SEPTEMBER 2018

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National N˘ Theatre, NHK Hall, K˘t˘ Ward Cultural Center), 1 in ďsaka (National Bunraku Theatre), 1 in Nara (T˘daiji Temple) and 2 tours (Western Provinces, Classics Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 September 2018 (Shűzan Matsuri Kugatsu ďkabuki)
Shűzan's Festival September Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Gion Sairei Shink˘ki (Kinkakuji)

Onizoroi Momijigari

Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)

Evening

Matsu no Kotobuki Ayatsuri Sanbas˘

Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

Yűgen

Casting

Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Fukunosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Nakamura Baika, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

  • Kinkakuji: "Kinkakuji" retains the epic scale of plays adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater and is full of miracles and larger-than-life characters common on the puppet stage. It is full of the classical forms of all kinds of stylized characters and the role of Princess Yuki is considered to be one of the most difficult and beautiful roles for an onnagata female role specialist. Matsunaga Daizen (Onoe Sh˘roku) has defeated the Sh˘gun and has set up base in the Golden Pavilion. The brilliant strategist Hisayoshi, disguised as a disgruntled retainer named T˘kichi (Nakamura Baigyoku), pretends to come under Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within. Princess Yuki (Nakamura Kotar˘) is being held prisoner by Daizen, but is able to free herself by drawing a mouse in the cherry petals of the tree that she is tied to. It comes to life and chews the ropes holding her. Starring the best of the actors in their prime in a production sure to be full of fire and excitement. Featuring also Nakamura Fukusuke, who is back on stage after a long absence, in the role of the ama Keijuin! Due to health issues, Nakamura Fukusuke had to stop acting in November 2013. It took him 4 years and 10 months before being able to perform in a Kabuki theater. Featuring also Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Band˘ Kamez˘.
  • Onizoroi Momijigari:
    (The Autumn Leaves and the Demon of Mt. Togakushi)
    This dance is a modern adaptation of a colorful Kabuki play based on an austere classic. The aristocrat Koremochi (Nakamura Kinnosuke) has travelled to view the autumn leaves and encounters a beautiful princess (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) and her entourage. The entire party of beautiful women turns out to be vicious demons and attack Koremochi after lulling him to sleep with a beautiful dream-like dance.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) is a skilled thief and extortionist, but cannot turn down a request to help those in need. He disguises himself as a high-ranking priest to try to gain the freedom of a girl held by a powerful samurai lord (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) because she will not become his mistress. Using the famous poetic cadences of the late 19th century playwright Mokuami, K˘chiyama not only succeeds in his mission to rescue the girl, but he manages to extort a fair amount for himself. Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Matagor˘.
  • 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 (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), dancing lightly until his antics tangle his strings, creating problems for his puppeteer (Nakamura Kichinoj˘).
  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Living National Treasure 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 Nakamura Matagor˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Nakamura Karoku as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Jakuemon as the island girl Chidori, Nakamura Kinnosuke as Taira no Yasuyori and Onoe Kikunosuke as Fujiwara no Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Yűgen: in this new dance creation first performed last year, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ expresses the world of Zeami Motokiyo who is credited with having perfected the art of . Together with the professional drumming troupe called Kod˘, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs three graceful dances that are based on plays such as "Hagoromo" (The Feather Robe), "Shakky˘" (The Stone Bridge) and "D˘j˘ji" (D˘j˘ji Temple). In the "Hagoromo" section, a fisherman comes to the pine grove of Miho no Matsubara and finds a feather mantle hanging on a branch. He gives it back to the heavenly maiden to whom it belongs, she puts it on and flies back to heaven. In the "Shakky˘" section, a Buddhist monk tries to cross the Stone Bridge on Mount Seiry˘ in China but is stopped. He is told that only those with sufficient merit may cross because on the other side lies the Buddhist paradise. Later there appears a shishi lion, on which the Buddhist deity Monju is normally seen riding. It plays with peonies and dances valiantly. In the "D˘j˘ji" section, a shiraby˘shi dancer visits D˘j˘ji Temple to attend the dedication ceremony for a brand-new temple bell. Eventually, she causes the bell to fall as she herself disappears inside it. When it is lifted, she is found transformed into a serpent. It becomes clear that she is the same jealous spirit who destroyed the original bell after being deserted by the man to whom she believed herself betrothed.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Comments

    The 11th 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.

    Kabuki Tour in the western provinces
    Dates 31 August ~ 25 September 2018
    Program

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Matsue, Ichikawa Juen

    Comments

    The usual September Grand Kabuki Tour in the western provinces.

  • Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura:
    (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees)
    This play was first performed in the Bunraku puppet theatre and is an epic story about the famous 12th century general Yoshitsune. After the end of the war between the Genji and Heike clans, the Genji clan was victorious, making its leader Yoritomo the ruler. But even though his brother Yoshitsuneĺs brilliant strategies were responsible for the victory, Yoritomo came to suspect Yoshitsune of treason and made him a fugitive. Although Yoshitsune is the title character, the main characters of the play are actually different and this month features the acts of the play about the Heike warrior Tomomori and the acts about the magical fox Tadanobu.
  • Yoshinoyama: this is a musical travel scene. Hearing that Yoshitsune has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino, Yoshitsuneĺs loyal retainer Tadanobu (Kataoka Ainosuke) and his lover Shizuka Gozen (Nakamura Kazutar˘) go to try to meet him there. Although Tadanobu keeps disappearing, he always appears when Shizuka Gozen 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 to save Yoshitsuneĺs life. Featuring Ichikawa En'ya in the role of the comical villain Hayami no T˘ta.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: Yoshitsune (Ichikawa Monnosuke) has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino at the mansion of an old ally. Tadanobu (Kataoka Ainosuke) arrives but has no recollection of Shizuka Gozen being placed under his care. Shizuka Gozen (Nakamura Kazutar˘) herself soon arrives with the other Tadanobu and after an investigation they discover that he is actually a fox. 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. Moved, Yoshitsune gives the fox the drum and he flies away joyously.
  • Classics Tour
    Dates 1 ~ 22 September 2018 (Koten he no Izanai)
    Invitation to the Classics
    Program

