JULY 2024

2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Kabukiza, Tiara K˘t˘), 1 in Ch˘fu (Ch˘fu City Green Hall), 1 tour (Sh˘chiku Special Kabuki Tour) and 1 in Matsumoto (Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre)!

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Manju, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Hayato & Band˘ Yajűr˘ perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku, Matsumoto Haku˘, Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kotar˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Onoe Ukon, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Udanji & Band˘ Hikosabur˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Nakamura Shikan and young actors perform at the Tiara K˘t˘ and the Ch˘fu City Green Hall!
  • Nakamura Shid˘ is on tour!
  • Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke perform at the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre!
  • Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 July 2024
    Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki
    The 32nd Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Kosan Kingor˘

    Fuji Musume

    Niwaka Jishi

    Koi Ny˘b˘ Somewake Tazuna
    (Shigenoi Kowakare)

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Kokingo Uchijini
  • Sushiya
  • Shiokumi

    Komochi Yamanba
    (Yaegiri Kuruwa Banashi)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Manju, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Baika, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Tanetar˘, Nakamura Hidenosuke

    Comments

    32nd edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka. Nakamura Manju, Nakamura Tokiz˘ VI and Nakamura Baishi V celebrate their 3-generation shűmei/hatsubutai in July 2024 in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza.

  • Kosan Kingor˘: this is a rare revival of a play about the actor Kanaya Kingor˘ from the early Edo period who became famous for his love affair with the courtesan Kosan. Their story inspired all sorts of plays. In this particular one, Kingor˘ (Nakamura Ganjir˘) is a barber and Kosan (Kataoka Takatar˘) is a courtesan. They do not know each other, but get involved in helping a loving couple to be united by struggling to get a precious tea caddy which has been pawned for fifty gold coins. When they are successful, they gradually learn that they encountered each other five years before on a boat, fell in love, but parted without knowing the other's identity. Kingor˘ and Kosan are happily united. Featuring also Nakamura Senjaku in the role of Otsuru.
  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Onoe Kikunosuke.
  • 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 Nakamura Tokiz˘ (the geisha) and Nakamura Hayato and Nakamura Manju as the firefighters.
  • Shigenoi Kowakare:
    (Shigenoi's Parting from her Son)
    This play was adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater and was written by its greatest playwright, Chikamatsu Monzaemon I. A young horse driver (Nakamura Baishi) is invited to help cheer up a little princess. But the boy happens to be the son of the princess's nurse, Shigenoi (Nakamura Manju). She was forced to abandon him since he was the result of a forbidden relationship. Now she must turn her back on him again to keep any shame from falling on the princess.
  • Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura: this is section of an epic originally written for the Bunraku puppet theatre. The full-length play shows the fate of various Heike generals in hiding after the victory of their enemy, the Genji.
  • Konomi/Kokingo Uchijini:
    (The Chestnut Tree and The Death of Kokingo)
    Wakaba-no-Naishi (Kataoka Takatar˘), the wife of the Heike commander Koremochi travels with her young son and their retainer Kokingo (Nakamura Kash˘), searching for her husband. While resting in a small mountain village, they are met by Gonta (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), a local bully who skillfully cons them out of their money. Later they are set upon by Genji forces, and in a spectacular fight scene, Kokingo sacrifices himself to save his mistress and her son. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Senjaku and Kamimura Kichiya.
  • Sushiya:
    (The Sushi Shop)
    Gonta's father Yazaemon (Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku) runs a sushi shop, but was formerly a retainer of Taira Koremochi. With his clan defeated, Koremochi (Nakamura Manju) now lives with Yazaemon's family disguised as a humble apprentice. Innocently, Yazaemon's daughter, Osato (Nakamura Kazutar˘) is in love with him. But knowing of the bounty on Koremochi's head, her brother Gonta kills him and turns his wife and child over to the Genji commander. Furious at his son, Yazaemon stabs him, but before his death, Gonta reveals that he only pretended to kill Koremochi and sacrificed his own wife and son to save the real Koremochi and his family. Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘ in the role of Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki.
  • Shiokumi: in the classical Theatre, there are few plays as evocative as Matsukaze, the story of a court noble exiled to the seacoast where he falls in love with two fisher women. The women make their living scooping up heavy buckets of sea water to make salt and this has become a famous dance. Starring Nakamura Senjaku as the shiokumi Matsukaze.
  • Yaegiri Kuruwa Banashi: Yamanba, or the mountain hag, has been celebrated for centuries in traditional Japanese dance and theater. In the Kabuki version, Yamanba becomes a beautiful woman, a courtesan who becomes the wife of the samurai Tokiyuki and retreats to the mountains to miraculously give birth to the powerful warrior Sakata Kintoki. This play was originally by the great Chikamatsu Monzaemon I and is a classic of Kansai style Kabuki. Nakamura Tokiz˘ appears as the courtesan who tells the humorous story of a fight between courtesans over a handsome man and then mysteriously becomes pregnant by the spirit of her husband. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke and Nakamura Ganjir˘ in the roles of Yaegiri's husband Sakata Tokiyuki and the villain ďta Jűr˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 24 July 2024
    Shichigatsu ďkabuki
    July Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Hoshi Awase Jűsandan (Narita Senbon Zakura)

