NEWS FROM THE KABUKI WORLD
30 November
2018

The two programs for the New Year Kabuki Performances at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ in January 2019 have been published [more details]. A special dance will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XI. It will be entitled "Natorigusa Hana no Jűichidai" and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ will perform with both his son Horikoshi Kangen and his daughter Horikoshi Reika.

The two programs for the New Year Kabuki Performances at the Kabukiza in January 2019 have been published [more details]. The zagashira will be Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon. He will play the role of Takechi Mitsuhide in the drama "Ehon Taik˘ki".

Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform in a special program in March 2019 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [more details]. He will play the role of Akoya in the eponymous drama "Akoya" and he will perform in the newly-created dance-drama "Keisei Yuki no Yoshiwara", which was premiered in December 2018 at the Kabukiza.

The third edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances at the EX THEATER in Roppongi will also be staged in ďsaka and in Sapporo. In ďsaka, it will be staged from the 13th to the 17th of March 2019 at the Orix Theater [more details]. In Sapporo (Hokkaid˘), it will be staged from the 21st to the 24th of March 2019 at the Wakuwaku Holiday Hall (Sapporo Civic Hall) [more details]. Based on Akutagawa Ryűnosuke's short story "Rash˘mon", the stage direction will be done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014).

The 5th edition of Ginza Kobikitei, an event with rakugo and k˘dan storytellers will happen the 12th of December 2018 at the Kabukiza Gallery (5th floor of the Kabukiza building). The rakugo storyteller will be Irifunetei Sen'yű, who will start his performance at 19:00 and tells the famous rakugo of "Bunshichi Mottoi". The k˘dan storytellers will be Kanda Matsunoj˘ and Kanda Aizan II. All the stories will be Kabuki-related [more details in Japanese].

There won't be any Kabuki performance in Fukuoka at the Hakataza in February 2019. There is usually one or two programs in February since 2000, with only one exception, the year 2009. Will all the February in a year ending with a nine be a kabukiless month in Fukuoka ?

Prior to Ky˘to's year-end kaomise Kabuki performances from the 1st to the 26th of December 2018 [more details], the annual maneki-age happened the 26th of November 2018 at the Minamiza. During this important event, huge wooden boards called maneki kanban are raised. The boards feature the names of Kabuki performers appearing in the show and they were placed over the front of the Minamiza on a huge takeyarai. The maneki kanban were made by the calligrapher Inoue Yű IV at the My˘denji temple in Ky˘to. The calligrapher soaked his brush in special ink mixed with sake for the purpose of purification and glossing, and wrote the names all actors with strong strokes in kanteiryű characters [pictures and more details in Japanese].

All Nippon Airways goes Kabuki with a new inflight safety video! This Kabuki-powered video will be released from the 1st of December 2018 in domestic flights and from the 1st of January 2019 in international flights [more details].

The 3rd of November 2018, ďoka Hideaki, the 15th generation "head" of the ďoka Clan (a symbolic head as there is no more daimy˘ in Japan for more than 150 years), went with his wife to the National Theatre and met the stars performing in "Na mo Takashi ďoka Sabaki", a Kabuki drama about ďoka Tadasuke, the 5th generation daimy˘ of the ďoka Clan and his ancestor [pictures and more details in Japanese].

The 24th of November 2018, two important dance masters, Fujima Kanjűr˘ VIII and Onoe Kikunoj˘ III, performed at the Kabukiza Gallery (5th floor of the Kabukiza building) in the Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Modori Kago Iro ni Aikata". This was the 1st edition of a special evening Buy˘ program at a performance space called the Shibai-yomoyawaza.

31 October
2018

Nakamura Shikan VIII and his three sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV, Nakamura Fukunosuke III and Nakamura Utanosuke IV, will celebrate their shűmei in Honolulu from the 2nd to the 8th of March 2019. The program is entitled 2019 Honolulu Kabuki and it will be staged at the Kennedy Theatre at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and at the Hawaii Convention Center. They will perform in "Renjishi". This will be part of a series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii [more details].

The programs for the December 2018 Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza have been published [more details]. There will be one matinÚe and two different evening programs:

  • MatinÚe: Nakamura Kazutar˘ will play seven roles in Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Osome no Nanayaku" under the supervision of Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘. Onoe Matsuya will play the leading role of "K˘suke Mochi", a drama associated to the Nakamura Ganjir˘ line of actors.
  • Program A: staged the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st, 24th and 26th of December 2018. Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will play the prestigious role of Akoya in the eponymous drama "Akoya". Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Kotar˘ will perform in "Ninin Fuji Musume", the "Two Wisteria Maidens".
  • Program B: staged the 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd and 25th of December 2018. The role of Akoya will be played for the very first time by two young onnagata actors: Nakamura Baishi (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 22nd and 25th of December 2018) and Nakamura Kotar˘ (5th, 9th, 15th, 19th and 23rd of December 2018). Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will play for the very first time the comical role of Iwanaga Saemon, a male villain role! He will also be the star of the newly-created dance-drama "Keisei Yuki no Yoshiwara".
  • Namiki Gohei I's 1780 drama "Sode Nikki Banshű Meguri" will be revived under the title "Himeji-j˘ Oto-ni Kiku Sono Ishizue" at the at the National Theatre in January 2019. As this is usually the case for the new year program, the zagashira will be Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ [more details].

