NEWS FROM THE KABUKI WORLD
31 January
2020

As the Kabukiza will be closed for maintenance and building repairs in April 2020, the April Grand Kabuki performances will be staged at the nearby Shinbashi Enbuj˘ and the two programs have been published. The troupe will be led by Living National Treasures Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon [more details].

Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Shid˘ will perform in May 2020 at the TBS Akasaka Act Theater in a special Kabuki program which will be entitled Akasaka Grand Kabuki. They will perform in a revised version supevised by Minamoto Takashi of the famous kaidanmono "Botan D˘r˘" [more details].

The classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" will be staged in March 2020 at the National Theatre, with young star Onoe Kikunosuke playing the 3 important roles of Taira no Tomomori, Igami no Gonta and the fox Tadanobu [more details]. There will be 3 programs which will be staged with the following schedule:

  • Program A: "Torii Mae", "Tokaiya", "Funayagura" and "Daimotsu no Ura".
  • Program B: "Ko-no-Mi", "Kokingo Uchijini" and "Sushiya".
  • Program C: "Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi" and "Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata".
  • A and B will be staged the 3rd, the 6th, the 15th, the 18th, the 21st and the 24th of March 2020.
  • A and C will be staged the 7th, the 8th, the 9th, the 17th, the 20th, the 23rd and the 26th of March 2020.
  • B and C will be staged the 4th, the 5th, the 13th, the 16th, the 19th, the 22nd and the 25th of March 2020.
  • A only will be staged the 12th of March 2020.
  • B only will be staged the 14th of March 2020.
  • No performance the 10th and the 11th of March 2020.
  • The Zenshinza troupe will be on tour in Japan from the 18th of February to the 1st of March 2020 [more details].

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon went to the Dazaifu Tenmangű the 15th of January 2020 to pray for the success of the coming performances of "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" in February 2020 at the Kabukiza. Kataoka Nizaemon will play the role of Kan Sh˘j˘, whose real name was Sugawara no Michizane, and the grave of Sugawara no Michizane is located in the precincts of the Dazaifu Tenmangű Shrine [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and the opera star Placido Domingo were expected to team up for the cultural festival accompanying the opening of the 2020 T˘ky˘ Olympic and Paralympic Games. Following the 2019 sexual harassment multiple accusations against Placido Domingo, the star was replaced by the Italian Soprano singer Anna Pirozzi and the Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott, who will perform along with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the opening act of the TďKYď 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL the 18th of April 2020, to kick off celebrations for the coming T˘ky˘ Olympic and Paralympic Games. This event mixing Opera and Kabuki will be entitled KABUKI x OPERA "Luminous, The Lord". The T˘ky˘ Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Jordi BernÓcer, the venue will be the T˘ky˘ Metropolitan Gymnasium and the furitsuke will be Fujima Kanjűr˘ VIII [more details].

    Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Toranosuke took part in a parade in ďsaka the 10th of January 2020, which was part of the T˘ka Ebisu Festival at the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, which is located in the Naniwa Ward of ďsaka and is commonly (and affectiously) called Ebessan by the people of ďsaka. The T˘ka Ebisu Festival was held from the 9th to the 11th of January 2020. 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 a special palanquin called hoe kago, surrounded by people singing a simple catchy folk song [more details in Japanese and pictures].

    The 14th of January 2020 at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘, seven geisha came and saw the New Year Asakusa Kabuki. They arrived at the Asakusa Public Hall riding in rickshaws and then stood near the entrance to greet the arriving customers. This kind of visit by a group of geisha is called S˘ken (literally "global viewing") [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    One poster for the February 2020 performance at the Kabukiza of Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon in the role of Kan Sh˘j˘.

    Members of the Edo Firefighting Memorial Association performed kiyari ritual dances within the Kabukiza the 6th of January 2020 [more details in Japanese].

    There is an exhibition dedicated to Nakamura Utaemon VI at the Setagaya Literary Museum in Setagaya Ward in winter and spring 2020. It started the 18th of January 2020 and it will end the 5th of April 2020. Why Setagaya? Nakamura Utaemon VI's last home was located in the district of Okamoto in Setagaya Ward.

    The 120th edition of the Hanamichikai Kabuki SeminÔ (the Kabuki Seminar of the Hanamichi Association) will happen the 9th of February 2020 at 14:30 on the 3rd floor of the Kabukiza in the Hanakago Restaurant. The guest of this talk will be Ichikawa Danz˘ and the long-time NHK announcer Kasai Seiji will lead the discussions.

    3 actors, who have successfully passed the 2019 nadai exam, received their diploma during a special ceremony [pictures and more details in Japanese]. It happened at the Kabukiza the 16th of January 2020 for the tachiyaku actors Ichikawa Usaji, a disciple of Ichikawa Udanji, and Nakamura Kichijir˘, a disciple of Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon. It happened at the Sh˘chikuza the 21st of January 2020 for the onnagata actor Kataoka Rikiya, a disciple of Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘.

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