DECEMBER 2021

2 shows in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 34 in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre)!

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Nakamura Kinnosuke perform at the Minamiza!
  • Nobody performs at the National Theatre
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Minosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke and Ichikawa Chűsha perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 2 ~ 23 December 2021
    Kichirei Kaomise K˘gy˘
    Annual Festive Face-Showing Performances
    1st program

    Sarashi Sanbas˘

    Sonezaki Shinjű

    2nd program

    Sannin Kichisa Tomoe no Shiranami
    (ďkawabata K˘shinzuka)

    Migawari Zazen

    3rd program

    Kari no Tayori

    Kumo no Ito Azusa no Yumihari

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kangyoku, Kataoka Sennosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Kataoka Senju, Kataoka Rikiya

    Comments

    The traditional kaomise in Ky˘to at the Minamiza.

  • Sarashi Sanbas˘: at the Hakone Gongen Shrine at the foot of Mt. Hakone, a commotion is caused by the loss of the treasured white banner belonging to the Genji clan that had been dedicated to the shrine. Two women appear and, claiming it is also in dedication to the shrine, they start dancing a sanbas˘ dance. When a piece of cloth drops out of one of the women's pocket, they are accused of stealing the white Genji banner. In fact, they are princesses related to the Heike clan, and they stole the banner to curse their arch-rival, the Genji clan. In dance form, they swing the white banner above their heads as though it was a long strip of cloth being bleached in the sun (nuno-zarashi). Featuring young actors Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Takanosuke and Nakamura Toranosuke.
  • Sonezaki Shinjű: a young merchant named Tokubŕ has long been in love with the courtesan Ohatsu and is diligently trying to buy out her contract. But he is swindled out of his money by someone he considered a friend. Then he is beaten and humiliated in the precincts of the Ikutama shrine. He sneaks into the teahouse where Ohatsu is and she hides him under the veranda. At this point, Tokubŕ's "friend" comes and calls him a criminal. Ohatsu fiercely defends Tokubŕ and asks whether he is prepared to defend his honor by committing love suicide. Silently, from under the veranda, he holds her bare foot and draws it across his neck. The journey to the forest where they commit love suicide is like a dream, half-way between this world and the next and has some of the most famous lines in Japanese theatre: "Farewell to this world and to this night, farewell. To what should we who go to our deaths be likened? We are like the frost on the road leading to the graveyard, vanishing with each step". Starring Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of Tokubŕ and Ohatsu. Featuring also Nakamura Baigyoku and Nakamura Kikaku.
  • Sannin Kichisa:
    (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
    The playwright Kawatake Mokuami excelled at portrayals of thieves and this short scene, with its music and poetic lines, is one of his most famous. A beautiful young woman helps out a woman who is lost on the road. But she is actually Oj˘ Kichisa, a male thief who is disguised as a woman. He steals an immense sum of money that the woman is carrying and this leads to an encounter on this riverbank of three thieves, all with the name Kichisa. The two others Kichisa are Osh˘ Kichisa, a bonze turned thief, and Ob˘ Kichisa, an ex-samurai turned thief Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang. Featuring Kataoka Takatar˘ as Oj˘ Kichisa, Nakamura Shikan as Osh˘ Kichisa and Nakamura Hayato as Ob˘ Kichisa.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Nakamura Shikan). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Nakamura Hayato) 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.
  • Kari no Tayori: an unusual play in the ďsaka acting style originally written in the 19th century by Nakamura Utaemon III. A barber (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) finds his feelings twisted one way and another by the events in the neighboring samurai mansion where the lord is trying to force Tsukasa (Kataoka Senju), a beautiful woman, to become his mistress. The play shows the barber's changing reactions to two letters from the beautiful woman declaring her love for him. One letter is sincere, the other is a forgery but both turn out to be dangerous traps. Featuring also Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kamimura Kichiya and Kataoka Shinnosuke.
  • Kumo no Ito: one of the oldest dances related to the legend of a giant ground spider that attacked the medieval warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu. Yorimitsu is visited by the spider with magical powers disguised first as a kosh˘, second as a taiko mochi, third as a zat˘ and finally as a keisei. After revealing its true nature, the spider spins trying to trap the warrior in its web. ACT plays the five roles of this hengemono. Featuring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Minamoto no Yorimitsu.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates ??? ~ ??? December 2021
    Program

    ???

    Casting

    ???

    Comments

    Due to maintenance works on the main stage, there is no December Grand Kabuki at the National Theatre!

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 26 December 2021
    Jűnigatsu ďkabuki
    December Grand Kabuki
    1st program

    Shinpan Date no Jűyaku

    2nd program

    Meoto D˘j˘ji

    Jiisan Baasan

    3rd program

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshinoyama)

    Shinano Momiji no Onizoroi

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Minosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Chűsha, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Kash˘

    Comments

    The December Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in 3 programs.

  • Date no Jűyaku: One of the most famous plays in Kabuki is "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", the story of the fabulously wealthy Date clan in Sendai and plots to take over the clan. In the early 19th century, this play was rewritten so that one actor could play all the roles, switching from one to another with fast changes. The script for this particular version was lost, but some twenty years ago, Ichikawa Ennosuke III had a new version prepared and this has since become a classic of Ennosuke's style of Kabuki. This month, it is a revised version (shinpan means 'new edition') under the guidance of Ichikawa Ennosuke, who plays ten roles, male and female, young and old, villain and hero. Featuring also Band˘ Minosuke, Ichikawa Monnosuke and Ichikawa Chűsha.
  • Meoto D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at D˘j˘ji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version there are two dancers and one is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as the female dancer and Onoe Ukon as the male dancer.
  • Jiisan Baasan: based on a short story by Mori ďgai, this modern play by Uno Nobuo shows a loving young couple. The samurai Iori travels to Ky˘to with his lord, leaving Run, his beloved wife, behind. While there, he attacks another man in a fight over a sword and is forced into house arrest, separating him from his wife. Many years later, he returns to his home as an old man. There he meets an elderly woman and they do not recognize each other until she sees the one thing that has not changed with age, Iori's peculiar habit of putting his hand to his nose. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke as Iori and Run.
  • 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 Onoe Sh˘roku as Tadanobu, with Nakamura Shichinosuke as Shizuka.
  • Shinano Momiji no Onizoroi: This is a dance drama adapted from the play "Momijigari" portraying how Taira no Koremochi (Nakamura Shichinosuke) slayed the demon of Mt. Togakushi (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘). Taira no Koremochi is passing through Mt. Togakushi in Shinano Province when a noblewoman and her ladies-in-waiting invite him to join them as they enjoy the colourful maple leaves. Eventually, he becomes drunk and falls into a deep sleep. The Mountain God (Onoe Sh˘roku) appears and warns him that the noblewoman and her ladies are, in reality, demons. Then the noblewoman and her ladies-in-waiting reappear in their true forms as the demons of Mt. Togakushi.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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