NOVEMBER 2008

6 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Shinbashi Enbuj˘, Heisei Nakamuraza), 1 in Kumamoto (Yachiyoza), 1 in Shimonoseki (Shimonoseki Shimin Kaikan) and 1 tour (Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2008 (Kichirei Kaomise K˘gy˘ Kabuki)
MatinÚe

Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu

Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

Evening

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

Funa Benkei

Komochi Yamanba
(Yaegiri Kuruwa Banashi)

Casting

Kataoka Nizaemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Sawamura Tanosuke, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura Baishi, Kataoka Sennosuke

Comments

  • Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu: this play is a blend of "Chűshingura" with its tangled stories of loyalties and masterless samurai that ultimately avenge their master's death and the story of "Godairiki", about the love between a geisha named Koman and the samurai Satsuma Gengobŕ which is spoiled by the jealousy of a man named Sangor˘. Sasano Sangor˘ (Onoe Kikugor˘) is married to Koman (Nakamura Tokiz˘), but she becomes a geisha to help him to raise the money to help his lord, a man that he has never seen. In the pleasure quarters the samurai Satsuma Gengobŕ (Kataoka Nizaemon) falls in love with her and spends huge sums of money on her, despite the fact that he needs money for the sake of the "Chűshingura" vendetta. Finally Gengobŕ gets money and Sangor˘ and Koman decide to defraud him of the money, which results in a massacre in the pleasure quarters. Ironically, Gengobŕ is none other than the unknown master for whom Sangor˘ was trying to raise money. This story of passion and greed takes place against the background of inexplicable fate and the strict requirements of samurai society and adds ample doses of sardonic humor, the perfect play for our times.
  • Yoshidaya: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. Izaemon, the son of a wealthy family, has been disowned for loving a courtesan and now has nothing but a paper kimono. This role is a classic example of the wagoto or soft style of acting that is one of the representative acting styles of the Kansai region. Sakata T˘jűr˘ stars as Izaemon, a role that is a specialty of his family's Kansai acting style. Featuring Nakamura Kaishun as his lover, the courtesan Yűgiri, Kataoka Gat˘ and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse.
  • Terakoya: Genz˘ and his wife Tonami run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo mourn their dead son. Starring Kataoka Nizaemon as Matsu˘maru, Nakamura Baigyoku as Genz˘, Sakata T˘jűr˘ as Chiyo and Nakamura Kaishun as Tonami.
  • Funa Benkei: in this powerful dance-drama, which is based on the well-known play of the same title, Onoe Kikugor˘ performs two strikingly different characters, Yoshitsune's mistress Shizuka and the ghost of Taira no Tomomori. The first part of the drama shows Benkei (Ichikawa Sadanji) persuading Yoshitsune (Nakamura Tomijűr˘) to part with Shizuka. Then, when Yoshitsune and his retinue embark, the ghost of Tomomori, believed to have perished in the battle of Dan-no-Ura between the Minamoto and Taira forces in 1185, emerges from the raging waves and begins to attack Yoshitsune. Overpowered by Benkei's fervent prayer, Tomomori's ghost finally retreats in agony.
  • Yaegiri Kuruwa Banashi: Yamanba, or the mountain hag, has been celebrated for centuries in traditional Japanese dance and theater. In the Kabuki version, Yamanba becomes a beautiful woman, a courtesan who becomes the wife of the samurai Tokiyuki and retreats to the mountains to miraculously give birth to the powerful warrior Sakata Kintoki. This play was originally by the great Chikamatsu Monzaemon and is a classic of Kansai style Kabuki. Nakamura Tokiz˘ appears as the courtesan who tells the humorous story of a fight between courtesans over a handsome man and then mysteriously becomes pregnant by the spirit of her husband. Starring Nakamura Baigyoku and Nakamura Kinnosuke in the roles of Yaegiri's husband Sakata Tokiyuki and the villain ďta Jűr˘. This drama celebrates the 49th anniversary (50th memorial service) of the passing away of Nakamura Tokiz˘ III, the grandfather of Nakamura Tokiz˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide website
    Sasaguchi Rei for "Funa Benkei"

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 November 2008
    Program

    Edo no Yami Ayashi no Kagizume
    (Akechi Kogor˘ to Ningenhy˘)

    Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Shun'en, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura Tetsunosuke

    Comments

    For the very first time in Kabuki history, a novel of Edogawa Rampo is adapted for Kabuki. This play, which is staged at the National Theatre, is based on "The Were-Panther" ("Ningenhy˘" in japanese), a novel with the detective Akechi Kogor˘, which was published in 1934. Ichikawa Somegor˘ performs a spectacular chűnori, his body attached to a giant kite!

