SEPTEMBER 2010

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘), 2 shows in ďsaka (Shinkabukiza), 3 in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Nikk˘ (T˘sh˘gű) and 2 tours (Western Provinces, Kinshű Tokubetsu K˘en)!

Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 September 2010 (Shűzan Matsuri Kugatsu ďkabuki)
Shűzan's Festival September Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Tsuki no Utage Momiji no Irodori

Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku (Numazu)

Edo Sodachi Omatsuri Sashichi

Kotobuki Umebachi Manzai

Evening

Sh˘j˘

Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

Kane no Misaki

Ukare B˘zu

Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

Casting

Nakamura Kichiemon, Kataoka Nizaemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kataoka Sennosuke

Comments

This is the 4th edition of a special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan), which is produced at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan. The star of this program is his adopted son Nakamura Kichiemon II.

  • Tsuki no Utage Momiji no Irodori: an elegant dance evoking the atmosphere of the imperial court in the Heian period with the two most famous lovers of the time, Narihira (Nakamura Baigyoku) and Komachi (Nakamura Kaishun), two poets who were the handsomest man and most beautiful woman of the time.
  • Numazu: a dramatization of one of the most famous historical vendattas of the Edo period. "Numazu" is one act that tells of the sacrifices of those not directly involved in the vendetta itself but members of the same family who are indebted to the two opposing sides. The kimono merchant Jűbŕ (Nakamura Kichiemon) meets a porter Heisaku (Nakamura Karoku) as he travels west on business. They find that not only are they long-separated father and son, but that they also lie on opposite sides of the vendetta. Their loyalties prevent them from openly acknowledging their relationship. Heisaku sacrifices his life to get information from his son essential to his side's cause. Featuring Nakamura Shibajaku in the role of Heisaku's daughter Oyone.
  • Arakawa no Sakichi: a modern classic by Mayama Seika, this play set in the late Edo period combines tears and laughter as it focuses on a gang member caught between the bitter territorial battles of the people around him, and his fierce determination to raise his child. Starring Kataoka Nizaemon and Nakamura Kichiemon in the roles of Sakichi and Sagamiya Masagor˘. Featuring also Ichikawa Danshir˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Ichikawa Somegor˘.
  • Kotobuki Umebachi Manzai: featuring Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, this is a dance evoking the Manzai performers who would go from door to door at New Years, doing celebratory songs and dances.
  • Sh˘j˘: the sh˘j˘ is a mythical sake-loving spirit that lives in the sea. In this dance, a sake seller has a mysterious customer that appears daily and drinks enormous amounts with great satisfaction. The sake seller has a dream with instructions to go by the beach with a large tub of sake. As it turns out, the customer has actually been the sh˘j˘ in disguise. The dance shows two sh˘j˘ as they drink and dance joyfully. Starring Nakamura Baigyoku and Onoe Sh˘roku as the sh˘j˘ and Nakamura Shibajaku as the sake seller.
  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Kichiemon) 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 Ichikawa Danshir˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Kataoka Nizaemon as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Fukusuke as the island girl Chidori and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Kane no Misaki/Ukare B˘zu: two of the top dancers in Kabuki, both Living National Treasures, show very different views of the floating world. First Nakamura Shikan appears as a beautiful young girl, expressing her love and feelings of jealousy. This is the same story as the colorful "Musume D˘j˘ji" dance, but is performed in a restrained chamber style. Then the mood changes to a lively evocation of the real life of commoners as Nakamura Tomijűr˘ appears as a begging priest in rags who performs a series of comic routines.
  • 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˘ (Onoe Sh˘roku) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Ichikawa Somegor˘) 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 Kataoka Takatar˘ in the role of Ohaya.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 2 ~ 27 September 2010 (Kugatsu ďkabuki)
    September Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Torii Mae
  • Tokaiya
  • Funayagura
  • Daimotsu no Ura
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Sushiya
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Za˘d˘
  • Special Tadanobu

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Torii Mae
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Za˘d˘
  • Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Unosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Omez˘, Band˘ Shinsha, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kazutar˘

    Comments

    A t˘shi ky˘gen production of the "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the three major male roles of this drama (Tadanobu, Tomomori, Gonta) and Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in the role of Shizuka Gozen. The MatinÚe and the Evening programs are staged for most of the days. The 3rd, the 7th, the 10th, the 14th, the 17th, the 21st and the 24th of September, the "Special Tadanobu" is staged instead of the two usual programs.

  • Torii Mae: (In Front of the Fushimi Inari Shrine)
    Yoshitsune (Nakamura Kanjaku) 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 Kazutar˘), 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 (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) 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 Kanjaku) books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually Taira no Tomomori (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), 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 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘). 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 (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) and Shizuka (Band˘ Tamasabur˘) 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(ďtani Tomoemon), the wife of the Heike commander Koremori, travels with her young son and their retainer Kokingo (Band˘ Shinsha), searching for her husband. While resting in a small mountain village, they are met by Gonta (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), 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 (Kataoka Ichiz˘) runs a sushi shop, but was formerly a retainer of Taira no Koremori. With his clan defeated, Koremori (Ichikawa Monnosuke) now lives with Yazaemon's family disguised as a humble apprentice. Innocently, Yazaemon's daughter, Osato (Nakamura Baishi) 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. 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 Kanjaku) has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino at the mansion of an old ally. Tadanobu (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) arrives but has no recollection of Shizuka being placed under his care. Shizuka (Band˘ Tamasabur˘) herself soon arrives with the other Tadanobu and after an investigation they discover that he is actually a fox (Ichikawa Ebiz˘). 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.
  • Za˘d˘: the final and spectacular scene shows the fight between the Heike warrior Noritsune (Kataoka Gat˘) and Yoshitsune's followers. Noritsune is easily beaten by Tadanobu (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) who is aided by the magic powers of the fox.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Za˘d˘"

    Shinkabukiza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 22 September 2010 (Kokera Otoshi Sh˘chiku Hanagata Kabuki)
    Program A

    Taik˘ Sanbas˘

    K˘j˘

    Renjishi

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshinoyama)

    Program B

    Taik˘ Sanbas˘

    K˘j˘

    Renjishi

    Kurozuka

    Casting

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

    Comments

    This program is in fact the kokera otoshi of the newly-relocated ďsaka Shinkabukiza, which was moved from Nanba (Chű˘ Ward in ďsaka) to a mixed-use building in Uehonmachi.

