AUGUST 2023

6 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 2 in ďsaka (National Bunraku Theatre, Kintetsu Art Kan), 1 in Saitama (Rai BoC Hall) and 1 tour (Western Provinces)!

  • Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Kataoka Ainosuke perform at the Minamiza!
  • Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Kamimura Kichiya are tour in the Western Provinces!
  • All the others great Kabuki actors are on vacation ...
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 27 August 2023
    Hachigatsu N˘ry˘ Kabuki
    August Cool-Breeze Kabuki
    1st program

    Hadaka D˘chű

    ďeyama Shuten D˘ji

    2nd program

    Shinmon Tatsugor˘

    Dango Uri

    3rd program

    Shin Suikoden

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Band˘ Shingo, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Nakamura Toranosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Seiko, Nakamura Baika, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Ichimura Hikaru, Ichikawa Danko, Nakamura Kantar˘, Asano Kazuyuki, Kashima Noritoshi

    Comments

    The August Young Actors Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza.

  • Hadaka D˘chű: Katsugor˘ (Nakamura Shid˘), who lives in Ogawa village in Owari Province, cannot stop gambling and lives in poverty. He wears only a short coat, while his wife Miki (Nakamura Shichinosuke) must go around in nothing but an undershirt and waistcloth. As usual, they are quarrelling again today, on the day of the annual autumn festival. Shimizu no Jiroch˘ (Band˘ Yajűr˘), to whom he owes a debt of gratitude, visits them by chance with his wife Och˘ (Ichikawa Komaz˘) and asks them for a night's lodging. Katsugor˘ is surprised at their reunion...
  • ďeyama:
    (The Demon of Mt. ďe)
    One of the most famous stories about demons is about Shuten D˘ji, the demon of Mt. ďe, who loved sake and terrorized Ky˘to by kidnapping beautiful women and forcing them to serve him before he ate them. Finally, he is defeated by the famous demon-quelling warrior Minamoto no Raik˘ and his four followers. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as Shuten D˘ji and Nakamura Senjaku as Raik˘. Based on a classical play, this is a dance that was created by Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII. Also featuring Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Kotar˘.
  • Shinmon Tatsugor˘: this play is set at the end of the Edo period, when conflict raged between one faction that favored the opening of Japan to foreign countries, and another faction that favored the exclusion of foreigners. This dispute even continued between the Tokugawa shogunate and the Imperial Court. In the play, Shinmon Tatsugor˘ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), head of the "Wo" Group in Asakusa, the 10th firefighting brigade in Edo, has come to Ky˘to at the request of the Mito Domain to which he is indebted, in order to accompany the Sh˘gun who hopes to open the country. The group led by Tatsugor˘ becomes popular among the people in Ky˘to. The Aizu Domain which has defended Ky˘to becomes jealous of this, and the two domains become further estranged. Tatsugor˘ shelters a young samurai of the Tengűt˘ Party (literally 'the tengű party') from the Mito Domain at the house of the geisha Yaegiku (Nakamura Shichinosuke), with whom he is familiar. This results in an incident. Tatsugor˘ is thus involved in a political dispute in Ky˘to. Featuring also Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Karoku, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Nakamura Hayato.
  • Dango Uri:
    (The Dumpling Peddlers)
    the mortar and pestle used for pounding rice cakes and dumplings are a symbol of a happily married couple. This short, lively dance shows a couple peddling dumplings with a series of songs and dances. Starring Band˘ Minosuke and Nakamura Kotar˘ in the roles of the husband and the wife.
  • Shin Suikoden: "Shin Suikoden" was staged for the first time in August 2008 at Le Theatre Ginza (T˘ky˘). The story is based on "Shin Suikoden", "New Tales from the Water Margin" in English, a novel written by Yoshikawa Eiji and published in Japan between 1960 and 1963. This novel was itself based on the famous Chinese novel "Water Margin" ("Shui Hu Zhuan" in Chinese). The story of this 14th century novel is set in the Song Dynasty and it tells of how a group of 108 outlaws gathers at Mount Liang to form a sizable army before they are eventually granted amnesty by the government and sent on campaigns to resist foreign invaders and suppress rebel forces. In 1805, Kyokutei Bakin released a Japanese translation of the "Water Margin" illustrated by Hokusai. The book, which was called "Shinpen Suikogaden", (the "New Illustrated Edition of the Suikoden"), was a success during the Edo period and spurred a Japanese "Suikoden" craze. This play is set in the 12th century in China during the Northern Song dynasty. Rin Chű (Nakamura Hayato), the most evil scoundrel in China, is imprisoned as punishment for committing many crimes. Ch˘ Gai (Ichikawa Chűsha), who has brought together a band of villains under his leadership and who has a stronghold in Ry˘zanpaku, hears rumours of Rin Chű's imprisonment and orders his right-hand man K˘son Sh˘ (Ichikawa Monnosuke) to rescue him. However, Rin Chű does not get along with the comrades in Ry˘zanpaku, such as Oyasha (Nakamura Kazutar˘) and others, and spends day after day drinking alcohol. The young heir of the neighbouring town Dokuryűk˘ attacks them, supported by the tough Imperial army led by K˘ Kyű (Asano Kazuyuki), a senior statesman of the Imperial Palace. Though his stalwart comrades head off to battle, Rin Chű remains unconcerned. H˘ Ki (Ichikawa Danko), Rin Chű's former pupil while he was an instructor at the military academy and now a soldier of the Imperial army, secretly presents him with calligraphy that reads 'Be just and do Heaven's will', which Rin Chű had previously given him. He urges him to withdraw, but Rin Chű treats H˘ Ki cruelly. Meanwhile, the Imperial army plans to destroy Rin Chű and Ry˘zanpaku...
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 August 2023
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Kaidan Botan D˘r˘

