's wife, Ky˘-no-Kimi (Nakamura Yonekichi), that she must die, since the fact that her father was a member of the vanquished enemy clan is throwing a suspicion on the loyalty of Yoshitsune. The others try to find someone to die in Ky˘-no-Kimi's place and ask Shinobu (Nakamura Yonekichi), a serving woman. But her mother, Owasa (Nakamura Jakuemon), a seamstress in the mansion absolutely refuses until Shinobu meets her father. Benkei says that he is the father and the tragedy reaches a climax as he recalls his one tryst and weeps as having to kill his daughter.
  • Kamakura Sandaiki: a rare performance of a classical history play from the Bunraku puppet theatre, which shows a heroic warrior, unbending mother and delicate princess in romance and intrigue on a grand scale. War has placed the young samurai Miuranosuke (Onoe Matsuya) and his fiance Princess Toki on enemy sides. She takes care of his sick mother (Kataoka Hidetar˘) despite being on opposite sides, and Miuranosuke slips away from the battle to see his mother one last time. But she refuses to see him when he should be on the battlefield and he must leave, brokenhearted. Princess Toki's father is the leader of the enemy forces and she is faced with a terrible challenge. She will only be allowed to be united with the man she loves if she kills her father. Starring Nakamura Jakuemon as Princess Toki, considered to be one of the most difficult princess roles in the Kabuki repertory. Featuring also Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of Sasaki Takatsuna.
  • Gosho no Goroz˘: a portrait of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters at the height of its splendor. Rival gangs dressed in the height of fashion exchange stately speeches before fighting in the elaborate poetic cadences of Kawatake Mokuami, the last great playwright of Kabuki. Goroz˘ is the handsome leader of a gang, but his lover, the top courtesan Satsuki pretends to reject him to save his life. Tragedy strikes when Goroz˘ is driven to revenge. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon as Goroz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji as his rival in love, Nakamura Jakuemon as Goroz˘'s lover, the courtesan Satsuki and Nakamura Yonekichi as ďshű, a courtesan who is tragically killed.
  • Ippon Gatana Dohy˘ Iri: this is a modern play by Hasegawa Shin and shows Komagata Mohŕ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), a starving, would-be sum˘ wrestler. He encounters a courtesan Otsuta (Ichikawa Ennosuke), who gives him her purse and hair ornaments and makes him promise to become a champion sum˘ wrestler. In turn, she promises to go see him make his ceremonial entry into the ring. But ten years later, Mohŕ has become a gangster instead. Now a powerful fighter, he rescues Otsuta and her family. Ironically, this has become the only way that he can repay her kindness and the shameful form that his entry into the ring has taken. Featuring also Nakamura Karoku, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Band˘ Minosuke and Onoe Matsuya.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2017 (Rokugatsu Hakataza ďkabuki)
    June Hakataza Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Kurumabiki)

    Fuji Musume

    Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi (Keya-mura)

    Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)

    Evening

    Shinshű Kawanakajima Gassen (Terutora Haizen)

    K˘j˘

    Seizoroi Kotobuki Renjishi

    K˘suke Mochi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Baika

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Hakataza. Nakamura Shikan VIII and his three sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV, Nakamura Fukunosuke III and Nakamura Utanosuke IV, celebrate their shűmei in Fukuoka at the Hakataza!

  • Kurumabiki: this short scene shows the three brothers that dominate the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", each with a distinctive personality. Sakuramaru (Nakamura Fukunosuke) and Ume˘maru (Nakamura Hashinosuke) have been rendered masterless by Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile. The third brother Matsu˘maru (Nakamura Shikan) serves the villain Shihei (Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘), 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.
  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Onoe Kikunosuke.
  • Keya-mura: Rokusuke (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘), a sword master who lives a simple country life, is taking care of a small foundling child. He hangs the boy's kimono outside his house in the hope that the boy's relatives will see it and know where he is. One day he finds himself attacked by a woman named Osono (Nakamura Tokiz˘) who turns out to be the aunt of the child. As they talk, they find that they are in fact linked by promises of marriage although they have never met directly. Osono is searching for Ky˘goku no Takumi (Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘), the killer of her father, Rokusuke's master, and Rokusuke promises to help in her vendetta.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Nakamura Shikan) 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 (Nakamura Baigyoku) 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 Ichikawa Danz˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Fukunosuke and Nakamura Utanosuke.
  • Terutora Haizen: a rare performance of a historical play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon I. The warlord Nagao Terutora (Nakamura Baigyoku) wants the services of the great strategist Yamamoto Kansuke who is now the strategist for his rival Takeda Shingen. The wife of one of Terutora's retainers is Kansuke's sister and so Terutora invites Kansuke's wife and mother to see her. When the two women arrive, Terutora brings the food tray himself and knowing what he has in mind, the old woman Koshiji (Nakamura Kaishun) kicks it. The furious Terutora wants to kill them all, but is restrained by Kansuke's wife Okatsu (Onoe Kikunosuke), who desperately defends her mother, despite the fact that she cannot speak and must express herself in koto music instead.
  • 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 Shikan VIII, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV, Nakamura Fukunosuke III and Nakamura Utanosuke IV.
  • Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes. The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong. This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son. This performance is unusual because it features 3 cubs instead of one, starring Nakamura Shikan in the role of the parent shishi and his three sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke and Nakamura Utanosuke, in the roles of the cubs.
  • K˘suke Mochi: based on a classic of Kansai-style rakugo comic storytelling, this was a famous part of the ďsaka comedian Fujiyama Kanbi's repertory. The play focuses on Daikokuya K˘suke (Nakamura Ganjir˘), the proprietor of a rice cake shop who is forced to sell his wife Okimi (Ichimura Kitsutar˘) into prostitution for the money and then the complications when he encounters a famous sum˘ wrestler (Nakamura Kikaku). Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Heisei Nakamuraza (Nagoya)
    Dates 1 ~ 26 June 2017
    MatinÚe

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Fűin Giri)

    Omatsuri

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Adayume

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Kamenoj˘

    Comments

    The Heisei Nakamuraza is in Nagoya for the third time. The first time, it was a short stay as part of the long September 2006 tour in the western provinces. The second time occured in September 2009.