    Evening

    Ura Omote Taiheiki
    (Sennari By˘tan Hatameku Isaoshi [In Japanese])

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku, Matsumoto Haku˘, Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kotar˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Onoe Ukon, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Udanji, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Seiko, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Otora

    Comments

    The usual July Grand Kabuki programs at the Kabukiza.

  • Narita Senbon Zakura: This is an adaptation of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", one of the greatest classics of Kabuki. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ displays traditional acting techniques such as quick changes of role (hayagawari) and an aerial stunt (chűnori). During the war between the Genji and Heike clans, Minamoto no Yoshitsune receives a precious hand drum as a reward for subjugating the Heike. But there is a falling out between Yoshitsune and his elder half-brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, the leader of the Genji forces. As a result of this, Yoshitsune must now flee from the capital and leaves his lover Shizuka in the care of Sato Tadanobu. Yoshitsune books passage on a boat to Kyűshű, but the captain is actually the Heike general Taira no Tomomori in disguise. He uses this opportunity to try to get his revenge on Yoshitsune but is finally defeated again. The Heike commander Taira no Koremori now lives disguised as Yasuke, the humble apprentice of a sushi shop. Knowing of the bounty on Koremori's head, the ne'er-do-well Gonta hands over Koremori's head, as well as his wife and daughter, to the Genji commander. However, it turns out that he only pretended to kill Koremori. In fact, he sacrificed his own wife and son to save the real Koremori and his family. Tadanobu and Shizuka come to see Yoshitsune on Mount Yoshino. This Tadanobu is actually a fox which took on human form to be close to the precious drum which is made from the skins of his fox parents. Touched by this, Yoshitsune eventually gives him the drum. Starring Ichikawa Danjűr˘ in the roles of Fujiwara no Tomokata, Ky˘-no-Kimi, Kawagoe Shigeyori, Musashib˘ Benkei, Tokaiya Ginpei (in reality Taira no Tomomori), Irie Tanz˘, Shume no Kokingo, Igami no Gonta, Yazaemon (the owner of the sushiya), Yasuke (in reality Taira no Koremori), Sat˘ Tadanobu, a magical fox disguised as Sat˘ Tadanobu and Yokawa no Kakuhan (in reality Taira no Noritsune). Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon (Shizuka Gozen), Ichikawa Udanji (Sagami Gor˘), Nakamura Kotar˘ (Wakaba no Naishi, Kosen), Nakamura Kaishun (Oryű, in reality Suke no Tsubone), Ichikawa Omez˘ (Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki) and Nakamura Baigyoku (Yoshitsune).
  • Ura Omote Taiheiki: this play is adapted from 'The Biography of Toyotomi Hideyoshi', interweaving the main story portraying the successful life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) with a subplot depicting the tragic life of his rival Akechi Mitsuhide (Onoe Matsuya). In the first act, during the Warring States period, Oda Nobunaga (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) hopes to take over the whole country, and destroys Matsunaga Danj˘ (Ichikawa Chűsha) who is suspected of turning against him. Danj˘ entrusts his hope of restoring his clan to his real son Mitsuhide and dies in the fire which he sets in his mansion. Nobunaga hopes to conquer the Chűgoku area and Hideyoshi leads the vanguard. Mitsuhide applies for the expedition, but Nobunaga abuses Mitsuhide. Mitsuhide carries out the last wish of his father Danj˘ and rebels against Nobunaga. Nobunaga's eldest son Nobutada (Band˘ Minosuke) is infatuated with Mitsuhide's younger sister Otsű (Onoe Ukon), and she bears him the child Sanb˘shi. As he enjoys seeing his ladies-in-waiting dance, he is beset by Mitsuhide's troops. He tells Otsű to flee with Sanb˘shi to Hideyoshi, lest the Oda clan should die out. In the second act, thanks to Suzuki Kitanokami Shigenari (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), the strategist of Takamatsu castle which is attacked by Hideyoshi, and Shigenari's son Magoichi (Ichikawa Somegor˘), Hideyoshi is able to make peace with the lord of the castle and sets out for the capital to avenge the death of his lord Nobunaga. In Himeji, Otsű arrives at Hideyoshi's camp with Sanb˘shi. As Hideyoshi's troops try to go further by ship, ďwadatsumi (Matsumoto Haku˘), the god of the ocean, appears and through his divine power they arrive at the Great Sakamoto Falls on Lake Biwa, where they fight a decisive battle with Mitsuhide. In the third (and final) act, it is Son Gokű (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) who rushes about wildly in the stable of heaven. Receiving a reward for getting the better of the Emperor and Empress of Heaven, he flies away on a Flying Nimbus ů Toyotomi Hideyoshi wakes up from the dream which he had while he was taking a nap. Now at the height of his prosperity, he expresses his joy in a gorgeous dance with his lawful wife, Lady Yodo (Ichikawa Komaz˘) and his veteran warriors.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Dates 25 July 2024
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ x Shunpűtei Koasa Kabukiza Tokubetsu K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ x Shunpűtei Koasa Kabukiza Special Performance
    Program

