OCTOBER 2007

2 shows in Nagoya (Misonoza) and 7 in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Mitsukoshi Gekij˘, Shinbashi Enbuj˘, Zenshinza Gekij˘, NHK Hall)!

Misonoza (Nagoya)
Dates 1 ~ 25 October 2007 (Kichirei Kaomise K˘gy˘ Kabuki)
MatinÚe

Kenuki

Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame (Kasane)

Gonza to Sukejű

Evening

Narukami

Dattan

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
(Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

Casting

Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku

Comments

The first kaomise of the year and the 43rd kaomise at the Misonoza. A great program, which includes two masterpieces from the Kabuki Jűhachiban ("Kenuki" and "Narukami").

  • 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. Onoe Sh˘roku stars in a play that features the bombastic aragoto style of acting that is a specialty of his family.
  • Kasane: one can never escape past evils. Yoemon is fleeing to the countryside, but Kasane, the woman he abandoned, refuses to let him go. She catches up with him at a lonely river bank. A skull stabbed with a scythe appears and Kasane is possessed by its spirit, actually the spirit of her dead father, and her face suddenly becomes disfigured. She pours out her feelings of jealousy and resentment and Yoemon kills Kasane, but even after her death, he cannot escape her vengeful spirit. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as Kasane and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Yoemon.
  • 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 Ichikawa Danjűr˘ and Onoe Kikugor˘ in the roles of Gonza and Sukejű.
  • 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 Danjűr˘) 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 (Onoe Kikunosuke) 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.
  • Dattan: this is an evocative dance, that takes its name from a Buddhist rite held every March at T˘daiji Temple in Nara. The story is about a monk yearning for a woman he left behind. Featuring Onoe Kikugor˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura") features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum. This play ends with a spectacular chűnori. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as the fox Tadanobu.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 October 2007 (Geijutsusai Jűgatsu ďkabuki)
    MatinÚe

    Akai Jinbaori

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai

  • Fűin Giri
  • Ninokuchi-mura
  • Hagoromo

    Evening

    Kaidan Botan D˘r˘

    Yakko D˘j˘ji

    Casting

    Kataoka Nizaemon, Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘

    Comments

  • Akai Jinbaori: the modern playwright Kinoshita Junji (1914~2006) is known for his modern dances and plays based on Japanese folk stories. This particular play shows a local magistrate who is inordinately proud of his red battle jacket, until his pride gets a few hard shocks. Starring Nakamura Kanjaku as the magistrate, with Nakamura Kinnosuke and Kataoka Takatar˘.
  • Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai:
    (The Courier of Love on the Yamato Highway)
    The courtesan Umegawa and money courier Chűbŕ are characters in one of the most famous plays by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, which is also a representative work in the distinctive Kansai style of acting. This program features some of the top Kansai actors in the two most famous acts of the play. Starring Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ as Chűbŕ, Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Umegawa, Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Chűbŕ's treacherous friend Tanbaya Hachiemon, Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Oen, the proprietress of the teahouse and Kataoka Gat˘ as Chűbŕ's father Magoemon.
  • 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 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.
  • Ninokuchi-mura:
    (Ninokuchi Village)
    Chűbŕ and Umegawa couple on their way to love suicide goes through the snow covered landscape on their way to the man's home town where they will meet their end. They travel throughout the countryside with the stolen money, hoping for a few fleeting moments of happiness before the money runs out and they are captured and punished.
  • 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 Kataoka Ainosuke as the fisherman and Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as the angel.
  • Botan D˘r˘: one of the most famous ghost stories in Japan shows the ghost of a beautiful young girl who visits the man she loves nightly, her way lit by a lantern decorated with peonies. The clatter of her wooden clogs announces her appearance, ôůkarannnůkoronnnnůö Originally a Chinese story, it became a Japanese classic when it was transformed into a long rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ (1839~1900). Otsuyu (Nakamura Shichinosuke) the daughter of a samurai family falls in love with a young samurai named Shinzabur˘ (Kataoka Ainosuke), but she falls sick and dies when he stops visiting her. Her ghost begins to visit him nightly preceded by the ghost of her nursemaid carrying a lantern decorated with peonies and he welcomes these meetings, not realizing that she is dead. But a priest sees the signs of death and protects Shinzabur˘ with holy amulets and a powerful Buddhist statue. The ghosts then bribe Shinzabur˘ĺs greedy servant Tomoz˘ (Kataoka Nizaemon) and his wife Omine (Band˘ Tamasabur˘) to take the amulets away. The result is that Shinzabur˘ is killed by the ghosts and Tomoz˘ and Omine run away with the money. But the money doesnĺt bring them happiness. This version of the story is not just a tale of ghosts, but shows human treachery and the revolving ironies of fate.
  • Yakko D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at D˘j˘ji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version the dancer is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Band˘ Mitsugor˘ in a dance important to his family tradition.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 October 2007
    Program

