JUNE 2023

6 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza) and 1 tour (Eastern Provinces)!

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the Hakataza!
  • ??? perform at the National Theatre!
  • Onoe Sh˘roku and young actors are tour in the Eastern Provinces!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 25 June 2023
    Rokugatsu ďkabuki
    June Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Keisei Hangonk˘

  • Tosa Sh˘gen Kankyo (Domo Mata)
  • Ukiyo Matahei Sumika
  • Jiraiya

    ďgi Jishi

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Ko-no-Mi
  • Kokingo Uchijini
  • Sushiya
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Emiya, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Kamez˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Shingo, Ichikawa Juen, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Ichikawa Seiko, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Onoe Sakon, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Ichikawa Danko, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Baika, Nakamura Tanetar˘, Nakamura Hidenosuke

    Comments

    The 2 programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza.

  • Domo Mata/Ukiyo Matahei Sumika: 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 Ichikawa Chűsha as Matahei and Nakamura Kazutar˘ as his wife Otoku. Featuring Nakamura Karoku as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu, Nakamura Kash˘ as Utanosuke, Ichikawa Danko as Shűrinosuke and Ichikawa Juen as Sh˘gen's wife Kita-no-Kata. This production includes a rarely-staged scene at Ukiyo Matahei's House, where the painter uses his magic talent to draw ˘tsue characters (a catfish, a wisteria maiden, a zat˘, a yakko...), which come out one after the other to rescue Princess Ich˘-no-Mae (Nakamura Yonekichi) and defeat the evil Fuwa Banzaemon (Ichikawa Omez˘) and his henchmen.
  • Jiraiya: Jiraiya (Nakamura Shikan) was in reality Ogata Hiroyuki, the son of Ogata Hirozumi who fell down in war 20 years ago. Jiraiya is now the boss of robbers in Shinano province but robs only rich people. He seeks Tsunate (Kataoka Takatar˘) with whom he is to be married and finds her in a hutch in Mt. My˘k˘. An old sorcerer Senso D˘jin (Nakamura Matsue) calls and teaches him the sorcery of toads. Having mastered it, Jiraiya uses it to fight with Tsunate against a huge serpent. Featuring also Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • ďgi Jishi:
    (The Lion-head Fans)
    This dance portrays the brilliant atmosphere of Edo (the old name for T˘ky˘). A group of geisha dance with an ˘gi jishi, a fan beautifully decorated with flowers and with a cloth trailing from the end. This decorated fan represents the head of a shishi lion, and the trailing cloth is its mane of hair. Featuring Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Tanenosuke and Band˘ Shingo.
  • 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 (Kataoka Sennosuke), 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.
  • Sushiya:
    (The Sushi Shop)
    Gonta's father Yazaemon (Nakamura Karoku) runs a sushi shop, but was formerly a retainer of Taira Koremochi. With his clan defeated, Koremochi (Nakamura Kinnosuke) 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.
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: Yoshitsune (Nakamura Tokiz˘) has taken refuge in the mountains of Yoshino at the mansion of an old ally. Tadanobu (Onoe Sh˘roku) arrives but has no recollection of Shizuka Gozen being placed under his care. Shizuka Gozen (Nakamura Kaishun) herself soon arrives with the other Tadanobu and after an investigation they discover that he is actually a fox. In a touching story, the fox tells how he took on human form to be close to the hand drum, which is made from the skins of his fox parents. Moved, Yoshitsune gives the fox the drum and he flies away joyously. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke and Band˘ Kamez˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 3 ~ 19 June 2023
    Rokugatsu Hakataza ďkabuki
    June Hakataza Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Kuruwa Sanbas˘

    Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi

    Tachi Nusubito

    Evening

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Hane no Kamuro

    Sannin Kichisa Tomoe no Shiranami
    (ďkawabata K˘shinzuka)

    Casting

    Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Hakataza.

  • Kuruwa Sanbas˘: the sanbas˘ is an auspicious dance based on the ritual play Okina in the classical theater which shows an old man as a symbol of longevity and the energetic sanbas˘ as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. In Kabuki there are many different versions, but this particular one sets the dance in the pleasure quarters and has a beautiful top-ranking courtesan in place of the old man and a taiko mochi entertainer instead of the boisterous sanbas˘. To celebrate the New Year, this dance features Nakamura Jakuemon as the keisei, Nakamura Baishi as the shinz˘ and Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as the taiko mochi.
  • 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 Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon and Nakamura Mantar˘ in the roles of Ch˘bŕ, Ch˘bŕ's wife Okane and Bunshichi. Featuring also Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichimura Manjir˘ and Kataoka Kamez˘.
  • Tachi Nusubito: the farces of the classical Ky˘gen theater have universal appeal, showing the relationships of masters and servants and husbands and wives. In this particular dance play, a farmer named Manbŕ (Kataoka Ainosuke) carries a precious sword, which is made of gold. The thief Kurobŕ (Nakamura Ganjir˘) quietly removes the sword from Manbŕ in a crowd. When Manbŕ finds his sword missing and notices Kurobŕ wearing it, a loud dispute ensues. Manbŕ and Kurobŕ must both explain who owns the sword, first in words, then in dance to a magistrate (Nakamura Kikaku), who must try to figure out who tells the truth.
  • Natsu Matsuri: this grisly murder story became a smashing hit when it was first performed in 1745 because of the chivalrous spirit of the many ďsaka characters appearing in this story, the contrast between a brutal murder and the jovial mood of a summer festival, and the splashing of real water used on the stage. Danshichi, a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ and the older Sabu. Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu heroically helps out, in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji and, in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby. This program stars Kataoka Ainosuke as Danshichi, with Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Jakuemon as Issun Tokubŕ, Tsuribune Sabu and Otatsu.
  • Hane no Kamuro: a kamuro (Onoe Kikunosuke) celebrates the new year in the traditional way by playing shuttlecock and battledore as her 'big sisters' in the pleasure quarter take a snap.
  • Sannin Kichisa:
    (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
    The playwright Kawatake Mokuami excelled at portrayals of thieves and this short scene, with its music and poetic lines, is one of his most famous. A beautiful young woman helps out a woman who is lost on the road. But she is actually Oj˘ Kichisa, a male thief who is disguised as a woman. He steals an immense sum of money that the woman is carrying and this leads to an encounter on this riverbank of three thieves, all with the name Kichisa. The two others Kichisa are Osh˘ Kichisa, a bonze turned thief, and Ob˘ Kichisa, an ex-samurai turned thief Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang. Featuring Nakamura Baishi as Oj˘ Kichisa, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Osh˘ Kichisa and Nakamura Mantar˘ as Ob˘ Kichisa.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 June 2023
    Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu
    June Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Nihon Furisode Hajime

