OCTOBER 2013

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, NHK Hall), 2 in Nagoya (NTK Hall), 2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 1 tour (Classics Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 October 2013 (Kokera Otoshi Geijutsusai Jűgatsu ďkabuki)
Opening Ceremony Art Festival October Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Torii Mae
  • Tokaiya
  • Daimotsu no Ura
  • Yoshinoyama
  • Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Kokingo Uchijini
  • Sushiya
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Casting

    Onoe Kikugor˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kichiemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Matagor˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kash˘, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Yonekichi

    Comments

    8th month celebrating the opening of the new Kabukiza within a 1-year long cycle of kokera otoshi programs. October at the Kabukiza features a full-length performance of one of the great classics of Kabuki, "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees). This is an epic story about the famous 12th century general Yoshitsune fleeing from the wrath of his brother Yoritomo, after the end of the war. Although Yoshitsune is the title character, the main characters of the play are actually Tomomori, Gonta and Tadanobu, the heroes of the different sections of the play. This month's production features top stars in all of these roles, with Nakamura Kichiemon as the boatman Gimpei, actually the great general Tomomori who appears as a fearsome ghost, Kataoka Nizaemon as Gonta, the villainous son of a sushi shop owner, and Onoe Kikugor˘ as the magical fox Tadanobu (in most scenes). Yoshitsune is performed by Nakamura Baigyoku in most scenes. Also featuring Sakata T˘jűr˘ and Nakamura Tokiz˘ in key roles.

  • Torii Mae: (In Front of the Fushimi Inari Shrine)
    Yoshitsune (Onoe Kikunosuke) is forced to flee from the troops sent by his brother Yoritomo. The trip will be hard and he decides that he must leave behind his lover Shizuka Gozen (Nakamura Baishi), despite her passionate pleas to remain with him. As a reminder of himself, he presents her with a precious hand drum that he had received from the emperor. Yoshitsune's retainer Tadanobu (Onoe Sh˘roku) rescues Shizuka from Yoritomo's troops and Yoshitsune decides to leave her in his care.
  • Tokaiya/Daimotsu no Ura:
    (Tokaiya Inn and Daimotsu Bay)
    Yoshitsune (Nakamura Baigyoku) books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually Taira no Tomomori (Nakamura Kichiemon), a general of the Heike clan that Yoshitsune helped to defeat. Tomomori was supposedly killed by Yoshitsune in the final battle of the war, but in this play, Tomomori is shown as surviving, living in disguise with the child emperor Antoku and his nursemaid (Nakamura Shibajaku). Tomomori uses the opportunity to try to get his revenge on Yoshitsune but is defeated again. Finally Tomomori holds a giant anchor and plunges into the sea.
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi: the matinee program closes witha musical travel scene. Hearing that Yoshitsune has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino, Tadanobu (Onoe Kikugor˘) and Shizuka (Sakata T˘jűr˘) go to try to meet him there. Although Tadanobu keeps disappearing, he always appears when Shizuka plays the precious drum that she received from Yoshitsune. In dance Tadanobu recounts episodes from the Genpei war, including the battle in which his brother died.
  • Ko-no-Mi/Kokingo Uchijini: (The Chestnut Tree and the Death of Kokingo)
    Wakaba-no-Naishi(Nakamura T˘z˘), the wife of the Heike commander Koremori, travels with her young son and their retainer Kokingo (Nakamura Baishi), searching for her husband. While resting in a small mountain village, they are met by Gonta (Kataoka Nizaemon), a local bully who skillfully cons them out of their money. Later they are set upon by Genji forces, and in a spectacular fight scene, Kokingo sacrifices himself to save his mistress and her son.
  • Sushiya: (The Sushi Shop)
    Gonta's father Yazaemon (Nakamura Karoku) runs a sushi shop, but was formerly a retainer of Taira no Koremori. With his clan defeated, Koremori (Nakamura Tokiz˘) now lives with Yazaemon's family disguised as a humble apprentice. Innocently, Yazaemon's daughter, Osato (Kataoka Takatar˘) is in love with him. But knowing of the bounty on Koremori's head, her brother Gonta kills him and turns his wife and child over to the Genji commander (Kataoka Gat˘). Furious at his son, Yazaemon stabs him, but before his death, Gonta reveals that he only pretended to kill Koremori and sacrificed his own wife and son to save the real Koremori and his family.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: Yoshitsune (Nakamura Baigyoku) has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino at the mansion of an old ally. Tadanobu (Onoe Kikugor˘) arrives but has no recollection of Shizuka being placed under his care. Shizuka (Nakamura Tokiz˘) herself soon arrives with the other Tadanobu and after an investigation they discover that he is actually a fox (Onoe Kikugor˘). In a touching story, the fox tells how he took on human form to be close to the hand drum which is made from the skins of his fox parents.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 October 2013
    Program

    Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki

    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Komaz˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Matsue, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Matsumoto Kintar˘, Ichikawa Danko, Nakamura Umemaru

    Comments

  • Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki:
    (Chronicle of the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani)
    Namiki S˘suke (1695~1751) is famous as one of the three playwrights that wrote the classic "Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy", "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" and "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers" for the puppet theatre. His final play, "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki", first performed in 1751 is known for its scene at Kumagaiĺs battle camp and is a great masterpiece that is performed frequently in Bunraku and Kabuki.
  • Jinmon/Kumiuchi: one of the greatest stories from the Japanese tradition is the encounter of the Genji warrior Kumagai and the young Heike general Atsumori. Although they are enemies, Kumagai would like to spare Atsumori because he is the same age as his own son, but the necessities of wartime force him to kill Atsumori nonetheless and this experience fills Kumagai with disgust at warfare and makes him become a priest. This Kabuki version of the story is filled with plot twists to emphasize the pathos of the situation. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Kumagai and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Atsumori, with Ichikawa Emiya as Atsumori's lover Princess Tamaori.
  • Kumagai Jin'ya: the famous scene at Kumagaiĺs battle camp shows the anguish of Kumagai as he finds that the only way he can save the life of Atsumori is by sacrificing his own son. Things become worse when his wife Sagami (Nakamura Kaishun) and Atsumori's mother Fuji-no-Kata (Ichikawa Komaz˘) arrive at his camp. In the highlight of the play, he tells them the story of his mortal battle with Atsumori, keeping Atsumori's well-being and his own sacrifice a secret. He then shows the head of Atsumori for inspection by his leader to see if he has interpreted his orders correctly. Featuring also ďtani Tomoemon and Ichikawa Sadanji in the roles of Yoshitsune and Midaroku.
  • 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 Ichikawa Somegor˘ as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Nagoya
    (NTK Hall)
    Dates 5 ~ 27 October 2013 (Kinshű Nagoya Kaomise)
    Autumn Brocade Nagoya Face-Showing Program
    MatinÚe

    Narukami

    Sagi Musume

    Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi (Kirare Yosa)

  • Misome
  • Genjidana
  • Evening

    Saig˘ to Butahime

    Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri
    (Osome no Nanayaku)

    Casting

    Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Fukusuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Utae, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    The October kaomise programs in Nagoya. As the Misonoza closed in Spring 2013, these programs are staged at the Nihon Tokushu T˘gy˘ Shimin Kaikan, a venue commonly called NTK Hall in Nagoya.

  • 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 (Nakamura Hashinosuke) 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 (Nakamura Senjaku) 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.
  • 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 ACT in a dance that he has made famous through performances around the world.
  • Kirare Yosa: Yosabur˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke), the refined young son of a wealthy merchant falls in love with Otomi (Nakamura Fukusuke) the moment he first sees her on the beach. But Otomi is the mistress of a powerful gangster, and when their relationship is discovered, the two are attacked. Yosabur˘ is cut from head to toe and the two are dumped into the sea. Otomi lives and is taken in by a rich merchant while Yosabur˘ is now covered with scars. Yosabur˘ turns into a petty thief and extortionist but one day, finds that the woman he is about to blackmail is none other than Otomi, alive and well. Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Nakamura Senjaku.
  • Saig˘ to Butahime: this play, written by the early 20th century playwright Ikeda Daigo, presents a love story between an unlikely couple. Saig˘ Kichinosuke (Band˘ Yajűr˘), a leading member of the Meiji Restoration, was known for his brusque manner and stout physique. Having been disowned by the lord of his clan and pursued by assassins of the enemy faction, the young Saig˘ is hiding in a Ky˘to brothel where he meets the maid Otama (Nakamura Senjaku). The plump Otama has the nickname, "Butahime", or the "pig princess". The two fall in love in a bittersweet romance and having given up all hope in the world, even decide to die together. But in the end, events suddenly turn in Saig˘'s favor. Featuring also Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Ichimura Manjir˘.
  • Osome no Nanayaku:
    (The 7 roles of Osome)
    The story of the love suicide of Osome, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and Hisamatsu, a handsome young man that was an apprentice in her family's shop, is one of the most popular stories in Kabuki and was dramatized countless times. In 1813, Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755~1829) wrote up this story as a showpiece for Iwai Hanshir˘ V, an onnagata specialist in female roles. One actor plays seven of the major roles in the play: Osome, Hisamatsu, the poor Osaku, Omitsu (Hisamatsu's official fiance), Hisamatsu's sister Takegawa, the geisha Koito, Osome's mother Teish˘ and a snake charmer named Oroku. Nakamura Fukusuke makes a virtuoso appearance in this play, acting in all seven roles, including the fastest on-stage fast change in all Kabuki. Also featuring Nakamura Hashinosuke as Oroku's fiance Kimon no Kihŕ.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website


