JANUARY 2019

2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 7 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, Shinbashi Enbuj˘) and 1 in Ky˘to (Ky˘to Gekij˘)!

  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kamimura Kichiya and Nakamura Kazutar˘ perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Rakuzen, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the National Theatre
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘ and Nakamura Kotar˘ perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • The Zenshinza troupe perform at the Ky˘to Gekij˘!
  • Lots of young talented actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘!
  • Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2019 (Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki)
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Tsuchiya Chikara

    Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro

    Shinjű Ten no Amijima (Kawash˘)

    Evening

    Kinmon Gosan no Kiri
    t˘shi ky˘gen production including the famous "Sanmon" scene

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Ainosuke, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kikaku, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Ichikawa Juen, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Toranosuke

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Sh˘chikuza with a troupe led by Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘.

  • Tsuchiya Chikara: this play is a specialty of the Nakamura Ganjir˘ family and features the distinctive flashy acting of Kansai actors. This month it will be performed by the younger members of this acting line. One of many stories set on the theme of the revenge of the forty-seven loyal retainers features a lord named Tsuchiya Chikara (Nakamura Senjaku) who lives next door to the enemy of the loyal retainers and is disgusted because they do not seem to be interested in avenging the death of the lord. He learns from his haiku teacher that ďtaka Gengo (Kataoka Ainosuke), one of his students who should be part of the vendetta left a poem suggesting that he was forgetting his former lord and going to take service with another samurai lord. But in fact, this poem is a riddle hiding the secret of the vendetta. Featuring also Band˘ Yajűr˘ and Nakamura Kazutar˘.
  • Sakae Kotohogu Fuji no Suehiro: This is a dance celebrating Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘'s 88th birthday performed by himself, his sons, Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku, and his grandsons, Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Toranosuke. The Empress appears in the palace at the time of the spring festival. A crane and a tortoise 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.
  • Kawash˘: this late love suicide play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon is considered by many to be his masterpiece. The paper seller Jihŕ (Nakamura Ganjir˘) is in love with the courtesan Koharu (Nakamura Kazutar˘) and all those around them are afraid that they will commit love suicide. Jihŕĺs wife Osan urgently pleads with Koharu to pretend that she does not love Jihŕ any more, in order to save his life. In the first and most famous scene in the Kawash˘ teahouse, Jihŕĺs brother Magoemon (Band˘ Yajűr˘) masquerades as a samurai to find out Koharuĺs true feelings. Jihŕ listens in from the outside and is astonished to hear her say that she does not want to commit love suicide. In a rage, Jihŕ breaks off all relations with her, while Magoemon is moved to learn that she has done this out of consideration for Osanĺs feelings. This play is a classic example of the ďsaka style of acting.
  • Kinmon Gosan no Kiri: this is a historical play about Ishikawa Goemon, a legendary thief in the 16th century. S˘ Sokei, a retainer of the late Ming Emperor, plots to take over Japan, but his plan is discovered and he commits ritual suicide by disembowelment. As Ishikawa Goemon sits on the upper story of Nanzenji Temple's gate in Ky˘to admiring the fine view, a white hawk flies to him with a cloth on which S˘ Sokei's testament is written. He learns that both his natural father S˘ Sokei and his foster father Takechi Mitsuhide were destroyed by Mashiba Hisayoshi (known in history as Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and he vows to avenge them by killing Hisayoshi, now the ruler of Japan. Just then, Hisayoshi appears disguised as a humble Buddhist pilgrim. Finally, Goemon is surrounded by Hisayoshi's retainers, but Goemon and Hisayoshi exhibit generosity towards each other and promise to fight later again on the battle field. Starring Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Ganjir˘ in the roles of Goemon and Hisayoshi.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2019
    Program

    Himeji-j˘ Oto-ni Kiku Sono Ishizue

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Rakuzen, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Ichimura Takematsu, Onoe Ukon, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Terajima Mahoro, Terajima Kazufumi

    Comments

    Revival at the National Theatre of Namiki Gohei I's 1780 drama "Sode Nikki Banshű Meguri". This Otowaya-powered revision is entitled "Himeji-j˘ Oto-ni Kiku Sono Ishizue".

