NEWS FROM THE KABUKI WORLD
31 October
2022

A Kabuki Streaming Service outside Japan will finally be launched in 9 countries the 1st of November 2022! The 9 countries will be Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., the U.S. and Taiwan. At the start of this new service, only 3 dramas will be available on this new streaming platform with either English subtitles or English secondary audio service: "Kurumabiki", "Benten Koz˘" and "Sagi Musume". The service will be offered only for PC, not for mobile phones. No application installation will be required. The rental fee will be from 800 to 1091 JPY. Once purchased, the watcher will have to watch it within 7 days.

A special Sh˘chiku tour with Nakamura Shid˘ will happen in November 2022. No Kabuki performance but a talk on stage and a 1-man recitation (made by Nakamura Shid˘) with projection of images from the child book "Arashi no Yoru ni" (in English "One Stormy Night"), a series of picture books written by Kimura Yűichi. It was adapted to Kabuki in September 2015 [more details]. This is the story of an unusual friendship between a wolf named Gabu and a goat named Mei [more details].

The two programs for the January 2023 New Year Asakusa Kabuki performances at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ have been published [more details].

Ichikawa Ennosuke and his troupe will perform in February 2023 in Fukuoka at the Hakataza in a revised version of the SűpÔ Kabuki drama "Sangokushi" focusing on Kan U [more details].

Got˘ge Koyoharu's famous manga/anime "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" will be adapted to Kabuki in 2024! Well, it won't be a Kabuki drama but a SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando drama. It will be staged in February and March 2024 in T˘ky˘ at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. The troupe will be led by Ichikawa Ennosuke.

The 10th anniversary of the opening of the 5th Kabukiza will be celebrated in April 2023 with the staging of the drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi" starring Living National Treasures Kataoka Nizaemon and Band˘ Tamasabur˘.

Matsumoto Haku˘ will receive the Order of Culture (Bunka Kunsh˘) the 3rd of November 2022. This important order will be conferred by Naruhito, the Emperor of Japan.

Ichikawa Ebiz˘, ahead of the two months of name-taking ceremonies in November 2022 and December 2022 at the Kabukiza, went the 18th of October 2022 and prayed at the Suijin Shrine (Suijinsha), a Shint˘ shrine located in the fish market of Toyosu in the K˘t˘ Ward and dedicated to the God of Water [pictures and more details in Japanese].

Onoe Sh˘roku went The 4th of October 2022 at the Sengakuji Temple to pray in front of the tombstone of Horibe Yasubŕ Taketsune, before starting to perform in "Arakawa Jűdayű" in October 2022 at the Kabukiza [pictures and more details in Japanese].

The main actors in the casting of the drama "Toki o Koe Rinne no Furuido", which was staged at the Sh˘chikuza, appeared in front of the theater the 8th of October 2022 and talked in front of the audience [pictures and more details in Japanese].

The Duty of Remembrance:

  • In October 2022, we could have celebrated the 125th anniversary of the premiere at the Meijiza of Fukuchi ďchi's dance-drama "ďmori Hikoshichi" [casting].
  • A special 15-second Sh˘chiku-sponsored CM promoting the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII and the hatsubutai of Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII has started to be broadcasted on Nippon TV and TV Asahi from the 15th of October 2022:

    12 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    Ichikawa Ennosuke and several supporting Kabuki actors performed outside Kabuki, from the 20th to the 23rd of October 2002, in T˘ky˘ at the Hakuhinkan Theater. The troupe is called Shichikawa Gekidan RitÔnzu (literally 'The Shichikawa Troupe Returns') and they performed in a drama entitled "Shinsetsu Horibe Yasubŕ". The regular actors were Ichikawa Seiko, Ichikawa Ikujir˘, Ichikawa Utaroku, Ichikawa Kisuke, Ichikawa Sawagor˘, Ichikawa Sh˘en, Ichikawa Sh˘z˘, Ichikawa Sh˘nosuke, Ichikawa Dan'ichir˘, Ichikawa Danshi, Ichikawa Miyosuke and several non-Kabuki actors. The guests were Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Onoe Ukon, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Takanosuke and Ichikawa Danko.

    Onoe Ukon has started to perform outside Kabuki in "JÔjţ B˘izu", the Japanese version of 2004 jukebox musical "Jersey Boys". He performed in T˘ky˘ at the Nissay Theatre in October 2022. He will perform in ďsaka (ďsaka Shinkabukiza), Fukuoka (Hakataza) and Nagoya (NTK Hall) in November 2022. Then, he will perform in Akita and in Yokosuka in December 2022.

    Nakamura Kikaku has started to perform outside Kabuki in the musical drama "MAHOROBAKANATA", from the 28th of October to the 6th of November 2022, in T˘ky˘ at the Galaxy Theatre.

    30 September
    2022

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ XI, ahead of the two months of name-taking ceremonies in November 2022 and December 2022, will take part in two events:

  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ will be the 15th of October 2022 at the 4th floor of the famous T˘ky˘ Skytree in the Sumida Ward [more details].
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and his troupe will go the 22nd of October 2022 to the Naritasan shinsh˘ji Temple (in Narita), which is closely related to the Naritaya guild. There will be a parade from the Keisei Narita Station to the temple and a short Kabuki program on a temporary stage built in front of the main hall of the temple [more details].
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ XI will take the name of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII, ahead of the two months of name-taking ceremonies in November 2022 and December 2022, in a 2-day special program at the Kabukiza the 31st of October and the 1st of November 2022. There will be a dance-drama performed by the masters Kanze Kiyokazu (the 26th s˘ke of the Kanze School) and Kanze Tetsunoj˘ IX. Then, there will be a hand-clapping ceremony to celebrate the shűmei of the new Danjűr˘. Finally, the new Danjűr˘ will play the role of Musashib˘ Benkei in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘", sharing the stage with two Living National Treasures, Kataoka Nizaemon (Togashi Saemon) and Band˘ Tamasabur˘ (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) [more details].

    The two programs for the November Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza, which will celebrate the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII and the hatsubutai of Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII, have been published [more details]. The k˘j˘ will be led by Matsumoto Haku˘, not Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.

    The two programs for the December Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza, which will celebrate the second month of shűmei and hatsubutai for Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII and his son Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII, have been published [more details]. The k˘j˘ will be led by Matsumoto Haku˘, not Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.