  • Edo no Yami Ayashi no Kagizume: there are few writers who have been more popular than Edogawa Rampo (1894~1965). His pen name is based on Edgar Allan Poe and he introduced detective stories to Japan with his super detective Akechi Kogor˘. The writer also was a master of the grotesque and erotic and created characters with strange passions, masquerading as chairs to get close to the beloved, trying to preserve the bodies of beautiful men and women by turning them into perfect looking mannequins. The November 2008 production at the National Theatre is a very unusual event, a new Kabuki play that dramatizes one of Edogawa Rampoĺs most haunting and popular novels, "Ningen Hy˘" ("The Were-Panther") about a man who has the lustful and bloodthirsty tastes of an animal and even resembles a leopard, with glittering eyes, huge mouth and sharp teeth. He stalks the women that are nearest and dearest to Kamiya Yoshinosuke and comes to battle the master detective Akechi Kogor˘. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Akechi Kogor˘ and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as the villain.
  • Heisei Nakamuraza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2008
    MatinÚe

    Sumidagawa Gonichi no Omokage (H˘kaib˘)

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Sasano Takashi

    Comments

    Second month of production for the Heisei Nakamuraza, which was built in October 2008 in the precincts of the Sens˘ji Temple in the popular district of Asakusa. Nakamura Kanzabur˘ and his troupe will stage a classic of the Nakamuraya guild:

  • H˘kaib˘: a full-length performance of a comic play featuring the antics of an evil begging priest named H˘kaib˘. In this case, it is a special version of this Kabuki classic staged by modern theater director Kushida Kazuyoshi. H˘kaib˘ (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) is in love with the beautiful, young Okumi (Nakamura Senjaku) who is herself in love with Y˘suke, a servant at her father's store. Y˘suke (Nakamura Kantar˘) is actually an aristocrat searching for the lost treasure of his family. He regains possession only to have the scroll stolen by H˘kaib˘. Y˘suke accepts Okumi's love, but is also pursued by Princess Nowake (Nakamura Shichinosuke), his true fiancee. In a grim but humorous scene at a graveyard, everyone tries to get Okumi and the scroll. But H˘kaib˘ ends up killing Princess Nowake and is killed himself before he can enjoy the fruits of his villainy. The last scene, "Futa Omote Mizu ni Terutsuki", is one of the great classics of dance and is often performed separately. Y˘suke and Okumi try to run off together only to find a strange figure that looks exactly like Okumi. Y˘suke tries to find out which is the real Okumi. In fact, in a virtuoso turn for the star actor who plays this double role, the mysterious figure is made up of the combined spirits of H˘kaib˘ and Princess Nowake, each questing for love even after death.
  • Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2008 (Hanagata Kabuki)
    MatinÚe

    Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba

  • Ai no Yama/Yadoya/Okkake/Jiz˘-mae/Futami-ga-Ura
  • Aburaya/Okuniwa
  • Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshinoyama)

