|NEWS FROM THE KABUKI WORLD|
Nakamura Jakuemon V will play the roles of ďgiya Yűgiri, Otomi and Osome in "Yűgiri Nagori no Sh˘gatsu", "Kirare Yosa" and "Toribeyama Shinjű" to celebrate his shűmei in July 2016 in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza [more details].
The 2nd of April 2016, the young star Ichikawa Ennosuke IV did his 800th chűnori. It happened at the Hakataza in the Super Kabuki II drama "ONE PIECE". His first chűnori occurred in October 1985 at the Kabukiza in the drama "Futago Sumidagawa". He was still a child and did the chűnori along with his uncle Ichikawa Ennosuke III and Onoe Kikugor˘ VII. His next challenge might be to do more chűnori than his uncle but there is a long way to go as his uncle did it more than 5000 times.
The 14th of April at the Hakataza, the 16th of April at the Kabukiza, Meijiza and Kanamaruza, actors personally collected donations from audience members to help the relief efforts following the terrible Kumamoto earthquakes [pictures and more details in Japanese]. The 14th of April, Ichikawa Ennosuke made a speech on stage and ended it with the lyrics of the ONE PIECE song: "Even in the darkest of times, there's no such thing as an endless night, let's join hands and wish on a star".
7 actors led by Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ went to the Konpira Shrine the 8th of April 2016 to pray for the success of April 2016 performances at the Kanamaruza, where Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV was about to celebrate his shűmei from the 9th of April. Afterwards, The 7 stars were paraded in the streets of Kotohira in rickshaws [pictures and more details in Japanese|more details about the performances].
Please do find below the links to the latest playbills of coming Kabuki programs. The one for Cocoon Kabuki is both original and mind-disturbing:
A few articles about Kabuki in Las Vegas in May 2016:
Ichikawa Ennosuke will perform in a modern drama in May 2016, from the 20th to the 22nd of May at the Shunjűza (a theater located within the Ky˘to University of Arts and Design) and from the 24th to the 26th of May at the Yachiyoza. The drama is entitled "Otokotachi no Sumika - Dokkoi! Oretachi ha koko ni Iru" ("The Home of Men - Hold on! We are here"). The script was written by Osabe S˘suke, who will also be the director.
Nakamura Kazutar˘ will perform outside Kabuki in Noda Hideki's drama "Sandaime, RichÔdo" ("Sandaime, Richard") which is not an adaptation of William Shakespeare's masterpiece "Richard III" but a a playful take on the Shakespearean play in which the Bard himself is put on trial for defaming the royal schemer through his works. He will play the role of Richard Sandaime in this comedy at the Fuji no Kuni World Theater Festival 2016 at the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center from the 29th of April to the 1st of May 2016. The play will be directed by Ong Keng Sen and Nakamura Kazutar˘ will share the stage with the actress Janice Koh. It will also be staged in Singapore from the 8th to the 10th of September 2016 at the Victoria Theatre [more details about "Sandaime, Richard"].
There will be an exhibition of Kabuki costumes in the city of Narita at the Narita Cultural Art Center from the 12th to the 22nd of May 2016 [flyer].
Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Anthony Roth Costanzo went to the Ky˘to Tower to pray at the Tawawa-chan Shrine for the success of April 2016 performances at the Ky˘to Gekij˘. The Tawawa-chan Shrine was built in 2014, as part of the 50th anniversary project of the tower's inauguration, in the observation deck of the tower. It is dedicated to Tawawa-chan, the mascot of the tower ... [pictures and more details in Japanese].
Obituary: : the actor Nakamura Utae (1932~2016) passed away the 26th of March 2016.
There will be a Kabuki tour in Europe in May 2016: Band˘ Yajűr˘ and his son Band˘ Shingo will perform in Paris from the 12th to the 14th of May at the Maison de la Culture du Japon Ó Paris, in Geneva from the 17th to the 18th of May at the BFM (ThÚodore Turrettini Hall) and in Madrid from the 21st to the 22nd of May at the Circulo Bellas Artes. There will be 3 items in the program: the dance "Omatsuri", a talk about "how to appreciate Kabuki" and the dance-drama "Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To" [flyer for the performances in Geneva].