    The three programs for the traditional yearly kaomise in Ky˘to in December 2022 at the Minamiza have been published [more details]. The highlights will be:

  • "Sushiya" with Nakamura Shid˘ in the role of Igami no Gonta.
  • "Fűin Giri" with Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of Kameya Chűbŕ and Umegawa.
  • "Matsuura no Taiko" with Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon in the role of Matsuura Shizunobu.
  • "Abura no Jigoku" with Kataoka Ainosuke and Kataoka Takatar˘ in the roles of Kawachiya Yohŕ and Okichi.
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform along with the Kod˘ taiko drummers in January 2023 at the Sh˘chiku in a 2017-premiered (in May 2017) dance-drama entitled "Yűgen", which features an array of classical Japanese images from plays by founder Zeami Motokiyo, incorporating themes from iconic works such as "Hagoromo" (The Feather Robe), "D˘j˘ji" (D˘j˘ji Temple) and "Shakky˘" (The Stone Bridge) [more details].

    The New Year Asakusa Kabuki will be back next year in Asakusa at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘! Cancelled in January 2021 and January 2022, it will happen from the 2nd to the 24th of January 2023 [more details].

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII will perform in January 2023 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ in "SANEMORI", a drama premiered in November 2019 for the 5th edition of the ABKAI (Ebikai in Japanese) gala. This drama is based on the classic "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki" and the story of the warrior Sait˘ no Sanemori. He will share the stage with an aidoru named Miyadate Ry˘ta, belonging to a boy band named Snow Man [more details].

    Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki), shot at the Minamiza in September 2022, will be streamed online overseas from the 5th to 11th of October 2022. The ticket will be sold online 2,000 JPY [more details | the streaming website].

    11 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    As part of the COVID-19 countermeasures, the Kabukiza has decided to change its theatre operations from October 2022 [more details].

    The name of the actor Kagawa Teruyuki, known as Ichikawa Chűsha IX in the Kabuki world, has been recently reported in an alleged sexual assault which happened in 2019. At that stage of the scandal, we don't know if it will impact his appearance on a Kabuki stage. So far, his name does not appear in any coming program.

    31 August
    2022

    The three programs for the October Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza, have been published [more details]. Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku will play the role of Hikari-no-Kimi in Hagiwara Yukio's drama "Genji Monogatari".

    The programs for the October 2022 [more details] and November 2022 [more details] Kabuki performances at the Heisei Nakamuraza have been published.

    The 11th edition of the Sistine Kabuki, a Kabuki program led by Kataoka Ainosuke within the Sistine Hall of the ďtsuka Museum of Art which is located in the city of Naruto (Tokushima prefecture), has been postponed because of the COVID-19 crisis. It will not happen in February 2023 as initially expected.

    Nakamura Shikan will perform outside Kabuki from the 6th to the 28th of September 2022, in T˘ky˘ at the Nissay Theatre. He will play the roles of Oberon and Theseus in William Shakespeare's drama "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Natsu no Yo no Yume in Japanese).

    Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Kamimura Kichiya will perform outside Kabuki in November 2022. They will perform in the drama "Hat˘ o Koete" in Ky˘to at the Minamiza from the 12th to the 22nd of November 2022 and in Hiroshima at the Hiroshima City Bunka K˘ryű Kaikan from the 25th to the 26th of November 2022.

    As previously reported, the National Theatre will be demolished and rebuilt between the end of 2023 and 2029:

    Special expensive articles of 'rare beauty' made from recycled Kabuki costumes will be sold on the Internet on the Kabukiya Shop website. The number of articles for sale will be limited. Therefore, there will be a 1-month application period (25 August ~ 25 September) and the announcement of the list of lucky winners will be made the 26th of September 2022 [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Due to the COVID-19, performances at the Kabukiza in August 2022 were cancelled: the 1st program was initially cancelled from the 15th to the 17th of August. The 19th of August, the performances for Part 1 were resumed. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd programs were cancelled the 19th of August. From the 20th of August, the performances for Part 2 and Part 3 were resumed with cast replacements [more details].

    13 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 13th of August 2022, we could have celebrated the 175th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Kan˘ Hinasuke III (1812~1847). This actor died the 3rd day of the 7th lunar month of the 4th year of the K˘ka era, which was the 13th of August 1847 in the western calendar.
  • The 21st of August 2022, we could have celebrated the 125th anniversary of the passing away of the zamoto Morita Kan'ya XII (1846~1897), who died the 21st of August 1897.
  • The 24th of August 2022, we could have celebrated the 275th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Sanogawa Mangiku (1690~1747). This actor died the 19th day of the 7th lunar month of the 4th year of the Enky˘ era, which was the 24th of August 1747 in the western calendar.
  • 31 July
    2022

    The 27th of July 2022, Nakamura Baigyoku became Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuh˘ in Japanese) as a Kabuki tachiyaku actor. This is the 5th Kabuki Living National Treasure. There are already 2 tachiyaku (Onoe Kikugor˘, Kataoka Nizaemon), 1 onnagata (Band˘ Tamasabur˘) and 1 wakiyaku (Nakamura T˘z˘). From the end of 2020 to now, the Kabuki world lost 4 Living National Treasures: Sakata T˘jűr˘ IV, Kataoka Hidetar˘ II, Nakamura Kichiemon II and Sawamura Tanosuke VI.

    There will be a 2nd generation National Theatre in a near future! From November 2022 to October 2023, Sayonara K˘en ('Farewell Performances') will be staged in the existing theater. Then, the 1st generation National Theatre, which opened in November 1966, will be closed and rebuilt. These farewell performances will be precisely labeled as Mirai e Tsunagu Kokuritsu Gekij˘ Purojekuto ~ Shodai Kokuritsu Gekij˘ Sayonara K˘en (literally 'Project to Connect the National Theater to the Future ~ First generation National Theater Farewell Performances').

    Due to the COVID-19, performances at the Kabukiza in July 2022 were cancelled from the 21st to the 29th of July [Notification 07/22 | Notification 07/20]. In fact, the first program was cancelled from the 18th to the 29th of July [Notification 07/18]. The second and third program were cancelled from the 19th to the the 29th [Notification 07/19].

