MARCH 2022
Cancellation of one Kabuki performances in April 2022 due to coronavirus (COVID-19)!!!

5 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, EX THEATER), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Fukuoka (Fukuoka Sunpalace Hotel & Hall), 1 in ďsaka (Festival Hall) and 2 tours (Shungy˘ Special Tour, Zenshinza)!

  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku and Band˘ Hikosabur˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Matagor˘, Kamimura Kichiya and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Young actors perform at the Minamiza!
  • The Nakamuraya brothers Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke are on tour Shungy˘ Special Tour!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji and Nakamura Kotar˘ perform at the EX THEATER, the Fukuoka Sunpalace Hotel & Hall and the Festival Hall!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 28 March 2022
    Sangatsu ďkabuki
    March Grand Kabuki
    1st program

    Shin Sangokushi
    A new version of this SűpÔ Kabuki drama focusing on Kan U

    2nd program

    Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)

    Shibahama no Kawazaifu

    3rd program

    Shinshű Kawanakajima Kassen (Terutora Haizen)

    Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe (Ishikawa Goemon)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Onoe Ukon, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Matsue, Ichikawa Seiko, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichikawa Juen, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Takanosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Ichikawa Danko, Terajima Mahoro, Ishibashi Sh˘ji, Asano Kazuyuki

    Comments

    The March Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza. Ichikawa K˘tar˘ takes the name of Ichikawa Seiko II in the first program.

  • Shin Sangokushi: This play is performed for the first time at the Kabukiza, with a new production and concept based on the original SűpÔ Kabuki play created by Ichikawa Ennosuke III (now En'˘). Kan U (Ichikawa Ennosuke) has a fateful encounter with Ch˘ Hi (Ichikawa Chűsha) and Ryű Bi (Ichikawa Emiya) who has high-minded ambitions. Impressed by Ch˘ Hi's direct gaze as he explains his dream of a world where people live happily, and trusting his ability to see things in his dreams, the three become sworn brothers in a peach orchard in full-bloom. In order to realise Ch˘ Hi's ideal peaceful world, they invite the young skilled military strategist Sh˘katsu K˘mei (Ichikawa Seiko) to be their military advisor. Sh˘katsu K˘mei advises them to found a third country to compete with the two rising powers. The age of rival warlords begins.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Living National Treasure 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 Ganjir˘) 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 Nakamura Karoku, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘ and Band˘ Kamez˘.
  • Shibahama no Kawazaifu: this is a play adapted from a rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘ which was originally performed in vaudeville by a solo performer. This tells the story of a man who is a drunk and good for nothing who picks up a leather purse full of coins while fishing. He takes it home and celebrates with a big drinking party. In the morning he asks his wife for the purse, but she insists that it was all a dream and shows how much money he has wasted with his drunken party. He decides to reform and becomes a hard worker. Three years later, the couple now lives comfortably and the wife says that she must apologize. She lied and hid the purse because she felt that this was the only way to get her husband on the right path. He thanks her and this purse which has given them so much. Starring Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ as the man and Nakamura Tokiz˘ as his wife.
  • Terutora Haizen: a rare performance of a historical play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon I. The warlord Nagao Terutora (Nakamura Shikan) wants the services of the great strategist Yamamoto Kansuke who is now the strategist for his rival Takeda Shingen. The wife of one of Terutora's retainers is Kansuke's sister and so Terutora invites Kansuke's wife and mother to see her. When the two women arrive, Terutora brings the food tray himself and knowing what he has in mind, the old woman Koshiji (Nakamura Kaishun) kicks it. The furious Terutora wants to kill them all, but is restrained by Kansuke's wife Okatsu (Nakamura Jakuemon), who desperately defends her mother, despite the fact that she cannot speak and must express herself in koto music instead.
  • Ishikawa Goemon: in the time of the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Ishikawa Goemon was a famous larger-than-life thief. When he was executed by being boiled alive, he is said to have defiantly said that the sands on the beach may run out but thieves will never disappear from this world. In this play, a rare revival, Goemon hides in a giant basket, which then flies through the air. As the basket goes to the ceiling of the theater, suddenly Goemon burst out and travels triumphantly through the sky. This production stars Ko9 and Nakamura Kinnosuke as Ishikawa Goemon and Konoshita Hisayoshi.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 March 2022
    Program

    ďmi Genji Senjin Yakata
    (Moritsuna Jin'ya)

    Casting

    Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Matagor˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Onoe Ushinosuke, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Ogawa Hiroharu

    Comments

    The usual March Kabuki performances at the National Theatre.

  • Moritsuna Jin'ya: this play is one of the greatest classics of the jidaimono historical play style. Two brothers, Sasaki Moritsuna and Sasaki Takatsuna are generals on opposing sides. Moritsuna's forces are greater in number and strength, but his brother's brilliant strategies allow him to escape by preying on Moritsuna's psychological weaknesses. Ruthlessly, Takatsuna has his son sacrifice his life to force Moritsuna to identify the head of an imposter as that of his dead brother. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as Moritsuna, with Nakamura Baishi as Kagaribi (the wife of Takatsuna), Nakamura Kangyoku as Hayase (the wife of Moritsuna), Kataoka Kamez˘ as H˘j˘ Tokimasa, Nakamura Matagor˘ as the crafty general Wada no Hy˘e and Kamimura Kichiya as Mimy˘ (the mother of the Sasaki brothers).
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 2 ~ 13 March 2022
    Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki
    March Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Imohori Ch˘ja

    Casting

    Nakamura Hayato, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Utanosuke

    Comments

    Young actors performing in Ky˘to at the Minamiza. The same program is staged twice a day, at 11 and at 15:30 with a different casting.

