2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza) and 6 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, Shinbashi Enbuj˘)!

  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Band˘ Takesabur˘ perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke and Ichikawa Somegor˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji and Band˘ Hikosabur˘ perform at the National Theatre
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Ukon and Nakamura Shid˘ perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • Lots of young talented actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘!
  • Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2015 (Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki)
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

    Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)


    Sh˘gun Edo o Saru


    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Fűin Giri)

    B˘ Shibari


    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Nakamura Matsue, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Kunio, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘


    Nakamura Kanjaku V takes the prestigious name of Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza!

  • Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship. In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Nakamura Hashinosuke as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Kataoka Ainosuke as Gor˘ and Nakamura Senjaku as Jűr˘.
  • Yoshidaya: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. Izaemon, the son of a wealthy family, has been disowned for loving a courtesan and now has nothing but a paper kimono. This role is a classic example of the wagoto or soft style of acting that is one of the representative acting styles of the Kansai region. Nakamura Ganjir˘ stars as Izaemon, a role that is a specialty of his family's Kansai acting style. Featuring Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ as the courtesan ďgiya Yűgiri (Izaemon's lover), Nakamura Baigyoku and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse and Kataoka Ainosuke as the Fujiya tedai T˘suke.
  • 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 Baigyoku) 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 Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Band˘ Takesabur˘.
  • Sh˘gun Edo o Saru:
    (The Sh˘gun's Surrender)
    This modern play by Mayama Seika is part of a trilogy about the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The shogunate official Yamaoka Tetsutar˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke) has already pleaded successfully to the imperial forces for the life of the Sh˘gun in return for his surrender. But the Sh˘gun Tokugawa Yoshinobu (Nakamura Baigyoku) begins to reconsider and now Yamaoka must plead with the Sh˘gun to surrender without a struggle as he promised or he will run the risk of having the entire country fall into civil war.
  • 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 Ganjir˘ IV.
  • Fűin Giri:
    (Breaking the Seals)
    In the pleasure quarters, the most important possessions were money and reputation. In danger of losing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa, the money courier Kameya Chűbŕ breaks the seals on a package of money entrusted to him after being taunted by a rival, even though the use of such money is punishable by death. Starring Nakamura Ganjir˘ as Chűbŕ, Nakamura Senjaku as Umegawa, Kataoka Nizaemon as Chűbŕ's treacherous friend Tanbaya Hachiemon, Kataoka Gat˘ as Jiemon and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Oen, the proprietress of the teahouse.
  • B˘ Shibari:
    (Tied to a Pole)
    A dance play based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master (Nakamura Kikaku) is irritated that his two servants always drink his wine while he is out. He plots with his servant Tar˘kaja (Nakamura Kazutar˘) to trick the other servant Jir˘kaja (Kataoka Ainosuke) into demonstrating his skill at stick fighting, tying him to the stick. The master then ties up Tar˘kaja as well. But he is outsmarted when the two still manage to drink his wine while tied up. Their happy singing and dancing while tied up is a dazzling display of virtuoso dancing and star two of the finest young dancers in Kabuki.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2015 (Hatsuharu ďkabuki)
    Early Spring Grand Kabuki

    Gion Sairei Shink˘ki (Kinkakuji)

    Kumo no Hy˘shimai

    Ippon Gatana Dohy˘ Iri


    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Onna Shibaraku



    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Utae, Ichikawa Omez˘


    Young popular star Ichikawa Ennosuke performs for the very first time at the newly-built Kabukiza! Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ plays this month at the Kabukiza two spectacular and physically-demanding roles: the leading roles of "Kumo no Hy˘shimai" and "Onna Shibaraku".

