JUNE 2022

5 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, National Theatre), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza) and 3 tours (Sh˘chiku Kabuki Dance Tour, Ibuki Tour, Tsuru-no-Ko-Kai)!

  • Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Rakuzen, Nakamura Karoku and Band˘ Minosuke perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shikan and Onoe Kikunosuke perform at the Hakataza!
  • Nakamura Matagor˘ and Kataoka Takatar˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Nakamura Shikan and his three sons are on tour!
  • Nakamura Kotar˘ and Nakamura Hayato are on tour!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 27 June 2022
    Rokugatsu ďkabuki
    June Grand Kabuki
    1st program

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Kurumabiki)

    Cho Hakkai

    2nd program

    Nobuyasu

    Kioi Jishi

    3rd program

    Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi (Kirare Yosa)

    Furu Amerika-ni Sode-ha Nurasaji

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Rakuzen, Nakamura Karoku, Band˘ Minosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Band˘ Kamez˘, Onoe Ukon, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Seiko, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Matsumoto Kingo, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Nakamura Takanosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Onoe Sakon, Ichikawa Otora, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Nakamura Kamenoj˘, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Kitamura Rokur˘, Kawai Yukinoj˘, Taguchi Mamoru, It˘ Midori

    Comments

    The 3 programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza. Due to health-related reason, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon could not perform in June 2022 at the Kabukiza. The star was expected to play the role of Yosabur˘ in the drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi" with Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in the role of Otomi. He was not replaced and, therefore, there has been a drama change for the 3rd progam of the June Grand Kabuki. Instead of "Kirare Yosa", "Furu Amerika-ni Sode-ha Nurasaji" is staged under the direction of Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.

  • Kurumabiki: this short scene shows the three brothers that dominate the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", each with a distinctive personality. Sakuramaru (Nakamura Kazutar˘) and Ume˘maru (Band˘ Minosuke) have been rendered masterless by Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile. The third brother Matsu˘maru (Onoe Sh˘roku) serves the villain Shihei (Ichikawa Ennosuke), who is responsible for the downfall of Kan Sh˘j˘. Sakuramaru and Ume˘maru try to destroy Shihei's carriage but are stopped by Matsu˘maru and the magical glare of Shihei. Finally the brothers agree to suspend their disputes until they all meet at their father's seventieth birthday party.
  • Cho Hakkai: The Great Demon King who is enshrined by the Tongtian River on the way from China to India demands human victims from the village every year. Since he torments the villagers, Priest Sanz˘ and his party plot to exterminate him, disguising Cho Hakkai (Ichikawa Ennosuke) as a girl and sending him as a substitute for a victim.
  • Nobuyasu: Tokugawa Ieyasu (Matsumoto Haku˘) makes a sudden visit to his eldest son Nobuyasu (Ichikawa Somegor˘) and reprimands him for having been suspected as a rebel. In fact, Oda Nobunaga had commanded Ieyasu to kill Nobuyasu because he had grown concerned about Nobuyasu's excellence, but Ieyasu orders Nobuyasu to bide his time at his castle. Nobuyasu determines to die for his clan despite his father's efforts to spare his life. This play focuses on Nobuyasu's psychological conflict with his father who cannot disobey Oda Nobunaga's order as he is about to unify the country. Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘ and ďtani Tomoemon.
  • 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 Baigyoku, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Senjaku and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Furu Amerika-ni Sode-ha Nurasaji:
    ("My Sleeves Will Never Be Wet With the Rain of America")
    This is a modern play written by the novelist Ariyoshi Sawako (1931~1984) for the great modern actress Sugimura Haruko (1906~1997) who created the role of the drinking, chattering Osono who makes up stories to escape a tight situation and finds that she is trapped by her lies. After Sugimura's death, the play was performed by many other performers, most notably by Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in a cast featuring actresses and actors from other genres. This marks the first time that this modern play will be transformed into Kabuki. The play is set during the final days of the Edo period as there were tense relations between Japanese and foreigners. A geisha named Kiyű (Kawai Yukinoj˘) is beautiful, but she is sickly and steadily moves downward until she comes to a teahouse that is especially for foreigners. There she encounters her old friend Osono (Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘) who has also fallen in the world because of her failures caused by drink. Alone and despondent, Kiyű commits suicide and on the spur of the moment, Osono explains it away by saying that Kiyű decided to die rather than serve the foreign barbarians. Unfortunately, this becomes a famous story and Osono tells the heroic story of Kiyű night after night with more and more elaborate embellishments including Kiyű's death poem in which she declares that she will "never let her sleeves get wet with the American rain." But eventually, Osono's lies catch up with her.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 3 ~ 23 June 2022
    Rokugatsu Hakataza ďkabuki
    June Hakataza Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Hashi Benkei

    Sagi Musume

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Sushiya)

    Evening

    Shin Sarayashiki Tsuki no Amagasa
    (Sakanaya S˘gor˘)

    Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To

    Casting

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

    Comments

    The traditional two programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Hakataza.