  • Taik˘ Sanbas˘: the sanbas˘ is an auspicious dance based on the ritual play "Okina" in the classical theater which shows an old man as a symbol of longevity and the energetic Sanbas˘ as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. This version is quite different as it is set in the famous Taik˘ki sekai and the main character is the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It was created by Ichikawa Ennosuke III and premiered in April 1981 at the Meijiza. With Ichikawa Danjir˘ as the kanpaku Hideyoshi. Featuring also Ichikawa Emiya and Ichikawa Shun'en.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. In this case, all the actors of the cast assemble to talk about the newly-relocated ďsaka Shinkabukiza, which is an important theater in the history of the Omodakaya guild.
  • 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 En'ya in the role of the parent shishi and his son Ichikawa K˘tar˘ in the role of the cub.
  • Yoshinoyama: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring Ichikawa Ukon as Tadanobu, with Ichikawa Emisabur˘ as Shizuka.
  • Kurozuka: a woman has grown bitter at the world after being rejected by her husband and now loves in seclusion, killing travelers and becoming a kind of demon. However, when she gives shelter to a holy man and his party, she rejoices at this opportunity to find salvation. She goes to get firewood to keep her visitors warm, cautioning them not to look into the back room, where the bodies of her victims are. She dances in joy among the dry autumn grasses under the full moon at her chance for absolution. But the porter in the holy man's party looks in the back room and they all leave in a panic. The old woman is furious at being betrayed and this transforms her into a demon, which is finally vanquished by the power of the holy man. Starring Ichikawa Ukon as the old woman, Ichikawa Danjir˘ as the holy man and Ichikawa En'ya as the porter.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Taik˘ Sanbas˘"

    Kabuki Tour in the western provinces
    Dates 31 August ~ 25 September 2010
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Narukami

    Niwaka Jishi

    Casting

    Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kikaku

    Comments

  • Kabuki no Mikata: a lively presentation of Kabuki done by Nakamura Kikaku.
  • 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.
  • Niwaka Jishi: this lively dance evokes the atmosphere of an Edo period festival. The highlight of the piece is the lion dance performed by two of the handsome young men of the neighborhood. Featuring Nakamura Senjaku (the geisha Osen), Nakamura Hashinosuke (the firefighters boss Komakichi) and Nakamura Kikaku (the firefighter Kametsuru).
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    T˘sh˘gű (Nikk˘)
    Dates 18 September 2010 (T˘sh˘gű H˘n˘ Kabuki)
    T˘sh˘gű Offering Kabuki
    Program

    Renjishi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Onoe Ukon

    Comments

    A special Kabuki performance with 2 young actors within the precincts of the famous T˘sh˘gű shrine in Nikk˘, where is enshrined Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the founder and first Sh˘gun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

  • 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 Kamejir˘ in the role of the parent shishi and his son Onoe Ukon in the role of the cub.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kinshű Tokubetsu K˘en
    Dates 8 ~ 24 September 2010
    Program

    Hashi Benkei

    Geidan

    Ayame Yukata

    Urashima

    Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke

    Comments

    Kinshű means Autumn Brocade and this short dance-oriented tour is led by Nakamura Kanzabur˘'s sons, Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke. The first item (geidan) in this program is a talk. All the others items are dances.

  • Hashi Benkei:
    (Benkei on the Bridge)
    There are many legends about Benkei, the warrior-priest who was the faithful companion of the general Yoshitsune. This dance shows the first meeting of Benkei and Yoshitsune. Benkei goes nightly to the bridge at the Fifth Avenue of Ky˘to, defeating men night after night and taking their swords. Finally he encounters a delicate young man that he thinks will be an easy opponent, but is defeated himself instead. This young man was Yoshitsune, under his childhood name of Ushiwakamaru. Benkei is so impressed that he becomes Yoshitsuneĺs retainer, right there and then. Starring Nakamura Kantar˘ as Benkei and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Ushiwakamaru.
  • Ayame Yukata: this dance centers around the Boys' Festival which occurs in the beginning of May. It sings of the season of early summer in which the light, fragrant scenes and symbols of the Boys' Festival, such as the iris (ayame in Japanese), decorative samurai helmet, and iris sake.
  • Urashima: This dance depicts a Japanese folk tale of a young man named Urashima (Nakamura Kantar˘) who is invited to the Dragon Palace under the sea for saving a turtle's life. When Urashima returns back home, he finds that many year had elapsed during the few days he spent at the Dragon Palace. When he opens up the gift boxes, lovingly thinking of the Princess of the Sea who had given them to him, a puff of smoke appears and Urashima turns into an old man with silvery white hair. This dance utilizes many beautiful melodies and brilliantly expresses Urashima's feeling at the moment of change.
  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide website
    Nihon Buy˘ for "Ayame Yukata" and "Urashima"

     
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