  • 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 (Ichikawa Somegor˘) 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 Kankur˘), pretends to come under Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within. Princess Yuki (Nakamura Shichinosuke) 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.
  • Kumo no Hy˘shimai:
    (The Dance of the Spider-Woman)
    One of the favorite themes for the gala performances that would open a theatre year was the general Yorimitsu and his work in vanquishing ghosts and mysterious creatures. This particular dance is one of the oldest classics in the repertory, but only the music remains and what is presented today is a spectacular modern staging. The general Yorimitsu and his retainers Sadamitsu and Kintoki are keeping guard over the palace over the Kazan retired emperor and are astonished to find a mysterious woman in the mansion. She wants to see Yorimitsu's precious sword and they dance rhythmically to the names of famous sword makers, and with beautiful branches of cherry blossoms. But she is actually the spirit of the earth spider who is trying to capture Yorimitsu and make him her retainer and the dance ends with revealing her true form and fighting with magical spider webs. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in the role of the spirit of the earth spider. Featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke in the role of Minamoto Raik˘. Featuring also Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura Kankur˘ as the shitenn˘ Sakata Kintoki and Watanabe Tsuna.
  • Ippon Gatana Dohy˘ Iri: this is a modern play by Hasegawa Shin and shows Komagata Mohŕ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), a starving, would-be sum˘ wrestler. He encounters a courtesan Otsuta (Nakamura Kaishun), who gives him her purse and hair ornaments and makes him promise to become a champion sum˘ wrestler. In turn, she promises to go see him make his ceremonial entry into the ring. But ten years later, Mohŕ has become a gangster instead. Now a powerful fighter, he rescues Otsuta and her family. Ironically, this has become the only way that he can repay her kindness and the shameful form that his entry into the ring has taken.
  • Banch˘ Sarayashiki: the story of Okiku, who became a ghost after breaking one of a precious set of plates and being killed in punishment by a quick-tempered lord, is one of the most famous in Japanese tradition. But this is a modern play, which transforms the ghost story into a portrait of the interaction of contrasting and incompatable personalities. The samurai lord Aoyama Harima (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) is passionate and quick to fight and is in the middle of a fight when he is stopped by his aunt. She has arranged a marriage for him and Harima is unable to admit that the reason he will not marry is because he is deeply in love with Okiku (Nakamura Shibajaku), a lady-in-waiting in his household. As strong as Harima is, his aunt's will is much stronger. But this makes Okiku wonder about the strength of Harima's love for her and she tests him by breaking one of a set of heirloom plates. When she tests Harima's feelings, this seals her fate and sets the tragedy of the play in motion.
  • Onna Shibaraku: more ceremony than play, "Shibaraku" is one of the oldest pieces in Kabuki. Just as an evil villain is about to execute a group of loyal retainers, a voice calls out for him to wait and a hero appears to save the day. This version is a parody, though, as the hero is played by an onnagata female role specialist, who mixes the super-human strength of an aragoto hero with the soft gentleness of a Kabuki heroine. Featuring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as the heroine and Nakamura Karoku as the larger-than-life villain, with Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon as a friendly stage attendant who makes sure that everything goes right. Featuring also Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Ichikawa Omez˘.
  • Kurozuka: a woman has grown bitter at the world after being rejected by her husband and now loves in seclusion, killing travelers and becoming a kind of demon. However, when she gives shelter to a holy man and his party, she rejoices at this opportunity to find salvation. She goes to get firewood to keep her visitors warm, cautioning them not to look into the back room, where the bodies of her victims are. She dances in joy among the dry autumn grasses under the full moon at her chance for absolution. But the porter in the holy man's party looks in the back room and they all leave in a panic. The old woman is furious at being betrayed and this transforms her into a demon, which is finally vanquished by the power of the holy man. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as the old woman and Nakamura Kankur˘ as the holy man.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2015

    Nans˘ Satomi Hakkenden


    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Baishi, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Ichimura Takematsu, Onoe Ukon, Onoe Sakon


    Revival in 5 acts (9 scenes) at the National Theatre of the spectacular drama "Nans˘ Satomi Hakkenden", with the Otowaya guild led by Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Tokiz˘:

  • Hakkenden:
    (The Eight Dog Warriors)
    the original novel is an immense epic by 19th century novelist Takizawa Bakin published over many years, but eventually reaching one-hundred and sixty volumes. The Satomi clan is being attacked and its lord offers his daughter Princess Fuse to the warrior that will bring him the head of the enemy. It is his loyal dog that kills and beheads the enemy and, saying that her father must not go back on his word, Princess Fuse goes with the dog. Nevertheless, the Satomi clan is defeated and one of its loyal retainers goes to rescue Princess Fuse, shooting the dog, but unfortunately shooting Princess Fuse as well. The eight crystal beads of her rosary, each engraved with the Chinese characters of one of the Confucian virtues, goes flying through the air. Miraculously, each will be found with a newborn baby. These eight children, all of whom have the character inu for "dog" in their names, eventually meet and join together to restore the Satomi clan. The play features all the stars of the company and follows the adventures of the eight dog warriors as they meet and gradually join together, leading to a climactic fight on the roof of a dizzyingly high tower.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Dates 24 January 2015 (Dent˘ Kabuki Hozonkai Kenshű Happy˘kai)
    Training Recital of the Organization for the Preservation of Kabuki

    Soga Moy˘ Tateshi no Goshozome
    (Gosho no Goroz˘)

    Otanoshimi ďgiri


    Stars' disciples under the direction of Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ and the guidance of Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku


    15th Training Recital at the National Theatre produced by the Organization for the Preservation of Kabuki. "Otanoshimi ďgiri" (literally enjoyable ˘giri) is a stage speech delivered by Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku.

  • Gosho no Goroz˘: a portrait of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters at the height of its splendor. Rival gangs dressed in the height of fashion exchange stately speeches before fighting in the elaborate poetic cadences of Kawatake Mokuami, the last great playwright of Kabuki. Goroz˘ is the handsome leader of a gang, but his lover, the top courtesan Satsuki pretends to reject him to save his life. Tragedy strikes when Goroz˘ is driven to revenge.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 25 January 2015 (Hatsuharu Hanagata Kabuki)
    Early Spring Young Actors Kabuki

    Ishikawa Goemon


    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Ukon, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichikawa Unosuke, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu


    The 2009 drama "Ishikawa Goemon" is staged for the third time (previous time was June 2012 at the Misonoza) to spectacularly celebrate the new year at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘.