    Heike Nyogo no Shima

  • Rokuhara Kiyomori Yakata
  • Kikai-ga-Shima (Shunkan)

  • Mukashigatari Uguisuzuka

    Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘

    Comments

  • Heike Nyogo no Shima: there are few plays as universally popular as the story of Shunkan, a rebellious monk exiled to a remote island along with two companions, all conspirators against Taira no Kiyomori, the powerful dictator that rules Japan. They are pardoned, but Shunkan sacrifices himself so that one of his companions can leave together with his new wife, a fishing girl named Chidori. In the end, Shunkan, now alone forever, waves at the ship bearing his companions until it disappears in the distance. This play is actually one act of a long play by the great writer Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653~1724) entitled "Heike Nyogo no Shima" first performed as a puppet play in 1719. The original play is loosely based on historical events and the entire play has spectacle and a grand scale that sets off the intense human drama of the one act that is usually performed. In 1967, the National Theatre revived the first act that takes place in Kiyomori's mansion and this production will feature both this scene and the more famous act that contains the heart of the drama. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Shunkan, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Kiyomori, Nakamura Baigyoku as the good messenger Tanzaemon, Ichikawa Komaz˘ as Shunkan's wife Azumaya, Ichikawa Danshir˘ as the evil messenger Senoo, Nakamura Shibajaku as the island girl Chidori and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Shunkan's companion Naritsune.
  • Kiyomori Yakata:
    (Kiyomori's Mansion at Rokuhara)
    After attempting to overthrow the tyrant Kiyomori, the priest Shunkan and his companions have been exiled. Kiyomori summons Shunkan's wife Azumaya and attempts to force her to wait on him personally but instead she commits suicide, berating Kiyomori for his crimes.
  • Shunkan:
    (Shunkan's Exile on Devil's Island)
    After three years on the island, a ship comes for the exiles. But Shunkan's name is not on the list of the pardoned carried by the evil Senoo. However, there is another pardon carried by another official. When they try to board the ship, Senoo refuses to allow Chidori, the young wife of one of the exiles, to board since her name does not appear on the list. Shunkan tries to help and Senoo contemptuously tells him that his beloved wife is dead. With nothing but emptiness awaiting him in the capital, Shunkan decides to kill Senoo and put Chidori on the ship. As the ship leaves, Shunkan waves until they disappear in the distance.
  • Uguisuzuka: this is the first performance of this play in a large theater in 78 years. Originally a story in an early 19th century comic book, it was dramatized on the Kabuki stage in 1832 and was performed frequently during the 19th century, often in smaller theatres where it was a favorite for its over-the-top, romantic scenes. A beautiful girl named Umegae falls in love with a poor beggar when his falcon catches her pet warbler. In fact, he is the samurai Sasaki Gennosuke, who is in disguise to avenge the death of his father. Umegaeĺs lady-in-waiting Ikuyo persuades the two young people to get together. Umegae and Gennosuke get married, but her fatherĺs evil second wife Tamaki tries to use this as an occasion to humiliate the young couple and take over the estate for herself. But Gennosuke handily deals with her challenges of difficult problems of etiquette and gives a dazzling display of his fighting skills. Yodo Yozaemon, the lord of Yodo Castle is at the banquet and realizes Gennosukeĺs true identity. Meanwhile, Tamaki also has a love affair with a priest named Daininb˘, and the two dream up all sorts of evil schemes together. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Yozaemon, Nakamura Baigyoku as Umegaeĺs father Saemon, Nakamura Shibajaku as Umegaeĺs lady-in-waiting Ikuyo, Nakamura T˘z˘ as Tamaki and Ichikawa Somegor˘ in the two roles of the hero Gennosuke and the villainous priest Daininb˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Mitsukoshi Gekij˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 6 ~ 26 October 2007
    Program

