NOVEMBER 2019

5 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon, Shinbashi Enbuj˘), 2 in Kokura (Heisei Nakamuraza), 1 in Toyooka (Eirakukan) and 1 in Kumamoto (Yachiyoza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2019
Kichirei Kaomise ďkabuki
Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Togitatsu no Utare

Sekisan Yakko

Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘ (Kamiyui Shinza)

Evening

Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki (Kikubatake)

Renjishi

Ichimatsu Koz˘ no Onna

Casting

Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Takesabur˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kangyoku, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichimura Kakitsu, Band˘ Shűch˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Ichimura Hikaru, Onoe Ushinosuke

Comments

The traditional November kaomise programs at the Kabukiza, which celebrates the shűmei of Nakamura Kangyoku.

  • Togitatsu no Utare: this is a 20th century comedy originally written as one of many plays questioning the tradition of revenge plays. A skilled sword polisher named Moriyama Tatsuji (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) gets promoted to a high position in a samurai clan, but cannot stand the constant criticism of the chief retainer Hirai Ichir˘emon (ďtani Tomoemon) and he finally kills him. The man's sons, a pair of brothers, Hirai Saijir˘ (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) and Hirai Kuichir˘ (Band˘ Kamez˘), are forced by the samurai ethic to pursue their father's murderer, but as the murderer constantly flees, the brothers must continue their quest endlessly, putting their own lives on hold. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘ in the role of the priest Ryokan.
  • Sekisan Yakko: there are many dances featuring yakko, the boisterous footmen to samurai lords who accompanied their masters to the pleasure quarters or formed part of his ceremonial parade carrying ornamental spears decorated with white fringe. This particular dance is named after Seki Sanjűr˘ II, the actor who created it and features a vigorous dance with these ceremonial spears. Starring Nakamura Shikan and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Kamiyui Shinza: Shinza is a barber that goes from door to door, but at the same time, he is a villain that kidnaps Okuma, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy household, and even resists the efforts of Yatagor˘ Genshichi, the most prestigious strongman in town, to get her release. Starring Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ as Shinza, Nakamura Baishi as Okuma, Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Chűshichi, Nakamura Kaishun as Otsune, Ichimura Manjir˘ as Okaku, Ichikawa Sadanji as Ch˘bŕ and Ichikawa Danz˘ as Yatagor˘ Genshichi.
  • Kikubatake: it is a great classic of period play Kabuki originally adapted from the Bunraku puppet theatre, full of larger-than-life characters and a stage full of dazzling color. In a garden of brilliant yellow and white chrysanthemums, there is Kiichi (Nakamura Shikan), an elderly strategist working for the dictator Kiyomori, his beautiful daughter Minazuru (Nakamura Kaishun) and two footmen, the elegant young Toraz˘ (Nakamura Kangyoku) and the powerful Chienai (Nakamura Baigyoku). But in fact, Toraz˘ is a young general from the enemy side here to steal Kiichiĺs secrets of strategy. Chienai is his retainer. But Kiichi has realized why they are there and also knows that Chienai is actually his younger brother. At the same time, Minazuru has fallen deeply in love with Toraz˘. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘ as Kasahara Tankai.
  • 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 Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of the parent shishi and his son Ichikawa Somegor˘ in the role of the cub.
  • Ichimatsu Koz˘ no Onna: This is a play written by Ikenami Sh˘tar˘ in the late 1970s, set in the Edo period. The draper Jűemon (Ichikawa Danz˘) has two daughters: Ochiyo 5Nakamura Tokiz˘), by his deceased first wife, and Oyuki (Nakamura Baishi), by his second wife. Ochiyo is skilled in swordsmanship and Jűemon intends to find a husband for her but his second wife hopes that her own child Oyuki will inherit the business instead, and so husband and wife are at odds. Thinking that if she leaves her father will give up his idea, Ochiyo goes to live at the house of her former wet nurse Okane (Kataoka Hidetar˘). Here she meets a pickpocket called Matakichi (Nakamura Ganjir˘) with whom she becomes intimate. Her fellow swordsman Nagai Yogor˘ (Nakamura Shikan) promises to mediate between them and Ochiyo's father. Two years later, the now married couple run a successful haberdashery. But when Ochiyo hears that Matakichi has started pickpocketing again, she ....
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 November 2019
    Program

    Kok˘ no Yűshi Musume Kagekiyo (Hyűgajima)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Tanenosuke, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘

    Comments

    "Kok˘ no Yűshi Musume Kagekiyo" mixes elements from two puppet theater dramas about the warrior Taira no Kagekiyo (played by Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon):

