NEWS FROM THE KABUKI WORLD
31 January
2017

The two programs for the March Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in March 2017 have been published [more details]. The highlights will be:

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon playing the role of Taira no Tomomori in the "Tokaiya" and "Daimotsu no Ura" scenes of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".
  • The dance-drama "Dontsuku" staged to commemorate the 2nd anniversary (3rd memorial service) of the passing away of Band˘ Mitsugor˘ X.
  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ playing the role of the keisei Ishikawaya Masagoji in the short but spectacular drama "Onna Goemon".
  • "Sukeroku" with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Nakamura Jakuemon in the roles of Hanakawado Sukeroku and Miuraya Agemaki.
  • Opening the 1st of January 2017 of the Sh˘chiku official Kabuki facebook site:

    The drama "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" will be staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen in March 2017 at the National Theatre. The core of this revival will be "Okazaki" but it is also very interesting to report that the third act, commonly called "Engakuji", which was staged for the last time in February 1931 at the Meijiza, will be revived as well [more details].

    No Kabuki for Nakamura Senjaku from January to March 2017! He started to perform from the 18th of January and he will perform up to the 12th of March at the T˘ky˘ Metropolitan Theatre in Noda Hideki's new drama "Ashiato Hime" (literally "Princess Footprints" [more details in Japanese].

    The Zenshinza troupe will perform as usual in May 2017 at the National Theatre. A newly-created drama, which was written by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji and is entitled "Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki", will be staged. It will mix two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan" [more details].

    Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke will perform in April 2017 at the Akasaka Act Theater for the 5th edition of the Akasaka Grand Kabuki. They will perform in a newly-created drama made by the playwhright and script writer H˘rai Yűta, the writer of the famous anime "Piano no Mori", which will be entitled "Yume Maboroshi-ka Koi Z˘shi" [more details].

    Kataoka Ainosuke will lead of troupe of young actors at the Meijiza in May 2017 [more details].

    Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘ took part in a parade in ďsaka the 10th of January 2017, 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 2017. 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 hoe kago, surrounded by people singing a simple catchy folk song [more details in Japanese and pictures].

    Members of the Edo Firefighting Memorial Association performed kiyari ritual dances within the Kabukiza the 5th of January 2017 [more details in Japanese].

    The world of Kabuki and the world of Otaku will collide for the second time in Kabuki history at the end of April 2017! Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) will be back! Nakamura Shid˘ will once again share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They will perform together in a Ch˘kabuki dance-drama which will be entitled "Kuruwa Kotoba Awase Kagami". It will staged at the Makuhari Messe the 29th and the 30th of April 2017, as part of the Niconico Ch˘kaigi 2017 event, an important yearly event for the Otaku tribes [more details].

    The seven young actors, who will perform in February 2017 at the Sh˘chikuza, went to the H˘zenji Temple in the heart of the famous H˘zenji Yokoch˘ Lane in ďsaka the 30th of January 2017 to pray for the success of their performances [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    What about some fancy Kabuki coloring? A book has just been published full of 76 illustrations, drawn in the style of the Edo period by the manga artist Suzuki Junko under the guidance of Ichikawa Somegor˘. You can test your coloring skills on all of them and compete with others coloring artists over the Internet. There will be a contest and the best colored drawing will be selected by Ichikawa Somegor˘ [more details].

    Pikotar˘ is one of the nicknames of comedian Kosaka Kazuhito used to portray a funny fictional singer/songwriter who fathered the Internet hit song "PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)", which went viral in 2016 in Japan. Onoe Kikugor˘ wanted to make a reference to Pikotar˘'s song in his January performance in January 2017 at the National Theatre. There was Kataoka Kamez˘ perfectly disguised as Pikotar˘ on stage in the first scene of the fourth act of "Shiranui Monogatari". For this occasion, the Kabuki program was promoted on youtube with a Edo-flavored parody of the song. Kurogo-chan, the official mascot of the National Theatre, did the dancing part while a Nagauta ensemble played a traditional version of the song. Apple, pineapple and pen were replaced by old style pen, nurisanp˘ (a lacquered stand used in shrines) and a sanp˘ (a wooden stand used in shrines). The 23rd of January, there was a big surprise as the audience got not one but two Pikotar˘, Kataoka Kamez˘ and the real Pikotar˘!

    One new poster celebrating the coming hatsubutai of Nakamura Kantar˘ III and Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘ II in February 2017 at the Kabukiza has been printed out and will be sold in the theater:

    Pictures for the opening days at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ and the National Theatre in January 2017:

    Konpy-kun, the mascot symbolizing the Konpira Kabuki, which is produced every April at the Kanamaruza, was spotted advertising for the coming April performances the 25th and the 26th of January in T˘ky˘ in Asakusa [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The Heisei Nakamuraza will be for the second time in Nagoya in June 2017. The temporary koshibai look-alike theater will be built in the precincts of the Nagoya Castle, same location as for the first time in September 2009.

    The next release (27th) in the Shinema Kabuki ("Cinema Kabuki") series will be "T˘kaid˘chű Hizakurige, which was shot live in high definition in August 2016 at the Kabukiza with Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Yaji and Ichikawa Ennosuke as Kita. It will be released all over Japan from the 3rd of June 2017.

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