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Kitamura Rokur˘, Kawai Yukinoj˘

    Comments

    A special program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Ky˘to at the Minamiza. The guest star is Kataoka Ainosuke.

  • Botan D˘r˘: one of the most famous ghost stories in Japan shows the ghost of a beautiful young girl who visits the man she loves nightly, her way lit by a lantern decorated with peonies. The clatter of her wooden clogs announces her appearance, ôůkarannnůkoronnnnůö Originally a Chinese story, it became a Japanese classic when it was transformed into a long rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ (1839~1900). Otsuyu the daughter of a samurai family falls in love with a young samurai named Shinzabur˘ (Kitamura Rokur˘), but she falls sick and dies when he stops visiting her. Her ghost begins to visit him nightly preceded by the ghost of her nursemaid carrying a lantern decorated with peonies and he welcomes these meetings, not realizing that she is dead. But a priest sees the signs of death and protects Shinzabur˘ with holy amulets and a powerful Buddhist statue. The ghosts then bribe Shinzabur˘ĺs greedy servant Tomoz˘ (Kataoka Ainosuke) and his wife Omine (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘) to take the amulets away. The result is that Shinzabur˘ is killed by the ghosts and Tomoz˘ and Omine run away with the money. But the money doesnĺt bring them happiness. This version of the story is not just a tale of ghosts, but shows human treachery and the revolving ironies of fate.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 6 August 2023
    Ne no Kai
    Program

    Shiokumi

    Aki no Irokusa

    Echigo Jishi

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi)

    Comments

    25th edition of the summer program of the association Ne no Kai (literally 'the Sound Association'). The first 3 items in this program are only musical performances.

    Dates 11 ~ 15 August 2023
    Chigyokai/Kabukikai
    Program

    Kuruwa Sanbas˘

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kurumabiki
  • Ga no Iwai
  • Renjishi

    Comments

    29th edition of the common program for 2 associations, the Chigyokai (the Young Fishes Association) and the Kabukikai (the Kabuki Association), which stars stars' disciples in the leading roles of all the items in the program under the supervision of Nakamura Tokiz˘, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘ and the furitsuke master Fujima Kanso III.

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 3 August 2023
    Ken no Kai
    Program

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji

    Casting

    Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Kangyoku, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Onoe Kikusabur˘

    Comments

    7th edition of the Ken no Kai, a 2-day 4-performance gala starring Onoe Kikugor˘ VI's great-grandson Onoe Ukon. Ken no Kai literally means 'Ken's Association' with Ken being the first ideogram in Onoe Ukon's real first name Kensuke.

