MARCH 2015

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre), 2 shows in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Kanazawa (Kagekiza) and 1 tour (Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tour)!

  • Kataoka Nizaemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Nakamura Karoku perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Nakamura Hashinosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichimura Manjir˘ and Band˘ Shűch˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Young actors perform at the Minamiza!
  • Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Shid˘ perform at the Kagekiza!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ is on tour!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 March 2015 (Sangatsu ďkabuki)
    March Grand Kabuki

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kamo Zutsumi
  • Hipp˘ Denju
  • D˘my˘ji
  • Evening

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

  • Kurumabiki
  • Ga no Iwai
  • Terakoya
  • Casting

    Kataoka Nizaemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Karoku, Ichimura Kakitsu, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kazutar˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Onoe Sakon


    The classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" is staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen for the March Grand Kabuki with a troupe led by the zagashira Kataoka Nizaemon, who will play the role of Kan Sh˘j˘ in "Hipp˘ Denju" and "D˘my˘ji". The roles of the brothers Matsu˘maru, Ume˘maru and Sakuramaru are played by Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Onoe Kikunosuke. Their wifes Chiyo, Haru and Yae are played by Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Shingo and Nakamura Baishi. The roles of Shiratayű, Tatsuta-no-Mae, Shihei and Haji no Hy˘e will be played by Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Shibajaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Nakamura Karoku. The role of Takebe Genz˘ in "Hipp˘ Denju" and "Terakoya" is played by two different actors, Ichikawa Somegor˘ in the former act and Onoe Sh˘roku in the latter act. The role of Genz˘'s wife Tonami in "Hipp˘ Denju" and "Terakoya" is also played by two different actors, Nakamura Baishi in the former act and Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the latter act. The last but not the least, the difficult role of Kakuju is performed for the first time by stage veteran Kataoka Hidetar˘.

  • Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami:
    (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy)
    Sugawara no Michizane (known in this play as Kan Sh˘j˘) was a high-ranking imperial court minister who was a brilliant calligrapher and scholar. But political rivalries forced him to be exiled to distant Kyűshű, where he died. After Michizane's death, a series of disasters in the imperial capital were attributed to his angry spirit and he was appeased by being made a god known as Tenjin, and he is now revered as the god of learning. His story was dramatized as an epic puppet drama in 1746 and the play remains a favorite in both Kabuki and the Bunraku puppet theatre.
  • Kamo Zutsumi:
    (The Kamo Riverbank)
    Young Sakuramaru (Onoe Kikunosuke) serves imperial prince Tokiyo (Nakamura Mantar˘) who has fallen in love with Princess Kariya (Nakamura Kazutar˘), Michizane's beautiful daughter. Sakuramaru and his wife Yae (Nakamura Baishi) are charmed by the affair, since it reminds them of their own love. But the affair is discovered and Michizane's rivals use it as proof that he is attempting to take over the imperial court. This innocent love affair triggers the tragedies of the play.
  • Hipp˘ Denju:
    (Calligraphy Instruction)
    Michizane, in this play called Kan Sh˘j˘ (Kataoka Nizaemon), after his title, knows that he will soon be exiled. Before he goes, he hands over the scroll of his secrets to his most talented student Genz˘ (Ichikawa Somegor˘). But Genz˘ was disowned forever for having an affair with Tonami (Nakamura Baishi), another servant in the household. Only the intervention of Kan Sh˘j˘ĺs wife Sonoo-no-Mae (Nakamura Kaishun) saved their lives. Even though Genz˘ receives his masterĺs teachings, he is not forgiven. Sugawara is arrested, but as Genz˘ and his wife leave, they rescue Kan Sh˘j˘ĺs young son and take him to safety. Featuring also Kataoka Ainosuke as Ume˘maru.
  • D˘my˘ji:
    (At the D˘my˘ji Temple)
    On his way to exile, Kan Sh˘j˘ (Kataoka Nizaemon) is allowed to stop at the home of his aunt, Kakuju (Kataoka Hidetar˘). There he carves a statue of himself for his aunt. But Princess Kariya (Nakamura Kazutar˘) is actually Kakuju's daughter and was adopted by Kan Sh˘j˘. She has come desperately hoping to say farewell to him, but she is punished severely by Kakuju for having been responsible for Kan Sh˘j˘'s downfall. At the same time, Kakuju has another daughter, Tatsuta (Nakamura Shibajaku) and Tatsuta's husband Sukune Tar˘ (Band˘ Yajűr˘) and father-in-law (Nakamura Karoku) are plotting to assassinate Kan Sh˘j˘ by pretending to be the emissary to take him to exile and then killing him. But miraculously, the statue Kan Sh˘j˘ carved comes to life and saves his life. Finally, when the real emissary Terukuni (Onoe Kikunosuke) appears, Kan Sh˘j˘ must part from his family as he goes into exile.
  • Kurumabiki:
    (The Tug-of-War Over the Carriage)
    There are three brothers serving three masters. Ume˘maru serves Kan Sh˘j˘. Sakuramaru serves imperial prince Tokiyo. Kan Sh˘j˘ has been sent into exile and Tokiyo is in disgrace. Ume˘maru (Kataoka Ainosuke) and Sakuramaru (Onoe Kikunosuke) lament the disaster that has overtaken their masters. But they hear that the carriage of Fujiwara no Shihei (Band˘ Yajűr˘) is coming. Shihei is the villain that has sent Kan Sh˘j˘ into exile. But when the two brothers confront the carriage, they are stopped by their brother Matsu˘maru (Ichikawa Somegor˘), who serves Shihei. Nonetheless, they attack the carriage and are driven back by the magical powers of Shihei. The three brothers agree to meet again at the seventieth birthday of their father, Shiratayű.
  • Ga no Iwai:
    (The Birthday Celebration)
    Shiratayű has long served Kan Sh˘j˘ and when he had three sons, he named them after the favorite trees in his garden, the pine (matsu), the plum (ume) and the cherry (sakura) and had them all take service with important court nobles. However, the three lords of his sons have all been torn to separate sides. Today is Shiratayű's birthday and all three sons are to come. Chiyo (Kataoka Takatar˘), Matsu˘maru's wife, Haru (Band˘ Shingo), Ume˘maru's wife, and Yae (Nakamura Baishi), Sakuramaru's wife, all prepare festive food for the happy event. Since the brothers haven't arrived yet, Shiratayű (Ichikawa Sadanji) goes away with Yae to a shrine to pray. Matsu˘maru (Ichikawa Somegor˘) and Ume˘maru (Kataoka Ainosuke) appear and immediately start wrestling with each other, almost like mischievous children. They accidentally break the branches of the cherry tree, an omen prefiguring the tragic conclusion of this act. Sakuramaru (Onoe Kikunosuke) commits ritual suicide to atone for being responsible for Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile.
  • Terakoya:
    (The Village School)
    Genz˘ (Onoe Sh˘roku) and his wife Tonami (Nakamura Kazutar˘) run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru (Ichikawa Somegor˘) is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo (Kataoka Takatar˘) mourn their dead son.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 27 March 2015

    Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘ (Kamiyui Shinza)

    Mitsu Ningy˘


    Nakamura Hashinosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichimura Manjir˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Kunio


    Nakamura Hashinosuke performs for the first time in his career the prestigious role of Kamiyui Shinza (Shinza the hairdresser) in the drama "Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘". Nakamura Hashinosuke has already performed several roles in this drama, like the boss Yatagor˘ Genshichi, the landlord Ch˘bŕ or the tedai Chűshichi. The tradition is that you can't perform the role of Shinza unless you've already play the role of Shinza's henchman Katsu ... and the tradition will be fully respected as Nakamura Hashinosuke played the role of Katsu in April 1983 at the Kabukiza (Shinza was played by Onoe Tatsunosuke I).