    Keisei Hangonk˘

  • Takashima Yakata / Takeyabu
  • Tosa Sh˘gen Kankyo (Domo Mata)
  • Casting

    Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Danjir˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen

    Comments

    "Mitsukoshi Kabuki" is a special Kabuki program at the Mitsukoshi Theatre, which stars the young and talented actors of the Omodakaya guild:

  • Takashima Yakata: the story is about Kan˘ Shir˘jir˘ Motonobu (Ichikawa Emiya), a samurai who serves at the Palace of the Rokkaku Family in Takashima (province of ďmi). Princess Ich˘-no-Mae (Ichikawa Shun'en), the daughter of Rokkaku Yorikata, is in love with Motonobu. Nagoya Sanza, a senior retainer of the Rokkaku clan, helped the girl to make Motonobu exchange a cup of sake with Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, which means that the marriage between the two is concluded. Unfortunately for them, the evil and jealous Fuwa no D˘ken (Ichikawa En'ya), the senior retainer of the Rokkaku family and the father of Fuwa Banzaemon (the arch enemy of Nagoya Sanza), also covets her. He covers Motonobu with a false charge and makes him arrested. Tied to a pillar, Motonobu draws with his own blood the image of a tiger on a sliding paper-door. The image is such a masterpiece that the tiger takes on life, begins to move, picks up Motonobu on its back and disperses the enemies.
  • Takeyabu: this scene is a spectacular tachimawari in a bamboo grove, outside the moat of the Rokkaku palace. Utanosuke (Ichikawa Danjir˘), a young artist of the Kan˘ school and a disciple of Motonobu, tries unsuccessfully to fight the soldiers of Fuwa no D˘ken to protect Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, who had run away from the Palace with Motonobu.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei (Ichikawa Ukon) has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku (Ichikawa Emisabur˘), who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Featuring Ichikawa Juen as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu and Ichikawa K˘tar˘ as Tosa Shűrinosuke.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Takashima Yakata" and "Takeyabu"

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 October 2007 (Kinshű Embuj˘ Matsuri)
    Program

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    Renjishi

    Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi

    Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘

    Comments

    The word kinshű means "Autumn Brocade". This festival (matsuri) is divided into a Kabuki program in the afternoon and a potpourri with Kabuki actors and non-Kabuki celebrities in the evening. The Kabuki programs is made up of 3 important dramas for the Nakamuraya guild.

  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Band˘ Yajűr˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Nakamura Senjaku as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Shichinosuke as the island girl Chidori and Nakamura Kantar˘ as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • 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.
  • Bunshichi Mottoi: Ch˘bŕ spends his days and nights gambling, but is finally made aware of his family's problems when his daughter takes a job in the pleasure quarters. Having received the money for her contract, he shows his good side to save a young man on the edge of suicide after losing a large sum of money, but nobody believes Ch˘bŕ, thinking that he has gambled the money away. The performance stars Nakamura Kanzabur˘ and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of Ch˘bŕ and his wife Okane.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Zenshinza Gekij˘ (Kichij˘ji)
    Dates 17 ~ 31 October 2007
    Program

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    Ninj˘ Isseki Banashi

    Casting

    Nakamura Umenosuke, Arashi Keishi, Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Segawa Kikunoj˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Osagawa Genjir˘, Arashi Hironari, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘

    Comments

  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Umenosuke) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Osagawa Genjir˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Arashi Keishi as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Kawarazaki Kunitar˘ as the island girl Chidori and Arashi Hironari as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Ninj˘ Isseki Banashi: ???
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    NHK Hall (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 28 October 2007 (Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai)
    Program

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun

    Comments

    34th edition of Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai (literally the "Classics Entertainment Appreciation Association"), a yearly performance produced by the National TV network NHK. The program includes one ky˘gen, one Kabuki play, one traditional dance and traditional music.

     
    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