MAY 2016

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre) and 1 in Kanazawa (Ishikawa Ongakud˘)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 May 2016 (Dankikusai Gogatsu ďkabuki)
Dankikusai May Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Nue Taiji

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

Sato Moy˘ Azami no Ironui (Izayoi Seishin)

Sanmon Gosan no Kiri (Sanmon)

Evening

Kioi Jishi Otowa no Hanakago

Sannin Kichisa Tomoe no Shiranami
(ďkawabata K˘shinzuka)

Toki-ha Ima Kiky˘ no Hataage (Badarai)

Meoto D˘j˘ji

Casting

Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Kikunosuke, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Baishi, Onoe Matsuya, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Unosuke, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Band˘ Minosuke, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Matsue, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Ichimura Takematsu, ďtani Hiromatsu, Onoe Ukon, Terashima Kazufumi

Comments

The great yearly Dankiku festival for the Naritaya and Otowaya guilds, which commemorates 2 great stars of the Meiji era: Dan = Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Kiku = Onoe Kikugor˘ V. Onoe Kikunosuke's son Terashima Kazufumi, who is also the grandson of two Living National Treasures, Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon, makes his first stage appearance (omemie).

  • Nue Taiji: in the middle of 12th century as the Emperor has been tormented by a specter every night, he orders Minamoto no Yorimasa (Nakamura Baigyoku) to annihilate the monster. Yorimasa strings the bow to ward off evil spirits and shoots the Nue, a monster which has a monkey's head, raccoon dog's body, a tail of a snake and a feet of a tiger. Kuj˘ Kanpaku (Nakamura Kinnosuke) praises his valor and allows him to marry a beautiful court lady Sh˘bu-no-Mae (Nakamura Kaishun) whom he loves. He performs an auspicious dance and leaves with Sh˘bu-no-Mae and his retainer Hayata (Nakamura Matagor˘).
  • Terakoya: Genz˘ and his wife Tonami run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo mourn their dead son. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Matsu˘maru, Onoe Sh˘roku as Genz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke as Chiyo and Nakamura Baishi as Tonami. Featuring also Kataoka Ichiz˘ as Shund˘ Genba.
  • Izayoi Seishin: love suicides are common in Kabuki, but usually as the conclusion of a play, a tragic end to a love that cannot be. The playwright Kawatake Mokuami gave this play an ironic turn by putting the love suicide at the very beginning of the play. The priest Seishin (Onoe Kikunosuke) and the courtesan Izayoi (Nakamura Tokiz˘) are ostracized for having an affair. Seishin decides to forget her and concentrate on his religious training. Before he can leave, though, Izayoi convinces him to die with her. They throw themselves into a river, but both survive. Unaware that Izayoi is still alive and given the chance to start again, Seishin gives up his religious vows and turns to a life of crime. With Ichikawa Sadanji as the poet Hakuren, in reality the thief ďdera Sh˘bei.
  • Sanmon: though short, this play is one of the most visually spectacular in Kabuki. The famous villain Ishikawa Goemon (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) 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 (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘).
  • Kioi Jishi: it is the day of Sann˘ Festival, the festival for Sann˘ Gongen. The festival becomes lively as members of a firefighting gang dance to kiyari song at the station where the sacred sake is dedicated to god. Two heads of the firefighting gang show in dance how Soga brothers avenged their father but it turns into a comic dance in time. After a fascinating dance by geishas, shishimai (lion dance) shows a mad dance. The head of a firefighting gang who enacted the shishimai appears and dances a comic dance with masks of Okame (plain-looking woman) and Hyottoko (clown) in his hands. The festival continues to be crowded with people forever. This month, Onoe Kikunosuke's first son will be appearing on stage for the first time. And this show is arranged for celebrating him.
  • Sannin Kichisa:
    (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
    The playwright Kawatake Mokuami excelled at portrayals of thieves and this short scene, with its music and poetic lines, is one of his most famous. A beautiful young woman helps out a woman who is lost on the road. But she is actually Oj˘ Kichisa, a male thief who is disguised as a woman. He steals an immense sum of money that the woman is carrying and this leads to an encounter on this riverbank of three thieves, all with the name Kichisa. The two others Kichisa are Osh˘ Kichisa, a bonze turned thief, and Ob˘ Kichisa, an ex-samurai turned thief Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang. Featuring Onoe Kikunosuke as Oj˘ Kichisa, Onoe Sh˘roku as Osh˘ Kichisa and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Ob˘ Kichisa.
  • Badarai: based on the true historical story of Akechi Mitsuhide who betrayed his lord Oda Nobunaga and ruled Japan for a few short days before being defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, this play focuses on Mitsuhide and his tortured relationship with the arrogant and unreasonable lord Nobunaga. It is one of the few period plays by Tsuruya Nanboku IV still performed today and brings the same sharp psychological insight and eye for the attractiveness of evil characters that make his ghost plays and plays about commoners so powerful. Featuring Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Nakamura Baishi in the roles of Takechi Mitsuhide (because of strict censorship, the real names were not used), Mitsuhide's wife Satsuki, Oda Harunaga and Kiky˘.
  • Meoto D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at D˘j˘ji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version there are two dancers and one is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as the female dancer and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as the male dancer.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 13 ~ 22 May 2016 (Zenshinza Gogatsu K˘en)
    Zenshinza May Performances
    Program