    Casting

    Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu

    Comments

    Educational program at the National Theatre 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 one act from Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Furisode Hajime". No performance the 7th and the 15th of June 2023.

  • Nihon Furisode Hajime: this dance is a rare example of a story from ancient Japanese mythology in a puppet play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon adapted for the Kabuki theater. As part of an annual ritual, Princess Inada has been chosen to be sacrificed to a fierce serpent that lives in the mountains of Izumo. The serpent arrives in the guise of a beautiful princess, but before it can attack it is attracted to eight jars full of sake. The jars are a trap planted by the god Susanoo, who confronts the beast in its true form as an eight-headed serpent, to save the princess. Starring Nakamura Senjaku as the serpent, with Nakamura Toranosuke and Nakamura Tsurumatsu in the roles of Susanoo and Princess Inada.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2023
    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Higashi K˘su
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Eastern Course
    Program

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki (Kikubatake)

    Tsuchi-gumo

    Casting

    Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Onoe Sakon

    Comments

    The Grand Kabuki Tour in the Eastern Provinces.

  • Kikubatake: it is a great classic of period play Kabuki originally adapted from the Bunraku puppet theatre, full of larger-than-life characters and a stage full of dazzling color. In a garden of brilliant yellow and white chrysanthemums, there is Kiichi (Onoe Sh˘roku), an elderly strategist working for the dictator Kiyomori, his beautiful daughter Minazuru (Band˘ Shingo) and two footmen, the elegant young Toraz˘ (Nakamura Baishi) and the powerful Chienai (Band˘ Kamez˘ from shonichi to the 15th of July/Nakamura Mantar˘ from the 16th of July to senshűraku). But in fact, Toraz˘ is a young general from the enemy side here to steal Kiichiĺs secrets of strategy. Chienai is his retainer. But Kiichi has realized why they are there and also knows that Chienai is actually his younger brother. At the same time, Minazuru has fallen deeply in love with Toraz˘.
  • Tsuchi-gumo: a dance play adapted from the classical theatre. The samurai Lord Minamoto Raik˘ is famous in legend for ridding Ky˘to of demons. While Raik˘ is confined to bed with illness, a priest (Onoe Sh˘roku) from a prominent temple comes to pray for his health. In fact, the priest is actually the spirit of the earth spider which has caused Raik˘'s illness in the first place and hopes to destroy him. The spider's plan to kill Raik˘ is defeated by his retainers (the famous shitenn˘) in an exciting fight. Featuring Nakamura Baishi as Raik˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 30 June ~ 2 July 2023
    Kamiyach˘ Sh˘kabuki
    Kamiyach˘ Little Kabuki
    Program

    Goaisatsu

    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Takatsuki

    Casting

    Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Nakamura Baika

    Comments

    1st edition of a gala for Nakamura Shikan's three sons. It is entitled Kamiyach˘ Sh˘kabuki ('Kamiyach˘ Little Kabuki'). Kamiyach˘ was the name of late Nakamura Shikan VII's neighboorhood in T˘ky˘ and it was used as an original way to appraise this great actor (kakegoe).

  • Goaisatsu: greetings on stage.
  • 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. Nakamura Utanosuke stars as Benten Koz˘, with Nakamura Hashinosuke as Nippon Daemon and Nakamura Fukunosuke as Nang˘ Rikimaru.
  • Takatsuki: in this relatively modern dance-comedy adapted from the style of classical Ky˘gen farces, the servant Jir˘kaja (Nakamura Hashinosuke) is ordered by his lord to buy a takatsuki, which is a kind of ceremonial sake cup on a stand. Jir˘kaja does not understand his lord's orders and is persuaded by a fast-talking geta clog salesman to buy a pair of clogs instead, thinking that this is the stand for which he was sent. After drinking a good amount of sake, he brings his purchase to the lord and responds to the lord's anger with a dance on the clogs, a virtuoso routine inspired by tap dancing, showing off the dancing skills of Nakamura Hashinosuke.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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