SEPTEMBER 2006

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Edo T˘ky˘ Museum), 1 in ďsaka (Mid˘ Kaikan) and 1 tour (Western Provinces)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 September 2006 (Kugatsu ďkabuki)
MatinÚe

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Kurumabiki)

Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori

  • Narihira
  • Bun'ya
  • Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

    Evening

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki (Kikubatake)

    Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame

    Onizoroi Momijigari

    Casting

    Nakamura Kichiemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Shinjir˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

    Comments

    A special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) is produced at the Kabukiza to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan. The stars of this program are his descendants Nakamura Kichiemon II and Matsumoto K˘shir˘.

  • Kurumabiki: this short scene shows the three brothers that dominate the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", each with a distinctive personality. Sakuramaru and Ume˘maru have been rendered masterless by Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile. The third brother Matsu˘maru serves the villain Shihei, who is responsible for the downfall of Kan Sh˘j˘. Sakuramaru and Ume˘maru try to destroy Shihei's carriage but are stopped by Matsu˘maru and the magical glare of Shihei. Finally the brothers agree to suspend their disputes until they all meet at their father's seventieth birthday party. The performance stars Ichikawa Somegor˘, Onoe Sh˘roku and Ichikawa Kamejir˘ in the roles of Matsu˘maru, Ume˘maru and Sakuramaru.
  • 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˘ (Nakamura Tomijűr˘) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Nakamura Kichiemon) 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.
  • Rokkasen: two selections from a humorous series of dances, which show the ancient poetic geniuses famous from classical Japananese literature, reinterpreted to the tastes of Edo period audiences. Ono no Komachi, the only woman of the six, was famous as a great beauty. In this dance, all the other poets are in love with her and try to make her their own. First there is an encounter between the two most famous lovers of the Heian period, Ono no Komachi and Ariwara no Narihira (Nakamura Baigyoku). Then the scene changes to a dance showing the low-ranking court noble Yasuhide (Ichikawa Somegor˘), counted as one of the "Six Poetic Geniuses." He pursues the fabulously beautiful Ono no Komachi, but instead encounters some very homely court women in a kind of comic fantasy on the theme of love. With Living National Treasure Nakamura Jakuemon as Komachi.
  • Terakoya: Genz˘ and his wife Tonami run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo mourn their dead son. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Matsu˘maru, Nakamura Kichiemon as Genz˘, Nakamura Shikan as Chiyo and Nakamura Kaishun as Tonami.
  • 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 (Ichikawa Sadanji), an elderly strategist working for the dictator Kiyomori, his beautiful daughter Minazuru (Nakamura Shibajaku) and two footmen, the elegant young Toraz˘ (Ichikawa Somegor˘) and the powerful Chienai (Matsumoto K˘shir˘). 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˘.
  • Kagotsurube: one of the most sensational plays of late Kabuki, this is a rare full-length performance showing not only the story of Jir˘zaemon and the courtesan Yatsuhashi, but also rarely performed scenes about Tachibanaya Ch˘bŕ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) and his wife Okitsu (Nakamura T˘z˘). The play shows a humble, pockmarked merchant from the country named Sano Jir˘zaemon (Nakamura Kichiemon). He is wealthy, but because of the way he looks, has never thought that it would be possible to have a woman. He and his servant go sightseeing in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters and a chance look at top courtesan Yatsuhashi (Nakamura Fukusuke) who smiles at him, makes Jir˘zaemon fall in love. However, the pleasure quarters are full of intrigue, and on the eve of the day that Jir˘zaemon is to buy up Yatsuhashi's contract, her true love Einoj˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku) forces her to reject and humiliate Jir˘zaemon in the middle of the celebratory banquet. Jir˘zaemon seems to forgive her, but returns with the sword Kagotsurube to exact his revenge.
  • Onizoroi Momijigari: this dance is a modern adaptation of a Kabuki classic. The aristocrat Koremochi (Nakamura Shinjir˘) has travelled to view the autumn leaves and encounters a beautiful princess (Ichikawa Somegor˘) and her entourage. The entire party of beautiful women turn out to be vicious demons and attack Koremochi after lulling him to sleep with a beautiful dream-like dance.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabuki Tour in the western provinces
    Dates 29 August ~ 27 September 2006
    MatinÚe

    Honch˘ Nijűshik˘ (Jusshuk˘)

    K˘j˘

    Migawari Zazen

    Evening

    K˘j˘

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Kokingo Uchijini
  • Sushiya
  • Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Genzaemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Shingo

    Comments

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘ celebrates his shűmei in the Western provinces, playing the roles of Uky˘ and Gonta in "Migawari Zazen" and "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

  • Jusshuk˘: Princess Yaegaki is mourning the death of his fiance Katsuyori, but as she burns incense in his memory, she notices the resemblance between the new gardener and her fiance's portrait. The gardener is in fact Katsuyori, who has entered the household of Yaegaki's father to regain the possession of a stolen family treasure, a famous helmet, with the help of Nureginu, a woman who also mourns for the man that died in the place of the real Katsuyori. Unfortunately, Yaegaki's father has also seen through the disguise and plans to kill Katsuyori. The role of Princess Yaegaki, one of the most important onnagata roles, is played by Nakamura Senjaku, supported by Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Shinobu in the roles of Katsuyori and Nureginu.
  • K˘j˘: there is a close relationship between the stage and the audience in Kabuki and this is shown by these ceremonial stage announcements where the top stars of the company address the audience directly. For this tour, the actors celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Kanzabur˘.
  • Migawari Zazen: A dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. Uky˘ (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 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.
  • Ko-no-Mi / Kokingo Uchijini: Wakaba-no-Naishi (Band˘ Shingo), the wife of the Heike warrior Koremochi, travels with her young son and their retainer Kokingo (Nakamura Shichinosuke), searching for her husband. While resting in a small mountain village, they are met by Gonta (Nakamura Kanzabur˘), a local bully who skillfully cons them out of their money. Later, they are attacked by Genji forces, and, in a spectacular fight, Kokingo sacrifices himself to save his mistress and her son.
  • Sushiya: Gonta's father Yazaemon (Band˘ Yajűr˘) runs a sushi shop, but was formerly a retainer of Koremochi. With his clan defeated, Koremochi (Nakamura Senjaku) now lives with Yazaemon's family disguised as a humble apprentice named Yasuke. Innocently, Yazaemon's daughter Osato (Nakamura Shichinosuke) is in love with him. But knowing of the bounty on Koremochi's head, her brother Gonta kills him and turns his wife and child over to the Genji commander. Furious at his son, Yazaemon stabs him, but before his death, Gonta reveals that he only pretended to kill Koremochi and sacrificed his own wife and son to save the real Koremochi and his family.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Edo T˘ky˘ Museum (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 17 September 2006
    Program

    Omatsuri

    Musuko

    ďkyo no Yűrei

    Casting

    Nakamura Ky˘tae, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Kataoka Matsusabur˘

    Comments

    The stars of this original program, the 20th edition of the Kabuki forum, are all disciples of famous actors.

    Mid˘ Kaikan (ďsaka)
    Dates 16 ~ 17 September 2006 (Wakagikai)
    Program

    Jitsuroku Chűshingura (Gishi Meimeiden)

    Comments

    1st edition of the Wakagikai, a gala program in ďsaka which features the students of the Kamigata Kabuki branch of the National Theatre training program. 4 of their teachers/masters appear as guest stars: Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Takesabur˘ and Band˘ Shinsha.

     
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