    The two programs for the New Year Grand Kabuki at the Sh˘chikuza in January 2019 have been published [more details]. The troupe will be a small one, led by Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ and his two sons Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku. The guest star will be Kataoka Ainosuke. The highlights of these programs will be:

  • Two classics of the Nakamura Ganjir˘ line of actors, which belong to the Ganjir˘ Jűnikyoku collection of plays: "Tsuchiya Chikara" and "Kawash˘".
  • The revival of Namiki Gohei I's spectacular drama "Kinmon Gosan no Kiri" in the keren-powered version crafted by Ichikawa Ennosuke III with with Kataoka Ainosuke in the role of Ishikawa Goemon.
  • The 27th of October 2018, there was a huge parade in Ky˘to on the famous Shij˘ Avenue, from the Minamiza theater to the western gate of the Yasaka Shrine. 69 kanbu actors took part in this event [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The two programs for the New Year Asakusa Kabuki at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ in January 2019 have been published [more details].

    Prior to Ky˘to's year-end kaomise Kabuki performances at the Minamiza, from the 1st of November to the 25th of November 2018 [more details], the annual maneki-age happened the 25th of October 2018. During this important event, huge wooden boards called maneki kanban are raised. The boards feature the names of Kabuki performers appearing in the show and they were placed over the front of the Minamiza on a huge takeyarai [picture]. The maneki kanban were made at the My˘denji temple in Ky˘to. The calligrapher soaked his brush in special ink mixed with sake for the purpose of purification and glossing, and wrote the names of actors with strong strokes in kanteiryű characters [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon was put the 26th of October by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in the list of Japanese personalities who have made outstanding culture contributions in Japan in 2018 (bunka k˘r˘sha) [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The 1st of October 2018, the opening day (shonichi) at the National Theatre was attended by Naruhito, the Crown Prince of Japan, and his wife, Princess Masako [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The third edition of the Roppongi Kabuki performances at the EX THEATER in Roppongi will happen in February 2019 and March 2019 [more details]. Based on Akutagawa Ryűnosuke's short story "Rash˘mon", the stage direction will be done by the famous movie director Miike Takashi, an expert in violent and bizarre movies who worked twice with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ for the movies "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) and "Over your Dead Body" (2014).

    The 9th edition of the Sistine Kabuki, a Kabuki program led by Kataoka Ainosuke within the Sistine Hall of the ďtsuka Museum of Art which is located in the city of Naruto (Tokushima prefecture), will happen in February 2019. A newly-created play entitled "TAMETOMO" will be staged 6 times over 3 days [more details].

    The 29th of October 2018, Matsumoto Haku˘ II, his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and his grandson Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII went to the Yasaka Shrine in Ky˘to to pray for the success of the November 2018 performances in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Nakamura Jakuemon will be the guest star of a special kodomo shibai program, which will be staged in T˘ky˘ in Ginza within the Taimei Elementary School the 3rd of November 2018. The young actors will be children belonging to the school and they will perform in "Yoshinoyama" and the "Inasegawa Seizoroi" scene of "Shiranami Gonin Otoko". Nakamura Jakuemon will talk on stage at the beginning of the program, which is entitled "Shintomiza Kodomo Kabuki in Ginza". This will be the seventh edition.

    Onoe Ukon, who is also the music master of Kiyomoto Eijudayű VII, will perform as a Kiyomoto musician in November 2018 at the Kabukiza in the drama "Izayoi Seishin". In the same programs, as an actor, he will also play the roles of Okon and Okumi in "Oedo Miyage" and "H˘kaib˘".

    The 4th edition of Ginza Kobikitei, an event with rakugo and k˘dan storytellers will happen the 16th of November 2018 at the Kabukiza Gallery (5th floor of the Kabukiza building). The rakugo storyteller will be Hayashiya Sh˘jaku, who will start his performance at 19:00. The k˘dan storytellers will be Kanda Matsunoj˘ and Kanda Ran. All the stories will be Kabuki-related [more details in Japanese].

    Ichikawa En'ya has started to perform outside Kabuki at the end of October. He plays in the modern drama "Otoko no Junj˘" ("The Pure Heart of Men"). In T˘ky˘ at the Kinokuniya Hall from the 25th of October to the 1st of November. Then on tour from the 2nd to the 24th of November [more details in Japanese].