    Kaidan Botan D˘r˘

    Koshiji Fubuki Monogatari

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Shunpűtei Koasa

    Comments

    A special program at the Kabukiza starring Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ with the rakugo storyteller Shunpűtei Koasa.

    Tiara K˘t˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 ~ 12 July 2024
    Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Casting

    Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Tamatar˘

    Comments

    Educational program at the Tiara K˘t˘ in T˘ky˘ called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki Appreciation Class"). This is a very interesting formula for the beginners because there is lively presentation on stage (Kabuki no Mikata) of Kabuki or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes. It is followed by "Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata".

  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura") features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum. Starring Nakamura Shikan or Nakamura Hashinosuke as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Band˘ Shingo and Nakamura Fukunosuke/Nakamura Utanosuke as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Featuring also Nakamura Shikan/Nakamura Matsue (Kawatsura H˘gen) and Nakamura Kamenoj˘ (Kawatsura H˘gen's wife Asuka).
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Ch˘fu City Green Hall (Ch˘fu)
    Dates 18 ~ 27 July 2024
    Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Casting

    Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Tamatar˘

    Comments

    Educational program at the Ch˘fu City Green Hall in Ch˘fu called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki Appreciation Class"). This is a very interesting formula for the beginners because there is lively presentation on stage (Kabuki no Mikata) of Kabuki or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes. It is followed by "Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata".

    Sh˘chiku Special Kabuki Tour
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2024
    Sh˘chiku Tokubetsu Kabuki
    Sh˘chiku Special Kabuki
    Program

    Nakamura Shid˘ no HOW TO Kabuki

    Sayaate

    Tomo Yakko

    Hashi Benkei

    Casting

    Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Sawamura Kuniya, Nakamura Ch˘ichi, Nakamura Ch˘shi, Nakamura Haruki

    Comments

    A Sh˘chiku Special Kabuki Summer Tour led by Nakamura Shid˘.