  • Kamiyui Shinza: Shinza is a barber that goes from door to door, but at the same time, he is a villain that kidnaps Okuma, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy household, and even resists the efforts of Yatagor˘ Genshichi, the most prestigious strongman in town, to get her release. Starring Nakamura Hashinosuke as Shinza, Nakamura Kotar˘ as Okuma, Ichikawa Monnosuke as Chűshichi, Ichikawa Danz˘ as the landlord Ch˘bŕ and Nakamura Kinnosuke as Yatagor˘ Genshichi.
  • Mitsu Ningy˘:
    (The Three Dolls)
    The characters in this graceful dance are not actually dolls, but are three characters that are often depicted with dolls, a courtesan (Nakamura Kotar˘), a handsome youth (Nakamura Kinnosuke) and a samurai footman (Nakamura Kunio).
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 March 2015 (Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    March Young Actors Kabuki





    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Yami no Ume Hyaku Monogatari


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


    6 of the 7 young actors who were in January 2015 at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ perform others major roles in important plays in Ky˘to at the Minamiza. 2015 is indeed a promising year for Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi and Nakamura Tanenosuke!

  • Ya-no-Ne: like a picture come to life, this play combines the most exaggerated costumes and movements with leisurely humor. The aragoto hero Soga no Gor˘ is sharpening a giant arrow and sleeping in wishes of good fortune for the New Year when he sees his brother Jűr˘ in a dream asking him to come and rescue him. The two Soga brothers are part of one of the most popular vendetta stories in Kabuki, suffering for eighteen years before being able to avenge the death of their father. In this play, when Gor˘ finds out that his brother is in trouble, he jumps on the horse of a passing daikon vendor and, brandishing a giant daikon as a whip prepares to rush to his brother's side. Starring Nakamura Hayato and Nakamura Kash˘ as Gor˘ and Jűr˘. Featuring also Nakamura Tanenosuke.
  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Onoe Matsuya) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Nakamura Yonekichi) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • 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 Band˘ Minosuke as a falling star, Nakamura Hayato as the heavenly shepherd boy and Onoe Ukon as the celestial weaver maid.
  • 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. Onoe Matsuya stars as Benten Koz˘, with Nakamura Kash˘ as Nippon Daemon, Band˘ Minosuke as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Nakamura Hayato as Tadanobu Rihei and Onoe Ukon as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘.
  • Yami no Ume Hyaku Monogatari:
    (The Game of a Hundred Lights)
    This is a dance drama based on a popular game in former times to light one hundred lanterns and tell ghost stories. At the conclusion of each story a light was extinguished. When the last remaining lantern was extinguished a real ghost, it was believed, would appear. Starring Nakamura Tanenosuke as skeleton/a peddler of commercial news-sheet by reading it aloud, Onoe Ukon as the maid servant Shiraume/a snow fairy
  • , Nakamura Yonekichi as shinz˘, Nakamura Hayato as kappa, Nakamura Kash˘ as a tanuki, Band˘ Minosuke as an umbrella ghost (kasa ippon ashi) and Onoe Matsuya as ďuchi Yoshihir˘.

    Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kagekiza (Kanazawa)
    Dates 20 ~ 23 March 2015

    Kaidan Chibusa no Enoki


    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Shid˘


    The Heisei Nakamuraza in Kanazawa at the Kagekiza!

  • Chibusa no Enoki:
    (The Ghost and the Milk-Giving Tree)
    Based on a rakugo story by Sanyűtei Ench˘, this is a showpiece for the star actor (Nakamura Kankur˘) who plays multiple roles, culminating in a thrilling fight scene in a waterfall where he switches rapidly from one to another. An artist named Hishikawa Shigenobu (Nakamura Kankur˘) is killed by a handsome samurai named Isogai Namie (Nakamura Shid˘) who makes love to Shigenobu's wife Oseki (Nakamura Shichinosuke). He carries out the murder with the help of Shigenobu's honest, but simple minded, servant Sh˘suke (Nakamura Kankur˘) and the tattooed villain Uwabami no Sanji (Nakamura Kankur˘). But the baby is rescued by the ghost of Shigenobu and finally the boy avenges the death of his father by killing Isogai.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tour
    Dates 28 February ~ 9 April 2015 (Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en)
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances

    Genji Monogatari


    Ichikawa Ebiz˘


    A 18-city tour for Ichikawa Ebiz˘. Among these dates, Ichikawa Ebiz˘ is at the NHK ďsaka Hall the 21st and 22nd of March.

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