OCTOBER 2023

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘), 1 in Nagoya (Misonoza), 1 in Tachikawa (Tachikawa Stage Garden) and 2 tours (Kinshű Special Tour, Succession Announcement Tour)!

  • Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Sh˘roku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Matagor˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘ perform at the Kabukiza !
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Yonekichi perform at the National Theatre !
  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ perform at the Misonoza !
  • Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke are on tour (Kinshű Special Tour)!
  • Ichikawa Danjűr˘ and Living National Treasure Nakamura Baigyoku are on Succession Announcement Tour!
  • The Omodakaya guild and Nakamura Kazutar˘ at the Tachikawa Stage Garden !
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 25 October 2023
    Kinshű Jűgatsu ďkabuki
    National Arts Festival October Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Tenjiku Tokubŕ Ikoku Banashi

    Bunshichi Mottoi Monogatari

    Evening

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Sum˘ba)

    Kiku

    Mito K˘mon

    Casting

    Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Sh˘roku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Kamez˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Ichimura Hikaru, Terajima Shinobu

    Comments

    The October Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza.

  • Tenjiku Tokubŕ: written in 1804, it was one of the first hit plays by the playwright Tsuruya Nanboku IV, who is famous for his ghost plays. The play features Tenjiku Tokubŕ, a villain who has magical skills. He escapes from pursuers by transforming himself into a giant toad and the star reveals himself as the actor inside the suit in an exciting fight scene. A mysterious blind monk arrives at the mansion of a samurai lord and entertains with the music of a strange xylophone-like instrument and stories of foreign countries, only to be unmasked as Tokubŕ. He jumps into the pond in the garden, with a spray of real water, only to appear instantly in a new guise at the end of the hanamichi runway. In the Edo period, rumors that these tricks were performed with illegal Christian magic led to an investigation by officials of the Shogunate. (These rumors may have been started deliberately as a publicity stunt). Instead of closing down the show, it made it wildly popular and gave it a sensational three-month run - unprecedented for a play that started as a stopgap, summer production. The play begins with a mysterious old man (Nakamura Matagor˘) who reveals to Tokubŕ (Onoe Sh˘roku) that he is his son, and that he is actually Chinese and aims to take control of Japan. The old man commits suicide to pass on his secrets of magic. The mansion collapses and soon, Tokubŕ can be seen on the roof, standing on a giant toad holding the cut-off head of the old man. This production features all the spectacular scenes of the original play, using all the modern technical resources of the stage at the Kabukiza for a play that is guaranteed to be an enjoyable treat. Featuring Ichikawa Komaz˘, Band˘ Minosuke and Band˘ Kamez˘.
  • Bunshichi Mottoi: Adapted from a classical rakugo story by San'yűtei Ench˘, this play shows the gallant spirit of the commoners of Edo. This version is directed by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji! 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 Nakamura Shid˘, Terajima Shinobu and Band˘ Shingo in the roles of Ch˘bŕ, Ch˘bŕ's wife Okane and Bunshichi. Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘.
  • Sum˘ba: "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘" means "two butterflies" and also comes from the fact that two sum˘ wrestlers who play important roles in the full length play have names beginning with "ch˘": Ch˘kichi and Ch˘gor˘. In order to help his master Yamazakiya Yogor˘ (Band˘ Minosuke) buy out the contract of the beautiful Azuma (Nakamura Tanenosuke), the senior wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ throws a match, letting the younger wrestler Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi win, hoping to get his help. But Ch˘kichi loses his temper and the two end up competing in a test of pride. Starring popular actor Nakamura Shid˘ as Ch˘gor˘ and Band˘ Minosuke as Ch˘kichi.
  • Kiku: this Nagauta-based dance symbolizes a woman's life through the spirit of chrysanthemum (kiku). It starts first as a kamuro, second as a machi musume, then as a goshuden and finally a mura musume. From girl to adult woman through musume. After the autumn festival and the strong storms, the white chrysanthemum does not wither, just like the life of a woman. Featuring Nakamura Jakuemon and Nakamura Kinnosuke in the roles of the spirits of chrysanthemum.
  • Mito K˘mon: Mito Mitsukuni (Band˘ Yajűr˘), commonly known as Mito K˘mon, the former Middle Councillor and the retired lord of Mito Domain, is traveling incognito around Japan. He is now in Sanuki, and is accompanied by his attendants Sasaki Sukesabur˘ (Nakamura Fukunosuke) and Atsumi Kakunoshin (Nakamura Utanosuke). Kakunoshin loses sight of K˘mon and encounters the beautiful girl Och˘ (Nakamura Toranosuke). Thanks to Sukesabur˘'s help, Och˘ turns out to be a man, who picks Kakunoshin's pocket of a wallet. Mito K˘mon is at an udon noodle shop pretending to be an old farmer, when he hears people of people complaining about the lord Matsudaira Yoritsune (Nakamura Kash˘) who is in fact his eldest son. Will K˘mon and his party be able to remove the root of the evil which thrives in the domain, while various people including the kind girl Osode (Band˘ Shingo) whom he met in the noodle shop get involved?
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 26 October 2023
    Program