    30 September
    2018

    The two programs for the traditional yearly kaomise in Ky˘to at the Minamiza have been published. The troupe will be led by Living National Treasures Sakata T˘jűr˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon. The former actor will play a family role: Kameya Chűbŕ in "Ninokuchi-mura". The latter actor will play the roles of Minobe Iori and Igami no Gonta in "Jiisan Baasan" and "Sushiya" [more details].

    The two programs for the kaomise at the Kabukiza in November 2018 have been published. The troupe will be led by Living National Treasures Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon [more details].

    The Zenshinza troupe will perform in October 2018 at the National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka) [more details] and in January 2019 at the Ky˘to Gekij˘ [more details] in the drama "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. This drama mixes two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan".

    Segawa Jok˘ III's 1861 drama "Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe", commonly called "Ishikawa Goemon", will be revived in December 2018 at the National Theatre [more details]. The troupe will be led by Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, who will play the spectacular role of Ishikawa Goemon. This revival will include the rarely-staged "Mibu-mura" act.

    Prior to Nagoya kaomise Kabuki performances from the 1st to the 25th of October 2017 [more details], the maneki-age happened the 8th of September 2018 at the Misonoza. During this important event, huge wooden boards called maneki kanban were raised. The boards feature the names of Kabuki performers appearing in the show and they were placed over the front of the venue on a huge takeyarai. To make the maneki kanban, the calligrapher soaked his brush in special ink mixed with sake for the purpose of purification and glossing, and wrote the names of all major actors with strong strokes in kanteiryű characters. There was a ceremony with Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Baigyoku [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘ will perform the 13th of October 2018 on a temporary stage at the Daisen Park in the city of Sakai [more details]. This will be the 37th edition of the World Heritage Theater, theater performances in world heritage sites in Japan. Mozu Kofungun, the Mozu Tombs in Sakai.

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘ will perform the 22nd October 2017 at the Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada (T˘ky˘) in "Shibuya Konn˘maru Densetsu", along with the dance masters Onoe Miyako and Goj˘ Tamatar˘ [more details].

    Ichikawa Udanji III and Ichikawa Sai'nyű II, ahead of their coming shűmei performances in ďsaka in October 2018 at the Sh˘chikuza, went to the K˘zu Shrine the 7th of September 2018 to pray for the success of the performances. There was also a parade in the D˘tonbori district, the heart of ďsaka [pictures and more details in Japanese]. They also went to pray at the tombstone of both Ichikawa Sai'nyű I and Ichikawa Udanji II in the Isshinji Temple in ďsaka [pictures and more details in Japanese]. The Kabuki world had to wait 103 years to have a actor named Ichikawa Sai'nyű and an actor named Ichikawa Udanji sharing the same stage!

    The latest release (32nd) in the Shinema Kabuki ("Cinema Kabuki") series, "Hototogisu Koj˘ no Rakugetsu" and "Y˘kihi", which starred Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and were shot live in high definition in October 2017 ("Hototogisu Koj˘ no Rakugetsu") and December 2017 ("Y˘kihi") at the Kabukiza, will be released all over Japan from the 12th of January 2019.

    3 posters for the November 2018 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    The end of December and the beginning of January are the busiest times for the Japanese Post offices. The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year's Day postcards (nengaj˘ in Japanese) to their friends and relatives, similar to the Western custom of sending Christmas cards. For the 1st of January 2019, the Japanese Post has started to sell Kabuki-related New Year's Day postcards:

    Some pictures of the Kabuki performances in Paris in September 2018 have been published online:

    Some pictures of the Kabuki performances in Russia in September 2018 have been published online:

    31 August
    2018

    Kawatake Mokuami's ˘oka-seidanmono drama "Ten'ichib˘" will be revived in November 2018 at the National Theatre. The stars of this revival will be Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Band˘ Rakuzen and Ichikawa Udanji. This production will be entitled "Na mo Takashi ďoka Sabaki" [more details].

    The Kabukiza will commemorate the 6th anniversary (7th memorial services) of the passing away of the Heisei star Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII in October 2018, which will be temporarily built in T˘ky˘ in Asakusa. The two programs have been published [more details].

    Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke will commemorate the 6th anniversary (7th memorial services) of the passing away of their father Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII in November 2018 at the Heisei Nakamuraza, which will be temporarily built in T˘ky˘ in Asakusa. The two programs have been published [more details].

    It will be possible to watch at the 2018 edition of the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco from the 28th of September to the 7th of October 2018 the Kabuki drama "Bunshichi Mottoi". This movie belongs to the Shinema Kabuki ("Cinema Kabuki") series. It was shot live by the famous movie director Yamada Y˘ji in October 2007 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ [more details].

    The 2nd edition of Ginza Kobikitei, an event with rakugo and k˘dan storytellers will happen the 28th of September at the Kabukiza Gallery (5th floor of the Kabukiza building). The rakugo storyteller will be Shunpűtei Icch˘, who will start his performance at 19:00. The k˘dan storytellers will be Kanda Matsunoj˘ and Kanda Aguri, who will start their performances at 21:15 [more details in Japanese].