    T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan

    Casting

    Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Segawa Kikunoj˘, Tadamura Shin'ya, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke, Hayase Einoj˘, Ikushima Kigor˘, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Matsuura Kainosuke, Arashi Ichitar˘

    Comments

    The usual Zenshinza May program at the National Theatre! The Zenshinza troupe celebrates its 85th anniversary by producing Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan".

  • Yotsuya Kaidan: Iemon, a villainous masterless samurai (Arashi Yoshisabur˘) is in love with Oiwa (Kawarazaki Kunitar˘) and even kills her father to be united with her, cynically promising to help her to avenge her father's death. But at the same time, the granddaughter of a wealthy doctor falls in love with him and her grandfather tries to ensure the match by sending a horrible disfiguring poison to Oiwa. In the most famous scene of the play, face destroyed, hair falling out, Oiwa carefully dresses and puts on make-up to pay a proper visit to those who have wronged her. Iemon kills Oiwa and his servant Kohei, has their bodies nailed to a door and thrown into the river. Iemon is happily married into the wealthy family, but no sooner does the beautiful young bride arrive than Oiwa's ghost causes Iemon to kill her. The vengeful ghosts do not rest until all of their enemies are dead and, in another famous scene, Oiwa and Kohei appear floating on the river, calling out to Iemon. The concluding scene shows the ghost of Oiwa appearing mysteriously from inside a paper lantern and pulling her enemies into the wall and disappearing magically. Featuring Tadamura Shin'ya, Segawa Kikunoj˘ and Fujikawa Yanosuke in the roles of Oiwa's sister Osode, Sat˘ Yomoshichi and Naosuke Gonbŕ.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Ishikawa Ongakud˘ (Kanazawa)
    Dates 11 May 2016 (Iyo no Ai ~ Sono Yukue)
    Different World of Love ~ The whereabouts
    Program

    Ch˘ no Michiyuki
    (Gidayű)

    Tamatori Ama
    (Jiutamai)

    Ryűsei
    (Kabuki)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Umemaru

    Comments

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Umemaru perform in the dance-drama "Ryűsei" in this special one-time only program in Kanazawa at the Ishikawa Ongakud˘. The first item in this program is a song performed by a Gidayű ensemble. The second item is a Jiutamai. The third item is a Kabuki dance-drama.

  • 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, Nakamura Kazutar˘ as the heavenly shepherd boy and Nakamura Umemaru as the celestial weaver maid.
  • Source: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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