  • "Baibutsuden Bandai no Ishizue", written by Nishizawa Ippű and Tanaka Senryű, premiered in ďsaka in the 10th lunar month of 1725.
  • "Musume Kagekiyo Yashima Nikki", written by Wakatake Fuemi, Kokuz˘su and Nakamura Akei, premiered in ďsaka at the Toyotakeza in the 10th lunar month of 1764.
  • Kok˘ no Yűshi Musume Kagekiyo: Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo is famous in Japan as a super hero, samurai of the Heike clan, who was defeated by his arch-enemies from the Genji clan while the national civil Genpei War occurred in late-Heian period. The war resulted in overthrow of the Heike clan and enactment of the Kamakura shogunate with Minamoto no Yoritomo at the head in 1192. According to legend, Kagekiyo was captured after the battle of Dan-no-Ura in 1185 and became a blind and broken man who starved to death in 1196. He mooned over a desire to retaliate against the Genji clan until the very end of his life. As such Kagekiyo entered the hall of fame of Japanese literature, appearing in fictionalized epic The Tale of Heike (Heike Monogatari), specifically in its 11th chapter, the section named The Dropped Bow, compiled prior to 1330. Since then, Kagekiyo became a highly appreciated sympathetic folk hero character, adapted in countless theatrical plays collectively called the ôKagekiyo piecesö. One of the most famous scenes of the Kagekiyo pieces takes place in Hyuga Island, where Kagekiyo was exiled. ôThe Hyűga Islandö is also the subtitle of this November's Kabuki performance in the National Theatre of Japan, staged by Kabuki star Nakamura Kichiemon who was designated as a Living National Treasure. November's show draws on several Kagekiyo pieces, focusing on Kagekiyo's strong desire for vengeance, his frustration at being captured during a memorial service for the Great Buddha (this scene is staged after more than 100 years), and finally being praised by his arch-enemy Yoritomo (the leader of the Genji clan) for his loyalty to the Heike Clan. Yoritomo actually wants Kagekiyo to become his loyal vassal. Yoritomo tries to resolve Kagekiyo's grudge. Kagekiyo refuses this in spite of Yoritomo's good will and gouges his eyes to prove that he would never retaliate. Kagekiyo lives as an exile on the Hyűga Island (now Miyazaki Prefecture). Then we can learn about Kagekiyo's daughter Itotaki, taken as prostitute in Hanabishiya brothel at Suruga (now Shizuoka Prefecture) who is trying to get money to restore her father to his social position. She travels far away from Suruga to Hyűga Island. There Itotaki urges Kagekiyo to get an official rank, but the old, hard-nosed man refuses to ever conjoin with Yoritomo. We can see the deep love of Itotaki toward her father, which became unfulfilled and unrequited as the tragedy of Kagekiyo goes on. The drama of Kagekiyo and his loving daughter is very fitting for Japan's ephemeral autumn.
  • Courtesy of Petr Holř, Adjunct Researcher, The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University

    Heisei Nakamuraza (Kokura)
    Dates 1 ~ 26 November 2019
    MatinÚe

    Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi (Tonbŕ Sumika)

    Omatsuri

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Fűin Giri)

    Evening

    Ogasawara Shorei no Oku no Te

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Kamenoj˘

    Comments

    The Heisei Nakamuraza is in Kitakyűshű in Fukuoka Prefecture. First time since the end of the Heisei era and first time in Kyűshű! The temporary koshibai look-alike theater is built in the precincts of the Kokura Castle. These performances celebrate the 60th anniversary of the reconstructiojn of the keep of this castle in 1959.

  • Tonbŕ Sumika: this play was written by Hiraga Gennai, an Edo inventor, explorer and writer of comic fiction. Young Ofune is the obedient daughter of her evil father Tonbŕ, the keeper of a river crossing. She meets and falls in love with a young fugitive. Unfortunately, her father wants to capture the fugitive for a reward and Ofune can only save his life by sacrificing her own. Starring Nakamura Shichinosuke and Band˘ Yajűr˘ in the roles of Ofune and Tonbŕ.
  • Omatsuri: Nakamura Kankur˘ as a gallant fireman boss at a festival telling a rueful tale of failure in love and showing the vigorous work songs of firefighters.
  • Fűin Giri:
    (Breaking the Seals)
    In the pleasure quarters, the most important possessions were money and reputation. In danger of losing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa, the money courier Kameya Chűbŕ breaks the seals on a package of money entrusted to him after being taunted by a rival, even though the use of such money is punishable by death. Starring Nakamura Shid˘ as Chűbŕ, Nakamura Shichinosuke as Umegawa, Nakamura Kankur˘ as Chűbŕ's treacherous friend Tanbaya Hachiemon, Kataoka Kamez˘ as Tsuchiya Jiemon and Nakamura Kamenoj˘ as Oen, the proprietress of the teahouse.
  • Ogasawara S˘d˘:
    (The Troubles in the Ogasawara Clan)
    This play is based on a true incident in Kyűshű in which the head retainer of a clan gained great power and tried to take over. It was dramatized in the late 19th century in the showy, theatrical style of Kamigata Kabuki. It takes the sober story of the inner workings of a samurai clan and combines them with the scheming of a sexy geisha who has become the lover of a lord, and a magical fox who takes the form of a samurai footman to repay the lord for saving his life. This play was revived in recent years to showcase both this style of Kabuki and the talents of young stars and promises to be an exciting experience of Kabuki. Featuring Band˘ Yajűr˘ (Ogasawara T˘t˘mi-no-Kami), Nakamura Kankur˘ (Okada Ry˘suke, Inugami Hy˘bu), Nakamura Shid˘ (Ogasawara Haito, the yakko Kikuhei, in reality the fox of Mt. My˘jin), Nakamura Shichinosuke (Odai-no-Kata, Ry˘suke's wife Okano) and Kataoka Kamez˘ (Ogasawara Buzen-no-Kami).
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 6 October ~ 25 November 2019
    SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando
    Super Kabuki II
    Program

