NOVEMBER 2010

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘, National Theatre, Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada), 2 in ďsaka (Heisei Nakamuraza), 1 in Kumamoto (Yachiyoza), 1 in Toyooka (Eirakukan), 2 shows in Nagoya (Misonoza), 1 in Naruto (ďtsuka Museum of Art) and 1 tour (Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour)!

Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2010 (Kichirei Kaomise ďkabuki)
MatinÚe

Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana
t˘shi ky˘gen production including the famous "K˘chiyama" and "Naozamurai"

Evening

Hirakana Seisuiki (Sakaro)

Ume no Sakae

Miyakodori Nagare no Shiranami

Casting

Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Danshir˘

Comments

  • Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana: the matinee program is a full-length performance of "Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana" by Kawatake Mokuami. The play is full of the lush, dark atmosphere of late Kabuki and dramatizes the story of the Tenp˘ Rokkasen, a gang of thieves made famous in popular novels. The play is extremely famous and performed often, but usually is presented in versions focusing on either K˘chiyama (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), the priest who is the head of the gang, or handsome young Naozamurai (Onoe Kikugor˘). This month will present both of these sections together, along with other seldom performed scenes. Namiji, the daughter of a widow running a pawnshop has been favored by a samurai lord and has become a lady-in-waiting in his mansion. But the widow has not heard from her daughter in a long time and has heard strange rumors that the lord is trying to seduce her and is keeping her locked up until she complies with his wishes. The desperate widow asks for the help of K˘chiyama S˘shun, a priest who conducts tea ceremonies inside the Sh˘gun's palace but who actually is the leader of a gang of thieves. K˘chiyama takes advantage of his shaved head to masquerade as a priestly emissary from the Sh˘gun. He forces the lord to let Namiji go and also extorts a hefty bribe from the lord as well. But as K˘chiyama is leaving, one of the chief retainers of the mansion who is in fact, plotting against the lord himself, recognizes K˘chiyama. Suddenly the measured cadences of the priest change to the rough speech of an Edo thief. He sits in the entrance hall, daring them to throw him out, exposing the stupidity and villainy of the lord to the world. Finally K˘chiyama leaves triumphantly, calling them all a pack of idiots. The masterless samurai named Naozamurai belongs to a gang of thieves. The police are hot on his trail, but before he leaves Edo, he meets his lover, the courtesan Michitose (Nakamura Tokiz˘) for one final time. Their meeting is the highlight of this act and this bittersweet reunion is accompanied by one of the most famous pieces of romantic Kiyomoto music. Featuring also Ichikawa Danshir˘ and Nakamura Kinnosuke.
  • Sakaro:
    (The Rise and Fall of the Heike Clan - Reverse Rowing)
    A period play taken from the Bunraku puppet theater which combines a historical tale with the daily life of commoners. Matsuemon (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) has married into the family of a country boatman. Having learned the special rowing skills of his father-in-law, he is invited to transport the Genji general Yoshitsune. But Matsuemon is actually the warrior Higuchi Kanemitsu, a leading retainer of a general killed by Yoshitsune and he sees this as a perfect opportunity to take his revenge. Before he can put his plan into action, though, his identity is discovered and he is captured in a spectacular battle on sea and land. Featuring Ichikawa Danshir˘, Nakamura Kaishun and Nakamura Tomijűr˘ in the roles of Gonshir˘, Ofude and Hatakeyama Shigetada.
  • Ume no Sakae:
    The Splendor of the Plum Blossoms
    This short, auspicious dance evokes the atmosphere of the New Years with the happy celebrations and beautiful sight of the bush warbler singing in the red and white plum blossoms as the snows of winter begin to melt. Starring Nakamura Shikan.
  • Miyakodori Nagare no Shiranami: this is a rare performance of a play by Kawatake Mokuami showing a thief who pretends to be blind in the dark and steals for the sake of his lord, but accidentally kills his lordĺs son, a boy disguised as a beautiful courtesan. The play is full of the decadent, erotic atmosphere of the late Edo period. Starring Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 November 2010
    Program