The world of Kabuki and the world of Otaku will collide at the end of April 2016! A new style will result from this spectacular collision: Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki)! Nakamura Shid˘, performing the role of Sat˘ Shiroby˘e Tadanobu (in reality the fox Genkur˘), will share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They will perform together in a Ch˘kabuki dance-drama which will be choreographed by Fujima Kanjűr˘ VIII and will be entitled "Hana Kurabe Senbon Zakura". It will staged at the Makuhari Messe the 29th and the 30th of April 2016, as part of the Niconico Ch˘kaigi 2016 event, an important yearly event for the Otaku tribes [more details | the flyer | a video of Hatsune Miku | website].
Onoe Kikunosuke's son Terashima Kazufumi, who is also the grandson of two Living National Treasures, Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon, will make his first stage appearance (omemie) for the yearly Dankiku festival in May 2016 at the Kabukiza. This festival for the Naritaya and Otowaya guilds commemorates 2 great stars of the Meiji era: Dan = Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Kiku = Onoe Kikugor˘ V [more details]. Another interesting feature of these May Grand Kabuki performances will be the revival of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "Nue Taiji", which was staged for the last time more than 54 years ago, in January 1962 at the Kabukiza.
The programs for the June 2016 Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza have been published [more details]. The sanbusei tripartite system, which is usually used only in August, will be used in June! The classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" will be staged in 3 parts and Ichikawa Ukon's son Takeda Takeru will make his first stage appearance (omemie) in the role of Rokudai. Each part of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" will be dedicated to one hero of this drama: Taira no Tomomori in the first part, Igami no Gonta in the second part and Tadanobu in the third part. In the first part, Masuyama Kinpachi I's Tokiwazu-based drama "Hototogisu Hana Aru Sato" will be revived. This dance-drama is commonly called "Tadanobu" and it will star Nakamura Baigyoku and Nakamura Kaishun in the roles of Minamoto no Yoshitsune and the shiraby˘shi Miyoshino.
Nakamura Kankur˘ VI's two sons, his elder son Namino Naoya and his younger son Namino Noriyuki, will make their debut on stage (hatsubutai) in February 2017 at the Kabukiza. They will receive the respective names of Nakamura Kantar˘ III and Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘ II. The first holder of the name Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘ was Nakamura Kanzabur˘ III, who held it between 1673 and 1674.
The programs for the Grand Kabuki Tours in the Eastern and Central provinces in July 2016 have been published!
Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performed the 26th of March 2016 in Okinawa within the precincts of the Nakagusuku Castle. He performed the longevity dance of Musashib˘ Benkei, a famous section from the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘", and the leading role of "Renjishi". Ichikawa Kudanji performed the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in "Ame no Gor˘" [more details].
Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ fell ill (stomach ulcer) before the opening day of the March Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza. He was replaced on the spot by his son Onoe Kikunosuke to play the role of Miuranosuke in "Kamakura Sandaiki" up to the 11th of March. He was back on stage the 12th of March.
Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Umemaru will perform in the dance-drama "Ryűsei" within a special one-time only program, which will be staged in Kanazawa the 11th of May 2016 at the Ishikawa Ongakud˘ and will be entitled Iyo no Ai ~ Sono Yukue (literally "Different World of Love ~ The whereabouts") [more details].
The drama "GOEMON-Ishikawa Goemon" (), which was premiered in October 2014 in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza [more details], will be staged in October 2016 in T˘ky˘ at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, starring Kataoka Ainosuke in the role of Ishikawa Goemon [more details]. This drama is advertised by the Sh˘chiku Company as being ôa novel Kabuki dance which has taken in Flamencoö.
