Sakata T˘jűr˘ celebrates his shűmei in Fukuoka,
playing the role of Masaoka in the drama "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" and the 5 roles of the hengemono "ďtsue D˘j˘ji".
Shihei no Nana Warai:
(Shihei's Seven Laughs)
The Heian period court minister Sugawara no
Michizane is famous for being exiled to Kyushu by a political rival.
He died angry and vengeful and was said to be transformed into a thunder god.
His angry spirit was placated by making him a god and now Michizane is worshipped
as Tenjin, the god of learning. This is the subject of one of the most famous
plays of Bunraku and Kabuki ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami")
and Michizane's political rival, Fujiwara no Shihei,
is always depicted as a larger-than-life villain, an evil courtier with magical
powers. This play, a rarely performed classic of the Kansai style of Kabuki,
and reverses the story totally. Michizane (Nakamura Kanjaku) is the victim of slander and
Shihei (Kataoka Gat˘) does his best to try to mend the situation, but unfortunately
Michizane is exiled. But after Michizane leaves, Shihei shows his true self
and in a famous scene, laughs triumphantly. Shihei engineered Michizane's exile
Meiboku Sendai Hagi: this play is about the attempt to take over one of
the most famous samurai households in the Edo period, the Date clan
ruling Sendai, a scandal that caused a sensation in its day.
After the death of the lord of the clan, his young heir is the target of
villains. Masaoka (Sakata T˘jűr˘), the boy's nurse is desperately afraid that he
will be poisoned. She refuses to let anyone see him who might try to
assassinate him and attempts to keep him safe in the women's quarters
where men are forbidden. 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 Senmatsu sacrifices his life for the young
lord by eating the poisoned candy, and when he is killed,
Masaoka 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.
As another faithful retainer Otokonosuke (Ichikawa Sadanji), stands guard underneath
the room, the evil Nikki Danj˘ (Nakamura Tomijűr˘) appears as a giant rat, but then
slips away, walking calmly through the clouds.
Kane no Misaki: Nakamura Kaishun 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.
(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 Nakamura Senjaku and Nakamura Kanjaku in the roles of the husband and the wife.
Onna Date: Nakamura Shikan stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights
in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
Tsuru Kame: the crane (tsuru) is said to live for a thousand
years, the tortoise (kame) is said to live for ten thousand years.
Together, they are a traditional symbol of longevity. There is no particular plot
to this play, but simply shows a visit by the emperor to the Moon Pavilion where
two courtiers dance as the spirits of the crane and tortoise.
Starring Nakamura Tomijűr˘ as the emperor, Nakamura Kanjaku as the spirit of the crane and
Nakamura Senjaku as the spirit of the tortoise.
Kenuki: in this play, which retains the light, festive atmosphere of
early-period Kabuki, a princess has a mysterious ailment that makes her hair stand
on end, an ailment that prevents her from carrying out her long-awaited marriage.
Kumedera Danj˘ comes from the groom's household to investigate and finds a plot
to take over the household when his tweezers float in mid-air.
Ichikawa Sadanji stars in a play that features the bombastic aragoto
style of acting.
ďtsue D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" or "The Maiden at Dojoji Temple"
is the most famous dance to display the alluring charm of an onnagata female
role specialist and has inspired many variations. It shows the ghost of a woman who was
transformed into a serpent out of passion and destroyed a temple bell. In this particular version,
a mysterious figure appears as various characters famous from the cartoon like pictures called ˘tsue
before revealing that this is the woman of the "D˘j˘ji" story.
Featuring Sakata T˘jűr˘ in the 5 roles of this hengemono and Nakamura Kanjaku in the role of the Demon Queller.
Genjidana: Yosabur˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku), the refined young son of a wealthy merchant falls
in love with Otomi (Nakamura Tokiz˘) the moment he first sees her on the beach.
But Otomi is the mistress of a powerful gangster, and when their relationship
is discovered, the two are attacked. Yosabur˘ is cut from head to toe and
the two are dumped into the sea. Otomi lives and is taken in by a rich
merchant while Yosabur˘ is now covered with scars. Yosabur˘ turns into
a petty thief and extortionist but one day, finds that the woman he is
about to blackmail is none other than Otomi, alive and well.
Source: Earphone Guide website