    Due to the COVID-19, the Sh˘chiku Kabuki Dance Tour was stopped from the 20th to the 25th of July 2022. It restarted the 27th of July and ended as expected the 31st.

    From the 14th of July 2022, Kataoka Matsunosuke, who was tested positive for coronavirus, stopped performing at the Sh˘chikuza and he was replaced by Kataoka Matsujűr˘ to play the role of the priest Kakunen in the drama "Nami no Tsuzumi".

    The 1st edition of the new "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) will happen in September 2022 at the Kabukiza [more details]. It will commemorate both Nakamura Kichiemon I and Nakamura Kichiemon II. Shűzan was the haimy˘ used by these two stars. It will be divided into 3 programs, with the revival in two programs of one drama written by Matsu Kanshi: "Hakuroj˘ Monogatari" (1st program) and "Fujito" (3rd program). In the 2nd program, there will be a k˘j˘ staged within "Matsuura no Taiko", a drama belonging to the Shűzan Jisshu collection of dramas. Nakamura Kash˘ IV's two sons will also make their hatsubutai in "Terakoya": the elder son Ogawa S˘ma will receive the name of Nakamura Tanetar˘ V and will play the role of Kan Shűsai; the younger son Ogawa Haruma will receive the name of Nakamura Hidenosuke and will play the role of Kotar˘. There will also be a newly-created drama in the 2nd program, entitled "Agehach˘ Tsuzure no Omokage", which will mix elements from "Kumagai Jin'ya", "Suzu-ga-Mori" and "Kagotsurube".

    Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Ainosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘ will perform in September 2022 at the Sh˘chikuza in a special 4-day Kabuki program [more details].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform in October 2022 in Nagoya at the Misonoza with the 3 sons of Nakamura Shikan and the Shinpa actors Kitamura Rokur˘ and Kawai Yukinoj˘ as guest stars. The star will play the prestigious role of Princess Yaegaki in "Jusshuk˘" and "Kitsunebi" [more details].

    The program in November 2022 at the National Theatre has been published [more details]. It will be the 1st farewell Performances before the closing and the start of the rebuilding of this theater. It will also be called Kabuki & Rakugo Korabo Chűshingura (A collaboration related to Chűshingura between Kabuki and Rakugo). Two rakugo and the 5th and 6th acts of "Kanadehon Chűshingura" will be staged with Nakamura Shikan in the role of Hayano Kanpei.

    The prestigious roles which will be played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII in November 2022 [more details] and December 2022 [more details] at the Kabukiza have been published! In November 2022, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII will play the roles of Musashib˘ Benkei and Hanakawado Sukeroku (in reality Soga Gor˘ Tokimune) in "Kanjinch˘" and "Sukeroku". His son Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII will play the roles of the uir˘-seller (in reality Soga Gor˘ Tokimune) and Fukuyama Katsugi in "Uir˘ Uri" and "Sukeroku". In December 2022, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII will play the roles of ďdate Samagor˘ Teruhide and Hanakawado Sukeroku (in reality Soga Gor˘ Tokimune) in the oshimodoshi grand finale of the dance "Musume D˘j˘ji" and "Sukeroku". His son Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII will play the role of Kumedera Danj˘ in "Kenuki". This prestigious shűmei will be staged all over Japan in 2023 and 2024 with the following agenda:

    When Where
    March 2023 On tour!
    September 2023 Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    October/November 2023 On tour!
    December 2023 Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    February 2024 Misonoza (Nagoya)
    September 2023 On tour!
    October 2024 Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)

    The program for the 3rd edition of the Hito Tsunagi no Kai ('People-Connecting Gala'), which will star Ichikawa Ennosuke's disciples, has been published. It will happen the 4th of September 2022 in Ky˘to at the Shunjűza, a theater located within the Ky˘to University of the Arts [more details].

    7th edition of the gala of the Sora no Kai (literally "the Sky Association"), which will star Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘, Kataoka Senju, Kataoka T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kansei and others Matsushimaya disciple. They will perform from the 4th to the 7th of August 2022 in ďsaka at the Kintetsu Art Kan [more details].

    ďtani Keiz˘ and the Jűjiya guild will perform in Hakodate in two different venues: the 19th of August at the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward [more details] and from the 21st to the 23rd of August at the Auditorium of the Iai Academy [more details].

    The 3rd edition of the gala of the Miyoshiya Guild, Kamimura Kichiya and his disciples, will happen the 25th of September 2022, in ďsaka at the ďtsuki N˘ Theatre [more details]. The ďtsuki N˘ Theatre is located near ďsaka Castle. It was established in 1935 and it is one of the few theaters in Kansai which has survived WWII.

    A new Kabuki drama entitled "Arakawa Jűdayű", a chűshinguramono, will be staged in October 2022 at the Kabukiza. It will be based on a famous eponymous k˘dan. To celebrate this premiere in October, there will be an event at the Kabukiza the 28th of September 2022, with the k˘dan masters Kanda Sh˘ri III and Kanda Sh˘zan VI who will perform on stage. Moreover, there will be a stage talk with the actor Onoe Sh˘roku, who will play in October 2022 at the Kabukiza the role of Arakawa Judayű.

    The game "Final Fantasy X" will become a Kabuki play in 2023! The project will be led by Onoe Kikunosuke who will be both the stage director and the leading actor. Others members of this project will be Nakamura Shid˘, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Shinobu and Kamimura Kichitar˘. It will be staged in Spring 2023 in T˘ky˘ at the IHI Stage Around Theater.

    Nakamura Kansei, a disciple of Nakamura Ganjir˘, successfully passed the 2005 nadai exam and received his diploma. He celebrated on stage in July 2022, in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza.

