MARCH 2019

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, EX THEATER), 2 in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in ďsaka (Orix Theater), 1 in Sapporo (Waku Waku Holiday Hall) and 2 tours (Nakamura Shichinosuke Special Tour, Zenshinza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 3 ~ 27 March 2019
Sangatsu ďkabuki
March Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Onna Narukami

Kairaishi

Keisei Hangonk˘

  • Takashima Yakata / Takeyabu
  • Tosa Sh˘gen Kankyo (Domo Mata)
  • Evening

    ďmi Genji Senjin Yakata
    (Moritsuna Jin'ya)

    Kaminari Send˘

    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Karoku, Kataoka Hidetar˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Juen, Matsumoto Kingo, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Terajima Mahoro

    Comments

    The usual March Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza:

  • Onna Narukami: this is a parody of "Narukami", one of the oldest plays in the kabuki repertory, but in this version the leading character is played by an onnagata female role specialist. To place a curse on her father's killer Oda Nobunaga, the priestess Narukami (Kataoka Takatar˘) imprisons the rain gods in a pool beneath a waterfall, causing a severe drought. A handsome young man named Kumo no Taemanosuke (Nakamura Ganjir˘) appears who happens to resemble her former fiancÚ. Having been seduced by his story, she is convinced that he is her former lover and she exchanges cups with him in token of marriage-vows. However, in reality, he is a spy sent by Nobunaga to break her power. When she realizes that she has been betrayed, she flies into a rage and fights against Sakuma Genba Morimasa (Nakamura Ganjir˘) who comes to arrest her.
  • Kairaishi: this is a dance depicting an itinerant puppeteer (Matsumoto K˘shir˘). He carries a variety of puppets in a box which he suspends from his neck. With this he can perform on the spot, using the puppets to enact many different roles which he demonstrates for us. Finally, he makes some sparrows escape from his box and he dashes off after them.
  • Takashima Yakata: the story is about Kan˘ Shir˘jir˘ Motonobu (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), a samurai who serves at the Palace of the Rokkaku Family in Takashima (province of ďmi). Princess Ich˘-no-Mae (Nakamura Yonekichi), the daughter of Rokkaku Yorikata, is in love with Motonobu. Nagoya Sanza, a senior retainer of the Rokkaku clan, helped the girl to make Motonobu exchange a cup of sake with Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, which means that the marriage between the two is concluded. Unfortunately for them, the evil and jealous Fuwa no D˘ken (Ichikawa En'ya), the senior retainer of the Rokkaku family and the father of Fuwa Banzaemon (the arch enemy of Nagoya Sanza), also covets her. He covers Motonobu with a false charge and makes him arrested. Tied to a pillar, Motonobu draws with his own blood the image of a tiger on a sliding paper-door. The image is such a masterpiece that the tiger takes on life, begins to move, picks up Motonobu on its back and disperses the enemies.
  • Takeyabu: this scene is a spectacular tachimawari in a bamboo grove, outside the moat of the Rokkaku palace. Utanosuke (Nakamura Ganjir˘), a young artist of the Kan˘ school and a disciple of Motonobu, tries unsuccessfully to fight the soldiers of Fuwa no D˘ken to protect Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, who had run away from the Palace with Motonobu.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei (Matsumoto Haku˘) has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku (Ichikawa Ennosuke), who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Featuring Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu and Ichikawa Komaz˘ as Shűrinosuke.
  • Moritsuna Jin'ya: this play is one of the greatest classics of the jidaimono historical play style. Two brothers, Sasaki Moritsuna and Sasaki Takatsuna are generals on opposing sides. Moritsuna's forces are greater in number and strength, but his brother's brilliant strategies allow him to escape by preying on Moritsuna's psychological weaknesses. Ruthlessly, Takatsuna has his son sacrifice his life to force Moritsuna to identify the head of an imposter as that of his dead brother. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon as Moritsuna, with Nakamura Jakuemon as Kagaribi (the wife of Takatsuna), Kataoka Takatar˘ as Hayase (the wife of Moritsuna), Nakamura Karoku as H˘j˘ Tokimasa, Ichikawa Sadanji as the crafty general Wada no Hy˘e and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Mimy˘ (the mother of the Sasaki brothers).
  • Kaminari Send˘: handsome boatmen crossing the Sumida River were the popular idols of the Edo period, but the only thing they feared was lightning. This humorous dance shows a boatman (or a boatwoman) and the thunder god carrying his drums and dressed in an animal skin loincloth. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as a boat-woman in the odd days and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as a boatman in the even days.
  • 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. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the odd days and Ichikawa Ennosuke in the even days as Benten Koz˘. Featuring Matsumoto Haku˘ as Nippon Daemon, Ichikawa En'ya in the odd days and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the even days as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Nakamura Kikaku as Tadanobu Rihei and Ichikawa Emiya as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘. Featuring also Ichikawa Ennosuke in the odd days and Ichikawa En'ya in the even days as the tobigashira Seiji.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 March 2019
    Program