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘ and Nakamura Toranosuke will perform the 23rd of September 2018 on a temporary stage at the T˘daiji Temple in Nara [more details].

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Onoe Ukon and Nakamura Takanosuke have been invited to perform the 20th and 21st of September 2018 at the 20th edition of the Kamigata Hanabutai (the Kamigata Association), a gala program sponsored by the Kamigata Culture and Entertainment Association since 1984. This association has continuously been hosting a performance called "Kamigata Hanabutai" at the National Bunraku Theatre in ďsaka. This performance showcases various Kamigata geisha entertainment forms, not normally presented outside the tea houses [more details].

    There will be a special 1-day "Kabuki for Beginners" program with Ichimura Manjir˘ and his two sons the 16th of September 2018 in the Cultural Center of the K˘t˘ Ward in T˘ky˘ [more details].

    3 posters for the September 2018 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 15th of Septmber 2018, it will be possible to celebrate the 210th anniversary of the premiere of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Toki-ha Ima Kiky˘ no Hataage", commonly called "Badarai no Mitsuhide". It was premiered in Edo at the Ichimuraza in the 25th day of the 7th lunar month of the 5th year of the Bunka era, which was the 15th of September 1808 in the western calendar.
  • The 3rd of August 2018, we could have celebrated the 200th anniversary of the passing away of Sawamura Kunitar˘ I (1739~1818). This Kamigata onnagata actor died the 12th day of the 6th lunar month of the 8th year of the Tenmei era, which was the 15th of July 1788 in the western calendar.
  • Ahead of the 49th kaomise performances in Nagoya at the Misonoza, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Mantar˘ were paraded in rickshaws the 26th of August 2018 in the streets of the famous ďsu district in the heart of the Naka Ward in Nagoya. They went to the Bansh˘ji Temple to pray for the success of October 2018 performances [pictures and more details in Japanese|more details about the performances].

    31 July
    2018

    The 11th edition in T˘ky˘ of a special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) will be staged at the Kabukiza in September 2018. It will commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan. The zagashira will be his adopted son, the Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon II and the top guest star will be Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘. A very good piece of news to be reported: Nakamura Fukusuke will be back on stage! Due to health issues, Nakamura Fukusuke had to stop acting in November 2013. It took him 4 years and 10 months before being able to perform in a Kabuki theater. In this program, he will play the role of the ama Keijuin in "Kinkakuji". Another highlight of this September Grand Kabuki will be "Yűgen", a newly-created Kabuki Buy˘ starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, based on dramas such as "Hagoromo" (The Feather Robe), "D˘j˘ji" (D˘j˘ji Temple) and "Shakky˘" (The Stone Bridge). The zagashira of the troupe, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, will play the roles of K˘chiyama S˘shun and Shunkan in the eponymous dramas "K˘chiyama" and "Shunkan" [more details].

    Matsumoto Haku˘ II, his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and his grandson Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII will celebrate their shűmei in November 2018 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [more details]. Matsumoto Haku˘ will play the roles of Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ and Togashi in "Suzu-ga-Mori" and "Kanjinch˘". Matsumoto K˘shir˘ will play the roles of the father shishi, Musashib˘ Benkei and Yorozuya Kinnosuke in "Renjishi", "Kanjinch˘" and "Kari no Tayori". Ichikawa Somegor˘ will play the roles of the cub shishi and Minamoto Yoshitsune in "Renjishi" and "Kanjinch˘". Two Living National Treasures, Sakata T˘jűr˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon, will perform in the troupe : the latter will play the roles of Kameya Chűbŕ and Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune in "Fűin Giri" and "Soga no Taimen" while the former will only appear in the k˘j˘.

    The two programs for the October Annual Festive Face-Showing Kabuki in Nagoya at the Misonoza in October 2018 have been published [more details]. The zagashira will be Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.

    Ichikawa Udanji III and Ichikawa Sai'nyű II will celebrate their shűmei in October 2018 in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza. Major actors leading the troupe will be Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon and Nakamura Ganjir˘. Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ will take part only in the k˘j˘. A newly-created Kabuki drama, entitled "Tamaya Seishichi", will be staged during the matinÚe. Chikamatsu Monzaemon's spectacular drama "Futago Sumidagawa" will be staged as the evening program. This drama, which belongs to the Ennosuke Jűhachiban, Ennosuke Shijűhassen and Fukkatsu T˘shi Ky˘gen Jűhachiban collections of plays, will be the evening program [more details].

    Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke will commemorate the 6th anniversary (7th memorial services) of the passing away of their father Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII in October 2018 at the Kabukiza and in November 2018 at the Heisei Nakamuraza, which will be temporarily built in T˘ky˘ in Asakusa.

