MARCH 2013

5 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘, National Theatre, Theatre Ginza, Akasaka Act Theater) and 2 shows in Nagoya (Misonoza)!

National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
Dates 5 ~ 26 March 2013
Program

Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome

Casting

Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Omez˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Shingo

Comments

Revival at the National Theatre of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome", which is commonly called "Onna Seigen".

Misonoza (Nagoya)
Dates 2 ~ 26 March 2013 (Sangatsu ďkabuki)
March Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Ogurusu no Ch˘bŕ

Kurozuka

Sanmon Gosan no Kiri (Sanmon)

Evening

Haru no Shirabe Musume Nanakusa

Jiisan Baasan

K˘j˘

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
(Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

Casting

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

Comments

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

  • 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 (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.
  • Kurozuka: a woman has grown bitter at the world after being rejected by her husband and now loves in seclusion, killing travelers and becoming a kind of demon. However, when she gives shelter to a holy man and his party, she rejoices at this opportunity to find salvation. She goes to get firewood to keep her visitors warm, cautioning them not to look into the back room, where the bodies of her victims are. She dances in joy among the dry autumn grasses under the full moon at her chance for absolution. But the porter in the holy man's party looks in the back room and they all leave in a panic. The old woman is furious at being betrayed and this transforms her into a demon, which is finally vanquished by the power of the holy man. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as the old woman and Nakamura Baigyoku as the holy man.
  • Sanmon: though short, this play is one of the most visually spectacular in Kabuki. The famous villain Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Ukon) 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'˘).
  • Musume Nanakusa: in the Edo period, every New Year, plays appeared about the medieval vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘. This colorful, old-fashioned dance mixes this tradition with that of eating porridge containing seven auspicious herbs on the seventh day of the new year. As the brothers Jűr˘ (Ichikawa Emisabur˘) and Gor˘ (Ichikawa Ukon) prepare to face their father's murderer and take revenge, along with beautiful Shizuka Gozen (Ichikawa Shun'en), they cut the herbs, as a symbolic act of vengeance.
  • Jiisan Baasan: based on a short story by Mori ďgai, this modern play by Uno Nobuo shows a loving young couple. The samurai Iori travels to Ky˘to with his lord, leaving Run, his beloved wife, behind. While there, he attacks another man in a fight over a sword and is forced into house arrest, separating him from his wife. Many years later, he returns to his home as an old man. There he meets an elderly woman and they do not recognize each other until she sees the one thing that has not changed with age, Iori's peculiar habit of putting his hand to his nose. Starring Ichikawa Chűsha and Ichikawa Emiya as Iori and Run.
  • 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 Nagoya at the Misonoza.
  • 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) and Ichikawa Danshir˘ (Kawatsura H˘gen).
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Le Theatre Ginza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 March 2013 (Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    March Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Tajima-ch˘/Yane Ue
  • K˘j˘

    Takatsuki

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Unosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Ichikawa Shinz˘, Ichikawa Shinjűr˘

    Comments

  • Natsu Matsuri: this grisly murder story became a smashing hit when it was first performed in 1745 because of the chivalrous spirit of the many ďsaka characters appearing in this story, the contrast between a brutal murder and the jovial mood of a summer festival, and the splashing of real water used on the stage. Danshichi, a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ and the older Sabu. Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu heroically helps out, in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji and, in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby. This program stars Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Danshichi, with Nakamura Kikaku, Kataoka Ichiz˘ and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Tokubŕ, Sabu and Otatsu.
  • 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 commemorate late Ichikawa Danjűr˘, who passed away the 3rd of February 2013.
  • Takatsuki: in this relatively modern dance-comedy adapted from the style of classical Ky˘gen farces, the servant Jir˘kaja (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) is ordered by his lord (Kataoka Ichiz˘) to buy a takatsuki, which is a kind of ceremonial sake cup on a stand. Jir˘kaja does not understand his lord's orders and is persuaded by a fast-talking geta clog salesman (Nakamura Kikaku) to buy a pair of clogs instead, thinking that this is the stand for which he was sent. After drinking a good amount of sake, he brings his purchase to the lord and responds to the lord's anger with a dance on the clogs, a virtuoso routine inspired by tap dancing, showing off the dancing skills of Ichikawa Ebiz˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 March 2013 (Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    March Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Imoseyama Onna Teikin
    (Mikasayama Goten)