  • 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 Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Nakamura Mantar˘ as Gor˘ and Nakamura Baishi as Jűr˘. Featuring also Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of Kobayashi no Asahina, ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover) and Oni˘ Shinzaemon.
  • Fűin Giri:
    (Breaking the Seals)
    In the pleasure quarters, the most important possessions were money and reputation. In danger of losing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa, the money courier Kameya Chűbŕ 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. Starring Nakamura Senjaku as Chűbŕ, Nakamura Shichinosuke as Umegawa, Nakamura Kankur˘ as Chűbŕ's treacherous friend Tanbaya Hachiemon and Nakamura Kamenoj˘ as Oen, the proprietress of the teahouse.
  • Omatsuri: Nakamura Kankur˘ as a gallant fireman boss at a festival telling a rueful tale of failure in love and showing the vigorous work songs of firefighters.
  • 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. Starring Nakamura Senjaku as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Kankur˘ as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
  • Benten Musume: this play is a sewamono (realistic play about commoners) written by the late 19th century playwright Mokuami who is famous for his plays about thieves. The thief Benten Koz˘ dresses up as a woman to commit extortion, but his plans are ruined when his disguise is seen through. In the highlight of the play, he undresses, showing his colorful tattoos and introduces himself in a famous poetic speech. Afterwards, he is joined by the members of his gang on a riverbank, and, using the playwright's famous poetic rhythms, in turn, they each boast of their careers as thieves. Nakamura Shichinosuke stars as Benten Koz˘, with Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Nippon Daemon, Kataoka Kamez˘ as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Nakamura Mantar˘ as Tadanobu Rihei and Nakamura Baishi as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘.
  • Adayume:
    (A False Dream)
    Nakamura Kankur˘ plays a badger in love with the beautiful courtesan Miyuki (Nakamura Shichinosuke) in the Shimabara pleasure quarters in Ky˘to. In order to woo her, the badger transforms into the dance teacher (Band˘ Shingo) that Miyuki loves, in a role originally created for Nakamura Kankur˘'s grandfather Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website
    Sasaguchi Rei for "Adayume"

    Heisei Nakamuraza (Nagoya)
    Dates 14 June 2017 (Shienkai)
    Trial Session
    Program

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Otanoshimi Zadankai

    Comments

    A trial session within the Heisei Nakamuraza in Nagoya. Only one play is staged at 16:30 with stars' disciples in the leading roles. Otanoshimi zadankai (literally "Enjoyable Roundtable Discussion") is a stage speech with the stars performing at the Heisei Nakamuraza.

  • 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˘.
  • National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 June 2017 (Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    June Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kenuki

    Casting

    Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Umemaru

    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. It is followed by the drama "Kenuki".

  • Kenuki: in this play, which retains the light, festive atmosphere of early-period Kabuki, a princess has a mysterious ailment that makes her hair stand on end, an ailment that prevents her from carrying out her long-awaited marriage. Kumedera Danj˘ comes from the groom's household to investigate and finds a plot to take over the household when his tweezers float in mid-air. Nakamura Kinnosuke stars in a play that features the bombastic aragoto style of acting.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Aichi Arts Center (Nagoya)
    Dates 31 May ~ 2 June 2017 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ x Kod˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ x Kod˘ Special Dance Performances
    Program

    Yűgen

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs in Nagoya at the Aichi Arts Center along with the Kod˘ taiko drummers in a newly-created dance-drama entitled "Yűgen", which features an array of classical Japanese images from plays by founder Zeami Motokiyo, incorporating themes from iconic works such as "Hagoromo" (The Feather Robe), "D˘j˘ji" (D˘j˘ji Temple) and "Shakky˘" (The Stone Bridge). Band˘ Tamasabur˘ shares the stage with the dance master Hanayagi Jusuke IV and his disciples.

    Tango Bunka Kaikan (Ky˘tango)
    Dates 24 ~ 25 June 2017 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Dance Performances
    Program

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Aki no Irokusa

    Hagoromo

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Ky˘tango at the Tango Bunka Kaikan (Tango Culture Center). A place named Mineyama, now part of Ky˘tango, had a close connection with the Hagoromo legend.

  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by stage announcements, usually lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. This month at the Tango Bunka Kaikan, it is a stage speech done by Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Aki no Irokusa:
    (The Colors of Autumn)
    A beautiful dance about autumn and all its associated images : morning glories, violets, arrowroot, pampas grass, the cry of passing geese sounding over the sailing ships, the sweet cacophony of insects, the moon and winds of autumn. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as the angel.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 9 ~ 25 June 2017 (ABKAI2017)
    Ebikai 2017
    Program

    Ishikawa Goemon Gaiden

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Ichikawa Kudanji, Nakayama Yűma, Maeno Tomoya, Yamada Jundai

    Comments

    Fourth edition of the ABKAI (Ebikai in Japanese), a gala for the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

     
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