JANUARY 2023

7 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, Shinbashi Enbuj˘), 1 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 1 tour (Zenshinza)!

  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku perform at the National Theatre
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Lots of young talented actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘!
  • Ichikawa Danjűr˘ performs at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • The Zenshinza troupe is on tour!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 27 January 2023
    Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    1st Program

    Udoshi no Haru Kabuki Z˘shi

    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • 2nd Program

    Kotobuki Eh˘ Soga

    Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka

    3rd Program

    Sato Moy˘ Azami no Ironui (Izayoi Seishin)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘

    Comments

    The three programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza. In 2023, the 5th Kabukiza celebrates the 10th anniversary of its opening.

  • Udoshi no Haru Kabuki Z˘shi: villagers in Izumo have heard that Izumo no Okuni's dance troupe, which is much talked about in Ky˘to, is coming home to Izumo where cherry blossoms are now in full bloom, so they are anxious for it to arrive. After turning up, the troupe performs a gorgeous kabuki dance. Okuni begins with an invocation to the Buddha and recalls her late lover Nagoya Sanza. When she does so, he appears looking just as he did when still alive, and ů Featuring Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke and Ichikawa Ennosuke.
  • Benten Musume: this play is a sewamono (realistic play about commoners) written by the late 19th century playwright Mokuami who is famous for his plays about thieves. The thief Benten Koz˘ dresses up as a woman to commit extortion, but his plans are ruined when his disguise is seen through. In the highlight of the play, he undresses, showing his colorful tattoos and introduces himself in a famous poetic speech. Afterwards, he is joined by the members of his gang on a riverbank, and, using the playwright's famous poetic rhythms, in turn, they each boast of their careers as thieves. Kataoka Ainosuke stars as Benten Koz˘, with Nakamura Shikan as Nippon Daemon, Nakamura Kankur˘ as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Ichikawa Ennosuke as Tadanobu Rihei and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘.
  • Kotobuki Eh˘ Soga: Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune (Matsumoto Haku˘) has been appointed the honorable Marshal of the Hunt, an event that will take place at the foot of Mt. Fuji. He is holding a feast to celebrate that new post when the Soga brothers, Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari (Ichikawa Ennosuke) and Soga Gor˘ Tokimune (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), appear disguised as Manzai performers to confront Kud˘. They desire to avenge their father's death by taking Kud˘'s life because it was Kud˘ who killed their father 18 years before with a surprise attack. Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Ganjir˘ in the roles of Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ (Gor˘'s lover), ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover), Oni˘ Shinzaemon and Kobayashi no Asahina.
  • Kane no Yo no Naka:
    (Men Live in a World Where Money is All)
    First performed in 1879, this play written by Kawatake Mokuami reflects the life of Japan after the Edo period with westernized Japanese and greedy businessmen. It is also an adaptation of a foreign play "Money" by Bulwer-Lytton. Featuring Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Senjaku, KiN2, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Shikan and Nakamura Ganjir˘.
  • Izayoi Seishin: love suicides are common in Kabuki, but usually as the conclusion of a play, a tragic end to a love that cannot be. The playwright Kawatake Mokuami gave this play an ironic turn by putting the love suicide at the very beginning of the play. The priest Seishin (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) and the courtesan Izayoi (Nakamura Shichinosuke) are ostracized for having an affair. Seishin decides to forget her and concentrate on his religious training. Before he can leave, though, Izayoi convinces him to die with her. They throw themselves into a river, but both survive. Unaware that Izayoi is still alive and given the chance to start again, Seishin gives up his religious vows and turns to a life of crime. With Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku as the poet Hakuren, in reality the thief ďdera Sh˘bŕ.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2023
    Program

    T˘yama Zakura Tenp˘ Nikki

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku

    Comments

    The New year Kabuki performances at the National Theatre with the revival of Takeshiba Kisui's drama "T˘yama Zakura Tenp˘ Nikki".