    Genroku Chűshingura
    (Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘)

    Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To

    Casting

    Nakamura Senjaku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Toranosuke

    Comments

    The usual March Kabuki performances at the National Theatre.

  • Ohama Goten: there are few plays more popular in Kabuki than "Chűshingura" or the Treasury of the Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers. In the modern period, this play was reworked by Mayama Seika as "Genroku Chűshingura", a play focusing on different incidents and different characters in this revenge classic adding historical details reflecting the Genroku period. One of the most popular parts of this play shows the man that will be the next Sh˘gun, seemingly detached from the vendetta, but in fact, intensely interested in the progress of the quest of the band of loyal retainers. Starring Nakamura Senjaku as Lord Tsunatoyo and Nakamura Kash˘ as Tominomori Sukeĺemon. With Nakamura Toranosuke as Okiyo and Nakamura Matagor˘ as Tsunatoyoĺs teacher Arai Kageyű.
  • Seki no To:
    (The Snowbound Barrier)
    A snow-covered barrier decorated by a mysteriously blooming cherry tree provides the background for the larger-than-life story of a traitorous aristocrat disguised as a barrier guard and the beautiful woman, actually a supernatural spirit in disguise, that will defeat him. Nakamura Baishi (the keisei Sumizome, in reality the spirit of Komachi's cherry tree), Onoe Kikunosuke (Sekibŕ, in reality ďtomo no Kuronushi), Nakamura Baishi (Ono no Komachi) and Nakamura Mantar˘ (Yoshimine Munesada) star in what is considered to be one of the greatest Kabuki dance-dramas.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 March 2019
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki (Akoya)

    Tachi Nusubito

    Keisei Yuki no Yoshiwara

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

    Comments

    A special Kabuki program in Ky˘to at the Minamiza starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘.

  • Akoya: the courtesan Akoya is the wife of the fugitive general Kagekiyo and has been captured and will be tortured until she reveals his whereabouts. But she claims not to know. The wise Shigetada (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) puts Akoya to a test, all the time hindered by his companion, the humorous villain Iwanaga (Band˘ Kamez˘). Shigetada forces Akoya to play several instruments since the slightest disturbance in the sound would indicate that she is lying. A showpiece for an onnagata who must actually play the koto, the bowed kokyű and the shamisen flawlessly as part of the drama. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as Akoya.
  • Tachi Nusubito: the farces of the classical Ky˘gen theater have universal appeal, showing the relationships of masters and servants and husbands and wives. In this particular dance play, a farmer named Manbŕ (Band˘ Kamez˘) carries a precious sword, which is made of gold. The thief Kurobŕ (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) quietly removes the sword from Manbŕ in a crowd. When Manbŕ finds his sword missing and notices Kurobŕ wearing it, a loud dispute ensues. Manbŕ and Kurobŕ must both explain who owns the sword, first in words, then in dance to a magistrate (Nakamura Kichinoj˘), who must try to figure out who tells the truth.
  • Keisei Yuki no Yoshiwara: This is a brand-new dance, the highlight of which is when the beautiful courtesan in her gorgeous costume expresses her love for her beloved, romance in the pleasure quarters, and her poor life story in dance, weaving into that scenes of the four seasons. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 March 2019
    Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki
    March Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Waki Noboru Mizu-ni Koi Taki (Koi Tsukami)

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, ďtani Keiz˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘

    Comments

    Young actors performing at the Hakataza to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Hakataza.