    Kurayami no Ushimatsu

    Evening

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
    (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

    Ninin Wankyű

    Casting

    Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Baishi, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Kash˘, Onoe Ukon, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Mantar˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu

    Comments

  • Mikasayama Goten: a fantastic Kabuki period play showing intrigues in the imperial court in the earliest days of Japan. The dictator Soga no Iruka (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) has set up his own court and now seeks to destroy his opponent Kamatari. A mysterious fisherman named Fukashichi (Onoe Ukon) comes as a messenger from Kamatari, claiming to bring a message of surrender. Meanwhile, Iruka's younger sister, Princess Tachibana (Onoe Sh˘roku) has fallen in love with a handsome young man named Motome (Band˘ Kamesabur˘). But Motome is actually the son of Kamatari and says that he will only grant her love if she will cut off Iruka's head. Moreover, a country girl named Omiwa (Onoe Kikunosuke) has also followed Motome. Omiwa's blood and the work of all these people combined are what is necessary to finally defeat the magical powers of the evil Iruka.
  • Kurayami no Ushimatsu: a modern masterpiece by Hasegawa Shin (1884~1963) first performed in 1934. It shows Ushimatsu, an cook with a very strong sense of justice who is forced to kill the evil stepmother of his lover Oyone. Ushimatsu flees, but entrusts Oyone to Shirobŕ, his trusted workmate. Some years later, he sneaks back into Edo, but on his way, he encounters Oyone as a prostitute in an inn outside of town. She tries to explain that Shirobŕ treacherously seduced her and then sold her into prostitution as soon as Ushimatsu was gone. Ushimatsu refuses to listen to her, and heartbroken, Oyone commits suicide. In the final scene, Ushimatsu goes to kill Shirobŕ as he is in the public bath. This tense human drama is set against the details of common life in Edo: a roadside inn, the backroom of a bathhouse, ... Starring Onoe Sh˘roku as Ushimatsu. With Nakamura Baishi as Oyone and Ichikawa Danz˘ as Shirobŕ.
  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan. Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance. Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy. This performance stars Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Shibajaku as Tokiwa Gozen, Onoe Sh˘roku as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Kazutar˘ as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Ninin Wankyű: the fabulously wealthy Wanya Kyűbŕ (nicknamed Wankyű) is disowned by his family for falling in love with the courtesan Matsuyama. Then, when she dies, he goes mad with grief and wanders through the countryside. This dance shows him as he imagines meeting Matsuyama again and there is a lively dance recalling their happiness together before the vision fades and he is left alone. Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Wankyű and Onoe Kikunosuke as Matsuyama.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Akasaka Act Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 8 ~ 24 March 2010 (Akasaka ďkabuki)
    Akasaka Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Kaidan Chibusa no Enoki

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Shid˘

    Comments

  • Chibusa no Enoki:
    (The Ghost and the Milk-Giving Tree)
    Based on a rakugo story by Sanyűtei Ench˘, this is a showpiece for the star actor (Nakamura Kankur˘) who plays multiple roles, culminating in a thrilling fight scene in a waterfall where he switches rapidly from one to another. An artist named Hishikawa Shigenobu (Nakamura Kankur˘) is killed by a handsome samurai named Isogai Namie (Nakamura Shid˘) who makes love to Shigenobu's wife Oseki (Nakamura Shichinosuke). He carries out the murder with the help of Shigenobu's honest, but simple minded, servant Sh˘suke (Nakamura Kankur˘) and the tattooed villain Uwabami no Sanji (Nakamura Kankur˘). But the baby is rescued by the ghost of Shigenobu and finally the boy avenges the death of his father by killing Isogai.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

     
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