SEPTEMBER 2015

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Akasaka Act Theater), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Kumamoto (Yachiyoza), 1 in Nagoya (Chűnichi Theatre), 1 in ďsaka (National Bunraku Theatre), 1 in K˘fu (K˘fu Civic Center) and 2 tours (Western Provinces, Classics Tour)!

  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku perform at the Kabukiza !
  • Nakamura Shid˘, Onoe Matsuya, Ichikawa Tsukinosuke, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Mantar˘ perform at the Minamiza !
  • Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the Akasaka Act Theater!
  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku are on tour in the Western Provinces !
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ is on tour (Classics Tour) and performs at the Yachiyoza!
  • The Zenshinza performs at the National Bunraku Theatre and at the Chűnichi Theatre!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 September 2015 (Shűzan Matsuri Kugatsu ďkabuki)
    Shűzan's Festival September Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Shinkiyomizu)

    Momijigari

    Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari

    Evening

    Meiboku Sendai Hagi

  • Hanamizubashi
  • Goten
  • Yukashita
  • Taiketsu
  • Ninj˘
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Band˘ Kametoshi, ďtani Keiz˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Matsumoto Kintar˘, Nakamura Kichinosuke

    Comments

    The 8th edition in T˘ky˘ of a special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) is staged at the Kabukiza to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan. The star of this program is his adopted son, the Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon II.

  • "Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari" is staged to commemorate the 1200th anniversary of the birth of Ki no Aritsune.
  • The rarely-staged "Shinkiyomizu" act of "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki" is staged as an independent drama for the first time in Kabuki history !
  • ďtani Keiz˘'s son Inoue Kimiharu makes his first stage appearance (omemie) in "Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari".
  • The two highlights are the rarely-staged drama "Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari" and the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" with Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon in the roles of Masaoka and Nikki Danj˘. "Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari" was staged only three times since the end of the WWII: in November 1956 and June 1965 at the Kabukiza and in October 2003 at the National Theatre.

  • Shinkiyomizu: Yamazakiya Yogor˘ (Nakamura Kinnosuke) is staying at the Restaurant Ukamuse and is playing with his familiar courtesan Azuma (Nakamura Shibajaku) and a senior courtesan Miyako (Nakamura Kaishun). However he hears that Hiraoka G˘zaemon (Nakamura Matsue), a samurai from the western Japan infatuated with Azuma, is going to redeem her. Yogor˘ is irritated to hear this, and falls victim to Gonkur˘'s scheme. Gonkur˘ (Kataoka Matsunosuke) is a salesclerk of Yogor˘'s shop, and is taken with Miyako. Miyako's lover Nan Yohŕ (Nakamura Baigyoku) who used to be Yogor˘'s servant comes and rescues him.
  • Momijigari: the general Taira Koremochi (Onoe Sh˘roku) travels to the mountains to view the autumn leaves when he suddenly encounters a beautiful princess (Ichikawa Somegor˘) and her entourage. Aided by the elegant dancing of the princess and a large amount of sake, Koremochi falls asleep, not knowing that she is actually a fierce demon. The god of the mountain (Matsumoto Kintar˘) dances vigorously to try to wake up Koremochi. But as the demon appears in its true form, Koremochi is saved by the magical power of his sword. Featuring also Ichikawa Komaz˘.
  • Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari: first produced in ďsaka in 1775, the play is based on the classical Tales of Ise, a story about the handsome noble man who woman never left alone. It combines the courtly romance of him with the story of rivalry between two imperial princes who are contenders for the imperial throne. It is especially famous for the deep and complex drama of the scene at Kasugano where young lovers sacrifice their lives to protect the other couple. Starring Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon (Ki no Aritsune), Ichikawa Somegor˘ (Mameshir˘/Ariwara no Narihira), Onoe Kikunosuke (Aritsune's daughter Shinobu/ Princess Izutsu), Nakamura T˘z˘ (Shinobu's adopted mother Koyoshi) and Nakamura Matagor˘ (Ny˘hachi).
  • Meiboku Sendai Hagi: this play is about the attempt to take over one of the most famous samurai households in the Edo period, a scandal that caused a sensation in its day.
  • Hanamizubashi: the daimy˘ Yorikane (Nakamura Baigyoku) has fallen in love with a courtesan and has neglected responsibilities, causing high ranking retainers to plot the takeover of his domain. Returning from the pleasure quarters, he is attacked at Hanamizu Bridge, but is able to escape thanks to the help of a sum˘ wrestler retainer (Nakamura Matagor˘).
  • Take-no-Ma/Goten: Masaoka (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘), a loyal maidservant, is taking care of the lord's young heir. Afraid he will be poisoned, she refuses to let anyone see him who might try to assassinate him. She even fixes his meal in her quarters using her delicate tea ceremony implements to cook rice. The plotting faction does not give up, though, and sends poison in the form of candy as a present from the Sh˘gun. Masaoka's son sacrifices his life for the young lord by eating the poisoned candy, and when he is killed, she thinks only of protecting her lord. Her fierce devotion to duty convinces the plotters that she is on their side. Masaoka's actions help save the young lord, and only when she is alone can she grieve for her son. With Nakamura Karoku as the villainous Yashio, a court woman who kills Masaokaĺs son.
  • Yukashita: Another faithful retainer Otokonosuke (Onoe Sh˘roku), stands guard underneath the room, but the evil Nikki Danj˘ (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) appears as a giant rat, but then slips away, walking calmly through the clouds.
  • Taiketsu/Ninj˘: the elderly Geki (Nakamura Karoku), a faithful retainer, brings charges against Nikki Danj˘ (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon). Danj˘ cleverly protests his innocence, but his lies are seen through by the wise judge Katsumoto (Ichikawa Somegor˘). Condemned to death, Danj˘ tries to take his revenge on Geki.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 September 2015 (Kugatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    September Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Arashi no Yoru ni