  • Ishikawa Goemon: a spectacular play full of keren about the larger-than-life king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon and his arch enemy Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The play starts in Ky˘to in Sanj˘ Kawaramachi on the execution ground, where Ishikawa Goemon is about to be boiled to death with his son. The scenario was written by the manga storywriter, novelist and screenwriter Kibayashi Shin, the author of the manga series "Kindaichi Case Files". This play was premiered in August 2009 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. The roles of Ishikawa Goemon and Toyotomi Hideyoshi are played by Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and Ichikawa Ukon.
  • Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2015 (Shinshun Hanagata Kabuki)
    New Year Young Actors Kabuki

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Haru no Shirabe Musume Nanakusa

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
    (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

    Koma Uri


    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Sh˘j˘

    Niwaka Jishi


    Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kash˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Tanenosuke


    The yearly show for young promising actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ in Asakusa, a lively and colorful neighboorhood that keeps the scent of old Edo.

  • Otoshidama: a special k˘j˘ for new year greetings (nenshi goaisatsu in Japanese).
  • Musume Nanakusa: in the Edo period, every New Year, plays appeared about the medieval vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘. This colorful, old-fashioned dance mixes this tradition with that of eating porridge containing seven auspicious herbs on the seventh day of the new year. As the brothers Jűr˘ (Nakamura Hayato) and Gor˘ (Onoe Matsuya) prepare to face their father's murderer and take revenge, along with beautiful Shizuka Gozen (Nakamura Kotar˘), they cut the herbs, as a symbolic act of vengeance.
  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan. Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance. Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy. This performance stars Nakamura Kash˘ as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Yonekichi as Tokiwa Gozen, Onoe Matsuya as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Koma Uri:
    (Top Seller)
    This dance was written by Oka Onitar˘ and first performed in 1923. Top sellers Senkichi (Band˘ Minosuke) and Manz˘ (Nakamura Tanenosuke) appear at the Kameido Tenjin Shrine in early spring. A geisha (Nakamura Yonekichi) comes and wishes to hear their fluent speech they give when they sell their tops. So Senkichi narrates the origin of tops and sometimes the geisha responds to it. Then Senkichi and Manz˘ dance gallantly to represent the battle between Genji and Heike clan. They give an acrobatic performance that uses a spinning top after that. The dance ends happily joined by shichimai (lion dance).
  • Tepp˘ Watashi/Futatsudama/Kanpei Harakiri: this section of the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura" is about Hayano Kanpei (Onoe Matsuya) and his wife Okaru (Nakamura Kotar˘). Kanpei survives as a hunter and is desperate for the money that will allow him to become a samurai again. He encounters two former retainers of Lord En'ya Hangan who offer to allow him to participate in a vendetta to avenge Lord En'ya Hangan's death by attacking K˘ no Moron˘. Unknown to him, though, Okaru's family has decided to raise the memory by selling her into prostitution as a courtesan in the Gion district of Ky˘to. Okaru's father travels on a dark mountain road, eager to bring the first half of the money to Kanpei. But he is attacked and robbed by Sadakur˘ (Band˘ Minosuke), also a former retainer of Lord En'ya Hangan who has gone bad and become a thief. At this point, Kanpei aims and fires at s wild boar and instead kills Sadakur˘. He finds the purse with all the money and, thinking that is the gift of heaven, rushes home. At home, the brothel keeper is already there to collect Okaru and Kanpei wants to refuse to let her go, until he realizes where the money came from and believes that he killed Okaru's father by mistake. He urges Okaru to go to the pleasure quarters, not wanting her to know what has happened. In one of the dramatic highlights of the play, Kanpei commits suicide to atone for his multiple failures in duty.
  • Sh˘j˘: the sh˘j˘ is a mythical sake-loving spirit that lives in the sea. In this dance, a sake seller has a mysterious customer that appears daily and drinks enormous amounts with great satisfaction. The sake seller has a dream with instructions to go by the beach with a large tub of sake. As it turns out, the customer has actually been the sh˘j˘ in disguise. The dance shows two sh˘j˘ as they drink and dance joyfully. Starring Nakamura Tanenosuke as the sh˘j˘ and Nakamura Hayato as the sake seller.
  • Niwaka Jishi: this lively dance evokes the atmosphere of an Edo period festival. The highlight of the piece is the lion dance performed by two of the handsome young men of the neighborhood. Featuring Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Minosuke and Nakamura Kash˘ as the firefighters. Featuring Nakamura Kotar˘ and Nakamura Yonekichi as the geisha.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

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