Ichikawa Somegor˘ received the 19th of March 2016 at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ the Incentive Award (Sh˘reish˘) of the 32nd Asakusa Artistic Awards (Asakusa Gein˘ Sh˘) [pictures and more details in Japanese].
Nakamura Hashinosuke will perform in May 2016 at the Meijiza in the non-Kabuki drama "On'yado Kawasemi", which is based on Hiraiwa Yumie's Edo period historical detective-story series "On'yado Kawasemi".
Nakamura Shid˘ was a tobigashira for real for a day the 29th of February 2016. He symbolically became the head of the firehouse near the National Theatre and supervised the exercises [pictures and more details in Japanese].
Nakamura Hashinosuke has started to work as a "navigator" on a cultural TV program for NHK-BS, a Satellite channel of the National TV network NHK, which will be entitled Ky˘to Burari Rekishi Tanb˘ (literally "Wandering off in Ky˘to - History Inquiry"). The first episode of this monthly series will be aired the 12th of April 2016. In each episode, Nakamura Hashinosuke will visit a temple, a shrine or a traditional craft artisan.
The maintenance construction of Dankazura, the famous approach to the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura, was completed in March 2016. The renovation works started in November 2014 and a ceremony to celebrate this completion took place on the 30th of March 2016. There was procession led by Shint˘ priests and Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon from the second torii up to the lower worship hall of the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. Then, after the procession, Nakamura Kichiemon performed an auspicious celebration dance on a stage at the Lower Worship Hall.
The Minamiza has temporarily closed. An investigation is going on in order to determine whether or not the construction for anti-earthquake reinforcement of the theater is needed. Ky˘to's most famous theater will stay close for a while.
The two programs for the April Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in April 2016 have been published [more details]. A newly-created Kabuki drama will be staged for the first time. It is entitled "Gens˘shin Kűkai" and it is about the stay in China of the priest Kűkai. This drama will be staged to celebrate the 1200 anniversary of the acceptation by the emperor of Japan in 816 of the request made by Kűkai to build K˘yasan. The role of Kűkai will be played by Ichikawa Somegor˘. His father Matsumoto K˘shir˘ will play the role of the Tang Emperor. Nakamura Jakuemon will play the role of Y˘kihi. The original story was written by the Japanese SF master Yumemakura Baku. Others highlights in April will be:
There was a mamemaki ceremony for setsubun the 3rd of February 2016 at the Kabukiza. For the first time and for this ceremony only, Onoe Kikugor˘'s grandsons Kazufumi and Mahoro appeared on stage. Kazufumi is the son of Onoe Kikunosuke and also the grandson of Nakamura Kichiemon. Mahoro is the son of Onoe Kikugor˘'s daughter Terajima Shinobu [more details].
The programs for the June 2016 and July 2016 educational Kabuki programs at the National Theatre, called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class") have been published. In June 2016, "Sakanaya S˘gor˘" will be staged with Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘ and Nakamura Muneo [more details]. In July 2016, "Sanjűsangend˘ Munagi no Yurai" will be staged with Nakamura Kaishun and Band˘ Yajűr˘ [more details].
The 15th edition of the original Cocoon Kabuki will happen in June 2016 at the Theatre Cocoon [more details]. These performances recreate the atmosphere of the Edo koshibai and brings the actors closer to the audience. The play "Yotsuya Kaidan" will be revised by the playwright Kushida Kazuyoshi and this new production will be based on the kitaban version, which was staged in March 2006/April 2006 in the same theater and included the rarely-staged act IV, with its 2 scenes "the Misumi house in Fukagawa" and "the refuge of the Oshioda family" [more details].
A special program starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and mixing Kabuki, N˘ and Opera will be staged in April 2016 at the Ky˘to Gekij˘. The heir of the Naritaya guild will perform in a special version of "Genji Monogatari", along with the N˘ actors Katayama Kur˘emon X and Kanze Yoshimasa and the Opera Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo. The script for this version of "Genji Monogatari" will focus on the story from Oborozukiyo to Suma/Akashi [more details].
