JULY 2017

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre), 2 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza), 1 in Hita (Patria Hita) and 2 tours (Eastern Provinces, Central Provinces)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 3 ~ 27 July 2017 (Shichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
July Young Actors Kabuki
MatinÚe

Ya-no-Ne

Mekura Nagaya Ume-ga-Kagatobi

Renjishi

Evening

Daemon Hana no Gosho Ibun

Casting

Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Udanji, Ichikawa Chűsha, Band˘ Minosuke, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Danz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Kotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Ichikawa Otora, Horikoshi Kangen

Comments

The zagashira of these July Grand Kabuki programs is Ichikawa Ebiz˘. Ichikawa Unosuke III takes the name of Ichikawa Sai'nyű II, playing the role of Okane in the drama "Kagatobi". This name has not been held for more than one century. Ichikawa Sai'nyű I was the great-grandfather of Ichikawa Unosuke and he held this name in his latter years, from January 1909 to his passing away the 18th of March 1916. Takeda Haruz˘'s drama "Akiba Gongen Kaisen Banashi" is revived in the evening program with Takeda Haruz˘'s drama "Akiba Gongen Kaisen Banashi" is revived in the evening program, with a different title, "Daemon Hana no Gosho Ibun", as the main character in this revival is Nippon Daemon (played by Ichikawa Ebiz˘). "Akiba Gongen Kaisen Banashi" was staged only twice since the beginning of the Sh˘wa era: in October 1934 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ and in May 2011 at the National Theatre. It was in both times a Zenshinza production. The role of Nippon Daemon was played by Kawarazaki Ch˘jűr˘ IV in 1934 and by Arashi Keishi in 2011.

  • 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 Ichikawa Udanji and Ichikawa Emiya as Gor˘ and Jűr˘.
  • Kagatobi: this is a sewamono play, a work portraying in a realistic way the lives of ordinary people in the Edo period. A big fight has broken out over a trivial matter between the firemen of Kaga Domain and the fire fighters under the direct control of the Edo shogunate. All the firemen of Kaga including Matsuz˘ of Hikage-ch˘ (Ichikawa Chűsha) gather at the town gate of Hong˘ to beat the fire fighters of the Edo shogunate, but Umekichi of Tenjin-ch˘ (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) persuades his impetuous colleagues to withdraw. A masseur Takegaki D˘gen (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) kills the farmer Tajiemon at the embankment of Ochanomizu and steals the money he possessed. Matsuz˘, who has happened to pass by, picks up a tobacco pouch which D˘gen dropped. D˘gen hears that his niece Oasa (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) received money from the Iseya pawn shop where she is an apprentice, and thinks of extortion. He visits Iseya with his lover Okane (Ichikawa Sai'nyű), a masseuse, and tries to extort 100 gold coins. But Matsuz˘ shows the tobacco pouch to D˘gen and they scuttle off. Finally, his evil deeds are discovered and pursuers are sent after him. In the end he is arrested before the front gate of the mansion of the Kaga Domain. Enjoy the speeches in seven-five syllabic meter which is typical of the playwright Kawatake Mokuami, as well as how a single actor plays both Umekichi and D˘gen. Featuring also Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Sadanji and Ichikawa Danz˘.
  • Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes. The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong. This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son. This performance features Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of the parent shishi and Band˘ Minosuke in the role of the cub.
  • Daemon Hana no Gosho Ibun: this is a jidaimono (history play) set in the Muromachi period (15th century). The protagonist of this play Nippon Daemon (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), who also appears in another famous work "Shiranami Gonin Otoko" as the head of a gang of bandits, is modelled on a real gangster named Hamashima Sh˘bŕ who used to be a masterless samurai. His name is said to derive from that of the gangster Nippon Saemon in "Fuzoku Taiheiki". Starting by taking over the Tsukimoto clan in T˘t˘mi Province (present day Shizuoka Prefecture), Nippon Daemon plans to rule Japan. He steals the heirloom of the Tsukimoto family, a manuscript of the "Kokin Wakashű" ('A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry') that is written in the author Ki no Tsurayuki's own hand. In addition, he also steals the three-foot-long stick of Akiba Gongen, the god of miraculous efficacy in fire, whom the Tsukimoto family has believed in for generations. Tamashima K˘bŕ (Ichikawa Ebiz˘), the brother of Tamashima Itt˘ (Ichikawa Chűsha) who was a retainer of the Tsukimoto family, confronts Daemon. The time when Daemon's ambitions will be fulfilled seems to be near at hand. However, the divine spirit of Akiba Gongen Shrine stands in his way and ... The highlights of this play include the scene where Daemon practices sorcery, the fight between Daemon and the divine spirit of Akiba Gongen Shrine, and the scene featuring a flight through the air (chűnori). Featuring also Ichikawa Udanji, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Band˘ Minosuke and Ichikawa Ebiz˘'s son Horikoshi Kangen.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 July 2017 (Kansai Kabuki o Ai Suru Kai Shichigatsu ďkabuki)
    The 26th Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Ninin D˘j˘ji