    Casting

    Nakamura Shid˘, Onoe Matsuya, Ichikawa Tsukinosuke, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Ichimura Takematsu, Ichimura Kitsutar˘

    Comments

    A newly-created Kabuki drama based on Kimura Yűichi's famous series of illustrated child books "Arashi no Yoru ni" (in English "One Stormy Night"):

  • Arashi no Yoru ni: it is a series of picture books written by Kimura Yűichi. The first edition was published in 1994. As many people wanted to read a sequel to the story, it lasted to the seventh volume and became a best seller. More than 3,000,000 books have been sold. It became so popular that it has been turned into a game and made into plays. In 2005, it was made into an animated movie (the voice for the main character Gabu was supplied by Nakamura Shid˘) by Sugii Gisabur˘, an esteemed movie producer in the animation industry. The main character Gabu is played by Nakamura Shid˘ but also in various genres. On the night of a storm, a wolf Gabu (Nakamura Shid˘) and a goat Mei (Onoe Matsuya) encounters in a mountain hut in pitch darkness by chance. They talk through night not knowing their identity and become friends. They determine their password as 'On the night of a storm' and promise to meet again. They are shocked when they meet again, but they nurture friendship keeping it secret to their each group. But their friendship is at last known to both groups and meets with violent opposition. The two are pushed to the edge ...
  • Source: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Akasaka Act Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 7 ~ 25 September 2015 (Akasaka ďkabuki)
    Akasaka Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Ayatsuri Sanbas˘

    Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri
    (Osome no Nanayaku)

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Kunio

    Comments

    4th edition of the Akasaka Grand Kabuki, which was started in September 2008 by Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII, the head of the Nakamuraya guild.

  • Ayatsuri Sanbas˘:
    (The Puppet Sanbas˘)
    The Sanbas˘ is part of the ritual play "Okina", a prayer for prosperity and in Kabuki the vigorous Sanbas˘ dance is often performed separately. To make the dance especially auspicious, the old man Okina and attendant Senzai appear as well. In Kabuki, the Sanbas˘ dance appears in all kinds of versions. In this particular version, the Sanbas˘ is actually a giant marionette (Nakamura Kankur˘), dancing lightly until his antics tangle his strings, creating problems for his puppeteer (Nakamura Kunio).
  • 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. Onnagata young star Nakamura Shichinosuke 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 Kankur˘ as Oroku's fiance Kimon no Kihŕ.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabuki Tour in the western provinces
    Dates 31 August ~ 25 September 2015
    Program

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    K˘j˘

    Renjishi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Omez˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘

    Comments

    Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV celebrates his shűmei touring in the western provinces!