    Hibiki

    Goaisatsu

    Echigo Jishi

    Shiokumi

    Jayanagi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu

    Comments

    The first leg (September) of the Fall Tour of Ichikawa Ebiz˘ with performances in 9 cities. The first number in the program is not a Kabuki dance-drama but a performance of taiko drum. The second item is a greetings stage talk ("Goaisatsu") done by Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

  • Echigo Jishi: one of the most popular dances in the Kabuki repertory, this shows a traveling entertainer (Ichikawa Kudanji) that performed lion dances, with an adult playing the music and a child doing acrobatics like a little lion. The dance shows the feelings of the adult performer and his feelings for his home in the Echigo region and finally ends with the famous white cloth of the area as he waves long strips of cloth in a variety of different patterns.
  • Shiokumi: in the classical Theatre, there are few plays as evocative as Matsukaze, the story of a court noble exiled to the seacoast where he falls in love with two fisher women. The women make their living scooping up heavy buckets of sea water to make salt and this has become a famous dance. Starring ďtani Hiromatsu as the shiokumi Matsukaze.
  • Jayanagi: an extremely rare play from the original Kabuki Jűhachiban. High on holy Mt. K˘ya, there is a willow tree that attracts the vengeful spirits of jealous women which possesses a passing traveler. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the roles of Suketar˘ of Tanba Province (in reality the spirit of the willow tree) and the powerful warrior Kong˘maru in the oshimodoshi grand finale.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    NHK Hall (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 28 October 2017 (Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai)
    Program

    Genpei Nunobiki no Taki
    (Sanemori Monogatari)

    Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Kikaku

    Comments

    45th 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 traditional music, one ky˘gen and one Kabuki drama.

  • Sanemori Monogatari: a play about the early days of the rivalry between the Genji and Heike warrior clans. The warrior Sait˘ Bett˘ Sanemori (Ko9) has been charged by the leaders of the dominant Heike clan with finding Aoi Gozen, the pregnant wife of the leader of the enemy Genji clan. He is to kill her child if it is a son who can succeed to head of the clan, but old loyalties to the Genji lead him to protect the boy. Sanemori tells the story of how Koman, the daughter of the old couple who is protecting Aoi Gozen, bravely fought to protect the sacred standard of the Genji from the Heike. Koman mysteriously comes back to life when her severed arm is rejoined to it. Featuring also Nakamura Kikaku as Senoo Jűr˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National N˘ Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 September 2018 (Sh˘ no Kai)
    Program

    Kumasaka

    Komori

    Yoshinoyama

    Comments

    5th edition of the Sh˘ no Kai, a gala program which stars Nakamura Tomijűr˘ V's son Nakamura Takanosuke. Nakamura Takanosuke performs in "Kumasaka" (shimai) and "Yoshinoyama" (the role of the fox Tadanobu). His sister Watanabe Aiko performs in "Komori" and "Yoshinoyama" (the role of Shizuka Gozen). The long-time NHK announcer Kasai Seiji is the guest in charge of all the talking.

    K˘t˘ Ward Cultural Center (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 16 September 2018
    Maruwakari Hajimete no Kabuki! Kabuki Explained to Beginners
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Goj˘bashi

    Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Ichimura Manjir˘, Ichimura Takematsu, Ichimura Hikaru

    Comments

    A special 1-day "Kabuki for Beginners" program with Ichimura Manjir˘ and his two sons in the Cultural Center of the K˘t˘ Ward in T˘ky˘. The first item in this programn, "Kabuki no Mikata", is a lively presentation of Kabuki. The two others are dance-dramas.

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 20 ~ 21 September 2018
    Kamigata Hanabutai
    Program

    Sanbas˘

    Shakky˘

    Kurozuka

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Takanosuke

    Comments

    20th edition of the Kamigata Hanabutai (the Kamigata Association), a gala program sponsored by the Kamigata Culture and Entertainment Association since 1984. This association has continuously been hosting a performance called "Kamigata Hanabutai" at the National Bunraku Theatre. This performance showcases various Kamigata geisha entertainment forms, not normally presented outside the tea houses. As it is the 20th edition, Kabuki actors have been invited to perform Kabuki dances.

    T˘daiji Temple (Nara)
    Dates 23 September 2018
    T˘daiji Kabuki
    Program

    Renjishi

    Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Toranosuke

    Comments

    A special Kabuki performance on a temporary stage built in front of the Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) in the heart of the T˘daiji Temple in the city of Nara. This event belongs to a series of event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the inscription of the T˘daiji Temple as an UNESCO World Heritage site (in 1998).

     
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