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 22nd of July 2022, we could have celebrated the 275th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Sakakiyama Koshir˘ I (1671~1747). This actor died the 15th day of the 6th lunar month of the 4th year of the Enky˘ era, which was the 22nd of July 1747 in the western calendar.
  • The 24th of July 2022, we could have celebrated the 250th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Ichikawa Danz˘ III (1709~1772). This actor died the 24th day of the 6th lunar month of the 9th year of the Meiwa era, which was the 24th of July 1772 in the western calendar.
  • The 10th of July 2022, we could have celebrated the 225th anniversary of the passing away of the sakusha Kanai Sansh˘ (1759~1797). This actor died the 16th day of the 6th lunar month of the 9th year of the Kansei era, which was the 10th of July 1797 in the western calendar.
  • The 9th of July 2022, we could have celebrated the 125th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Ichikawa Shinz˘ V (1861~1897), who died the 9th of July 1897.
  • In July 2022, we could have celebrated the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Tanizaki Jun'ichir˘'s drama "Okuni to Gohei", in T˘ky˘ at the Imperial Theater [more details].
  • 8 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    Two posters for the July 2022 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    30 June
    2022

    Obituary: the actors Band˘ Takesabur˘ V (1932~2022) and Sawamura Tanosuke VI (1932~2022) passed away the 17th and the 23rd of June 2022. The latter, as a wakiyaku actor, was onnagata/nimaime expert in Edo wagoto and Living National Treasure since 2002 and active on stage for 73 years! The former was a supporting onnagata actor who devoted himself to the promotion of Kamigata Kabuki.

    Due to health-related reason, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon will not perform in July 2022 at the Sh˘chikuza. He was expected to play the role of Ogura Hikokur˘ in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Horikawa Nami no Tsuzumi". He will be replaced by Nakamura Kankur˘ ... and Nakamura Kankur˘ will be replaced by Nakamura Hayato.

    The three programs for the August Cool-Breeze Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza in August 2022 have been published [more details]. There will be the Kabuki adaptation of Tezuka Osamu's 1963 manga "Shinsen-gumi", the revival of Furukawa Shinsui's drama "Tsukuda no Yoarashi" (staged for the last time in May 1987 in the same theater) and the return of Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi, the two heroes of the Edo period bestselling comic novel "Hizakurige".

    The classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" will be staged in October 2022 at the National Theatre [more details]. The roles of Tomomori, Gonta and Tadanobu will be played by Onoe Kikunosuke.

    No Jűgatsu Hanagata Kabuki ('October Young Actors Kabuki') in October 2022 at the Sh˘chikuza but, for the very first time in Kabuki History, a program called J HorÔ Kabuki, J-horror Kabuki [more details]. The regular reading should be Nihon Kaidan Kabuki (literally 'Japan Ghosts Kabuki') (based on the selected ideograms) but the planners of this project preferred to read it J HorÔ Kabuki in order to appeal to a wider audience. The reason is quite simple: the newly-created drama, entitled "Toki o Koe Rinne no Furuido", will be a mix of "Sarayashiki" and the world of Sadako, the ghost in Suzuki K˘ji's J-horror series "Ring". The script has been written by G2. The two stars will be Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘. The guest star will be Imai Tsubasa.

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform in October 2022 in Nagoya at the Misonoza [more details].

    Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke will commemorate the 180th anniversary of the 1842 move of all major Kabuki theaters to the remote district of Saruwaka-ch˘ (Edo) in October 2022 and November 2022 at the Heisei Nakamuraza, which will be temporarily built in T˘ky˘ in Asakusa, at the back of the main hall of the Sens˘ji Temple [more details]. A newly-created Kabuki drama, written by Kud˘ Kankur˘ and entitled "T˘nasuya ~ Fushigi no Kuni no Wakadanna", will be staged. The latest Heisei Nakamuraza performances were staged in Kitakyűshű in November 2019.

    The 1st edition of a Buy˘ gala for Nakamura Fukusuke and his son Nakamura Kotar˘ will happen in August 2022 in T˘ky˘ at the S˘getsu Hall [more details].

    The 6th edition of the Ken no Kai, a gala starring Onoe Kikugor˘ VI's great-grandson Onoe Ukon, will happen in August 2022 [more details]. Ken no Kai literally means "Ken's Association" with Ken being the first ideogram in Onoe Ukon's real first name Kensuke. Interesting feature: In "Kasane", Onoe Ukon will share the stage with a Bunraku puppeteer.

    The program for the 28th edition of the common program for 2 associations, the Chigyokai (the Young Fishes Association) and the Kabukikai (the Kabuki Association), which stars stars' disciples in the leading roles at the National Theatre in August 2022 under the supervision of Matsumoto Haku˘, Matsumoto Kingo and the dance master Fujima Kanso III, has been published [more details].

    The program for the 32nd edition of the Kamigata Kabukikai (the Kamigata Kabuki Association), a summer program in ďsaka at the National Bunraku Theatre in August 2022 which stars Kamigata Kabuki stars' disciples in the leading roles under the supervision of Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and the guidance of Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kamimura Kichiya and the dance master Fujima Toyohiro, has been published [more details].

    The 2nd edition of the Jűjiya Dance Gala at the Nihonbashi Gekij˘ (Nihonbashi Auditorium), located within the Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘ (Nihonbashi Community Center), will happen in August 2022 [more details].

    2nd edition of the Takasago Kai ('Takasago Gala') for the disciples of Nakamura Baigyoku belonging to the Takasagoya guild. It will happen in August 2022 in T˘ky˘ at the Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘ [more details].

    The 3rd edition of the Hito Tsunagi no Kai ('People-Connecting Gala'), which will star Ichikawa Ennosuke's disciples, will happen the 4th of September 2022 in Ky˘to at the Shunjűza, a theater located within the Ky˘to University of the Arts [more details].

    The 24th edition of the summer program of the association Ne no Kai (literally 'the Sound Association') will happen in August 2022 [more details].

    There will 3 special events related to the educational Kabuki program, Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class") in July 2022 at the National Theatre [more details]:

  • "Beginners' Kabuki for Business Person" the 8th and the 20th of July, with a special session starting at 18:00 instead of the usual 11:00 or 14:30.
  • "Discover KABUKI" the 27th of July, with a presentation "how to appreciate Kabuki" in English. the audio guides in English and Japanese will be available for free. There will be subtitles in English displayed on a screen above the stage. Moreover, there will be multilingual booklets for free in English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French and Japanese.
  • There will a special Family Festival, called Oyako de Tanoshimu Kabuki Ky˘shitsu, from the 20th to the 26th of July. This festival will aim at gathering together children and parents to enjoy Kabuki.
  • One poster for the production of "Nobuyasu" and one new visual document (flyer) for "Kaze no Tani no Naushika" in July 2022 at the Kabukiza have been printed out and will be sold in the theater during the performances.