    Evening

    Shitadashi Sanbas˘

    Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Mantar˘

    Comments

    26th edition of the Kansai Kabuki Lovers Society July Grand Kabuki in ďsaka.

  • Natsu Matsuri: this grisly murder story became a smashing hit when it was first performed in 1745 because of the chivalrous spirit of the many ďsaka characters appearing in this story, the contrast between a brutal murder and the jovial mood of a summer festival, and the splashing of real water used on the stage. Danshichi, a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ and the older Sabu. Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu heroically helps out, in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji and, in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby. This program stars Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Danshichi, with Onoe Matsuya, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘ as Tokubŕ, Sabu, Otatsu and Okaji. Featuring Arashi Kitsusabur˘ as Giheiji.
  • Ninin D˘j˘ji: a beautiful young woman dances under cherry blossoms at a dedication ceremony for a temple bell. She dances the many aspects of a woman in love, but is actually the spirit of a serpent, driven to destroy the bell out of jealousy. In addition to being the most famous of all Kabuki dances, "Musume D˘j˘ji" is considered to be the pinnacle of the art of the onnagata female role specialist. Starring Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘ in a special double version with two shiraby˘shi instead of one.
  • Shitadashi Sanbas˘:
    (The Sanbas˘ with his Tongue sticking out)
    Based on the ritual "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 Ganjir˘ and his son Nakamura Kazutar˘.
  • Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu: this play is a blend of "Chűshingura" with its tangled stories of loyalties and masterless samurai that ultimately avenge their master's death and the story of "Godairiki", about the love between a geisha named Koman and the samurai Satsuma Gengobŕ which is spoiled by the jealousy of a man named Sangor˘. Sasano Sangor˘ (Ichikawa Somegor˘) is married to Koman (Nakamura Tokiz˘), but she becomes a geisha to help him to raise the money to help his lord, a man that he has never seen. In the pleasure quarters the samurai Satsuma Gengobŕ (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon) falls in love with her and spends huge sums of money on her, despite the fact that he needs money for the sake of the "Chűshingura" vendetta. Finally Gengobŕ gets money and Sangor˘ and Koman decide to defraud him of the money, which results in a massacre in the pleasure quarters. Ironically, Gengobŕ is none other than the unknown master for whom Sangor˘ was trying to raise money. This story of passion and greed takes place against the background of inexplicable fate and the strict requirements of samurai society and adds ample doses of sardonic humor, the perfect play for our times. Featuring also Matsumoto Kingo, Kamimura Kichiya, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Onoe Matsuya and Nakamura Kazutar˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 July 2017 (Shichigatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    July Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki

  • Higaki Jaya
  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari
  • Casting

    Onoe Kikunosuke, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Onoe Ukon

    Comments

    Educational program at the National Theatre called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki Appreciation Class"). This is a very interesting formula for the beginners because there is lively presentation of Kabuki (or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes) on stage, followed by a drama ("Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari").

  • 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 Onoe Kikunosuke as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Baishi as Tokiwa Gozen, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Onoe Ukon as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the central provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 30 July 2017 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Imoseyama Onna Teikin
    (Mikasayama Goten)

    K˘j˘

    Tachi Nusubito

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Jakuemon, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura Matagor˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘

    Comments

    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the central provinces. Nakamura Jakuemon V celebrates his shűmei.