  • T˘yama Zakura: There are few characters in TV samurai dramas more popular than T˘yama Kinshir˘, commonly called T˘yama no Kin-san. The city magistrate in charge of judging criminal cases, he also goes around the world of commoners incognito. Then, in court, when the criminals try to say they are innocent, Kin-san says that he knows of their guilt from direct knowledge and exposes his distinctive tattoo. The stories about T˘yama no Kin-san are mostly fictional, but he was a historical figure and from the end of the 19th century, he became a popular figure for plays and stories. One of these plays will be revived at the National Theatre in January, featuring all the talents of the Onoe Kikugor˘ Theatre Troupe. This full-length play features Onoe Kikugor˘ in the role of the magistrate T˘yama Kinshir˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku in the role of the villainous Ikuta Kakudayű, a former samurai who becomes a notorious thief wielding a pistol and then disguises himself as a blind masseur. As the pistol wielding thief, he becomes so notorious that he decides to let someone else take the blame, a defrocked Buddhist priest named Tengaku. But in the end, this seals his fate. Starring also Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke in the roles of Kakudayű's wife Omoto and Obanaya Kosabur˘ (later Yűten Koz˘ Kokichi).
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates ??? ~ ??? January 2023
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ x Kod˘ Hatsuharu Tokubetsu K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Early Spring Special Performances
    Program

    Yűgen

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program at the Sh˘chikuza starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, who performs along with the Kod˘ taiko drummers in a 2017-premiered (in May 2017) dance-drama entitled "Yűgen", which features an array of classical Japanese images from plays by founder Zeami Motokiyo, incorporating themes from iconic works such as "Hagoromo" (The Feather Robe), "D˘j˘ji" (D˘j˘ji Temple) and "Shakky˘" (The Stone Bridge).

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 January 2023
    Shinshun Asakusa Kabuki
    New Year Asakusa Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Meoto D˘j˘ji

    Evening

    Keisei Hangonk˘ (Domo Mata)

    Renjishi

    Casting

    Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Kangyoku, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

    Comments

    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.

  • Hikimado: originally written for the puppet theater, this play shows a tragedy of commoners caught between their duty and their feelings toward their loved ones. A sum˘ wrestler named Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Nakamura Hayato) has been ordered to arrest him. All of these complicated conflicts are symbolized by the lightness and darkness created by the humble skylight (hikimado in Japanese) as a rope is pulled to move a wooden shutter. Featuring also Band˘ Shingo and Kamimura Kichiya in the role of Ohaya and Ok˘.
  • 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 Band˘ Shingo as the female dancer and Band˘ Minosuke as the male dancer.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku, who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Starring Nakamura Kash˘ as Matahei and Nakamura Tanenosuke as his wife Otoku. Featuring Nakamura Kichinoj˘ as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu, Onoe Matsuya as Utanosuke, Nakamura Kangyoku as Shűrinosuke and Nakamura Kamenoj˘ as Sh˘gen's wife Kita-no-Kata.
  • Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes. The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong. This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son. This performance features Onoe Matsuya in the role of the parent shishi and his son Nakamura Kangyoku in the role of the cub.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 6 ~ 27 January 2023
    Hatsuharu Kabuki K˘en ~ Ichikawa Danjűr˘ Shűmei Kinen Puroguramu
    Early Spring Kabuki Performances ~ Ichikawa Danjűr˘ Name-taking Commemoration Program
    Program

    SANEMORI

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Miyadate Ry˘ta

    Comments

    The traditional New Year Kabuki at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ with a troupe led by Ichikawa Danjűr˘. "SANEMORI" was premiered in November 2019 for the fifth edition of the ABKAI (Ebikai in Japanese) gala. This drama is based on the classic "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki" and the story of the warrior Sait˘ no Sanemori. The guest star is an aidoru named Miyadate Ry˘ta (belonging to a boy band named Snow Man).

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 26 January ~ 5 March 2023
    Program

    B˘ Shibari

    Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi

    Casting

    Fujikawa Yanosuke, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Nakajima K˘tar˘, Tamaura Yűnosuke, Hayase Einoj˘, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Arashi Ichitar˘, Watarai Motoyuki, Takei Shigeru, Ishijima Ryűsei

    Comments

    A long tour for the Zenshinza troupe:

  • B˘ Shibari:
    (Tied to a Pole)
    A dance play based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master (Watarai Motoyuki) is irritated that his two servants always drink his wine while he is out. He plots with his servant Tar˘kaja (Tamaura Yűnosuke) to trick the other servant Jir˘kaja (Nakajima K˘tar˘) 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.
  • Bunshichi Mottoi: Ch˘bŕ spends his days and nights gambling, but is finally made aware of his family's problems when his daughter takes a job in the pleasure quarters. Having received the money for her contract, he shows his good side to save a young man on the edge of suicide after losing a large sum of money, but nobody believes Ch˘bŕ, thinking that he has gambled the money away. The performance stars Fujikawa Yanosuke, Hayase Einoj˘ and Ishijima Ryűsei in the roles of Ch˘bŕ, Ch˘bŕ's wife Okane and Bunshichi.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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