    The 11th edition of the Eirakukan Grand Kabuki will happen from the 18th to the 24th of October 2018 at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go). The zagashira will be as usual the young star Kataoka Ainosuke. The first item in the program will be the classic "Benkei J˘shi". The second item was selected by a popular vote online. The members of the audience had to select one item in the list of the 10 dramas which were specifically created and staged as the second number in the program from the 1st to the 10th editions of Eirakukan Grand Kabuki. They've voted in majority for "K˘ no Tori", which was premiered at the Eirakukan in November 2014 [more details].

    The newly-created Kabuki drama "Arashi no Yoru ni", which was premiered in September 2015 in Ky˘to at the Minamiza [more details], will be staged for the first time in Fukuoka at the Hakataza in November 2018 with almost the same casting [more details]. The two stars will be Nakamura Shid˘ and Onoe Matsuya.

    The 23rd of July 2018 was officially taisho, the traditional day of blistering heat. An event called uchimizu biyori (literally a good day for uchimizu) was held in front of the Kabukiza : around 300 people gathered in front of the theater to enjoy the tradition of uchimizu [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform at the Yachiyoza, a traditional wooden-built theater, from the 30th of October to the 4th of November 2018 [more details]. There will be a mix of video projection (with video sequences coming from the high-quality Shinema Kabuki, "Cinema Kabuki") and real dancing on stage.

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ will be on tour all over Japan from the 1st to the 22nd of September 2018 [more details] and from the 5th to the 30th of November 2018 [more details]. This tour will be as usual entitled Koten he no Izanai, literally "Invitation to the Classics".

    The 45th edition of Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai (literally the "Classics Entertainment Appreciation Association"), a yearly performance produced by the National TV network NHK, will happen the 30th of September 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the NHK Hall. The program will include one Kabuki drama, "Sanemori Monogatari", which will star Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Matsumoto Kingo and Nakamura Kikaku [more details].

    Ichikawa Ennosuke will perform with Fujima Kanjűr˘ VIII at the Hakataza the 30th of August 2018 in two Kabuki Buy˘ dances, "Tanemaki Sanbas˘" and "Yoshinoyama". These performances are part of a festival of Traditional Arts called KIWAMI~Koten Gein˘ no Sekai (KIWAMI, the World of Classics Entertainment).

    A short summer program called "Family Festival - Parents and Children Enjoying Kabuki Together" will be staged at the Nissay Theatre from the 10th to the 12th of August 2018 [more details].

    Pictures for the opening day at the Kabukiza in July 2018:

    The 1st edition of the Tsuta no Kai (literally "the Ivy Association"), a gala program starring Ichikawa Tsutanosuke III, will happen the 16th of August 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the Nihonbashi K˘kaid˘. The two guests will be Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Onoe Ukon [more details].

    The section in English of "NARUTO" dedicated website has just opened!

    Onoe Matsuya will perform outside Kabuki, with the Gekidan*Shinkansen modern theater troupe, in "Metal Macbeth", a drama staged for the first time in 2006, written by Kud˘ Kankur˘, directed by Inoue Hidenori and vaguely based on based on William Shakespeare's masterpiece "Macbeth". It will be Shakespeare with live Heavy Metal music! Onoe Matsuya will perform in this play from the 15th of September to the 25th of October 2018 at the IHI Stage Around T˘ky˘, a theater belonging to the TV network TBS [more details].

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 3rd of July 2018, we could have celebrated the 210th anniversary of the passing away of Seki San'emon. This Kamigata actor, founder of the Seki Sanjűr˘ line of actors, died the 10th day of the 6th lunar month of the 5th year of the Bunka era, which was the 3rd of July 1808 in the western calendar.
  • The 9th of July 2018, we could have celebrated the 210th anniversary of the passing away of Fujikawa Tomokichi I. This Kamigata onnagata actor, founder of the Fujikawa Tomokichi line of actors, died the 16th day of the 6th lunar month of the 5th year of the Bunka era, which was the 9th of July 1808 in the western calendar.
  • The 15th of July 2018, we could have celebrated the 230th anniversary of the passing away of Nakamura Jűz˘ II. This Kamigata actor died the 12th day of the 6th lunar month of the 8th year of the Tenmei era, which was the 15th of July 1788 in the western calendar.
  • 30 June
    2018

    Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Heike Nyogo no Shima" will be staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen in October 2018 at the National Theatre [more details]. The troupe will be led by Nakamura Shikan. The "Shikina no Ura" act was staged for the last time in October 1995 (only revival since the end of WWII). The other rarely-staged act, "Rokuhara Kiyomori Yakata", was staged three times, always at the National Theatre: April 1967, October 1995 and October 2007.

    The three programs for the August Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in August 2018 have been published [more details]. The main actors will be Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Shid˘ and Ichimura Manjir˘. There will be a newly-created Kabuki drama entitled "Shinjű Tsukiyo no Hoshinoya", the revival of H˘j˘ Hideji's Shinkabuki drama "Oirans˘" and, the highlight of these performances, the staging of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's spectacular masterpiece "Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu" with Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Shid˘ in the roles of Satsuma Gengobŕ, Koman and Sasanoya Sangor˘.