  • Himeji-j˘ Oto-ni Kiku Sono Ishizue: Himeji Castle is one of those registered first as a World Cultural Heritage in Japan. The legend that Princess Osakabe, a demoness with a twelve-layered ceremonial robe and a red hakama skirt, appears at the castle tower of the Himeji Castle has been passed down from old times and has been adapted for many Kabuki works. This monthĺs performance is based on Namiki Goheiĺs "Sode Nikki Banshu Meguri". It combines that legend and a story in which a fox pair repays favor from a samuraiĺs family and depicts internal troubles in a daimyoĺs family in Harima domain (present day Hy˘go Prefecture). The playbook is revised retaining the feature of the original. In Muromachi period under the rule of the 8th shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, as the Momonoi clan, the lord of the Harima domain, is inquired why the heir frequents the pleasure quarters and declines the audience of Sh˘gun on the pretext of having lost the heirloom to be presented to the shogunate and being ill, the chief retainer Innami Naizen saves the Momonoi clan. Shogunate praises Naizenĺs loyalty, but in fact he burns with vengeful thoughts and ambition. The lord, the heir and their loyal retainer Kosakabe Mondo fall victims to his evil scheme and he takes over the Momonoi clan. The lordĺs widow Kinuta-no-Mae struggles to levy warriors to restore the fallen Momonoi clan making use of the rumor that ghost appears in the ruined Himeji Castle. Mondo revives and disguises himself as a farmer Heisaku. He protects the orphans of the Momonoi clan and related people from the evil factions with his wife Otatsu. A fox pair Yokur˘ and Kojor˘ who want to repay favors from the Momonoi clan contribute to that. Where have the lost heirlooms gone? Will Naizen succeed in his revenge and realize his ambition or will the Momonoi clan be restored? Featuring Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ as Innami Naizen, Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Kinuta-no-Mae, Onoe Sh˘roku as Kosakabe Mondo and fox Yokur˘, and Onoe Kikunosuke as Otatsu and fox Kojor˘.
  • Source: National Theatre

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2019
    Kotobuki Hatsuharu ďkabuki
    Congratulation Early Spring Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Shitadashi Sanbas˘

    Kichirei Kotobuki Soga (Shigitatsusawa Taimen)

    Kuruwa Bunsh˘ (Yoshidaya)

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
    (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

    Evening

    Ehon Taik˘ki (Amagasaki Kankyo)

    Kioi Jishi

    Sh˘chikubai Yushima no Kakegaku

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza.

  • Shitadashi Sanbas˘:
    (The Sanbas˘ with his Tongue sticking out)
    Based on the ritual play "Okina" in the theatre, the sanbas˘ is both an important prayer for prosperity and a vigorous dance. This particular version takes its title from the sanbas˘ sticking his tongue out. Some say that this is from absorption in the joy of his dance. Others say that this is an auspicious sign. In any case, this vigorous and joyful dance is exhilarating to watch and is a perfect addition to this auspicious program. Staring Nakamura Shikan (the sanbas˘) and Nakamura Kaishun (the senzai).
  • Shigitatsusawa Taimen: this piece is an act of a history play based on the legend of the Soga brothers' vendetta and performed as a festive play to celebrate the New Year. Kud˘ Suketsune's wife Naginoha (Nakamura Fukusuke) comes to ďiso to visit Izusan Shrine and Hakone Shrine on behalf of her busy husband. Ichiman (Nakamura Shichinosuke) and Hako'˘ (Nakamura Shikan) appear to avenge their father who was killed by Suketsune. Naginoha tells them to wait for the chance and gives them the pass to enter the hunting ground which Suketsune left her.
  • Yoshidaya: the roots of this play go back to the earliest days of Kabuki. Izaemon, the son of a wealthy family, has been disowned for loving a courtesan and now has nothing but a paper kimono. This role is a classic example of the wagoto or soft style of acting that is one of the representative acting styles of the Kansai region. Matsumoto K˘shir˘ stars as Izaemon. Featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke as his lover, the courtesan ďgiya Yűgiri (Izaemon's lover), and Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse.
  • 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 Matsumoto Haku˘ as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Kaishun as Tokiwa Gozen, Nakamura Baigyoku as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Jakuemon as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Amagasaki Kankyo: Akechi Mitsuhide (known in this play as Takechi Mitsuhide) is known as the "three day ruler of Japan", having only control for a brief time after attacking and killing Oda Nobunaga (known in this play as Harunaga) and before being defeated in turn by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (known in this play as Mashiba Hisayoshi). In the most famous act of this play, after assassinating Harunaga, Mitsuhide comes to see his mother, but she refuses to forgive him for betraying his lord. Mitsuhide sees his son and mother both die before his eyes as he tries to defeat his rival Hisayoshi, but instead is confronted with the drama of his own immediate family. Starring Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon and Nakamura Karoku as Mitsuhide and Hisayoshi. Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Nakamura Matagor˘ as Mitsuhide's wife Misao, Mitsuhide's son Jűjir˘, Mitsuhide's mother Satsuki and Sat˘ Masakiyo.
  • Kioi Jishi: this dance shows an Edo festival with its lively lion dance and other entertainments. The festival is full of handsome firemen and attractive geisha who do a series of graceful dances. One of the highlights of this dance is the story of the Soga brothers avenging the death of their father by attacking their enemy during a hunting party for the Sh˘gun at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Starring Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Jakuemon and Nakamura Kaishun.
  • Yushima no Kakegaku: Oshichi was a grocer's daughter who fell in love with a temple page named Kichisabur˘ when her family took refuge in a temple after a fire. She so wanted to see him that she set a fire, even though the penalty for arson was death. The story of Oshichi is famous in many theatrical versions, but this particular one features the antics of the middle-aged man Beniya Ch˘bŕ (commonly called Bench˘) who is in love with her. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke as Bench˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke as Oshichi and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Kichisabur˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 January 2019
    Hatsuharu Kabuki K˘en
    Early Spring Kabuki Performances
    MatinÚe