There was a mamemaki ceremony and a street parade for setsubun in Fukuoka the 3rd of February 2016 with the actors Nakamura Shid˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ performing at the Hakataza in February 2016. The mamemaki ceremony happened in the precincts of the Kushida Shrine [more details in Japanese and pictures].
Onoe Matsuya was the award-winner of the Theater "New Face" Prize (Engeki Shinjin Sh˘) of the 37th Matsuo Artistic Awards (Matsuo Gein˘ Sh˘). He received his prize the 29th of March 2016 at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel in T˘ky˘.
Nakamura T˘z˘'s disciple Nakamura Toshijir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon IV's disciple Nakamura Ky˘zabur˘ and Nakamura Kaishun's disciple Nakamura Harunosuke celebrated their success at the nadai exam in January 2016 in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza. They passed successfully the nadai exam in September 2014. Nakamura Toshijir˘ and Nakamura Ky˘zabur˘ received respectively the names of Nakamura T˘zabur˘ and ďtani Akisabur˘. ďtani Akisabur˘ became a disciple of ďtani Tomoemon.
Both Matsumoto K˘shir˘ and the production of the SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando drama "ONE PIECE" received the 8th of February 2016 an award for the 2015 Art Festival of Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs, which happened from the 2nd of October 2015 to the 10th of November 2015. 52 events were part of this important festival. Matsumoto K˘shir˘ was award a prize in the stage art section for his performance in October 2015 in T˘ky˘ at the Imperial Theater in the Japanese version of the musical "Man of La Mancha".
Nakamura Kash˘'s first child, a son, was born the 26th of February 2016.
Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Tamatar˘ and Nakamura Umemaru will perform, along with the dance masters Fujima Kanjűr˘ VIII and Onoe Kikunoj˘ III, at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre from the 25th to the 27th of March 2016 in a dance program which is entitled "SUGATA". The program is made up of a newly-created which is entitled "Sinsetsu Saiyűki ~ Chohakkai to Sagoj˘". This dance is related to the world of the Chinese novel "Journey to the West" (Saiyűki). The two main characters will be Chohakkai (Zhu Bajie) and Sagoj˘ (Sha Wujing).
Obituary: the actor Nakamura Umenosuke IV, 2nd generation leader of the Zenshinza troupe, passed away the 18th of January 2016, victim of a pneumonia. The troupe funeral service will be held the 3rd of March 2016 at T˘ky˘'s Aoyama Cemetery. The chief mourner will be his son Nakamura Baijaku II.
Ichikawa Somegor˘ will perform in Las Vegas in May 2016, from the 3rd to the 7th, at the MGM Grand David Copperfield Theater. The show will be the "Panasonic presents Wonder KABUKI Spectacle at MGM Grand" and the newly-created drama, which will be staged, will be entitled "SHI-SHI-ď The Adventures of the Mythical Lion". We can assume it will be based on the story within the traditional shishimono. Ichikawa Somegor˘ will lead the troupe, sharing the stage with Nakamura Karoku, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Kash˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi and Nakamura Hayato [more details].
Three Living National Treasures will share the stage with the Nakamura Jakuemon V to celebrate his shűmei in June 2016 in Fukuoka at the Hakataza : Sakata T˘jűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon [playbill].
Nakamura Senjaku and Ichikawa Chűsha took part in a parade in ďsaka the 9th of January 2016, which was part of the T˘ka Ebisu Festival at the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, which is located in the Naniwa Ward of ďsaka. The T˘ka Ebisu Festival was held from the 9th to the 11th of January 2016. T˘ka meaning the 10th day in Japanese, this festival is usually held around the 10th of January and it is extremely popular in ďsaka. During this festival sacred bamboo branches are sold to business people. The branches, known as fukusasa, are decorated with lucky symbols. The two actors were paraded through shopping and entertainment districts on special palanquins called h˘e kago, surrounded by people singing a simple catchy folk song [more details in Japanese and pictures].