  • Mikasayama Goten: a fantastic Kabuki period play showing intrigues in the imperial court in the earliest days of Japan. The dictator Soga no Iruka has set up his own court and now seeks to destroy his opponent Kamatari. A mysterious fisherman named Fukashichi (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon) comes as a messenger from Kamatari, claiming to bring a message of surrender. Meanwhile, Iruka's younger sister, Princess Tachibana (Nakamura Yonekichi) has fallen in love with a handsome young man named Motome (Nakamura Kash˘). But Motome is actually the son of Kamatari and says that he will only grant her love if she will cut off Iruka's head. Moreover, a country girl named Omiwa (Nakamura Jakuemon) has also followed Motome. Omiwa's blood and the work of all these people combined are what is necessary to finally defeat the magical powers of the evil Iruka. Featuring ďtani Tomoemon in the role of Omura.
  • 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 stars of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Jakuemon V.
  • Tachi Nusubito: the farces of the classical Ky˘gen theater have universal appeal, showing the relationships of masters and servants and husbands and wives. In this particular dance play, a farmer named Manbŕ (Nakamura Tanenosuke) carries a precious sword, which is made of gold. The thief Kurobŕ (Nakamura Matagor˘) quietly removes the sword from Manbŕ in a crowd. When Manbŕ finds his sword missing and notices Kurobŕ wearing it, a loud dispute ensues. Manbŕ and Kurobŕ must both explain who owns the sword, first in words, then in dance to a magistrate (Nakamura Kichinoj˘), who must try to figure out who tells the truth.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Kabuki Tour in the eastern provinces
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2017 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Sh˘j˘

    K˘j˘

    Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki (Kumagai Jin'ya)

    Casting

    Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Karoku, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Baika

    Comments

    The usual July Grand Kabuki Tour in the eastern provinces. Nakamura Shikan VIII and two of his three sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV and Nakamura Fukunosuke III, celebrate their shűmei.

  • Sh˘j˘: the sh˘j˘ is a mythical sake-loving spirit that lives in the sea. In this dance, a sake seller has a mysterious customer that appears daily and drinks enormous amounts with great satisfaction. The sake seller has a dream with instructions to go by the beach with a large tub of sake. As it turns out, the customer has actually been the sh˘j˘ in disguise. The dance shows three sh˘j˘ as they drink and dance joyfully. Starring Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Hashinosuke and Nakamura Fukunosuke as the sh˘j˘ and Nakamura Baika as the sake seller.
  • 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 stars of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Shikan VIII, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV and Nakamura Fukunosuke III.
  • Kumagai Jin'ya: this play is a dramatization of the clash between the Genji general Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane and the Heike warrior Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani, one of the most famous passages of the epic "Tales of the Heike". In the Kabuki version, on the cryptic orders of the Genji leader Yoshitsune, Kumagai hides the enemy warrior Atsumori and has his own son take the warrior's place. On the battlefield, Kumagai has to kill his own son in Atsumori's place. Things become worse when his wife Sagami and Atsumori's mother Fuji-no-Kata arrive at his camp. In the highlight of the play, he tells them the story of his mortal battle with Atsumori, keeping Atsumori's well-being and his own sacrifice a secret. He then shows the head of Atsumori for inspection by his leader to see if he has interpreted his orders correctly. This performance stars Nakamura Shikan as Kumagai, with Nakamura Senjaku as Kumagai's wife Sagami, Ichikawa Komaz˘ as Fuji-no-Kata, Nakamura Baigyoku as Yoshitsune and Nakamura Karoku as Midaroku. Featuring alternatively Nakamura Hashinosuke or Nakamura Fukunosuke in the role of Tsutsumi Gunji.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Patria Hita (Hita)
    Dates 1 ~ 2 July 2017 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Dance Performances
    Program

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Keisei

    Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Hita in ďita Prefecture at the Patria Hita which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its opening.

  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by stage announcements, usually lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. This month at the Yachiyoza, it is a stage speech done by Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Keisei: a beautiful top-rank courtesan (keisei) with her attendants makes parade along the Nakanoch˘ Boulevard of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter in Edo. She enters a room in the brothel and expresses her pure love for her lover in a graceful manner, though complaining that he does not come how long she waits for him. Then she expresses in dance the scenic beauty in each season and the elegant atmosphere in the pleasure quarters, and her love for him grows stronger. A scene from a seven-transformation hengemono "Nijirigaki Nanatsu Iroha", this is an old-fashioned, tasteful dance. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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