    Waterways occupy as much as ten percent of ďsaka's city area, and have played a crucial role in its development as a strategic point in land and water transportation. One of the most picturesque among the city's numerous rivers and canals is the D˘tonbori, which flows today through ďsaka's vibrant entertainment district. From the Edo period in the 17th century, rows of theaters formed along the river, and the area became the center for both Kabuki and Bunraku. It is a custom to do funa norikomi before July Grand Kabuki at the Sh˘chikuza [more details]. Actors in the July casting, led by Matsumoto Haku˘ and Matsumoto K˘shir˘, arrived at the theater the 29th of June 2018 in a colorful boat parade, applauded by fans and spectators on the bridges or the banks [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The 5th edition of the Sh˘ no Kai, a gala program which stars Nakamura Tomijűr˘ V's son Nakamura Takanosuke, will happen in T˘ky˘ at the National N˘ Theatre the 1st of September 2018. Nakamura Takanosuke will perform in "Kumasaka" (shimai) and "Yoshinoyama" (the role of the fox Tadanobu). His sister Watanabe Aiko will perform in "Komori" and "Yoshinoyama" (the role of Shizuka Gozen). The long-time NHK announcer Kasai Seiji will be a guest in charge of all the talking [more details].

    The 4th edition of the S˘ch˘kai (literally "the Two Butterflies Association"), which stars Nakamura Kash˘ and his brother Nakamura Tanenosuke, will happen the 4th and the 5th of August 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the National Theatre [more details].

    The T˘ky˘ Series, a series of baseball games at the T˘ky˘ Dome (last game the 24th of June) with two T˘ky˘ teams, the Yakult Swallows and the Yomiuri Giants, met the Kabuki world for the first time! The mascots of each team appeared wearing kabuki costumes and a special kumadori was designed for each team [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Nakamura Shikan will perform outside Kabuki in September 2018. He will play from the 2nd to the 26th of September 2018 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ the role of Othello in William Shakespeare's eponymous drama "Othello".

    4 posters for the July 2018 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    The 20th edition of the summer program of the association Ne no Kai (the Sound Association) will happen the 11th and the 12th of August 2017 [more details].

    Band˘ Yajűr˘ is part of the casting of the movie "Shinpan", which was directed by John Williams and released in Japan the 30th of June 2018. This movie was based on Franz Kafka's novel "The Trial".

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 18th of June 2018, we could have celebrated the 250th anniversary of the passing away of Band˘ Hikosabur˘ II. This Edo actor died the 4th day of the 5th lunar month of the 5th year of the Meiwa era, which was the 18th of June 1768 in the western calendar.
  • The 10th of May 2018, we could have celebrated the 200th anniversary of the premiere of Sakurada Jisuke II's Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Sono Sugata Hana no Utsushie", commonly called "Mitsu Ningy˘" (literally "The Three Puppets"). It was staged for the first time from the 5th day of the 4th lunar month of the 15th year of the Bunka era in Edo at the Nakamuraza [casting]. The 5th day of the 4th lunar month of the 15th year of the Bunka era was the 10th of May 1818 in the western calendar.
  • 31 May
    2018

    The Chikamatsuza troupe, led by Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Nakamura Senjaku under the guidance of Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, will be on tour in Russia in September 2018 [more details]. They will perform "Domo Mata" and "Yoshinoyama" in two cities:

  • From the 9th to the 15th of September 2018 in Moscow at the Mossovet Theater.
  • From the 19th to the 22nd of September 2018 in St. Petersburg at the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater.
  • Reminder: There will be Grand Kabuki in September 2018 in France Paris at the Palais de Chaillot from the 13th to the 19th of September 2018 [more details]. These performances will be part of a long series of cultural events entitled "Japonismes 2018" to mark the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and France. Nakamura Shichinosuke and Nakamura Shid˘ will perform in "Narukami" and "Kasane".

    The two programs for the July Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in July 2018 have been published [more details]. The zagashira will be Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and the highlights will be:

  • "Shusse Taik˘ki", an old classic set in the sekai of the Taik˘ki, which was not staged since the Taish˘ era, will be revised, revived and entitled "Sangoku Mus˘ Hisago no Medetaya".
  • The "Genji Monogatari", a family classic for the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘, will make the evening program.
  • There was an important funa norikomi on the Hakata River in Fukuoka the 30th of May 2018, before June Grand Kabuki at the Hakataza which will celebrate the shűmei of Matsumoto Haku˘ II and his son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X in Fukuoka [more details]. Actors on colorful boats were applauded by fans and spectators on the bridges or the banks of the Hakata river [more details with pictures].