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Torii Mae)

    Kiwametsuki Banzui Ch˘bŕ

    Mimasu Kuruwa no Kasauri

    Evening

    Narukami

    Natorigusa Hana no Jűichidai

    Heike Nyogo no Shima (Shunkan)

    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Nakamura Shid˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Nakamura Kotar˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Otora, ďtani Hiromatsu, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Horikoshi Kangen, Horikoshi Reika

    Comments

    The traditional New Year Kabuki at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ with a troupe led by the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘.

  • Torii Mae:
    (In Front of the Fushimi Inari Shrine)
    This is a short scene showing the troubles of Yoshitsune after his brother Yoritomo, the Sh˘gun, turns against him. Yoshitsune (ďtani Tomoemon) is forced to flee from the troops sent by his brother Yoritomo. The trip will be hard and he decides he must leave behind his lover Shizuka Gozen (ďtani Hiromatsu), despite her passionate pleas to remain with him. As a reminder of himself, he presents her with a precious hand drum that he had received from the emperor. Yoshitsune's retainer Tadanobu (Nakamura Shid˘) rescues Shizuka from Yoritomo's troops and Yoshitsune decides to have Tadanobu protect her on the road, not knowing that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox in disguise.
  • Banzui Ch˘bŕ: in the early Edo period, gallant men like Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ led the commoners. But this incurred the wrath of members of the samurai class, who were theoretically in control. This play begins with a recreation of Kabuki in its earliest days, then a fight breaks out which is settled by Ch˘bŕ (Ichikawa Ebiz˘). But this frustrates the ambitions of the samurai Mizuno (Ichikawa Sadanji) who invites Ch˘bŕ to visit. All of Ch˘bŕ's men tell him not to go because it is a trap, but Ch˘bŕ decides to meet his end and bids farewell to his wife (Kataoka Takatar˘) and son. Finally, Ch˘bŕ is killed when he is defenseless in the bath. Featuring also ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Omez˘ and Ichikawa Kudanji.
  • Mimasu Kuruwa no Kasauri: set in Edo, this newly-created dance (2015) is centered around an umbrella seller (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) in the Yoshiwara pleasure district. With his fine wares and irresistible charisma, the umbrella seller charms passers-by into buying his umbrellas, and conducts a brisk business until he's beset by ruffians who want a piece of his profits. However, their attempt at intimidation backfires when the umbrella seller reveals himslef to be Ishikawa Goemon, Japan's greatest thief and outlaw.
  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Ichikawa Udanji) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Nakamura Kotar˘) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • Natorigusa Hana no Jűichidai: This is a brand-new dance commemorating the 110th anniversary of the birth of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XI. A handsome fireman chief (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) and a chic and vivacious geisha (Kataoka Takatar˘) appear in town as the air resounds with festival music. A sweet tekomai dancer and other firemen chiefs join them and all perform a lively and spirited dance.
  • Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) has been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. Featuring Kataoka Ichiz˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Ichikawa Udanji as the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Nakamura Kotar˘ as the island girl Chidori, Ichikawa Omez˘ as Taira no Yasuyori and Ichikawa Kudanji as Fujiwara no Naritsune, Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
  • Kagami Jishi: one of the most important dances for onnagata female role specialists and is an audience favorite. The maidservant Yayoi performs an auspicious lion dance for the Sh˘gun in his opulent palace, but she gradually finds herself under the control of the lion spirit. In the second half of the dance, the lion spirit itself appears and performs its crazed dance among peonies and fluttering butterflies. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 January 2019
    Shinshun Asakusa Kabuki
    New Year Asakusa Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Modori Kago Iro ni Aikata

    Genpei Nunobiki no Taki
    (Yoshikata Saigo)

    Imohori Ch˘ja

    Evening

    Otoshidama (Nenshi Goaisatsu)

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Noriaibune Eh˘ Manzai

    Casting

    Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Umemaru

    Comments

    The yearly show for young promising actors at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ in Asakusa, a lively and colorful neighboorhood that keeps the scent of old Edo.

