MARCH 2023

6 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, T˘ky˘ International Forum, IHI Stage Around Theater), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza), 1 in Yokohama (Kanagawa Kenmin Hall) and 3 tours (Succession Announcement Tour, Shungy˘ Special Tour, Zenshinza)!

  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Kataoka Takatar˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Kaishun and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Young actors perform at the Minamiza!
  • Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji are on Succession Announcement Tour!
  • The Nakamuraya brothers Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke are on tour Shungy˘ Special Tour!
  • Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Shid˘, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Yonekichi perform at the IHI Stage Around Theater !
  • The Zenshinza troupe is on tour!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 March 2023
    Sangatsu ďkabuki
    March Grand Kabuki
    1st program

    Hana no Gosho Shimatsu

    2nd program

    Kanadehon Chűshingura
    (Amakawaya Gihei Uchi)

    Migawari Zazen

    3rd program

    Dokuro-ni

    Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Shingo, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Band˘ Kamez˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Kikaku, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Ichikawa Otora, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Kawai Yukinoj˘

    Comments

    The March Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza.

  • Hana no Gosho Shimatsu: Ashikaga Yoshinori (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), the second son of the Grand Minister Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, plots to become Sh˘gun at the Muromachi Residence, which people call the 'Flower Palace' after the beautiful flowers and trees planted all over the garden. He allies himself with his fatherĺs confidant Hatakeyama Mitsuie (Nakamura Shikan), shogunal deputy, and tips off his father about the false rumour that his elder brother, the heir Yoshitsugu (Band˘ Kamez˘), conspires to rebel against him. He murders his father in his bedroom who is enjoying his time with his mistress. Then he puts the guilt of killing his father on Yoshitsugu and makes away with him. Now that he has assumed control of the shogunate, just as he wished, he becomes more and more autocratic. Finally, he kills Mitsuie with whom he allied himself. A few years later, as he spends sleepless nights annoyed by spirits of those he has murdered, rebellious farmers force their way into his residence and... Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon and Kataoka Ainosuke.
  • Amakawaya Gihei Uchi: Amakawaya is a shipping agency at Sakai in Settsu Province. The master Gihei (Nakamura Shikan) secretly provides arms to ďboshi Yuranosuke who needs them to attack Moron˘'s mansion. By doing this he will avenge his lord's death. One night, policemen surround him, suspecting that he supplies the masterless retainers of the Ak˘ Domain with arms. Though the policemen threaten him with his son's life, he assumes ignorance, but then an unexpected visitor calls on him and... Featuring also Matsumoto K˘shir˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Onoe Sh˘roku) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Nakamura Ganjir˘). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘) take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
  • Dokuro-ni: in the late 12th century, Genji warriors have almost destroyed the once thriving Taira clan, and without pity they murder Ju˘maru, son of the beautiful chief lady-in-waiting of the New Middle Councilor and the late Taira no Shigehira. Witnessing this, the priest Ash˘b˘ Insai (Nakamura Ganjir˘) bemoans the transience of the world. A year later, Dokuro-ni (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘), the 'Nun's Skull', is in a nunnery in Nara. She is so named because she always carries the small skull of Ju˘maru on her person. The ugly belfry keeper Shichibŕ yearns deeply for the beautiful nun every day. She learns a secret method through her religious services, and Shigehira (Kataoka Ainosuke), for whom she has been longing, appears in her presence. But...
  • Yoshidaya: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. Izaemon, the son of a wealthy family, has been disowned for loving a courtesan and now has nothing but a paper kimono. This role is a classic example of the wagoto or soft style of acting that is one of the representative acting styles of the Kansai region. Kataoka Ainosuke stars as Izaemon, a role that is a specialty of his family's Kansai acting style. Featuring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as the courtesan ďgiya Yűgiri (Izaemon's lover), Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Kamimura Kichiya as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

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

    Nyűmon Genji no Hataage

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki

  • Kusemai
  • Okuden (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)
  • Goj˘ Hashi
  • Casting

    Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Baika

    Comments

    The usual March Kabuki performances at the National Theatre.