  • 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 Onoe Ukon as Danshichi/Otatsu, with Band˘ Minosuke and Nakamura Ganjir˘ as Issun Tokubŕ/Mikawaya Giheiji and Tsuribune Sabu.
  • Musume D˘j˘ji: a beautiful young woman dances under cherry blossoms at a dedication ceremony for a temple bell. She dances the many aspects of a woman in love, but is actually the spirit of a serpent, driven to destroy the bell out of jealousy. In addition to being the most famous of all Kabuki dances, "Musume D˘j˘ji" is considered to be the pinnacle of the art of the onnagata. The role of the shiraby˘shi is played by Onoe Ukon.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Rai BoC Hall (Saitama)
    Dates 5 August 2023
    Kabuki Buy˘Kabuki Buy˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Kabuki Dance Special Performances
    Program

    Kotobuki Shiki Sanbas˘

    Shiokumi

    Tsuri Onna

    Casting

    Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Takanosuke

  • Kotobuki Shiki Sanbas˘: Okina is the oldest ritual in the theater. This Kabuki version shows Okina, an old man who symbolizes eternal youth, his attendant Senzai and the vigorous Sanbas˘, who perform dances solemnly for good fortune. Sanbas˘ dances vigorously, stamping and shaking bells, praying for agricultural fertility and prosperity for all. This dances features Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke and Nakamura Takanosuke in the roles of the sanbas˘, the okina and the senzai.
  • 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 Onoe Ukon as the shiokumi. Featuring also Nakamura Takanosuke as a fisherman.
  • Tsuri Onna: a dance based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master (Onoe Ukon) longs for a wife and is told by the gods in a dream to go fishing for one. He is united with a beautiful princess (Nakamura Yonekichi). His servant Tar˘kaja (Nakamura Kinnosuke) wants a wife as well, but when he goes fishing, is stuck with a very surprising companion, played by Nakamura Ganjir˘ in a rare, humorous, female role.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Comments

    A special 1-day 2-performance Kabuki Buy˘ program in Saitama at the Rai BoC Hall (ďmiya Civic Hall).

    Kintetsu Art Kan (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 6 August 2023
    Sora no Kai
    Program

    Higo no Komageta

    Casting

    Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘, Kataoka Senju, Kataoka T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kansei, Kataoka Yűjir˘, Kataoka Rikiya, Kataoka Toshiya, Kataoka Sentar˘, Kataoka Aijir˘

    Comments

    The 8th gala of the Sora no Kai (literally 'Sky Society'), in ďsaka at the Kintetsu Art Kan, which stars mostly disciples of the Matsushimaya guild. These performances are entitled Abeno Kabuki (Abeno is the name of a famous district in ďsaka). Two performances each day, one at 12:00 and one at 17:00.

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 25 ~ 26 August 2023
    Kamigata Kabukikai
    Program

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Tsuri Onna

    Comments

    33rd edition of the Kamigata Kabukikai (the Kamigata Kabuki Association), a summer program in ďsaka which stars Kamigata Kabuki stars' disciples in the leading roles under the supervision of Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Kamimura Kichiya for the 5th and 6th acts of "Kanadehon Chűshingura". The dance-drama "Tsuri Onna" is staged under the supervision of the furitsuke Yamamura Tomogor˘ III.

    Kabuki Tour in the Western Provinces
    Dates 31 August ~ 24 September 2023
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Nishi K˘su
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Western Course
    Program

    Tsuchiya Chikara

    Shiokumi

    Casting

    Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    The Grand Kabuki Tour in the Western Provinces.

  • Tsuchiya Chikara: this play is a specialty of the Nakamura Ganjir˘ family and features the distinctive flashy acting of Kansai actors. This month it will be performed by the younger members of this acting line. One of many stories set on the theme of the revenge of the forty-seven loyal retainers features a lord named Tsuchiya Chikara (Nakamura Ganjir˘) who lives next door to the enemy of the loyal retainers and is disgusted because they do not seem to be interested in avenging the death of the lord. He learns from his haiku teacher that ďtaka Gengo (Nakamura Kikaku), one of his students who should be part of the vendetta left a poem suggesting that he was forgetting his former lord and going to take service with another samurai lord. But in fact, this poem is a riddle hiding the secret of the vendetta.
  • 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 Kamimura Kichiya and Nakamura Kikaku.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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