  • Hashi Benkei:
    (Benkei on the Bridge)
    There are many legends about Benkei, the warrior-priest who was the faithful companion of the general Yoshitsune. This dance shows the first meeting of Benkei and Yoshitsune. Benkei goes nightly to the bridge at the Fifth Avenue of Ky˘to, defeating men night after night and taking their swords. Finally he encounters a delicate young man that he thinks will be an easy opponent, but is defeated himself instead. This young man was Yoshitsune, under his childhood name of Ushiwakamaru. Benkei is so impressed that he becomes Yoshitsuneĺs retainer, right there and then. Starring Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Benkei and Nakamura Mantar˘ as Ushiwakamaru.
  • Sagi Musume: one of the most famous dances in Kabuki, this figure is familiar through pictures and Japanese dolls. A beautiful young woman all in white appears in the snowy landscape. She dances lightly of love, but then reveals that she is the spirit of a bird, a magnificent heron that struggles wounded through a snowstorm. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke.
  • Sushiya: this is one act of an epic originally written for the Bunraku puppet theatre. The full-length play shows the fate of various Taira generals in hiding after the victory of their enemy, the Genji. In this act, Koremori (Nakamura Tokiz˘), the heir to the Taira clan is hiding in a sushi shop disguised as a humble apprentice, and Osato (Nakamura Baishi), the daughter of the house, falls in love with him. However, Gonta (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘), the evil son of the house plots to gain a reward by turning in Koremori to the top Genji general Kajiwara (Nakamura Shikan), but in the end, he has a surprising change of heart in one of the most heart-rending scenes in Kabuki. Also featuring Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘ as Yazaemon, the proprietor of the sushi shop.
  • Sakanaya S˘gor˘: S˘gor˘ (Onoe Kikunosuke), a fish seller, has taken a vow to not drink, but when he learns about his sister's unjust murder at the hands of a daimy˘ lord, a death that they were told was execution for her wrongdoing, he starts to drink again. Drunk, he storms into the lord's mansion to seek an apology. This play by Meiji playwright Kawatake Mokuami is known for its realistic portrayal of members of the common class during the Edo period and highlights their fierce pride and frustration at the privileges of the dominant samurai class. Featuring also Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Yonekichi and Nakamura Mantar˘.
  • Seki no To:
    (The Snowbound Barrier)
    A snow-covered barrier decorated by a mysteriously blooming cherry tree provides the background for the larger-than-life story of a traitorous aristocrat disguised as a barrier guard and the beautiful woman, actually a supernatural spirit in disguise, that will defeat him. Nakamura Tokiz˘ (the keisei Sumizome, in reality the spirit of Komachi's cherry tree), Nakamura Shikan (Sekibŕ, in reality ďtomo no Kuronushi), Nakamura Baishi (Ono no Komachi) and Nakamura Mantar˘ (Yoshimine Munesada) star in what is considered to be one of the greatest Kabuki dance-dramas.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 21 June 2022
    Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu
    June Kabuki Appreciation Class
    Program

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi

  • Sugisaka Hakasho

  • Keya-mura Rokusuke Sumika

  • Casting

    Nakamura Matagor˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Matsue, Kamimura Kichiya, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ogawa S˘ma

    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 on stage (Kabuki no Mikata) of Kabuki or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes. It is followed by "Sugisaka" and "Keya-mura".

  • Sugisaka/Keya-mura: Rokusuke (Nakamura Matagor˘), a farmer who lives at the foot of Mt. Hiko in Buzen Province, is a master swordsman. In Kokura Domain, a proclamation was issued that they will employ a man who defeats Rokusuke as a retainer. After his mother's death, Rokusuke keeps vigil at Sugisaka Grave for 49 nights. One night, when Rokusuke is praying to Amida Buddha, Mijin Danj˘ (Nakamura Kash˘), a masterless samurai passes by with his old mother (Kamimura Kichiya). Mijin Danj˘ asks Rokusuke to let him win the sword match wanting to be a good son. Touched by his filial piety towards his mother, Rokusuke promises to do so. After they part, a young samurai serving Rokusuke's master, Yoshioka Ichimisai, is attacked by a bandit. Rokusuke drives the bandit away, but he breathes his last after leaving the boy he was with in Rokusuke's care. A few days later the sword match is held at Rokusuke's house and Rokusuke gives Danj˘ the match as he had promised. Just after, Rokusuke's fiancee Osono (Kataoka Takatar˘) whom Rokusuke has never met comes to Rokusuke's house disguised as a Zen priest. To Rokusuke's surprise, Yasomatsu (Nakamura Kash˘'s son Ogawa S˘ma), the boy left in Rokusuke's care, turns out to be the son of Osono's sister. Furthermore, Rokusuke finds out that Danj˘ is in reality Ky˘goku Takumi who attacked Ichimisai, Osono's father and Rokusuke's master, under the cover of darkness. Rokusuke becomes furious to know that he was deceived, and goes out with Osono to avenge himself on Ky˘goku Takumi.
  • Source: National Theatre

    Sh˘chiku Kabuki Dance Tour
    Dates 30 June ~ 31 July 2022
    Sh˘chiku Kabuki Buy˘ K˘en
    Sh˘chiku Dance Performances
    Program

    Goaisatsu

    Ayatsuri Sanbas˘

    Renjishi

    Casting

    Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke

    Comments

    The Summer Buy˘ Tour of Nakamura Shikan and his three sons.

