NOVEMBER 2013

5 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Meijiza), 1 in Toyooka (Eirakukan), 1 tour (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Tour) and 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2013 (Kokera Otoshi Kichirei Kaomise ďkabuki)
Opening Ceremony Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Kabuto Aratame
  • Shinmotsu, Ninj˘
  • Hangan Seppuku, Shiro Akewatashi
  • Michiyuki Tabiji no Hanamuko (Ochiudo)
  • Evening

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Gion Ichiriki Jaya
  • Uchiiri, Okuniwa Sensui, Sumibeya
  • Casting

    Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘

    Comments

    8th month celebrating the opening of the new Kabukiza within a 1-year long cycle of kokera otoshi programs. The play "Kanadehon Chűshingura" (The Treasure of 47 Loyal Retainers) is the most popular in the Kabuki repertory and is known throughout the world.

  • Kabuto Aratame/Shinmotsu/Ninj˘: daimy˘ lords from around the country gather for an important ceremony in the presence of Tadayoshi, the younger brother of the Sh˘gun. Under the watchful eye of the official Moron˘ (Ichikawa Sadanji), lords En'ya Hangan (Onoe Kikugor˘) and Wakasanosuke (Nakamura Baigyoku) have been charged with making sure everything goes according to protocol. En'ya Hangan's wife Kaoyo (Nakamura Shibajaku) is asked to identify a helmet to be used in the ceremony. Moron˘ is in love with Kaoyo and tries to woo her, but Wakasanosuke stops him. In return, Moron˘ uses his position of authority to berate the young lord and Wakasanosuke decides to kill Moron˘. But the next morning at the Sh˘gun's mansion, Wakasanosuke's head retainer bribes Moron˘ to keep his master from causing an incident and although Wakasanosuke is about to attack Moron˘, the aged official groveling stops him. As a result, though, Moron˘ is frustrated and angry and vents his feelings on En'ya Hangan, especially after Hangan innocently brings him a letter in which Kaoyo refuses Moron˘'s love. Moron˘ steadily insults Hangan, who tries to ignore the pressure, but finally draws his sword and attacks. Drawing a sword in the Sh˘gun's palace is a crime punishable by death, but Moron˘ himself escapes with only a slight wound as others within the mansion hurry in to stop Hangan.
  • Hangan Seppuku/Shiro Akewatashi: emissaries from the Sh˘gun arrive at En'ya Hangan's mansion to announce that he has received the strictest penalty for his actions. He is ordered to commit ritual suicide and his household is to be disbanded. Hangan's hate for Moron˘ grows when he hears that Moron˘ has received no punishment. Hangan waits and waits for his head retainer, but he does not arrive. Finally, Hangan plunges in the blade. At that moment, his head retainer Yuranosuke (Nakamura Kichiemon) arrives from their home province. With his last breaths, Hangan gives Yuranosuke the knife he used to commit suicide and tells him to take revenge. Now that the clan has been disbanded, Hangan's men become masterless samurai. Though some urge an immediate attack on Moron˘, Yuranosuke bids them not to do anything rash. When alone in front of the closed mansion gates, though, he secretly reveals his determination that his lord will not have died in vain.
  • Ochiudo: after the death of his lord, the retainer Kanpei (Nakamura Baigyoku) and his lover, the lady-in-waiting Okaru (Nakamura Tokiz˘) flee to Okaru's home, a farmer's house in the country. Kanpei feels responsible for the events since he was having a romantic tryst and was not at his master's side at the crucial moment. He tries to commit suicide, but Okaru stops him and convinces him that they should go to her home as husband and wife and wait for the right moment for him to be reinstated.
  • Tepp˘ Watashi/Futatsudama/Kanpei Harakiri: Kanpei (Onoe Kikugor˘) lives a poor life with Okaru (Nakamura Tokiz˘) at her parents' rural home. Kanpei desperately wants to take part in the vendetta against Moron˘, but must come up with the money necessary to finance his part in it. Secretly, Okaru and her family decide that the only way to raise the money is to sell her to the pleasure quarters. On a lonely highway, a highway thief named Sadakur˘ (sho4) kills her father while he is on the way home from sealing the deal and the money is stolen. In a bizarre twist of events, Kanpei kills the robber while hunting on a dark night and finds the money. The fabric of the wallet, though, seems to prove that he has murdered his father-in-law. Kanpei commits ritual suicide to take responsibility, not only for the death of this father-in-law, but also for being absent when his lord needed him most.
  • Gion Ichiriki Jaya: Yuranosuke (Nakamura Kichiemon) spends his days and nights in the pleasure quarters of Ky˘to in an effort to make Moron˘ believe he is not planning a vendetta. His acting is so good that even men in his own group believe he has given his life up to pleasure. Moron˘ is not so easily convinced, though, and has sent spies, including a former retainer of En'ya Hangan, to find Yuranosuke's true intentions. Yuranosuke finds himself tested to the limits by the spy, and is even forced to eat meat on the anniversary of Hangan's death, a strong taboo. Okaru (Nakamura Fukusuke), now a courtesan, is also at the Ichiriki Teahouse. She catches a glimpse of a letter to Yuranosuke detailing plans for the vendetta, but he sees her and offers to buy out her contract, knowing he must kill her to keep the vendetta a secret. Okaru's brother Teraoka Heiemon (Nakamura Baigyoku), a servant in the Hangan household, has also come to the teahouse and when he hears that Yuranosuke is to buy out her contract, he realizes his true intentions. Heiemon tries to convince Okaru to let him kill her as such an act may allow him to take part in the vendetta as well. Hearing that Kanpei is now dead, Okaru agrees, but observing their loyal actions, Yuranosuke spares Okaru and allows Heiemon to join the vendetta.
  • Uchiiri/Okuniwa Sensui/Shibabeya: disguised as firemen, En'ya Hangan's retainers attack Moron˘'s mansion on a snowy night. After a fierce fight, they find Moron˘ hiding in a charcoal shed and take revenge for their lord's wrongful death. Featuring Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Kinnosuke and Nakamura Karoku in the roles of Yuranosuke, Kobayashi Heihachir˘ and Hara Goemon.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 November 2013
    Program

    Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku

  • Yukie Goroshi
  • Manjű Musume
  • H˘sho Shiai
  • Numazu
  • Adauchi
  • Casting

    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Toranosuke

    Comments

    Revival at the National Theatre in 4 acts and 7 scenes of Chikamatsu Hanji's drama "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku".

  • Igagoe: the November production of Kabuki at the National Theatre is a rare full-length performance of the revenge classic "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku". During Japan's feudal period, from time to time there were people that could not be punished due to clan loyalties and highly fragmented authority. Under certain conditions, retainers and family members were empowered to take the law into their own hands and conduct an official vendetta. Written by Chikamatsu Hanji and first presented in the Bunraku puppet theater in 1783, "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" is an epic based on a true incident in 1634 in which Watanabe Shizuma killed the murderer of his younger brother, a man named Kawai Matagor˘ at Iga Ueno, with the aid of Araki Mataemon. In the final fight, Mataemon killed several people, which has made him legendary as a master swordman celebrated in theatre, storytelling and popular novels. Shizuma's desperate search for Matagor˘ takes him throughout Japan and the success of the vendetta is due to the help he gets from others. The play focuses on the often tragic consequences of divided loyalties as people confront members of this vendetta, and is set like a journey along the T˘kaid˘ highway. Wada Yukiie (Ichimura Kakitsu) is a senior retainer of the Uesugi clan and has two children, a daughter Otani (Kataoka Takatar˘) and a son, Shizuma (Nakamura Toranosuke). Sawai Matagor˘ (Kataoka Ichiz˘) lust after Otani, the daughter of Wada Yukiie, and a precious sword belonging to the family, for which he has tempted Yukiie's son Shizuma into disgracing the family name Sawai Matagor˘ assassinates Wada Yukiie, and then flees, helped by the merchant Jűbŕ (Sakata T˘jűr˘). In the encounter, Yukiieĺs son Shizuma is wounded. Shizuma would like to avenge his fatherĺs death, but in his weakened state is unable to and his only hope is brother-in-law Karaki Masaemon (Nakamura Hashinosuke) who is married to his sister Otani. But legally, they cannot participate in the vendetta since Otani was disowned by her father. Moreover, Masaemon is on the verge of accepting an important post as fighting master to a samurai lord. In these scenes Masaemon decides to help Shizuma and must do it by renouncing all that is dear to him. Meanwhile, although the merchant Jűbŕ has protected the villainous Matagor˘, when he reaches Numazu, he finds that Heisaku (Nakamura Kanjaku), the elderly porter that he meets is actually his father, from whom he has long been separated. His sister Oyone (Nakamura Senjaku) is a former courtesan, the lover of Shizuma and desperately wishing to cure his wounds. In this scene, Jűbŕ must resolve his conflicting loyalties to Matagor˘ and his own family. Finally at Iga Ueno, Masaemon helps Shizuma to avenge the death of his father by killing Matagor˘. The production stars the top performers of the distinctive Kansai style of acting.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Meijiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2013 (Jűichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    November Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Narukami

    Mabuta no Haha

    Tomo Yakko

    Evening

    Kenuki

    Renjishi

    Gonza to Sukejű

    Casting

    Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Onoe Matsuya, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa K˘tar˘