    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 October 2013 (Jűgatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    October Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Shin Abura no Jigoku - ďsaka Junj˘den

    Sannin Renjishi

    Evening

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Bangoya/D˘guya
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Tajima-ch˘/Yane Ue
  • Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Shinsha, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Mantar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

  • Shin Abura no Jigoku: a new version of "Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku" ("The Woman Killer and the Hell of Oil") / "ďsaka Junj˘den" [Lives of People with Pure Heart in ďsaka].
    This drama is something between Chikamatsu Monzaemon's "Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku" and ... "West Side Story." It shows Kawachiya Yohŕ (Kataoka Ainosuke), the wastrel son of a well-to-do merchant in ďsaka. Though pure hearted, Yohei goes along with bad boys and is always seeking a quarrel. He has always troubles: his girlfriend Kogiku (Nakamura Kazutar˘) is to live a life of shame, his mother is notorious for messing around with men, which might result in his sister Okachi becoming a prostitute in a pleasure quarter. He asks his neighbor Okichi (Onoe Ukon) to lend some money to prevent his sister from doing so, but is rejected bluntly. Featuring also Nakamura Kanjaku, Ichikawa Omez˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Kikaku and Band˘ Shinsha.
  • Renjishi: "Renjishi" is one of the most popular dances in Kabuki. Usually, it is a dance with father and son but in this special version by the Umemoto School of Dance, they first appear in human shape and show the scene of a harmonious household. In the latter half they appear in lion shape but without make-up. In Asian tradition, the shishi is not really a lion, but a kind of mythical creature that guards the mythical stone bridge to heaven. There is also a tradition that the way a father shishi teaches its child is very severe. In this dance, the father (Kataoka Ainosuke) educates his son (Kamimura Kichitar˘) strictly, he stands it bravely and his affectionate mother (Nakamura Kazutar˘) joins them. They show thus brilliant and loving ties of a family.
  • 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 Kataoka Ainosuke as Danshichi, with Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kanjaku and Kamimura Kichiya as Tokubŕ, Sabu and Otatsu.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Classics Tour
    Dates 5 ~ 27 October 2013 (Koten he no Izanai ~ Edo no Hana)
    Invitation to the Classics ~ Edo Flowers
    Program

    Opening Talk

    Tamaya

    Yasuna

    Omatsuri

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘

    Comments

    An original tour, which mixes talk, music and dances. The second item is the music of the dance "Tamaya", which is performed by Kiyomoto Kikusuke's Kiyomoto ensemble. The third and fourth item are dances performed by Ichikawa Ebiz˘. The opening talk is done by the young Kabuki star Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

  • Yasuna: after the death of his lover, the handsome young Yasuna wanders through the open fields madly searching for his love. The tragedy is a contrast to the beautiful setting, a field of brilliant yellow flowers and the lush, sensuous Kiyomoto narrative music that accompanies it. Starring the young onnagata star Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Yasuna.
  • Omatsuri: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as a gallant fireman boss at a festival telling a rueful tale of failure in love and showing the vigorous work songs of firefighters.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    NHK Hall (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 29 October 2013 (Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai)
    Program

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Casting

    Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘

    Comments

    40th 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.

  • Hikimado: originally written for the puppet theater, this play shows a tragedy of commoners caught between their duty and their feelings toward their loved ones. A sum˘ wrestler named Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (Kataoka Gat˘) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Nakamura Baigyoku) has been ordered to arrest him. All of these complicated conflicts are symbolized by the lightness and darkness created by the humble skylight (hikimado in Japanese) as a rope is pulled to move a wooden shutter. Featuring also Nakamura Shibajaku in the role of Ohaya.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 5 ~ 27 October 2013 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Performances
    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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