  • Goaisatsu: a speech on stage.
  • Ayatsuri Sanbas˘:
    (The Puppet Sanbas˘)
    The Sanbas˘ is part of the ritual play "Okina", a prayer for prosperity and in Kabuki the vigorous Sanbas˘ dance is often performed separately. To make the dance especially auspicious, the old man Okina and attendant Senzai appear as well. In Kabuki, the Sanbas˘ dance appears in all kinds of versions. In this particular version, the Sanbas˘ is actually a giant marionette (Nakamura Hashinosuke or Nakamura Fukunosuke), dancing lightly until his antics tangle his strings, creating problems for his puppeteer (Nakamura Fukunosuke or Nakamura Hashinosuke).
  • 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 Nakamura Shikan in the role of the parent shishi and his son Nakamura Utanosuke in the role of the cub.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Ibuki Tour
    Dates 1 ~ 26 June 2022
    Ibuki Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ibuki Special Performances
    Program

    Ame no Gor˘

    Fuji Musume

    Ninin Wankyű

    Casting

    Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Hayato

    Comments

    A special tour with two popular young actors. Ibuki means 'breath'.

  • Ame no Gor˘: Soga no Gor˘ is one of the most famous heroes in the Kabuki world, super-strong and quick to fight. However, this dance shows the soft side of this hero as well as he travels nightly to the pleasure quarter to visit his lover. Starring Nakamura Hayato as Gor˘.
  • 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 Nakamura Kotar˘.
  • 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 Hayato as Wankyű and Nakamura Kotar˘ as Matsuyama.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 5 June 2022
    Kakumeikai
    Program

    Takatsuki

    T˘ku K˘nÔ

    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Casting

    Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Toranosuke, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    1st edition of the Kakumeikai, a gala program which stars Nakamura Tsurumatsu.

  • Takatsuki: in this relatively modern dance-comedy adapted from the style of classical Ky˘gen farces, the servant Jir˘kaja (Nakamura Tsurumatsu) is ordered by his lord to buy a takatsuki, which is a kind of ceremonial sake cup on a stand. Jir˘kaja does not understand his lord's orders and is persuaded by a fast-talking geta clog salesman (Nakamura Toranosuke) to buy a pair of clogs instead, thinking that this is the stand for which he was sent. After drinking a good amount of sake, he brings his purchase to the lord and responds to the lord's anger with a dance on the clogs, a virtuoso routine inspired by tap dancing, showing off the dancing skills of Nakamura Tsurumatsu.
  • T˘ku K˘nÔ: Literally 'Talk Corner'. A speech on stage with Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • 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 Nakamura Tsurumatsu as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Tsuru-no-Ko-Kai Tour
    Dates 8 ~ 12 June 2022
    Tsuru-no-Ko-Kai
    Program

    Fukiyose Sugoroku

    Kabuki-juku

    Maizuru Sanbas˘

    Casting

    Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Ich˘, Nakamura Nakaji, Nakamura Nakasuke, Nakamura Nakaya, Nakamura Nakashir˘

    Comments

    1st edition of the Tsuru-no-Kokai, a special tour in 5 old traditional wooden theaters in Gifu Prefecture: the Kashimo Meijiza, the Miyamoriza, the Gom˘za, the Azumaza and the Aioiza.

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 22 June 2022
    Nakamura Ky˘z˘ Buy˘ no Yűbe
    Evening for Dance by Nakamura Ky˘z˘
    Program

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi)

    Ibaraki

    Casting

    Nakamura Ky˘z˘, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Ich˘

    Comments

    7th edition of the Buy˘ gala Nakamura Ky˘z˘ Buy˘ no Yűbe, dedicated this time to the legend of D˘j˘ji.

  • Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring Nakamura Ich˘ as Tadanobu, with Nakamura Ky˘z˘ as Shizuka.
  • Ibaraki: there are many legends about the demon-quelling warrior Watanabe Tsuna. He struggled with a demon on top of the Rash˘mon gate into Ky˘to and only escaped by cutting the demon's arm off. This dance shows Tsuna (Nakamura Ich˘) as he is staying locked up in his house on the instructions of a fortune-teller since the demon is sure to come to try to recover the arm. Tsuna's old nurse (Nakamura Ky˘z˘) appears and at first he must turn her away, but finally Tsuna relents and lets her in. She dances of the years she took care of the young Tsuna, but oddly enough, she only uses one hand as she dances. Finally she reveals that she is actually the demon, come back to recover its arm. Featuring Nakamura Tsurumatsu as Ugenta.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

     
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