Nakamura Shibajaku, ďtani Tomoemon, ďtani Hirotar˘ and ďtani Hiromatsu paraded the 27th of January 2016 in Asakusa ahead of the coming shűmei of Nakamura Jakuemon V in March 2016 at the Kabukiza [more details in Japanese and pictures].
Imai Toyoshige and Yokouchi Kensuke received the 25th of January 2016 the 44th ďtani Takejir˘ Award (ďtani Takejir˘ Sh˘). The former was award this prize for the writing of the script of "Arashi no Yoru ni", which was staged in September 2015 at the Minamiza; The latter for the writing of the script of "ONE PIECE" (premiered in October 2015 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘).
There will be at the 4F of the Kabukiza tower from the 2nd of February to the 27th of March 2016 an exhibition of pictures related to the coming shűmei of Nakamura Jakuemon V [more details in Japanese].
The programs for the April Young Actors Kabuki performances at the Meijiza in April 2016 have been published [more details]. The rarely-staged matsubamemono "Suehirogari" will be revived. There are only 2 records in T˘ky˘: in December 1909 at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ with Ichikawa Ennosuke I and Onoe Baik˘ VI in the roles of Tar˘kaja and his master. In August 1992 at the National Theatre with Ichikawa Danz˘ and Nakamura Tomotar˘ in the roles of Tar˘kaja and his master. In April 2016, the role of Tar˘kaja will be played by Nakamura Kankur˘. There will be lots of hatsuyaku for the 3 young stars:
They are cute or creepy. They prance around street fairs, sporting events, community gatherings and tourist destinations. They reprensent prefectures, cities, museums, schools, institutions ... even militaries forces or prisons. If you go to Japan, you are very likely to meet a few of them. I am talking about the yuru-kyara, the mascots, which have invaded Japan during the 2010s and are still on the rise. The yuru-kyara was made up of two real words, yurui meaning loose or relaxed, and kyara, a word coming from English and meaning character. The mascots are everywhere ... and we would like to report the "birth" of Konpy-kun, the mascot symbolizing the Konpira Kabuki, which is produced every April at the Kanamaruza. Is Konpy-kun cute or creepy ? Check on the kabuki-bito.jp website ! It was spotted advertising for the April performances the 25th of January in ďsaka and the 26th of January in T˘ky˘.
Ichikawa Ebiz˘ met Detective Conan, the famous hero of the Anime series Meitantei Konan (Detective Conan), based on the eponymous Manga created by Aoyama G˘sh˘. The story in 2 episodes (804th and 805th) was about a murder case at the Kabukiza. As part of his investigations, Detective Conan met Ichikawa Ebiz˘, a character voiced by ... the real Ichikawa Ebiz˘. Episode 804 was aired the 9th of January 2016. Episode 805 was aired the 16th of January 2016. These two episodes were created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Detective Conan Anime. They were entitled "Konan to Ebiz˘ Kabuki Jűhachiban Misuterţ", "Conan and Ebiz˘'s Kabuki Jűhachiban Mystery" [more details | picture 1 | picture 2].
Four Kabuki films in high definition, belonging to the Shinema Kabuki ("Cinema Kabuki") series, will be screened in Toronto with English subtitles in February 2016 [more details]. This event will be sponsored by The Japan Foundation, Toronto:
3 talks (kabuki yawa in Japanese, night talk about Kabuki) for Nakamura Shibajaku at the Kabukiza Gallery (5th floor of the Kabukiza building), every evening at 18:30 from the 8th to the 10th of February. The admission fee will be 3,000 JPY. There will be also at the same place the 27th of February at 19:00 another kabuki yawa in Japanese, night talk about Kabuki, with Nakamura Ky˘z˘, Nakamura Ky˘tae and Nakamura Ky˘shi. The subject will be the secrets of the Ky˘ya guild. Same admission fee as Nakamura Shibajaku's talks.
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