  • HOW TO Kabuki: a talk on stage about Kabuki by Nakamura Shid˘.
  • Sayaate: This famous act is set in the main avenue of the Yoshiwara Pleasure Quarters where cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Two men appear: Fuwa Banzaemon (Nakamura Ch˘shi) in a haori coat patterned with a design of lightning bolts, and Nagoya Sanza (Sawamura Kuniya), dressed in a short-sleeved kimono and a haori coat with a pattern of swallows in the rain. After their scabbards brush against each other as they pass, they begin arguing and draw their swords, but the proprietress of a teahouse (Nakamura Ch˘shi) mediates between them.
  • 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 Tanenosuke in the role of the yakko.
  • Hashi Benkei:
    (Benkei on the Bridge)
    There are many legends about Benkei, the warrior-priest who was the faithful companion of the general Yoshitsune. This dance shows the first meeting of Benkei and Yoshitsune. Benkei goes nightly to the bridge at the Fifth Avenue of Ky˘to, defeating men night after night and taking their swords. Finally he encounters a delicate young man that he thinks will be an easy opponent, but is defeated himself instead. This young man was Yoshitsune, under his childhood name of Ushiwakamaru. Benkei is so impressed that he becomes Yoshitsuneĺs retainer, right there and then. Starring Nakamura Shid˘ as Benkei and his son Nakamura Haruki as Ushiwakamaru.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre (Matsumoto)
    Dates 12 ~ 15 July 2024 (Shinshű Matsumoto ďkabuki)
    Shinshű Matsumoto Grand Kabuki [official website]
    Program

    Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

    Ryűsei

    Fuku Kanau Kami no Koibana

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘

    Comments

    8th edition in the city of Matsumoto (first time in July 2008; second time in July 2010; third time in July 2012; fourth time in July 2014); fifth time in July 2016; sixth time in June 2018; seventh time in June 2021) of a Kabuki program, which is called Shinshű Matsumoto ďkabuki (Shinshű is an old name for the province of Nagano, whose main city is Matsumoto). Same program as the 1st edition of the Kabukich˘ Grand Kabuki right in T˘ky˘ in May 2024:

  • Kusazuri:
    (the Tug-of-War Over the Armor)
    A short dance in the oldest style of Kabuki, leisurely and full of humor, combining the charm of an onnagata female role specialist with the larger-than-life heroism of the bombastic aragoto style of acting. Kobayashi no Asahina stops the powerful, but rash, warrior Soga no Gor˘ from rushing to a fight by pulling on the set of armor he is carrying. Starring Nakamura Tsurumatsu and Nakamura Toranosuke as Kobayashi Maizuru and Gor˘.
  • Ryűsei:
    (A Falling Star)
    In myth, the heavenly shepherd boy and celestial weaver maid only can meet once a year. They no longer are united than a falling star, or ryűsei appears with an urgent report, which actually turns out to be the story of marital discord in the family of the thunder god living in a poor tenement in heaven. The highlight of this dance is this story with the dancer changing instantly from role to role playing the thunder god, his angry wife, his little son and the elderly thunder goddess from next door who tries to break up the fight. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as a falling star, Nakamura Kantar˘ as the heavenly shepherd boy and Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘ as the celestial weaver maid.
  • Fuku Kanau Kami no Koibana: the carpenter Tatsugor˘ (Nakamura Toranosuke) who lives in a rear tenement in Edo (the old name for T˘ky˘) is always drinking and does not go to work. One day, as he is taking an afternoon nap, Obin (Nakamura Shichinosuke), the goddess of poverty appears at his bedside and tells him in a lecture to work harder. She says this because she absorbs the power of humans working hard throughout their lives, turning it into nourishment. Worried that he will not be able to pay for the rent, she begins a side job. The hard working goddess of poverty gets along well with residents of the tenement house. Sukanpin (Nakamura Kankur˘), an elder god of poverty, advises her not to commit herself further to human life, but she turns a deaf ear to his advice...
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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