    Imoseyama Onna Teikin

  • Michiyuki Koi no Odamaki
  • Mikasayama Goten
  • Iruka Chűbatsu
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘

    Comments

    There will be a 2nd generation National Theatre in a near future! From November 2022 to October 2023, Sayonara K˘en ('Farewell Performances') were staged in the existing theater. Then, the 1st generation National Theatre, which opened in November 1966, will be closed and rebuilt. These farewell performances have been 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'). In November 1966 [more details] and December 1966 [more details], the opening of the theater was celebrated with a t˘shi ky˘gen production of the classic "Imoseyama Onna Teikin". In September 2023 and October 2023, the closing is celebrated with ... a t˘shi ky˘gen production of the classic "Imoseyama Onna Teikin". Second part of the t˘shi ky˘gen production of the classic "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" with a troupe led by Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.

  • Intro: The original National Theatre will close at the end of October. As part of the National Theatre Special Farewell Performances Upon the Reconstruction Project ľTowards a New Adventureľ series, the final Kabuki performance in October at the original Theatre will feature "Imoseyama Onna Teikin", one of the greatest masterpieces of gidayű ky˘gen, in the two-month full-length play that started in September. It is being performed in this way at this theatre for the first time since 1996 and will place the crown on the original National Theatre. This piece premiered in 1771 at ďsaka Takemotoza as a ningy˘ j˘ruri piece. Adapted into Kabuki that same year, it has been performed repeatedly through the ages and has become a popular program. Both imaginary and real characters are actively involved in the story themed on the historical account of the assassination of Soga no Iruka by Fujiwara no Kamatari, also incorporating other various legends. The National Theatre has presented this piece with various compositions, creating famous stage scenes over the years. In the Part 2 performance in October, the story leading up to the assassination of Iruka unfolds dramatically and involves a wide variety of characters. Eventually, the tale comes to its conclusion through the unexpected sacrifice of a character in the throes of unrequited love..
  • Michiyuki Koi no Odamaki:
    (The Spool of Love)
    Motome (Nakamura Baishi), the son of an important aristocrat opposed to the rule of the dictator Soga no Iruka is secretly planning to kill him. Having disguised himself as a commoner, he has had nightly trysts with a mysterious woman, an elegant princess (Nakamura Yonekichi). In this dance, he has attached a string to her kimono to follow her and discover her identity. But Motome is followed as well by Omiwa (Onoe Kikunosuke), the beautiful daughter of a humble sake shop owner who has fallen in love with him during his time living undercover as a humble maker of court caps.
  • Mikasayama Goten:
    (The Mikasayama Palace Scene)
    Fisherman Fukashichi (Nakamura Shikan), the messenger of Fujiwara no Kamatari, arrives at Irukaĺs mansion with a letter from Kamatari. Not being upset by the threat from Iruka (Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku), who tries to sound out Kamatariĺs views, Fukashichi becomes a hostage but in a fearless manner. Having returned to the palace, Princess Tachibana realizes that Motome, who followed her, is actually Kamatariĺs son Tankai, who secretly aims to assassinate Iruka. She pledges her intent to marry him. Omiwa, who has come there following them, is teased mercilessly by the court ladies, and finally loses her temper among the lively voices celebrating the marriage between Motome and Princess Tachibana. Fukashichi then appears and suddenly stabs Omiwa in the stomach, turning the sword around as he does it. Fukashichi is actually Kamatariĺs servant Kanawa Gor˘ Imakuni. Kamatari has known Irukaĺs weak point in that he loses consciousness when he sees the lifeblood of a jealous woman and the blood of black-hoofed sacred deer. Thus, he has worked out a plot to kill Iruka in order to take back the precious sword stolen from the Imperial court. Knowing that her blood mad with jealousy will contribute to the cause of her loved one, Omiwa dies content.
  • Iruka Chűbatsu: Iruka is anguished by the sound of the flute that is stained with the blood of Omiwa and the deer. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the army under the command of Kamatari (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) brings Iruka to bay and regains the treasured sword thus restoring peace in the land.
  • Source: National Theatre

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 7 ~ 24 October 2023
    Kataoka Nizaemon Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Kinshű Tokubetsu K˘en
    Kataoka Nizaemon Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Autumn Brocade Special Performances
    Program

    T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan
    Only the 2nd act in 3 scenes

    Kanda Matsuri

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Hayato, Kamimura Kichiya, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Kataoka Sennosuke

    Comments

    No classic October kaomise programs in Nagoya this year but a special Kabuki program starring the goruden konbi Living National Treasures Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon.