    Kokusen'ya Gassen

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kanjaku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura T˘z˘, u3, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Matsue

    Comments

  • Kokusen'ya Gassen: originally written for the Bunraku puppet theatre, it is oldest period play in the puppet repertory with a continuous performance tradition. This exotic play on a grand scale by Chikamatsu Monzaemon is based on the true story of a warrior from Japan, who fought in China to restore the Ming dynasty after its fall. Wat˘nai (whose name means "neither Chinese nor Japanese") is the son of a Chinese official and a Japanese mother. This performance features the touching drama as Wat˘nai (Ichikawa Danjűr˘) goes with his parents to try to enlist the aid of his sister Kinsh˘jo (Sakata T˘jűr˘), now the wife of the powerful Chinese general Kanki (Nakamura Baigyoku). She eventually agrees, but can only do so by making a terrible sacrifice. This full-length performance also features very rarely performed scenes showing the Chinese Ming dynasty being overtaken by tribes from the north and the call for help, a call that goes to Japan.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Heisei Nakamuraza (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 November 2010
    MatinÚe

    Sumidagawa Gonichi no Omokage (H˘kaib˘)

    Second program

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Otai Jaya
  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Tajima-ch˘/Yane Ue
  • Casting

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

    Comments

    The Heisei Nakamuraza is in ďsaka for the second time. This time, it is a 2-month project, with four different programs (2 in October and 2 in November).

  • 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. Featuring also Nakamura Hashinosuke as Jinzabur˘.
  • Natsu Matsuri: this grisly murder story became a smashing hit when it was first performed in 1745 because of the chivalrous spirit of the many ďsaka characters appearing in this story, the contrast between a brutal murder and the jovial mood of a summer festival, and the splashing of real water used on the stage. Danshichi, a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ and the older Sabu. Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu heroically helps out, in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji and, in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby. This program stars Nakamura Kanzabur˘ as Danshichi, with Nakamura Hashinosuke and Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Tokubŕ and Sabu.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour
    Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2010 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Shűki K˘en)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Autumn Public Performances
    Program

    Urashima

    Dorob˘ to Wakatono

    Migawari Zazen

    Casting

    Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Band˘ Minosuke

    Comments

  • Urashima: This dance depicts a Japanese folk tale of a young man named Urashima (Band˘ Minosuke) who is invited to the Dragon Palace under the sea for saving a turtle's life. When Urashima returns back home, he finds that many year had elapsed during the few days he spent at the Dragon Palace. When he opens up the gift boxes, lovingly thinking of the Princess of the Sea who had given them to him, a puff of smoke appears and Urashima turns into an old man with silvery white hair. This dance utilizes many beautiful melodies and brilliantly expresses Urashima's feeling at the moment of change.
  • Dorob˘ to Wakatono:
    (The Thief and the Samurai Lord)
    This is a new play that is a dramatization of a story by popular historical novelist Yamamoto Shűgor˘. It shows a surprising encounter between a thief and a high-ranking samurai lord. Starring Onoe Sh˘roku as the thief and Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as the samurai lord.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Onoe Sh˘roku). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Band˘ Kamesabur˘) take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide website
    Nihon Buy˘ for "Urashima"

    Yachiyoza (Kumamoto)
    Dates 31 October ~ 15 November 2010
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Hagoromo

    Yoshinoyama

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shid˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ at the Yachiyoza, a traditional wooden-built theater, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of its opening.

  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. In this case, Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Nakamura Shid˘ talk about the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Yachiyoza.
  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with Nakamura Shid˘ as the fisherman and Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as the angel.
  • 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 Nakamura Shid˘ as Tadanobu, with Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as Shizuka.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Eirakukan (Toyooka)
    Dates 5 ~ 10 November 2010 (Eirakukan ďkabuki)
    Program

    Chikagoro Kawara no Tatehiki (Horikawa)

    K˘j˘

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi)

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘

    Comments

    This is the third Kabuki program at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go).