    Nakamura Hayato will perform outside Kabuki at the end of July 2022 (the 26th and 27th) in Okamoto Takaya's drama "Watashi no Atama no Naka no Keshigomu 13th Letter" ('Eraser in my head 13th Letter') at the Yomiuri ďtemachi Hall.

    7 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    There will be two young girls on the stage of the Kabukiza in July 2022: Ichikawa Ebiz˘'s daughter Ichikawa Botan will perform with her father in "Nakakuni" and Onoe Kikunosuke's daughter Terajima Tomoyo will perform with her father in "Kaze no Tani no Naushika".

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 28th June 2022, we could have celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Onoe Kikunosuke II (1868~1897), who died the 28th June 1922.
  • The 17th of June 2022, we could have celebrated the 275th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Ichiyama Sukegor˘ I (1692~1747). This actor died the 10th day of the 5th lunar month of the 4th year of the Enky˘ era, which was the 17th of June 1747 in the western calendar.
  • Opening the 1st of July 2022 of a new online database:

  • Sh˘chiku ďtani Library Pre-WWII Shibai Banzuke Database
  • 31 May
    2022

    Obituary: the Kiyomoto musician Kiyomoto Koshizudayű passed away the 9th of May 2022. He was born the 18th of September 1933 and his real name was Kakizawa S˘kichi. He started his career in 1950 as a shamisen-player and switched to singing in September 1954.

    Important: a long-awaited announcement! Ichikawa Ebiz˘ XI will finally take the prestigious name of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII in November 2022! There will be a 2-month shűmei in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza, in November 2022 and December 2022. His son Horikoshi Kangen will take the name of Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII. Initially, it was scheduled to happen from May to July 2020 but, due to the COVID-19 crisis, it was delayed for more than 2 years! The 2020 3-month name-taking ceremonies at the Kabukiza will be reduced to 2 months in 2022 but the third month will most likely be in January 2023 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘.

    Due to health-related reason, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon will not perform in June 2022 at the Kabukiza. The star was expected to play the role of Yosabur˘ in the drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi" with Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in the role of Otomi. He won't be replaced and, therefore, there will be a drama change for the 3rd progam of the June Grand Kabuki. Instead of "Kirare Yosa", "Furu Amerika-ni Sode-ha Nurasaji" will be staged under the direction of Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, who will also play the leading role of Osono. A few non-Kabuki guest stars will join the Kabuki troupe on stage : the Shinpa actors Kitamura Rokur˘, Kawai Yukinoj˘, Taguchi Mamoru (the last disciple of Mizutani Yaeko I) and the former figure skater It˘ Midori [more details].

    Mishima Yukio's Kabuki comedy "Iwashi Uri" ("The Sardine Seller's Net of Love") was staged in English at the Lincoln Performance Hall within the campus of the Portland State University from the 25th to the 28th of May 2022 [more details]. The four performances were under the direction of Professor Laurence Kominz with a script based on his own translation, and the actors were both PSU students and professional performers. A YouTube video is available online!

    There will be in June 2022 a special tour with a troupe led by Nakamura Tsurumatsu. With disciples of the Nakamuraya guild, they will perform from the 8th to the 12th of June 2022 in 5 old traditional wooden theaters in Gifu Prefecture: the Kashimo Meijiza, the Miyamoriza, the Gom˘za, the Azumaza and the Aioiza [more details].

    The 7th edition of the Buy˘ gala Nakamura Ky˘z˘ Buy˘ no Yűbe (Evening for Dance by Nakamura Ky˘z˘), starring Nakamura Ky˘z˘, will happen the 22nd of June 2022 in T˘ky˘ at the National Theatre [more details].

    The program for Band˘ Tamasabur˘'s performances from the 23rd to the 27th of July 2022 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza has been published [more details].

    The world of Kabuki and the world of otaku will collide for the 13th time in Kabuki history in August 2022/September 2022! Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) will be back again! Nakamura Shid˘ will once again share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They will perform together in T˘ky˘ at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ [more details].

    The world of Kabuki and the world of otaku will collide for the 14th time in Kabuki history and for the third time in Ky˘to! Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) will be staged in Ky˘to at the Minamiza in September 2022. Nakamura Shid˘ will once again share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku [more details].

    Hachigatsu N˘ry˘ Kabuki, the August Cool-Breeze Kabuki, will be back at the Kabukiza in August 2022 [more details]! Due to the COVID-19 crisis, in August 2020 and August 2021, it was only the Hachigatsu Hanagata Kabuki, the August Young Actors Kabuki. The highlight of this August Cool-Breeze Kabuki will be the Kabuki adaptation of Tezuka Osamu's 1963 manga "Shinsen-gumi"! The story is related to the Shinsen-gumi, a group of pro-Shogunate warriors at the end of the Edo period (Bakumatsu). More to come in the coming weeks!

    Ichikawa Seiko II will celebrate his shűmei in Ky˘to at the Shunjűza in September 2022, a theater located within the Ky˘to University of the Arts [more details]. The event will be part of a special 3-day Buy˘ program starring Ichikawa Ennosuke.

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performed his famed nirami no mie the 22nd of May 2022, on a special stage atop T˘ky˘ Skytree in the Sumida Ward, in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of this tower:

    A special event within the educational Kabuki program, Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class"), at the National Theatre in June 2022, has been scheduled. It is entitled 'Beginners' Kabuki for Business Person' and it will happen the 10th and the 17th of June 2022, with a special session starting at 18:30 instead of the usual 11:00 or 14:30 [more details].

    Kataoka Ainosuke will perform outside Kabuki from the 6th of June to the 10th of July 2022 in the Japanese language stage production of Francis Veber's 1998 movie "Le Dţner de Cons" (Kijintachi no Bansankai in Japanese or 'The Dinner Game' in English). The troupe will perform in several cities: in T˘ky˘ at the Setagaya Public Theater from the 7th to the 19th of June, in ďsaka at the Morinomiya Piloti Hall from the 25th to the 27th of June, in Matsumoto at the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre the 29th of June, in T˘kai at the T˘kai City Arts Theater from the 2nd to the 3rd of July and in Fukuoka at the Hakataza from the 9th to the 10th of July.

