A special program celebrating the 1st anniversary of the opening of the new Kabukiza.
This special program is called H˘˘sai, which means Phoenix Festival. The Phoenix bird is the symbol of the Kabukiza as it is also the mon of this theater.
This program should have been the second month of the shűmei
of Nakamura Utaemon VII and Nakamura Fukusuke X but it
was postponed as the former actor was on sick leave. Three events will be celebrated:
Iwau Haru Kobiki no Nigiwai: an elegant dance to celebrate the first anniversary of the Grand Opening of Kabukiza Theatre.
Featuring Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Gat˘ and Nakamura Senjaku.
Kamakura Sandaiki: a rare performance of a classical history play from the
Bunraku puppet theatre, which shows a heroic warrior, unbending mother and delicate princess
in romance and intrigue on a grand scale. Miuranosuke (Nakamura Baigyoku) is a samurai serving the lord of a besieged castle.
Princess Toki (Nakamura Kaishun), the woman he is betrothed to marry, is the daughter of the lord leading the attack on the castle.
While he is away at battle, she comes to a lonely farming village to care for his sick mother.
Miuranosuke comes back from the battle to see his mother, but she refuses to let him in since he has come
away from his duties. In turn, Miuranosuke refuses to see Princess Toki because she is the daughter of the enemy.
Finally, all is revealed to be a plot by the brilliant strategist Takatsuna (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), to force Princess Toki to
assassinate her father. Princess Toki is considered to be one of the most difficult princess roles in the Kabuki repertory.
Nakamura Kamenoj˘ plays the role of T˘zabur˘'s wife Okuru.
Utsubo Zaru: in front of a Shrine, Lady Miyoshino (Nakamura Matagor˘) captures a monkey and asks
the saruhiki (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) to sell her the monkey
so that she can use its skin to make a leather quiver. At first, the saruhiki refuses,
but when Miyoshino shows that she is about to kill the monkey, he reluctantly agrees to part with his monkey.
Fortunately, the monkey dance will bring a happy ending to "Utsubo Zaru".
Featuring also Band˘ Mitsugor˘'s son Band˘ Minosuke.
Sonezaki Shinjű: a young merchant named Tokubŕ has long been in
love with the courtesan Ohatsu and is diligently trying to buy out her contract.
But he is swindled out of his money by someone he considered a friend.
Then he is beaten and humiliated in the precincts of the Ikutama shrine.
He sneaks into the teahouse where Ohatsu is and she hides him under the veranda.
At this point, Tokubŕ's "friend" comes and calls him a criminal.
Ohatsu fiercely defends Tokubŕ and asks whether he is prepared to defend his
honor by committing love suicide. Silently, from under the veranda,
he holds her bare foot and draws it across his neck. The journey to the forest
where they commit love suicide is like a dream, half-way between this world
and the next and has some of the most famous lines in Japanese theatre:
"Farewell to this world and to this night, farewell. To what should we who go
to our deaths be likened? We are like the frost on the road leading to the
graveyard, vanishing with each step". Starring Nakamura Kanjaku and Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ in
the roles of Tokubŕ and Ohatsu. Featuring also Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji.
Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan.
Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune,
the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of
Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance.
Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that
Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy.
This performance stars Nakamura Kichiemon as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Kaishun as Tokiwa Gozen,
Nakamura Baigyoku as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Shibajaku as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
Nakamura Kamenoj˘ plays the role of Kageyu's wife Naruse.
Onna Date: Nakamura Tokiz˘ stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights
in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
Kamiyui Shinza: Shinza is a barber that goes from door to door, but at
the same time, he is a villain that kidnaps Okuma, the beautiful daughter of a
wealthy household, and even resists the efforts of Yatagor˘ Genshichi, the most
prestigious strongman in town, to get her release. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Shinza,
Nakamura Kotar˘ as Okuma, Nakamura Hashinosuke as Chűshichi and Nakamura Karoku as Yatagor˘ Genshichi.
Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website