    Evening

    Meiboku Sendai Hagi

  • Hanamizubashi
  • Goten
  • Yukashita
  • Taiketsu
  • Ninj˘
  • Ryűko

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Shid˘

    Comments

  • Ise Ondo: this play is famous for its classical depiction of a woman who must pretend to reject her lover for his sake and for the beautiful and gruesome dance-like killing scene at the end, done to the music of the Ise pleasure quarters. Fukuoka Mitsugi (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), a young apprentice at the holy Shrine of Ise tries to help find the stolen treasured sword of his clan out of duty to his former lord. Mitsugi has the sword in his possession, but must now find the certificate of authentication and in order to get it for him, Okon (???), a courtesan who is in love with Mitsugi must pretend to forsake Mitsugi. But he believes that she has truly betrayed him and further angered by the humiliating accusations of Manno (???), the head maid of the Aburaya brothel, Mitsugi inadvertently draws the sword, said to be cursed, and the rampage begins. Featuring Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Shid˘ as the cook Kisuke and the yakko Rimpei.
  • Yoshinoyama: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring Onoe Sh˘roku as Tadanobu, with Onoe Kikunosuke as Shizuka.
  • Meiboku Sendai Hagi: this play is about the attempt to take over one of the most famous samurai households in the Edo period, a scandal that caused a sensation in its day.
  • Hanamizubashi: the daimy˘ Yorikane (???) has fallen in love with a courtesan and has neglected responsibilities, causing high ranking retainers to plot the takeover of his domain. Returning from the pleasure quarters, he is attacked at Hanamizu Bridge, but is able to escape thanks to the help of a sum˘ wrestler retainer.
  • Take-no-Ma/Goten: Masaoka (Onoe Kikunosuke), a loyal maidservant, is taking care of the lord's young heir. Afraid he will be poisoned, she refuses to let anyone see him who might try to assassinate him. She even fixes his meal in her quarters using her delicate tea ceremony implements to cook rice. The plotting faction does not give up, though, and sends poison in the form of candy as a present from the Sh˘gun. Masaoka's son sacrifices his life for the young lord by eating the poisoned candy, and when he is killed, she thinks only of protecting her lord. Her fierce devotion to duty convinces the plotters that she is on their side. Masaoka's actions help save the young lord, and only when she is alone can she grieve for her son. With Kataoka Ainosuke as the villainous Yashio, a court woman who kills Masaokaĺs son.
  • Yukashita: Another faithful retainer Otokonosuke (Nakamura Shid˘), stands guard underneath the room, but the evil Nikki Danj˘ (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) appears as a giant rat, but then slips away, walking calmly through the clouds.
  • Taiketsu/Ninj˘: the elderly Geki (???), a faithful retainer, brings charges against Danj˘. Danj˘ cleverly protests his innocence, but his lies are seen through by the wise judge Katsumoto (Onoe Sh˘roku). Condemned to death, Nikki tries to take his revenge on Geki.
  • Ryűko: this is a modern piece created after the end of World War II on the universal theme of the unending fight between the dragon, the greatest power in the sky, and the tiger, the greatest power on land. Starring Kataoka Ainosuke as the spirit of the dragon and Nakamura Shid˘ as the spirit of the tiger.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour
    Dates 30 October ~ 22 November 2008
    Program

    Shin Sarayashiki Tsuki no Amagasa
    (Sakanaya S˘gor˘)

    Meisaku Hidari Kogatana (Ky˘ Ningy˘)

    Casting

    Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Band˘ Minosuke

    Comments

  • Sakanaya S˘gor˘: S˘gor˘ (Band˘ Mitsugor˘), a fish seller, has taken a vow to not drink, but when he learns about his sister's unjust murder at the hands of a daimy˘ lord, a death that they were told was execution for her wrongdoing, he starts to drink again. Drunk, he storms into the lord's mansion to seek an apology. This play by Meiji playwright Kawatake Mokuami is known for its realistic portrayal of members of the common class during the Edo period and highlights their fierce pride and frustration at the privileges of the dominant samurai class.
  • Ky˘ Ningy˘: this dance tells the story of the woodcarver Hidari Jingor˘, famous for the sleeping cat on the great gate of Nikk˘. He brings a statue of a beautiful courtesan to life and then there is a spectacular fight scene with a variety of carpenterĺs tools. Starring Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Jingor˘ and Nakamura Shibajaku as the doll of the courtesan.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Yachiyoza (Kumamoto)
    Dates 6 ~ 16 November 2008
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ at the Yachiyoza, a traditional wooden-built theater.

  • Kagami Jishi: one of the most important dances for onnagata female role specialists and is an audience favorite. The maidservant Yayoi performs an auspicious lion dance for the Sh˘gun in his opulent palace, but she gradually finds herself under the control of the lion spirit. In the second half of the dance, the lion spirit itself appears and performs its crazed dance among peonies and fluttering butterflies. Starring Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shimonoseki Shimin Kaikan
    (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Dates 4 November 2008
    Program

    Yuki

    Aoi-no-Ue

    Kane no Misaki

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ at the Shimonoseki Shimin Kaikan (Shimonoseki xxx).

     
    Search this site powered by FreeFind
      Site map | Disclaimer
    Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News