  • Horikawa: This is a very rare performance of a play that was originally written for the puppet theatre. The courtesan Oshun and Denbŕ are lovers, but after Denbŕ ends up killing his rival in love, they decide that they must die together. They flee to her family home, where her blind mother teaches music and her older brother Yojir˘ is a performer with a trained monkey. Finally, moved by the depth of love between Oshun and Denbŕ, her mother and brother sadly agree that they have no choice but to die and in the final bittersweet moment, Yojir˘ says farewell with a cheerful monkey dance, an auspicious dance to celebrate the wedding of Oshun and Denbŕ. Starring Kamimura Kichiya as Oshun, Band˘ Shinsha as Denbŕ and Kataoka Ainosuke as Yojir˘.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events.
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi: 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 Kataoka Ainosuke as Tadanobu, with Nakamura Kazutar˘ as Shizuka and Band˘ Shinsha as Hayami no T˘ta.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 28 ~ 29 November 2010
    MatinÚe

    Omatsuri

    Bukaku Setsugekka

  • Sakura
  • Matsumushi
  • Yuki Daruma Goyomi
  • Adayume

    Evening

    Fuji Musume

    Migawari Zazen

    Renjishi

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Tsurumatsu

    Comments

    A 2-days Buy˘ program, which commemorates the 24th anniversary (23rd memorial service) of the passing away of Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII.

  • Omatsuri: Nakamura Kantar˘ as a gallant fireman boss at a festival telling a rueful tale of failure in love and showing the vigorous work songs of firefighters.
  • Bukaku Setsugekka: a modern series of dances featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke as the spirit of the cherry blossoms ("Sakura"), Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Tsurumatsu as autumn insects under the full moon ("Matsumushi") and Nakamura Kanzabur˘ as a snowman ("Yuki Daruma Goyomi").
  • Adayume:
    (A False Dream)
    Nakamura Kanzabur˘ plays a badger in love with the beautiful courtesan Miyuki (Nakamura Shichinosuke) in the Shimabara pleasure quarters in Ky˘to. In order to woo her, the badger transforms into the dance teacher (Nakamura Kantar˘) that Miyuki loves, in a role originally created for Nakamura Kanzabur˘'s father Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII.
  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Band˘ Yajűr˘). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Kataoka Kamez˘) take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
  • Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes. The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong. This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son. This performance is unusual because it features 2 cubs instead of one, starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ in the role of the parent shishi and his two sons, Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke, in the roles of the cubs.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide website
    Sasaguchi Rei for "Adayume"

    ďtsuka Museum of Art (Naruto)
    Dates 13 ~ 14 November 2010 (Sistine Kabuki)
    Program

    Susanoo

    Casting

    Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘

    Comments

    Second edition of the Sistine Kabuki, a Kabuki program within the Sistine Hall of the ďtsuka Museum of Art, which is located in the city of Naruto (Tokushima prefecture). Inside this museum, there are more than 1,000 replicas of priceless masterpieces of Western art, from ancient murals to modern paintings, which are reproduced in ceramic to their original size. The Sistine Hall is of course a "reproduction" of the Vatican Sistine Chapel.

  • Susanoo: this drama is a rare example of a story from ancient Japanese mythology in a puppet play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon adapted for the Kabuki theater. As part of an annual ritual, Princess Inada has been chosen to be sacrificed to a fierce serpent that lives in the mountains of Izumo. The serpent arrives in the guise of a beautiful princess, but before it can attack it is attracted to eight jars full of sake. The jars are a trap planted by the god Susanoo, who confronts the beast in its true form as an eight-headed serpent, to save the princess. Starring Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha and Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the roles of Princess Iwanaga, Susanoo and Princess Inada.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 27 November 2010
    Program

    Shibuya Konn˘maru Densetsu

    Casting

    Ichikawa Somegor˘

    Comments

    A newly-created Kabuki dance to celebrate the opening of the Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada, a newly-built Cultural Center in the district of Shibuya in T˘ky˘, which opened the 21st of November 2010.

     
    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