Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kankur˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke,
Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Shingo
Fubuki T˘ge: Oen and Sukez˘, an adulterous couple, have to take refuge
in a mountain hut built for pilgrims because of a violent snow storm.
Oen was the wife of the gambler Naokichi, who was Sukez˘'s boss. They fell in love
and, in order to escape death (a normal punishment for their immoral conduct),
they had to elope. They now live as fugitives, in great fear of revenge by Naokichi.
Fate has something in store for them as, this very night, Naokichi, who goes on
pilgrimage, has to shelter himself in the same hut...
Featuring Nakamura Baigyoku, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of Naokichi, Oen and Sukez˘.
Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce.
A man (Nakamura Kankur˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako,
but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Kataoka Nizaemon).
He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night
and has his servant (Nakamura Shichinosuke) 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.
K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Kataoka Nizaemon) 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 (Nakamura Kankur˘) 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 Hashinosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Kataoka Kamez˘.
Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Kataoka Nizaemon) 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 Band˘ Yajűr˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Nakamura Hashinosuke as
the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Kataoka Takatar˘ as the island girl Chidori and Nakamura Senjaku as Naritsune,
Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
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 Kankur˘ VI at the Hakataza.
Tokaiya/Daimotsu no Ura: these are two scenes from one of the greatest classics of
the puppet theatre, which has also become a classic of Kabuki.
After the wars between the Genji and Heike clans,
the Genji are victorious and their leader Yoritomo is now Sh˘gun. But there is a falling out
between Yoritomo and his brother Yoshitsune, the brilliant general responsible for the victory.
Now Yoshitsune is fleeing through the country and this play fancifully has him encounter
several famous warriors from the Heike clan, who are not dead, as history has it. Yoshitsune (Nakamura Baigyoku) books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually
Taira no Tomomori (Nakamura Kankur˘), a general of the Heike clan that Yoshitsune helped to defeat.
Tomomori was supposedly killed by Yoshitsune in the final battle of the war, but in this play,
Tomomori is shown as surviving, living in disguise with the child emperor Antoku and his
nursemaid (Nakamura Shichinosuke). At one moment the captain is a gallant commoner, but in the next,
he is Tomomori, a high ranking general close to the emperor. His wife as well is a
cheerful commoner who shows her true identity as a high-ranking lady-in-waiting in the
magnificent robes of the imperial court. Tomomori uses the opportunity to try to get his
revenge on Yoshitsune but is defeated again. Finally Tomomori holds a giant anchor and plunges
into the sea.
Tomo Yakko: a samurai footman rushes after his master in the pleasure
quarters, but loses sight of him. He dances with pride in his master and enjoys
his dance so much that he begins emphasizing it with vigorous foot stamping.
Starring Nakamura Hashinosuke in the role of the yakko.
Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Fubuki T˘ge"