  • Otoshidama: a special k˘j˘ for new year greetings (nenshi goaisatsu in Japanese).
  • Modori Kago: two palanquin bearers, one from ďsaka, the other from Edo (pre-modern T˘ky˘), decide to stop and rest. As they do so, each boasts of the respective merits of his native town. Finally, the little apprentice courtesan (kamuro) they have been carrying, alights from the palanquin and joins them in their dance. Featuring Nakamura Kash˘ as the palanquin bearer from ďsaka (in reality Ishikawa Goemon), Nakamura Tanenosuke as the palanquin bearer from Edo (in reality Goemon's arch-enemy Mashiba Hisayoshi) and Nakamura Umemaru as the kamuro.
  • Yoshikata Saigo: the full-length play shows the early rise of the Genji clan after a time of oppression. Yoshikata (Onoe Matsuya) is the lone member of the Genji clan and pretends to have no interest in reviving its fortunes, but Yukitsuna (Nakamura Hayato) a good-humored footman who is actually a spy, realizes his true intentions. Yoshikata is about to have a son, the general Yoshinaka, who will lead the Genji to victory, but Yoshikata himself is attacked and surrounded and dies in a spectacular scene where he falls from the top of a flight of stairs.
  • Imohori Ch˘ja:
    (The Sweet-Potato-digging Millionaire)
    The widow of the Matsugae family who reigns over the district gives a dance party to choose a husband for her daughter Midori Gozen (Band˘ Shingo). They plan to choose the man who dances the best. T˘gor˘ (Band˘ Minosuke) the potato digger comes with his friend Jirokur˘ (Nakamura Hashinosuke) pretending to be the best dancer in Japan. In contrast to T˘gor˘, Jirokur˘ is a good dancer and he knows that T˘gor˘ is ardently in love with Midori Gozen. Jirokur˘ wears a mask and dances pretending to be T˘gor˘. Then asked to dance without a mask, T˘gor˘ dances badly. The widow accepts Jirokur˘'s suggestion and orders Midori Gozen to dance with T˘gor˘ and Jirokur˘. Unable to dance well, T˘gor˘ begins to express potato digging in dance. The people have never seen such an interesting dance and praise his dance to be the best in Japan. T˘gor˘ reveals his true identity and apologizes to them, but Midori Gozen would rather marry T˘gor˘ the potato digger than the best dancer. Finally they all dance expressing potato digging and congratulate T˘gor˘ and Midori Gozen.
  • Otoshidama: a special k˘j˘ for new year greetings (nenshi goaisatsu in Japanese).
  • Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship. In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Nakamura Kinnosuke as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Onoe Matsuya as Gor˘ and Nakamura Kash˘ as Jűr˘. Featuring Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Umemaru, Band˘ Shingo and Nakamura Hayato as Kobayashi no Asahina, the courtesan Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ (Gor˘'s lover), the courtesan ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover) and Oni˘ Shinzaemon (Jűr˘'s retainer).
  • Banch˘ Sarayashiki: the story of Okiku, who became a ghost after breaking one of a precious set of plates and being killed in punishment by a quick-tempered lord, is one of the most famous in Japanese tradition. But this is a modern play, which transforms the ghost story into a portrait of the interaction of contrasting and incompatable personalities. The samurai lord Aoyama Harima (Nakamura Hayato) is passionate and quick to fight and is in the middle of a fight when he is stopped by his aunt. She has arranged a marriage for him and Harima is unable to admit that the reason he will not marry is because he is deeply in love with Okiku (Nakamura Tanenosuke), a lady-in-waiting in his household. As strong as Harima is, his aunt's will is much stronger. But this makes Okiku wonder about the strength of Harima's love for her and she tests him by breaking one of a set of heirloom plates. When she tests Harima's feelings, this seals her fate and sets the tragedy of the play in motion.
  • Noriaibune: at the new year a group of merrymakers happen to meet on a ferry boat. They include a pair of manzai entertainers, who would go from door to door performing auspicious songs and dances. Featuring all the young actors.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Ky˘to (Ky˘to Gekij˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 14 January 2019
    Zenshinza Tokubetsu K˘en
    Zenshinza Special Performances
    Program

    Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki

    Casting

    Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Tadamura Shin'ya

    Comments

    The traditional Zenshinza New Year performances in Ky˘to. Not at the Minamiza, as it used to be, but at the Ky˘to Gekij˘. "Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki", which was written by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji and was premiered in May 2017 at the National Theatre, is based on two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan".

     
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