    Shinpan Oguri

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Shingo, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Ichimura Takematsu, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Ichikawa Ukon, Asano Kazuyuki, Kashima Noritoshi, Ishibashi Sh˘ji, Shimomura Ao, Ishiguro Hideo, Takahashi Y˘

    Comments

    The SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando drama "Shinpan Oguri" is a revised version of 1991 SűpÔ Kabuki drama "Oguri".

  • Shinpan Oguri:
    (Oguri, a New Version)
    Oguri Hangan (alternatively Ichikawa Ennosuke or Nakamura Hayato) is the heaven-sent child of Vaisravana, a good-looking youth and a master of the martial arts and horsemanship. He comes across Princess Terute who lives in Sagami Province. They fall in love and pledge their troth. However, this is against the law and he is killed by her father. Oguri comes before Enma Dai˘, the King of Hell, who sends him back to the world with his face disfigured and his limbs wasted away as a punishment for his self-indulgence and refusal to take notice of others. Totally disfigured, he cannot walk, and makes his way to Kumano Shrine to be cured, sitting in a cart drawn by volunteers. On the way, fatefully, he meets Princess Terute again but she does not notice him. Will he be able to return to his original appearance? What will become of his love for her?
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Eirakukan (Toyooka)
    Dates 4 ~ 10 November 2019
    Eirakukan ďkabuki
    Eirakukan Grand Kabuki
    Program

    D˘j˘ji Gonichi no Kane Kuy˘

    Odoke Niwaka Ataka no Shinseki

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Sawamura S˘nosuke

    Comments

    This is the 12th Kabuki program at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go). The first item in the program is a newly-created Kabuki d˘j˘jimono drama. The second item is Kawatake Mokuami's rarely-staged dance-drama "Odoke Niwaka Ataka no Shinseki", which was staged for the last time July 1993 at the Nakaza.

    Yachiyoza (Kumamoto)
    Dates 30 October ~ 4 November 2019
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Eiz˘ x Buy˘ K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Image and Dance Performances
    Program

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Sagi Musume

    Y˘kihi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ at the Yachiyoza, a traditional wooden-built theater. There will be a mix of video projection (with video sequences coming from the high-quality Shinema Kabuki, "Cinema Kabuki") and real dancing on stage.

  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by stage announcements, usually lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. This month at the Yachiyoza, it is a stage speech done by Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Sagi Musume: one of the most famous dances in Kabuki, this figure is familiar through pictures and Japanese dolls. A beautiful young woman all in white appears in the snowy landscape. She dances lightly of love, but then reveals that she is the spirit of a bird, a magnificent heron that struggles wounded through a snowstorm. Starring onnagata superstar Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in a dance that he has made famous through performances around the world.
  • Y˘kihi: this is a rare performance of a play by Osaragi Jir˘, the novelist most famous for the Robin Hood-like character Kurama Tengű. The play was originally written for a Shinpa troupe and dramatizes one of the most famous incidents in Chinese history. Yang Guifei (Y˘kihi in Japanese) was a beautiful woman from a humble family who became the mistress of the Tang emperor. His love for her was such that the entire empire nearly crumbled. The play focuses on Y˘kihi's rise and her relationship with the young court official that loves her, first brings her to the emperor and serves her faithfully as a court eunuch. Finally he begs to be the one to kill her when rebellion and a coup d'etat threaten the empire. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in the role of Y˘kihi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 9 ~ 25 November 2019
    ABKAI2019
    Ebikai 2019
    Program

    Daiissh˘ FINAL ~ SANEMORI

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Baika

    Comments

    Fifth edition of the ABKAI (Ebikai in Japanese) and first chapter (daiissh˘ in Japanese) of the final round of ABKAI performances, a gala for the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘, who performs in a newly-created drama based on the classic "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki" and the story of the warrior Sait˘ no Sanemori.

     
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