    For the educational Kabuki program at the National Theatre in June 2018 [more details], called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class"), there will be two special events:

  • "Beginners' Kabuki for Business Person" the 8th of June, with a special session starting at 18:30 instead of the usual 11:00 or 14:30.
  • "Discover KABUKI" the 15th of June, with audio earphone service not only in Japanese or English but also in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French. There will be before the staging of "Renjishi" a Kabuki guidance on stage entitled "how to appreciate Kabuki in English", in Japanese and English with Band˘ Minosuke and the TV personality Kisa Ayako.
  • There will a multilingual week from the 16th to the 24th of June, with audio earphone service in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French.
  • Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘ will be on tour in the western provinces in September 2018 [more details].

    The lineup of the 2018-2019 programs at the Minamiza have been published! After 2 years of reconstruction and renewal which began in 2016, one of the most famous Kabuki theaters, the Minamiza (Ky˘to) will reopen its doors this November. Below are listed the main Kabuki-related events:

  • Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII will celebrate their shűmei in Ky˘to in November 2018 (first month of the 2018 kaomise in Ky˘to).
  • Second month of the 2018 kaomise in Ky˘to in December 2018.
  • Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu K˘en, Special Performances for Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in March 2019.
  • The Kabuki version of Kishimoto Masashi's internationally popular manga "NARUTO", under the supervision of G2 (both writer and director), will be staged in June 2019, starring Band˘ Minosuke and Nakamura Hayato in the roles of Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke.
  • Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) in August 2019 with Nakamura Shid˘ sharing the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku.
  • Hanagata Kabuki, Young Actors Kabuki in September 2019.
  • 6th edition in June 2018 in the city of Matsumoto at the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre of a Kabuki program called Shinshű Matsumoto Grand Kabuki (Shinshű is an old name for the province of Nagano, whose main city is Matsumoto), which happens every two years since July 2008. It will be the same program as the 16th edition of the Cocoon Kabuki in T˘ky˘ [more details].

    They are cute or creepy. They prance around street fairs, sporting events, community gatherings and tourist destinations. They reprensent prefectures, cities, museums, schools, institutions ... even militaries forces or prisons. If you go to Japan, you are very likely to meet a few of them. I am talking about the yuru-kyara, the mascots, which have invaded Japan during the 2010s and are still on the rise. The yuru-kyara was made up of two real words, yurui meaning loose or relaxed, and kyara, a word coming from English and meaning character. The mascots are everywhere ... and we would like to report the "birth" of Minamţna, the official mascot for the Minamiza. Doesn't it look like a kind of Mr. Potato Head [picture]?

    The program for the 28th edition of the Kamigata Kabukikai (the Kamigata Kabuki Association), a summer program in ďsaka at the National Bunraku Theatre in August 2018 which stars Kamigata Kabuki stars' disciples in the leading roles with the guidance of Kataoka Nizaemon, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Kataoka Gat˘, has been published [more details].

    The program for the 24th edition of the common program for 2 associations, the Chigyokai (the Young Fishes Association) and the Kabukikai (the Kabuki Association), which stars stars' disciples in the leading roles at the National Theatre in August 2018, has been published [more details].

    The 4th edition of the Ken no Kai, which stars Onoe Kikugor˘ VI's great-grandson Onoe Ukon, will happen the 26th and the 27th of August 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the National Theatre. Ken no Kai literally means "Ken's Association" with Ken being the first ideogram in Onoe Ukon's real first name Kensuke. Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya and Arashi Kitsusabur˘ will be the guest stars [more details].

    4th edition of the gala of the Sora no Kai (literally "the Sky Association"), which stars Kataoka Matsujűr˘, Kataoka Senjir˘ and Kataoka Senju, Kataoka Yűjir˘, Kataoka Rikiya and Kataoka T˘jűr˘. They will perform from the 2nd to the 5th of August 2018 in ďsaka at the Kintetsu Art Kan [more details]. These performances are entitled Abeno Kabuki (Abeno is the name of a famous district in ďsaka). The rarely-produced drama "Nazo no Obi Chotto Tokubŕ" will be staged under the guidance of Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and the the furitsuke Yamamura Tomogor˘ III.

    The 2nd of May 2018, a ceremony was held at the Kobikich˘ Hiroba, the shopping plaza in the 2nd floor basement beneath the Kabukiza to celebrate the unveiling of a new giant paper lantern. This new lantern, 2.7 meters high and 2.2 meters wide, the 2nd generation made by the Yoshinoya lantern-making company, replaced the first lantern that was hung there 5 years ago [picture | pictures and more details in Japanese].

    A special emission of stamps by the Japanese Post to commemorate traditional arts like Kabuki was sold the 9th of May 2018 at the Kobikich˘ Hiroba in the Kabukiza building:

    30 April
    2018

    Matsumoto Haku˘ II and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X will celebrate their shűmei in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza in July 2018. Matsumoto Haku˘ II will play the role of K˘chiyama S˘shun in the eponymous drama "K˘chiyama". His son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X will play the roles of Musashib˘ Benkei and Kawachiya Yohŕ in "Kanjinch˘" and "Abura no Jigoku" [more details].