    Kataoka Kamez˘ will perform outside Kabuki from the 6th to the 28th of June 20022, in T˘ky˘ at the Theatre Cocoon, in Noda Hideki's drama "Pandora no Kane" ('Pandora's Bell'). This drama will be directed by Sugihara Kunio.

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 6th of May 2022, we could have celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passing away of the actor Ichikawa Kodanji V (1850~1922), who died the 6th of May 1922.
  • The 20th of May 2022, we could have celebrated the 175th anniversary of the passing away of the star Iwai Tojaku (1776~1847). This actor died the 6th day of the 4th lunar month of the 4th year of the K˘ka era, which was the 20th of May 1847 in the western calendar.
  • One poster for the production of "Nobuyasu" and one new visual document (flyer) for "Cho Hakkai"/"Kurumabiki" in June 2022 at the Kabukiza have been printed out and will be sold in the theater during the performances.

    7 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    We could not report in the previous release of kabuki21.com the gala for Nakamura Ich˘, which happened the 29th of May 2022 in Ena (Gifu Prefecture) at the Ena Culture Center [more details].

    30 April
    2022

    The three programs for the June Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza in June 2022 have been published [more details]. Here are the highlights:

  • Revival of the dance-drama "Cho Hakkai", which belongs to the Omodaka Jűshu collection (staged for the last time in June 1968 at the Kabukiza).
  • Revival of Tanaka Kiz˘'s Shinkabuki drama "Nobuyasu" (staged for the last time in September 1996 at the Kabukiza).
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon performing together in "Kirare Yosa".
  • The two programs for the July Grand Kabuki performances at the Sh˘chikuza in July 2022 have been published [more details]. Here are the highlights:

  • The revival of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Horikawa Nami no Tsuzumi" with Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of Ogura Hikokur˘ and Otane.
  • "Ukare Shinjű" with the Nakamuraya Brothers Nakamura Kankur˘ (who will perform a chűnori) and Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • The three programs for the July Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza in July 2022 have been published [more details]. Here are the highlights:

  • "Oguri Hangan" with Ichikawa Ennosuke. This drama belongs to the Ennosuke Jűhachiban, Ennosuke Shijűhassen and Fukkatsu T˘shi Ky˘gen Jűhachiban collections of plays.
  • "Natsu Matsuri" with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Danshichi Kurobŕ. An atariyaku for the head of the Naritaya guild.
  • The revival of some parts of the Kabuki version of Miyazaki Hayaoĺs masterpiece "Nausicań of the Valley of the Wind" [manga | movie], which was successfully adapted into Kabuki and premiered in December 2019 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. It will star Onoe Kikunosuke.
  • There will be a Kokera Otoshi Kabuki program the 10th of May 2022 in in Saitama at the RaiBoC Hall (ďmiya Civic Hall) [more details]. The name RaiBoC comes from the words Railway, Bonsai and Cartoon.

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform in August 2022 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [more details]. The second act of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan" will be staged in its entirety (3 scenes). The guest star of this special summer program will be Kataoka Ainosuke.

    Nakamura Kotar˘ and Nakamura Hayato will be on tour in June 2022 [more details].

    The educational Kabuki program, Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class"), at the National Theatre in July 2022 has been published [more details].

    The 1st edition of the Futari o Miru Kai, a gala program which stars Ichikawa Ennosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘, will happen the 23rd and 24th of May 2022 in T˘ky˘ at the Hitotsubashi Hall of the Japan Education Center [more details].

    The 1st edition of the Kakumeikai, a gala program which will star Nakamura Tsurumatsu, will happen from the 5th of June 2022 at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ [more details].

    The 7th edition of the Sh˘ no Kai, a gala program which stars Nakamura Tomijűr˘ V's son Nakamura Takanosuke, will happen in T˘ky˘ at the National Theatre from the 16th to the 17th of July 2022 [more details].

    The world of Kabuki and the world of otaku will collide for the 11th and 12th time in Kabuki history in August 2022! Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) will be back again! Nakamura Shid˘ will once again share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They will perform together for the first time in Fukuoka at the Hakataza [more details] and in Nagoya at the Misonoza [more details].

    Two posters for the April 2022 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    Four posters for the May 2022 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    10 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    Nakamura Kankur˘ will perform outside Kabuki from the 8th to the 12th of June 2022 in T˘ky˘ at the T˘ky˘ Tatemono Brillia Hall (T˘shima Arts and Culture Theatre) in Ueda Kumiko's drama "Bai˘mu" ('BIOME').

    The 15th and the 20th of May 2022, in T˘ky˘ at the National Film Archive of Japan (Nagase Memorial Theatre OZU (2nd floor), old Kabuki-staged short movies will be screened: 7 minutes from "Momijigari", a movie shot in 1899 with the stage giants Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Onoe Kikugor˘ V, and a collection of short movies from 1900 to 1935 with the Kamigata star Nakamura Ganjir˘ I. For example, there will be 6 minutes from "Kawash˘" (1925), 4 minutes from "Fűin Giri" (1928), 5 minutes from "Kitsunebi" (1929), 3 minutes from "Ninokuchi-mura" (1932) or 3 minutes from "Tsuchiya Chikara" (1933) [more details].

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • In April 2022, we could have celebrated the 125th anniversary of the premiere of Fukuchi ďchi's ky˘kakumono drama "Otokodate Harusame Gasa", in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza [more details].
  • 31 March
    2022

    The great yearly Dankiku festival will be back at the Kabukiza in May 2022 [more details]! No Dankiku festival in May 2020 and May 2021. This important festival for the Naritaya and Otowaya guilds will commemorate 2 great stars of the Meiji era: Dan = Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Kiku = Onoe Kikugor˘ V. Here are the highlights:

  • "Kinkakuji" with Nakamura Jakuemon, Kataoka Ainosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku in the roles of Princess Yuki, Konoshita T˘kichi and Matsunaga Daizen.
  • "Shibaraku" with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and "Tsuchi-gumo" with Onoe Kikunosuke and Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.
  • "Benten Koz˘" with young actors.
  • Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Kakitsubata Iro mo Edozome" will be revived at the National Theatre by the Zenshinza in May 2022 to commemorate the 32nd anniversary (33rd memorial services) of the passing away of late Kawarasaki Kunitar˘ V. His grandson Kawarasaki Kunitar˘ VI will play the roles of Oroku and Yatsuhashi [more details].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform from the 27th to the 29th of May 2022 in Nagoya at the Misonoza [more details].