    Comments

  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Ichikawa Ukon) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Ichikawa Emiya) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • Mabuta no Haha:
    (The Remembered Mother)
    first performed in 1931, "Mabuta no Haha" is a play by Hasegawa Shin (1884~1963), who specialized in gritty realistic representations of the lower classes in theEdo period. Banba no Chűtar˘ (Nakamura Shid˘) is a rough gangster, but has always regretted not knowing his mother (Kataoka Hidetar˘). After helping a friend and his mother, he decides to search for his own. He believes to have found her in Ohama, the mistress of a restaurant, but she refuses to acknowledge him to protect the reputation of her daughter, who is about to be married. Unable to meet his mother, he closes his eyes and tries to imagine her as the beautiful woman he remembers, not the horror of reality.
  • Tomo Yakko: a samurai footman rushes after his master in the pleasure quarters, but loses sight of him. He dances with pride in his master and enjoys his dance so much that he begins emphasizing it with vigorous foot stamping. Starring Onoe Matsuya in the role of the yakko.
  • Kenuki: in this play, which retains the light, festive atmosphere of early-period Kabuki, a princess has a mysterious ailment that makes her hair stand on end, an ailment that prevents her from carrying out her long-awaited marriage. Kumedera Danj˘ comes from the groom's household to investigate and finds a plot to take over the household when his tweezers float in mid-air. Nakamura Shid˘ stars in a play that features the bombastic aragoto style of acting.
  • 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 features Ichikawa Ukon in the role of the parent shishi and his son Ichikawa K˘tar˘ in the role of the cub.
  • Gonza to Sukejű: in this comedy by Okamoto Kid˘, two palanquin bearers constantly argue and their wives, but when they witness a murder, it changes everything in the nagaya tenement where they live. This modern play takes one of the classic stories of the wise magistrage ďoka Echizen and looks at it from the point of view of common townspeople. Starring Nakamura Shid˘ and Onoe Matsuya in the roles of Gonza and Sukejű.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Eirakukan (Toyooka)
    Dates 5 ~ 10 November 2013 (Eirakukan ďkabuki)
    Program

    Garasha

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Yayoi no Hana Asakusa Matsuri

    Casting

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

    Comments

    This is the 6th Kabuki program at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go).

  • Garasha: this modern Kabuki drama is about the life of Hosokawa Tama (1562~1600), commonly called Hosokawa Garasha (Garasha being the Japanese reading of the christian first name Garcia). She was the daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide, the wife of Hosokawa Tadaoki and a famous Christian convert. This drama was staged for the first time in September 2009 as the first 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). Starring Kataoka Ainosuke, Kamimura Kichiya and Band˘ Shinsha in the roles of Akechi Mitsuhide, Hosokawa Garasha and Hosokawa Tadaoki.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events.
  • Asakusa Matsuri: in the Edo period, there were virtuoso sets of dances with one actor changing from character to character with a series of spectacular quick changes (hengemono). This is a set of four dances, all featuring Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘ in a series of roles. It begins in the ancient past with Empress Jing˘ and her aged minister Takeuchi Sukune. It is said that the empress delayed the birth of her child, the emperor, so that she could conduct an attack on the Asian continent. Then the scene changes to the exuberant Sanja festival and shows two fishermen who discover a sacred statue in a river. Suddenly, the fishermen are possessed by the spirits of Good and Evil and dance vigorously. The scene switches to the pleasure quarters with two patrons, a sophisticated urban playboy and a clumsy unfashionable man. Finally it ends on a fantastic note with the two dancers as lion spirits.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Tour
    Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2012 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Shinpan Utazaimon (Nozaki-mura)

    Ejima Ikushima

    Casting

    Onoe Kikunosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Onoe Ukon

    Comments

    A special Autumn tour sponsored by the Sh˘chiku!

  • Nozaki-mura: a farm girl Omitsu (Onoe Kikunosuke) is busy planning her marriage to Hisamatsu (Band˘ Minosuke) who has just returned to the country after leaving his post in the city in disgrace. Suddenly Osome (Onoe Ukon) appears. She is the daughter of the rich merchant Hisamatsu served and their love affair was the cause of his disgrace. Despite the best efforts of Hisamatsu's father Kyűsaku (Band˘ Yajűr˘), the course of true love cannot be changed. Omitsu decides to sacrifice her own love and to become a nun to save the young couple who would rather die than be separated. All four of the main actors are Living National Treasures and this act shows mature Kabuki acting at its finest.
  • Ejima Ikushima: this is a rare performance of a modern Kabuki drama about the love story of Ejima (Onoe Ukon), a high-ranking lady-in-waituig during the Tokugawa era and a Kabuki actor named Ikushima Shingor˘ (Onoe Kikunosuke). Their love was forbidden according to strict social and class codes bcause of the low status of the actor in that period when the samurai class ruled supreme [more details about this affair].
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 31 October ~ 10 November 2013 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Performances
    1st Program

    Kosunoto

    Yukari no Tsuki

    2nd Program

    Amaterasu

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and the Kod˘ taiko drummers revive "Amaterasu", which was staged for the first time in May 2006 at the Minamiza [more details].

     
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