  • Kusemai: Ushiwakamaruĺs mother, Tokiwa Gozen (Nakamura Kaishun), becomes a concubine of Taira no Kiyomori, a warlord on the enemyĺs side, to save the life of her sons after her husband, Minamoto no Yoshitomo, was killed by Kiyomori in the Heiji Rebellion. She is later forced to marry Ichij˘ ďkuraky˘ (Nakamura Matagor˘). Descendant of the Genji clan though he is, ďkuraky˘ is indifferent to the confrontation between the Genji (Minamoto) and Heike (Taira) clans, engrossed only in Ky˘gen. One night, Kiyomoriĺs retainer, Harima no Daij˘ Hiromori (Arashi Kitsusabur˘), who is unable to gauge Tokiwa Gozenĺs real intentions, visits the mansion of ďkuraky˘. Conspiring with Yatsurugi Kageyu (Kataoka Kamez˘), a chief retainer who plots to usurp the headship of the Ichij˘ family, Hiromori attempts to kill ďkuraky˘. However, confused by ďkuraky˘, who feigns madness while dancing with a blank countenance, Hiromori cannot achieve this end but rather only makes a fool of himself.
  • Okuden: aiming for the revival of the Genji clan, Yoshioka Kijir˘ (Nakamura Kash˘) and his wife, Oky˘ (Nakamura Tanenosuke), sneak into the mansion of ďkuraky˘ to find out Tokiwa Gozenĺs true intentions. Kijir˘ blames Tokiwa for behaving as if she forgot all about the Genji. Tokiwa, however, was secretly praying for the overthrow of the Heike clan, while pretending to be enjoying herself by playing y˘kyű (a kind of archery). Kageyu dashes out to tell Kiyomori about Tokiwaĺs true mindset. Just then, someone slashes at Kageyu with a sword. It was ďkuraky˘, who stands dignified with a long sword in hand, an appearance that is far from his usual. So, what will be the startling truth revealed by ďkuraky˘ in the end?
  • Goj˘ Hashi: night after night, Ushiwakamaru (Nakamura Tanenosuke) has been fighting with passers-by on the Goj˘ Bridge while honing his swordplay skills to gain allies. Having heard the rumor of a rogue on the bridge, Musashib˘ Benkei (Nakamura Kash˘) goes there to face off with him. Suddenly, Ushiwakamaru steps forward to challenge Benkei, and then defeats him. Having revealed his identity, Ushiwakamaru accepts Benkei as a retainer and then sets out aiming for the revival of the Genji clan.
  • Sources: National Theatre

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 4 ~ 26 March 2023
    Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki
    March Young Actors Kabuki
    Program

    Kaisetsu

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Chűshin Iroha no Esugata

  • Hana no Yamashina
  • Yuki no Uchiiri
  • Casting

    Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Kangyoku, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

    Comments

    Young actors performing in Ky˘to at the Minamiza. There are Program A and Program B but the contents is the same, only the casting changes for 5th and 6th acts of "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

  • Kaisetsu: Explanation made by Onoe Ukon or Nakamura Kazutar˘ about the story of "Kanadehon Chűshingura" from the 1st act to the 4th act.
  • Tepp˘ Watashi/Futatsudama/Kanpei Harakiri: this section of the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura" is about Hayano Kanpei (Nakamura Kazutar˘ or Onoe Ukon) and his wife Okaru (Kataoka Sennosuke or Nakamura Kangyoku). Kanpei survives as a hunter and is desperate for the money that will allow him to become a samurai again. He encounters two former retainers of Lord En'ya Hangan who offer to allow him to participate in a vendetta to avenge Lord En'ya Hangan's death by attacking K˘ no Moron˘. Unknown to him, though, Okaru's family has decided to raise the memory by selling her into prostitution as a courtesan in the Gion district of Ky˘to. Okaru's father travels on a dark mountain road, eager to bring the first half of the money to Kanpei. But he is attacked and robbed by Sadakur˘ (Nakamura Takanosuke or Nakamura Kichinoj˘), also a former retainer of Lord En'ya Hangan who has gone bad and become a thief. At this point, Kanpei aims and fires at s wild boar and instead kills Sadakur˘. He finds the purse with all the money and, thinking that is the gift of heaven, rushes home. At home, the brothel keeper is already there to collect Okaru and Kanpei wants to refuse to let her go, until he realizes where the money came from and believes that he killed Okaru's father by mistake. He urges Okaru to go to the pleasure quarters, not wanting her to know what has happened. In one of the dramatic highlights of the play, Kanpei commits suicide to atone for his multiple failures in duty.
  • Chűshin Iroha no Esugata:
    [The first half] The geisha Shunk˘ (Nakamura Kazutar˘) and the taiko mochi Eiju (Onoe Ukon) visit Oishi Shrine at Yamashina, where together with the waitress Osen, they act out people concerned with the vendetta in the famous scenes in Acts VII through X of "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers".
    [The latter half] The highlight of Act XI portrays the masterless warriors of the En'ya clan gathering at the mansion of K˘ no Moron˘. ďboshi Rikiya (Kataoka Sennosuke) confronts warriors of the K˘ clan while Takenomori Kitahachi (Nakamura Kangyoku) fights fiercely with Kobayashi Heihachir˘ (Nakamura Takanosuke), a retainer of K˘ no Moron˘. Finally, the masterless warriors achieve their cherished desire.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Succession Announcement Tour
    Dates 4 ~ 27 March 2023
    Jűsandaime Ichikawa Danjűr˘ Hakuen Shűmei Hir˘ Jungy˘
    Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII Hakuen Succession Announcement Tour
    Program

    Shitadashi Sanbas˘

    K˘j˘

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu

    Comments

    A special tour celebrating the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII with performances in 15 cities: Komatsu (2-day), Kanazawa (at the Kagekiza!), Shizuoka, Odawara, Yamagata, K˘riyama, Toyama, Nagano, Takasaki, Niigata, Kimitsu, Koshigaya, Hachinohe, Sapporo (2-day) and Akita.