    The world of Kabuki and the world of otaku will collide for the 10th time in Kabuki history in April 2022! Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) will be back again! Nakamura Shid˘ will once again share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They will perform together in a Ch˘kabuki dance-drama entitled "Towa no Hana Homare no Isaoshi" [In Japanese]. It will be staged at the Makuhari Messe the 29th and the 30th of April 2022, as part of the Niconico Ch˘kaigi 2022 event, an important yearly event for the otaku tribes [more details].

    The two programs for the June Grand Kabuki performances in Fukuoka in June 2022 at the Hakataza have been published [more details].

    The educational Kabuki program, Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class"), at the National Theatre in June 2022 has been published [more details].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform from the 23rd to the 27th of July 2022 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [more details].

    Nakamura Shikan and his three sons will be on tour in July 2022 [more details].

    There will be Kabuki performances in July 2022 in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza [more details].

    We've forgotten to report the Zenshinza Tour, which will happen from the 25th of March 2022 to the 23rd of April 2022. This is a simple tour with the staging of the matsubamemono "B˘ Shibari" [more details].

    Onoe Sh˘roku, who will perform in the role of ďoka Echizen-no-Kami Tadasuke in the drama "Ten'ichib˘ ďoka Seidan" in April 2022 at the Kabukiza, went at the J˘kenji Temple in Chigasaki, a temple with the tombstone of ďoka Echizen-no-Kami Tadasuke, the 17th of March 2022 to pray for the success of the coming performances [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ took part the 27th of March 2022 in a special gala entitled Dent˘ Gein˘ Fesutibaru (literally 'Traditional Culture Festival'), which mixed and Kabuki and was staged in Ginza at the Kanze N˘gakud˘. Nakamura Kazutar˘ performed in a Kabuki dance entitled "Kuzu-no-Ha no Michiyuki", a Tokiwazu-based michiyuki related to the drama "Ashiya D˘man ďuchi Kagami". Nakamura Kotar˘ performed in the Tokiwazu-based version of "Kitsunebi". They also did some talks on stage with the actors Sakaguchi Takanobu and Kanze Sabur˘ta.

    Due to health-related reasons, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon could not perform at the Kabukiza from the 9th to the 15th of March 2022. He was replaced by Nakamura Karoku to play the role of K˘chiyama S˘shun in the drama "K˘chiyama".

    Due to health-related reasons, Ichikawa Danz˘ could not perform at the Kabukiza in March 2022. He was replaced by his disciple Ichikawa Aragor˘ to play the role of Ch˘bŕ in the drama "Shibahama no Kawazaifu".

    Two posters for the March 2022 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    The 38th and 39th releases of Shinema Kabuki ("Cinema Kabuki") will be released all over Japan in April 2022. It will be Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘", which was shot live in high definition in April 2021 (first half of "Sakura Hime") and in June 2021 (second half of "Sakura Hime") at the Kabukiza and which starred Living National Treasures Kataoka Nizaemon and Band˘ Tamasabur˘.

  • 38th release (first half of "Sakura Hime") from the 8th of April 2022 [more details in Japanese]
  • 39th release (second half of "Sakura Hime") from the 29th of April 2022 [more details in Japanese]
  • Kamimura Kichiya was the award-winner of the ďsaka Bunkasai-sh˘, the ďsaka Cultural Festival Award, for the 3rd year of the Reiwa era. The ceremony happened the 29th of March 2022.

    Due to people infected with coronavirus, all the performances of Ichikawa Ebiz˘'s Roppongi Kabuki (Roppongi is a famous district in T˘ky˘) in ďsaka from the 18th to the 21st of March 2022 have been cancelled.

    15 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    Short videos with English subtitles of Kabuki performances in January 2022 at the Kabukiza have been uploaded on the Sh˘chiku Official YouTube Channel:

    Recycled Kabuki costumes were sold online as artistic frames from the 19th to the 31st of March 2022! Costumes used for the main role of the dance "Musume D˘j˘ji". This original recycling project was called 'RE:CREATION' [pictures and more details in Japanese | official website].

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • In March 2022, we could have celebrated the 125th anniversary of the opening of the T˘ky˘za in March 1897.
  • 28 February
    2022

    The three programs for the April Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza in April 2022 have been published [more details]. Here are the highlights:

  • Kawatake Mokuami's ˘oka-seidanmono drama "Ten'ichib˘" with Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kataoka Ainosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • "Arakawa no Sakichi" with the K˘raiya guild.
  • The revival of Masuyama Kinpachi I's Nagauta-based drama "Hototogisu Hana Aru Sato", a 1794 add-on for the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" which was successfully revived in June 2016.
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon performing together in "Jiisan Baasan".
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shikan and Onoe Kikunosuke will perform in June 2022 at the Hakataza [more details].

    There will be a Kabuki Appreciation Class in May 2022 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [more details].

    10 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    Short videos with English subtitles of Kabuki performances in November 2021 and January 2022 at the National Theatre have been uploaded on the Kabuki playlist of the National Theatre Official YouTube Channel:

    Nakamura Shichinosuke was the award-winner of the "Incentive Award" (Sh˘reish˘) of the 38th Asakusa Artistic Awards (Asakusa Gein˘ Sh˘). The ceremony happened the 6th of February 2022 at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Band˘ Takesabur˘ and Band˘ Minosuke were the award-winners of the "Merit Award" (K˘r˘sh˘) for the former actor and the "New Face Award" (Shinjin Sh˘) for the latter actor of the 43rd Matsuo Artistic Awards (Matsuo Gein˘ Sh˘).

    Three posters for the February 2022 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    Three posters for the March 2022 performances at the Minamiza have been published:

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • In February 2022, we could have celebrated the 325th anniversary of the premiere of "Shibaraku", which was staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1697 in Edo at the Nakamuraza.
  • In February 2022, we could have celebrated the 150th anniversary of the premiere of the drama "Ume Ky˘dai Naniwa Senki", which was staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1872 at the Nakamuraza [more details]. One act of this drama has survived and became the independent drama "Kimura Nagato-no-Kami". The eponymous role was added by Kataoka Nizaemon XI in his Kataoka Jűnishű collection of plays.
  • In February 2022, we could have celebrated the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Yamazaki Shik˘'s drama "Hatsushiraga", which was staged for the first time in February 1922 at the Shintomiza, starring Nakamura Utaemon V in the role of Lady Yodo.
  • Due to people infected with coronavirus, cancellation of the third program at the Kabukiza from the 14th to the 19th of February 2022 [more details].

