NEWS FROM THE KABUKI WORLD
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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