  • 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 ({Nakamura Hayato;matinÚe} or {Nakamura Hashinosuke;evening}) 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 Kazutar˘;matinÚe} or {Nakamura Yonekichi;evening}), 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.
  • Imohori Ch˘ja:
    (The Sweet-Potato-digging Millionaire)
    The widow of the Matsugae family (Nakamura Kamenoj˘) who reigns over the district gives a dance party to choose a husband for her daughter Midori Gozen ({Nakamura Yonekichi;matinÚe} or {Nakamura Kazutar˘;evening}). They plan to choose the man who dances the best. T˘gor˘ (Band˘ Minosuke) the potato digger comes with his friend Jirokur˘ ({Nakamura Hashinosuke;matinÚe} or {Nakamura Hayato;evening}) pretending to be the best dancer in Japan. In contrast to T˘gor˘, Jirokur˘ is a good dancer and he knows that T˘gor˘ is ardently in love with Midori Gozen. Jirokur˘ wears a mask and dances pretending to be T˘gor˘. Then asked to dance without a mask, T˘gor˘ dances badly. The widow accepts Jirokur˘'s suggestion and orders Midori Gozen to dance with T˘gor˘ and Jirokur˘. Unable to dance well, T˘gor˘ begins to express potato digging in dance. The people have never seen such an interesting dance and praise his dance to be the best in Japan. T˘gor˘ reveals his true identity and apologizes to them, but Midori Gozen would rather marry T˘gor˘ the potato digger than the best dancer. Finally they all dance expressing potato digging and congratulate T˘gor˘ and Midori Gozen.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shungy˘ Special Tour
    Dates 6 ~ 26 March 2022
    Shungy˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    The Dawn of Spring Special Performances
    Program

    Takatsuki

    T˘ku K˘nÔ

    Sumidagawa Chigusa no Nuregoto
    A dance based on "Osome no Nanayaku" ('the Seven roles of Osome') limited to 4 roles

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kosabur˘, Nakamura Ich˘, Sawamura Kunihisa, Nakamura Nakasuke, Nakamura Nakaji

    Comments

    The 3rd edition of the Spring Tour of the Nakamuraya guild with performances in 16 venues. There is a website dedicated to this tour.

  • Takatsuki: in this relatively modern dance-comedy adapted from the style of classical Ky˘gen farces, the servant Jir˘kaja (Nakamura Kankur˘) 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 (Nakamura Tsurumatsu) 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 Kankur˘.
  • T˘ku K˘nÔ: a talk on stage (literally 'Talk Corner').
  • Sumidagawa Chigusa no Nuregoto:
    The 4 roles of Osome
    A hayagawari dance, based on Tsuruya Nanboku IV's "Osome no Nanayaku" michiyuki. The story of the love suicide of Osome, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and Hisamatsu, a handsome young man that was an apprentice in her family's shop, is one of the most popular stories in Kabuki and was dramatized countless times. In 1813, Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755~1829) wrote up this story as a showpiece for Iwai Hanshir˘ V, an onnagata specialist in female roles. In this dance, the four roles are Osome, Hisamatsu, Omitsu (Hisamatsu's official fiance) and a snake charmer named Dote no Oroku. Onnagata Nakamura Shichinosuke makes a virtuoso appearance in this dance, acting in all four roles, including the fastest on-stage fast change in all Kabuki.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    EX THEATER (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 18 February ~ 6 March 2022 (Roppongi Kabuki)
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Hanazochiru

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘, Totsuka Sh˘ta

    Comments

    Fourth edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances at the EX THEATER. Based on a script written by Imai Toyoshige, the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). "Hanazochiru" is based on Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Benten Koz˘" but it has been reformatted in order to fit in a new background reminiscent of the current times and to attract younger audiences.

    Fukuoka Sunpalace Hotel & Hall (Fukuoka)
    Dates 11 ~ 13 March 2022 (Roppongi Kabuki)
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Hanazochiru

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘, Totsuka Sh˘ta

    Comments

    Fourth edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances. Based on a script written by Imai Toyoshige, the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). "Hanazochiru" is based on Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Benten Koz˘" but it has been reformatted in order to fit in a new background reminiscent of the current times and to attract younger audiences.

    Festival Hall (ďsaka)
    Dates 18 ~ 21 March 2022 (Roppongi Kabuki) [CANCELLED]
    Roppongi Kabuki
    Program

    Hanazochiru

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘, Totsuka Sh˘ta

    Comments

    [CANCELLED] Fourth edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances. Based on a script written by Imai Toyoshige, the stage direction is done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014). "Hanazochiru" is based on Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Benten Koz˘" but it has been reformatted in order to fit in a new background reminiscent of the current times and to attract younger audiences.

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 25 March ~ 23 April 2022
    Program

    B˘ Shibari

    Casting

    Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Nakajima K˘tar˘, Watarai Motoyuki

    Comments

    A March and April dance tour all over Japan 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 (Nakajima K˘tar˘) to trick the other servant Jir˘kaja (Arashi Yoshisabur˘) 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

     
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