  • Koi Tsukami: Tawara no T˘ta Hidesato fights against a giant centipede at Mt. Mikami in ďmi Province. The guardian deity of Lake Biwa appears and gives him a sacred sword. T˘ta slays the centipede with the sword. In Lake Biwa the Golden Carp, Carps King's son, is about to turn into a dragon but it becomes cirrupt by the poisonous blood of the slain centipede flown into the lake. The Golden Carp loses its hope to turn into a dragon. The Carps King resents that and vows to curse the Tawara clan eternally. Years have passed and the sacred sword is now the family heirloom of the Tsuri clan, whose ancestors were from the Tawara clan. The yakko Setahei, at the service of the Tsuri clan, finds out that some evil retainers are plotting to take over the clan. He struggles to prevent it. Princess Kozakura of the Tsuri clan longs for Takimado Shiganosuke, a page whom she met in the Kiyomizu Temple. As they meet secretly at the Tsuri mansion, an envoy of the chief advisor to the emperor arrives. The sacred sword is presented to him. The magic of this sword results in the projection of the shadows of Princess Kozakura and a giant carp are projected on a paper sliding door. It means that Shiganosuke is in fact the incarnation of the spirit of a carp of Lake Biwa and it plots to destroy the Tsuri clan, as a revenge over the Tawara clan. The spirit of the carp is shot by an arrow. The archer is none other than the real Shiganosuke, who chases it up to Lake Biwa where he fights in real water (honmizu) with it under heavy rain, until at last he puts an end to its life. This scene is called koi tsukami and it is the spectacular highlight of this Kabuki drama, which is staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen. During the Edo period, it was developped by the Onoe clan, from Onoe Kikugor˘ I to Onoe Kikugor˘ III through Onoe Sh˘roku I. In modern times, it became the trademark of the Ichikawa Udanji line. Starring Kataoka Ainosuke in 10 roles (including the spirit of a giant carp)! Featuring also Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the role of Princess Kozakura.
  • Source: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Nakamura Shichinosuke Special Tour
    Dates 2 ~ 19 March 2019
    Nakamura Shichinosuke Tokubetsu K˘en
    Nakamura Shichinosuke Special Performances
    Program

    Geidan

    Shiokumi

    Sumidagawa Chigusa no Nuregoto

    Casting

    Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kosabur˘, Nakamura Ich˘, Sawamura Kunihisa

    Comments

    The Spring Tour of Nakamura Shichinosuke with performances in 12 cities.

    EX THEATER (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 22 February ~ 10 March 2019
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Rash˘mon

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘

    Comments

    Third edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances at the EX THEATER. Based on Akutagawa Ryűnosuke's short story "Rash˘mon", the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). The guest star of "Rash˘mon" is Miyake Ken.

    Orix Theater (ďsaka)
    Dates 13 ~ 17 March 2019
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Rash˘mon

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘

    Comments

    Third edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances, started in T˘ky˘ at the EX THEATER in February 2019 and now staged in the city of ďsaka at the Orix Theater. Based on Akutagawa Ryűnosuke's short story "Rash˘mon", the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). The guest star of "Rash˘mon" is Miyake Ken.

    Waku Waku Holiday Hall (Sapporo)
    Dates 21 ~ 24 March 2019
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Rash˘mon

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘

    Comments

    Third edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances, started in T˘ky˘ at the EX THEATER in February 2019 and now staged in the city of Sapporo in Hokkaid˘ at the Wakuwaku Holiday Hall (Sapporo Civic Hall). Based on Akutagawa Ryűnosuke's short story "Rash˘mon", the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). The guest star of "Rash˘mon" is Miyake Ken.

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 13 March ~ 27 April 2019
    Program

    Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki

    Casting

    Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Tadamura Shin'ya

    Comments

    A March and April tour all over Japan for the Zenshinza troupe. "Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki", which was written by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji and was premiered in May 2017 at the National Theatre, is based on two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan".

     
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