    Cancellation of the Cocoon Kabuki performances the 25th and the 26th of February 2022 at the Theatre Cocoon due to the illness of a member of staff [more details].

    Due to illness, Nakamura Shikan could not perform at the Kabukiza from the 1st to the 19th of February 2022. He was replaced by Band˘ Hikosabur˘ to play the role of Osada no Tar˘ in "Oniji Hy˘shimai" [more details].

    Due to illness, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ could not perform at the Kabukiza from the 4th to the 10th of February 2022. He was replaced by Kataoka Kamez˘ and Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘ to play the roles of Osada no Tar˘ and Hayase Yajűr˘ in "Oniji Hy˘shimai" and "Nezumi Koz˘" [more details].

    Due to illness, Band˘ Minosuke could not perform at the Kabukiza from the 13th to the 23rd of February 2022. He was replaced by Onoe Kikuji to play the role of Shinsuke in "Nezumi Koz˘" [more details].

    Due to illness, Nakamura Takanosuke could not perform at the Kabukiza from the 13th to the 22nd of February 2022. He was not replaced in "Shakky˘" [more details].

    Kabuki Nyantar˘, a cute character from the world of Hello Kitty, which is the Kabuki Nyanĺbassador (ambassador) for the 5th Kabukiza, will celebrate soon its 5th anniversary. Opening of a dedicated website to celebrate it with a countdown to the birthday the 29th of April.

    A special program at the Minamiza in Ky˘to to explain stage mechanisms, from the tachimawari to the hanamichi and to help visitors experiencing some of the unique stagecraft tricks used in Kabuki theatre, will happen from the 29th of April to the 8th of May 2022.

    31 January
    2022

    Obituary: The monthly magazine Engekikai, dedicated mostly to Kabuki, will be out of business this spring. The last issue will be the March one. Engekikai has a long history. It started as Engei Gah˘ in the 40th year of the Meiji era (1907). In 1943, due to a shortage of paper, 6 magazines dedicated to the stage arts were reduced to two new magazines, under the supervision of one publishing house named Nihon Engeki-sha (literally 'Japan Theatre Company'). One of the two magazines was named Engekikai (literally 'Theatrical World') and its first issue was published in November 1943. Engekikai was famous for the high quality of its reports, stage analysis, photographs and studies. This will be a terrible loss for the Kabuki world! I wish Kabuki stars could start the process to gather enough money to save this magazine...

    The three programs for the March Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza in March 2022 have been published [more details]. Here are the main details:

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon will play the role of K˘chiyama S˘shun in Kawatake Mokuami's masterpiece "K˘chiyama".
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ will play the role of the fishmonger Masagor˘ in "Shibahama no Kawazaifu".
  • Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Jakuemon, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Nakamura Kaishun will perform together in "Terutora Haizen".
  • Matsumoto K˘shir˘ will play the great role of Ishikawa Goemon in the eponymous drama "Ishikawa Goemon".
  • Ichikawa Ennosuke will do some spectacular SűpÔ Kabuki in a Kabuki program.
  • The first Kabuki shűmei in the COVID times will happen soon! It is related to the Ichikawa Clan but it is not the big event everybody's expecting, which was announced in January 2019 and which has been delayed ... The Omodakaya actor Ichikawa K˘tar˘ will take the name of Ichikawa Seiko II in March 2022 at the Kabukiza.

    "Moritsuna Jin'ya" will be staged in March 2022 at the National Theatre [more details]. The prestigious role of Sasaki Moritsuna will be played by Onoe Kikunosuke.

    The Nakamuraya brothers Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke will be on tour in March 2022 [more details].

    Young actors will perform in April 2022 in Nagoya at the Misonoza [more details].

    Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Kakitsubata Iro mo Edozome" will be revived at the National Theatre by the Zenshinza in May 2022 [more details].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform in a special Buy˘ program from the 3rd to the 4th of May 2022 in Ky˘tango at the Tango Bunka Kaikan (Tango Culture Center) [more details].

    The piece to be staged as Roppongi Kabuki (Roppongi is a famous district in T˘ky˘) in T˘ky˘, Fukuoka and ďsaka in February 2022 and March 2022, has been entitled "Hanazochiru" and it will be based on Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Benten Koz˘" but reformatted in order to fit in a new background reminiscent of the current times and to attract younger audiences.

    14 new videos on the YouTube channel Kabuki In-Depth: In Praise of Shadows:

    Short videos with English subtitles of Kabuki performances in October 2021 at the Kabukiza have been uploaded on the Sh˘chiku Official YouTube Channel:

    Due to people infected with coronavirus, the drama "Puperu", starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and his two children, was not staged the 20th of January 2022 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. The 20th of January was in theory the senshűraku for this program. As a consequence, the following program, which was entitled IBUKI and was expected to be staged from the 21st to the 23rd of January 2022, was cancelled.

    In February 2022, Nakamura Shikan will not perform at the Kabukiza for a few days as he has been tested positive for coronavirus. He will be replaced by Band˘ Hikosabur˘ in "Oniji Hy˘shimai". He was absent the 27th of January (senshűraku) for the first program of the year at the Kabukiza and he was replaced by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in "Haru no Kotobuki".

    Due to people infected with coronavirus, the 14th of January 2022, the 1st program of the Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza. From the 15th, several actors had to be absent for a few days. Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke and Nakamura Utanosuke were back on stage from the 20th of January 2022. Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Toranosuke were back on stage from the 23rd of January 2022.

    Due to a close contact with a person infected with coronavirus, Onoe Matsuya was absent at the Kabukiza from the 14th to the 22nd of January 2022. He was replaced by Ichikawa En'ya to play the role of Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo in the drama "Iwato no Kagekiyo".

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 2nd of January 2022, we could have celebrated the 150th anniversary of the passing away of Kataoka Gat˘ II (1839~1796). This actor died the 22nd day of the 11th lunar month of the 4th year of the Meiji era, which was the 2nd of January 1872 in the western calendar.
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