  • 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˘ (Ichikawa Sadanji) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Nakamura Ganjir˘) 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 Kazutar˘ in the role of Ohaya.
  • 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 stars of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV. Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ will take part in this important k˘j˘.
  • 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 Nakamura Senjaku in the role of the parent shishi and his son Nakamura Toranosuke in the role of the cub.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Classics Tour
    Dates 4 ~ 27 September 2015 (Koten he no Izanai)
    Invitation to the Classics
    Program

    Goaisatsu

    Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

    Ikari Tomomori

    Mimasu Kuruwa no Kasauri

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu, Ichikawa Shinz˘, Ichikawa Shinjűr˘

    Comments

    The 4th "Invitation to the Classics" tour led by Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in 14 cities. In "Kusazuribiki", Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Ichikawa Kudanji play the roles of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Maizuru. The third item in this program, "Ikari Tomomori", is a dance-drama based on the "Tokaiya"/"Daimotsu no Ura" scenes of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Ichikawa Ebiz˘ plays the role of the Heike warrior Taira no Tomomori, with Ichikawa Kudanji and Kataoka Ichiz˘ in the roles of Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Musashib˘ Benkei. The last item in this program is a newly-created dance-drama entitled "Mimasu Kuruwa no Kasauri". It stars Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of an umbrella-seller, in reality the king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon. The opening talk ("Goaisatsu") is done by Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

    Yachiyoza (Kumamoto)
    Dates 29 September ~ 4 October 2015 (JAPAN THEATER)
    Program

    Goaisatsu

    Mimasu Kuruwa no Kasauri

    Kagutsuchi no Mai

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu

    Comments

    A special JAPAN THEATER Kabuki program at the Yachiyoza, starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 9 September 2015
    Program

    B˘ Shibari

    Shibahama no Kawazaifu

    Casting

    Fujikawa Yanosuke, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke

    Comments

    A special Zenshinza Kabuki program in ďsaka!

  • B˘ Shibari:
    (Tied to a Pole)
    A dance play based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master is irritated that his two servants always drink his wine while he is out. He plots with his servant Tar˘kaja to trick the other servant Jir˘kaja (Arashi Yoshisabur˘) into demonstrating his skill at stick fighting, tying him to the stick. The master then ties up Tar˘kaja as well. But he is outsmarted when the two still manage to drink his wine while tied up. Their happy singing and dancing while tied up is a dazzling display of virtuoso dancing and star two of the finest young dancers in Kabuki.
  • Shibahama no Kawazaifu: this is a play adapted from a rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ which was originally performed in vaudeville by a solo performer. This tells the story of a man who is a drunk and good for nothing who picks up a leather purse full of coins while fishing. He takes it home and celebrates with a big drinking party. In the morning he asks his wife for the purse, but she insists that it was all a dream and shows how much money he has wasted with his drunken party. He decides to reform and becomes a hard worker. Three years later, the couple now lives comfortably and the wife says that she must apologize. She lied and hid the purse because she felt that this was the only way to get her husband on the right path. He thanks her and this purse which has given them so much. Starring Fujikawa Yanosuke as the man and Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘ as his wife.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Chűnichi Theatre (Nagoya)
    Dates 26 ~ 28 September 2015
    Program

    B˘ Shibari

    Shibahama no Kawazaifu

    Casting

    Fujikawa Yanosuke, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke

    Comments

    A special Zenshinza Kabuki program in Nagoya!

  • B˘ Shibari:
    (Tied to a Pole)
    A dance play based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master is irritated that his two servants always drink his wine while he is out. He plots with his servant Tar˘kaja to trick the other servant Jir˘kaja (Arashi Yoshisabur˘) into demonstrating his skill at stick fighting, tying him to the stick. The master then ties up Tar˘kaja as well. But he is outsmarted when the two still manage to drink his wine while tied up. Their happy singing and dancing while tied up is a dazzling display of virtuoso dancing and star two of the finest young dancers in Kabuki.
  • Shibahama no Kawazaifu: this is a play adapted from a rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ which was originally performed in vaudeville by a solo performer. This tells the story of a man who is a drunk and good for nothing who picks up a leather purse full of coins while fishing. He takes it home and celebrates with a big drinking party. In the morning he asks his wife for the purse, but she insists that it was all a dream and shows how much money he has wasted with his drunken party. He decides to reform and becomes a hard worker. Three years later, the couple now lives comfortably and the wife says that she must apologize. She lied and hid the purse because she felt that this was the only way to get her husband on the right path. He thanks her and this purse which has given them so much. Starring Fujikawa Yanosuke as the man and Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘ as his wife.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    K˘fu Civic Center
    Dates 5 September 2015 (Kish˘ no Kai)
    Program

    Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

    Tsuri Onna

    Sarutori

    Casting

    Ichikawa Kish˘, Ichikawa Ukon

    Comments

    1st edition of the Kish˘ no Kai (literally "Kish˘'s Association"), which stars Ichikawa Ennosuke's disciple Ichikawa Kish˘, who celebrated his success at the nadai exam in January 2013 in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza. The program is staged in K˘fu, the capital of Yamanashi prefecture, at the Arts Hall of the K˘fu Civic Center.

     
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