  • Yotsuya Kaidan: Tamiya Iemon, a villainous masterless samurai (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) is in love with Oiwa (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘) and even kills her father Yotsuya Samon to be united with her, cynically promising to help her to avenge her father's death. But at the same time, the granddaughter of a wealthy doctor falls in love with him and her grandfather tries to ensure the match by sending a horrible disfiguring poison to Oiwa. In the most famous scene of the play, face destroyed, hair falling out, Oiwa carefully dresses and puts on make-up to pay a proper visit to those who have wronged her. Iemon kills Oiwa and his servant Kobotoke Kohei (Nakamura Hayato), has their bodies nailed to a door and thrown into the river. Iemon is happily married into the wealthy family, but no sooner does the beautiful young bride arrive than Oiwa's ghost causes Iemon to kill her. Featuring Kataoka Sennosuke and Kamimura Kichiya in the roles of Oume and the goke Oyumi.
  • Kanda Matsuri:
    (The Kanda Festival)
    The gallant commoners of Edo's neighborhoods loved nothing better than a festival, and this performance is a dance based on one of the biggest festivals in Edo (Kanda Matsuri). In this dance, a gallant fireman (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) and a geisha (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘) appear on stage and display their 'Edo-style' spirit. In the end, a young man comes out and a beautiful fighting scene unfolds on stage.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Succession Announcement Tour
    Dates 13 October ~ 12 November 2023
    Jűsandaime Ichikawa Danjűr˘ Hakuen Shűmei Hir˘ Jungy˘
    Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII Hakuen Succession Announcement Tour
    Dates 13 October ~ 12 November 2023
    Program

    K˘j˘

    Kenuki

    Casting

    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Kangyoku

    Comments

    A special tour celebrating the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XIII with performances in 20 cities.

  • 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.
  • Kenuki: in this play, which retains the light, festive atmosphere of early-period Kabuki, a princess has a mysterious ailment that makes her hair stand on end, an ailment that prevents her from carrying out her long-awaited marriage. Kumedera Danj˘ comes from the groom's household to investigate and finds a plot to take over the household when his tweezers float in mid-air. Ichikawa Danjűr˘ stars in a play that features the bombastic aragoto style of acting that is a specialty of his family.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kinshű Special Tour
    Dates 5 ~ 21 October 2023
    Kinshű Tokubetsu Kŕn
    Autumn Brocade Special Performances
    Program

    T˘ku K˘nÔ

    Onna Date

    Kuwana no Ura Otohime to Urashima

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu

    Comments

    The word kinshű means "Autumn Brocade". This Autumn tour in 14 cities stars Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke. The first item in the program, entitled T˘ku K˘nÔ (literally 'Talk Corner') is a speech/presentation on stage about some aspects of Kabuki.

    Tachikawa Stage Garden (Tachikawa)
    Dates 25 ~ 28 October 2023
    Tachikawa Tachihi Kabuki Tokubetsu K˘en
    Tachikawa Tachihi Kabuki Special Performances
    Program

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

  • Torii Mae
  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi
  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata
  • Casting

    Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Takanosuke, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Seiko, Ichikawa Danko

    Comments

    A special version of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" focusing on Tadanobu is staged in Tachikawa at the Tachikawa Stage Garden under the supervision of Ichikawa En'˘ to celebrate the coming 100th anniversary of the creation of the Tachihi Group.

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 6 October 2023
    Sh˘ no Kai
    Program

    Ya-no-Ne

    Tenn˘jiya Gatari (Kich˘ Eij˘)

    Ninin Wankyű

    Casting

    Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Kudanji, Watanabe Aiko

    Comments

    8th edition of the Sh˘ no Kai, a 1-day 2-performance gala program which stars Nakamura Tomijűr˘ V's son Nakamura Takanosuke. Nakamura Takanosuke's sister Watanabe Aiko also performs in this gala. It will commemorate the 12th anniversary (13th memorial service) of the passing away of Nakamura Tomijűr˘ V.

  • Ya-no-Ne: like a picture come to life, this play combines the most exaggerated costumes and movements with leisurely humor. The aragoto hero Soga no Gor˘ is sharpening a giant arrow and sleeping in wishes of good fortune for the New Year when he sees his brother Jűr˘ in a dream asking him to come and rescue him. The two Soga brothers are part of one of the most popular vendetta stories in Kabuki, suffering for eighteen years before being able to avenge the death of their father. In this play, when Gor˘ finds out that his brother is in trouble, he jumps on the horse of a passing daikon vendor and, brandishing a giant daikon as a whip prepares to rush to his brother's side. Starring Nakamura Takanosuke and Nakamura Kotar˘ as Gor˘ and Jűr˘.
  • Tenn˘jiya Gatari: A speech on stage with preciously-kept rarely-projected videos to talk about Nakamura Tomijűr˘ V (his yag˘ was Tenn˘jiya).
  • Ninin Wankyű: the fabulously wealthy Wan'ya Kyűbŕ (nicknamed Wankyű) is disowned by his family for falling in love with the courtesan Matsuyama. Then, when she dies, he goes mad with grief and wanders through the countryside. This dance shows him as he imagines meeting Matsuyama again and there is a lively dance recalling their happiness together before the vision fades and he is left alone. Starring Nakamura Takanosuke as Wankyű and Watanabe Aiko as Matsuyama.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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