  • Shitadashi Sanbas˘:
    (The Sanbas˘ with his Tongue sticking out)
    Based on the ritual play "Okina" in the theatre, the sanbas˘ is both an important prayer for prosperity and a vigorous dance. This particular version takes its title from the sanbas˘ sticking his tongue out. Some say that this is from absorption in the joy of his dance. Others say that this is an auspicious sign. In any case, this vigorous and joyful dance is exhilarating to watch and is a perfect addition to this auspicious program. Staring Ichikawa Udanji and Nakamura Kotar˘.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. In this case, all the actors of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII.
  • Kanjinch˘: probably the most popular Kabuki play today, it includes dance, comedy and the heart-warming pathos of a band of heroes during their last days. Disguised as a band of traveling priests the fugitive general Yoshitsune and his small band of retainers are stopped at a road barrier. They escape only through the quick thinking of the head retainer, a warrior priest named Musashib˘ Benkei, who improvises the text of an elaborate imperial decree. Having escaped danger Benkei and the others describe their days of glory and hardships on the road to escape in a moving dance. This program stars Ichikawa Danjűr˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shungy˘ Special Tour
    Dates 6 ~ 23 March 2023
    Shungy˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    The Dawn of Spring Special Performances
    Program

    T˘ku K˘nÔ

    Genroku Hanami Odori

    Nakaz˘ Ky˘ran

    Aioi Jishi

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Ich˘, Sawamura Kunihisa, Nakamura Nakasuke, Nakamura Nakanosuke, Nakamura Nakashir˘, Nakamura Nakaya, Nakamura Nakaji

    Comments

    The 4th edition of the Spring Tour of the Nakamuraya guild with 24 performances in 12 venues. There is a website dedicated to this tour.

  • T˘ku K˘nÔ: a talk on stage (literally 'Talk Corner').
  • Genroku Hanami Odori:
    (Viewing the Cherry Blossoms in the Genroku Period)
    It is in the Genroku period (late 17th century) and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom on the hill of Ueno in Edo (present day T˘ky˘). Men and women dressed up in showy outfits gather to view cherry blossoms and begin to dance. After the song about the custom of flower viewing in Kyoto, the drunken people start a lively dance. The dance under the cherry blossoms continues endlessly. Starring young disciples of the Nakamuraya guild.
  • Nakaz˘ Ky˘ran: this is a ky˘ranmono, depicting Ono no Yoshizane in a state of mental confusion due to the stress of over-anxiety. Yoshizane's daughter Ono no Komachi was betrothed to Yoshimine Munesada but she received an unwelcome wedding proposal from the evil Prince Yagumo. As a consequence, Komachi slipped away from Ky˘to to seek Munesada who in the meantime has left the court because of various intrigues against him. Komachi's father is harassed daily by obnoxious messengers from Prince Yagumo demanding that he reveals the whereabouts of his daughter. He finally pretends to go mad in order to evade their demands. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ in the role of Yoshizane.
  • Aioi Jishi: shishi (mythical lion-like spirits) are usually thought of as vigorous masculine creatures, but when shishi dances were first adapted for Kabuki from the classical theatre, they were danced by actors portraying an elegant, feminine atmosphere. This dance is one of the earliest in the genre and stars onnagata female role specialists. Featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Tsurumatsu.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    T˘ky˘ International Forum (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 30 March 2023
    Naritaya Oyako ~ Densh˘-he no Michi
    Naritaya Parent and Children ~ The Road to Tradition
    Program

    Zadankai

    Komori

    Tonbi Yakko

    Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Ichikawa Shinnosuke, Ichikawa Botan

    Comments

    A 2-performance 1-day dance program for the Naritaya family in T˘ky˘ at the T˘ky˘ International Forum.

    Kanagawa Kenmin Hall (Yokohama)
    Dates 31 March 2023
    Naritaya Oyako ~ Densh˘-he no Michi
    Naritaya Parent and Children ~ The Road to Tradition
    Program

    Zadankai

    Komori

    Tonbi Yakko

    Otokodate Hana no Yoshiwara

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Ichikawa Shinnosuke, Ichikawa Botan

    Comments

    A dance program for the Naritaya family in Yokohama at the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall.

    IHI Stage Around Theater (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 March ~ 12 April 2023
    Program

    Fainaru Fantajţ X (Final Fantasy X)

    Casting

    Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Shid˘, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Shinobu, Kamimura Kichitar˘, Onoe Ushinosuke

    Comments

    "Final Fantasy X" is now a Kabuki play, staged for the first time this month in T˘ky˘ at the IHI Stage Around Theater! The project is led by Onoe Kikunosuke who will be both the stage director and the leading actor.

    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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