Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Yajűr˘,
Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Kikaku, Band˘ Rakuzen, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Omez˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Ichimura Takematsu, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Ichikawa Otora, Terajima Maholo
5 Living National Treasures on stage, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Kataoka Nizaemon and Nakamura T˘z˘,
for two April Grand Kabuki programs with the following highlights:
The dance-drama "Osamaru Miyo Nagori no Emaki" with Nakamura Fukusuke and Band˘ Yajűr˘ staged to celebrate the end of the Heisei era.
The rarely-staged "Zama Yashiro" scene will open the staging of "Shinpan Utazaimon",
with Nakamura Jakuemon in the role of Osome. This scene was staged for the last time more than 40 years ago, in January 1979 at the National Theatre.
Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ celebrates his 88th birthday in the dance-drama "Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro".
Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon and Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ play the roles of Shirai Gonpachi and Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ in the drama "Suzu-ga-Mori".
Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon play the prestigious role of Sait˘ Bett˘ Sanemori in "Sanemori Monogatari".
Ichikawa Ennosuke performs in "Kurozuka", a classic of the Omodakaya guild.
"Ninin Yűgiri" is staged with Nakamura Kaishun and Kataoka Takatar˘ in the roles of the two Yűgiri and Nakamura Ganjir˘ as Fujiya Izaemon.
Osamaru Miyo Nagori no Emaki: this is a brand-new play commemorating the end of the Heisei era.
Set during the time when the Genji and the Heike clans were at war,
the people of both clans appear one after another. The first will be Lady Tokiwa (Nakamura Fukusuke), mother of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, together with the Heike warrior Taira no Munekiyo (Band˘ Yajűr˘).
They grasp the white banner of the Genji clan.
Shinpan Utazaimon: Hisamatsu (Nakamura Kinnosuke) is an apprentice at the Aburaya and becomes intimate with Osome, the daughter of the pawnbroker. As he meets Osome (Nakamura Jakuemon) at the Zama Shrine, he is swindled out of the money he collected from the shop's customer
and is falsely accused of embezzling it by Kosuke (Nakamura Matagor˘), a sales clerk of the Aburaya. By this accident, Hisamatsu was
brought back to Kyűsaku's house where Hisamatsu grew as an adopted child. Kyűsaku's daughter Omitsu (Nakamura Tokiz˘) rejoices to
hear that Kyűsaku (Nakamura Karoku) intends to unite her with Hisamatsu. When Osome visits this place, Omitsu learns that Osome
and Hisamatsu are determined to commit lovers' double suicide...
Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro: this is a dance celebrating Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘'s 88th birthday performed by himself, his son and his grandson.
The Empress (Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘) appears in the palace at the time of the
spring festival. A crane (Nakamura Ganjir˘) and a tortoise (Ichikawa Ennosuke) dance in front of her to celebrate longevity; the crane is believed to
live for 1,000 years while the tortoise is said to live for 10,000 years.
Suzu-ga-Mori: The young samurai Shirai Gonpachi (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) is ambushed near the
execution grounds of Edo on a dark night, but he manages to escape after a
gruesome but humorous fight scene. He is watched by Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon), an Edo boss,
who is impressed with his fighting skills and agrees to give him shelter in the
city. This meeting between the handsome young Gonpachi and the heroic Ch˘bŕ is
one of the most famous meetings in Kabuki.
Sanemori Monogatari: a play about the early days of the rivalry between the Genji and Heike
warrior clans. The warrior Sait˘ Bett˘ Sanemori (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) has been charged by the
leaders of the dominant Heike clan with finding Aoi Gozen, the pregnant
wife of the leader of the enemy Genji clan. He is to kill her child if
it is a son who can succeed to head of the clan, but old loyalties to the
Genji lead him to protect the boy. Sanemori tells the story of how Koman (Kataoka Takatar˘),
the daughter of the old couple who is protecting Aoi Gozen, bravely fought
to protect the sacred standard of the Genji from the Heike. Koman mysteriously
comes back to life when her severed arm is rejoined to it. Featuring also Nakamura Karoku as Senoo Jűr˘.
Kurozuka: a woman has grown bitter at the world after being rejected
by her husband and now loves in seclusion, killing travelers and becoming a kind of
demon. However, when she gives shelter to a holy man and his party,
she rejoices at this opportunity to find salvation. She goes to get firewood to
keep her visitors warm, cautioning them not to look into the back room, where
the bodies of her victims are. She dances in joy among the dry autumn grasses
under the full moon at her chance for absolution. But the porter in the holy man's
party looks in the back room and they all leave in a panic.
The old woman is furious at being betrayed and this transforms her into a demon,
which is finally vanquished by the power of the holy man.
Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as the old woman and Nakamura Kinnosuke as the holy man.
Ninin Yűgiri: One of the most famous plays in the repertory of Kansai Kabuki
is about the love affair of the top-ranking courtesan Yűgiri and fabulously
wealthy Izaemon. Izaemon is disowned by his family and reduced to wearing a
paper kimono, but still burns with love for Yűgiri. The original play was
written to commemorate the death of a fabulously famous courtesan, but has
come to be the most representative portrait of the Kansai pleasure quarters.
This particular play is a kind of sequel to the original. After the death of the
original Yűgiri, Izaemon (Nakamura Ganjir˘) lives with the courtesan who has succeeded to
Yűgiri's name (Kataoka Takatar˘), but much to their surprise, the first Yűgiri (Nakamura Kaishun)
is not dead, but has fallen on very hard times. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Danz˘.
Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website