    The two programs for the June Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in June 2018 have been published [more details]. The troupe will be led by the two Living National Treasures Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon. Nakamura Kichiemon will play the role of Danshichi Kurobŕ in "Natsu Matsuri" and the role of Danshichi's son Ichimatsu will be played by Terashima Kazufumi, the son of Onoe Kikunosuke and grandson of both Onoe Kikugor˘ and Nakamura Kichiemon in real life. Two rarely-staged dramas will be revived:

  • Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Nozarashi Gosuke", which was staged for the last time more than 20 years ago, in May 1998 at the Kabukiza. The leading eponymous role of Nozarashi Gosuke will be played by Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘.
  • Uno Nobuo's drama "K˘dan Yomiya no Ame", which was staged for the last time almost 24 years ago, in August 1994 at the Kabukiza. The role of Ryűtatsu will be played by Nakamura Shikan.
  • As reported last year, Kishimoto Masashi's internationally popular manga "NARUTO" will get its Kabuki adaptation, under the supervision of G2 (both writer and director). It will be staged in August 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. The roles of Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke will be played by Band˘ Minosuke and Nakamura Hayato [more details]. Here are below some pieces of information about "NARUTO":

  • A dedicated website has just opened!
  • The two guest stars, Ichikawa Ennosuke and Kataoka Ainosuke, will alternatively play the same role of Uchiha Madara.
  • Pictures of the Kabuki Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke have been published [pictures and more details in Japanese].
  • Pictures of the Kabuki Uchiha Madara have been published [pictures and more details in Japanese].
  • Two non-Kabuki actors will perform in this drama: Ichinose Hidekazu and Kashima Noritoshi.
  • The flyer of "NARUTO".
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and his son Horikoshi Kangen celebrated the 20th of April 2018 the 1080th anniversary of the foundation of the Narita-san Shinsh˘ji Temple, where the Deity Fud˘ My˘˘ is worshipped. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ went there in a special Keisei line train called "Danjűr˘ Train". This special train was used for the first time at the time of Ichikawa Ebiz˘'s grandfather Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XI's shűmei. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ also performed, along with ďtani Hiromatsu, within the precincts of the temple in the dance "Renjishi" [pictures and more details in Japanese]. There is a strong relationship between this temple and the Ichikawa Danjűr˘/Ichikawa Ebiz˘ lines of actors. The Genroku Edo star Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I, who was born into a wealthy merchant family with ties to the Narita area, was said to be a devout Buddhist with a particular devotion to Fud˘ My˘˘, to whom he gave credit for the safe birth of his son Kuz˘, who went on to become Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II.

    The program for the July 2018 educational Kabuki program at the National Theatre, called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class") has been published. Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Nihon Furisode Hajime" will be staged with Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Nakamura Kinnosuke [more details].

    Nakamura Shikan and his two sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke and Nakamura Fukunosuke, went to the Konpira Shrine the 6th of April 2018 to pray for the success of April 2018 performances at the Kanamaruza, where they were about to celebrate their shűmei from the 7th of April. Afterwards, The actors were paraded in the streets of Kotohira in rickshaws [pictures and more details in Japanese|more details about the performances]. Moreover, these 3 actors were the big chiefs of the Kotohira Police Station in Kotohira for 1 day the 10th of April 2018 [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    The first edition of the Takenosuke no Kai, a gala program which will star Band˘ Takesabur˘'s disciple Band˘ Takenosuke III, will happen in ďsaka the 4th of August 2018 at the Daimaru Shinsaibashi Theater [more details].

    The Kabuki TV program Kabuki Kool, which is produced by NHK World TV, will have a 5th season in 10 episodes. It hosts the young star Kataoka Ainosuke and the first episode of the new season was broadcasted the 4th of April 2018. The next episode, about Kabuki conventions, will be broadcasted the 2nd and the 30th of May 2018, four times each day at 04:30 08:30 16:30 and 22:30 (UTC) [more details]. Haruka Christine, who was the female host for the previous 4 seasons, has been replaced by Sarah Alainn for the 2018 season.

    Onoe Ukon will perform outside Kabuki from the 6th to the 22nd of July 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the Kinokuniya Southern Theatre in Quiara AlegrÝa Hudes's drama "Water by the Spoonful". This drama will be directed by G2 (who has also translated the script in Japanese).

    Two posters for the May 2018 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    At the Kabukiza Gallery (5th floor of the Kabukiza building), a special exhibition about Kabuki during the 30 years of the Heisei era will start from the 3rd of May 2018. It is very likely to end with the Heisei era (31st of December 2018).

    April 2018 celebrated the successful comeback on stage of Ichikawa Ennosuke, in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza. The young star performed there the SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando drama "ONE PIECE" [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    31 March
    2018

    The programs for the Grand Kabuki Tours in the eastern and central provinces in July 2018 have been published!

  • Nakamura Shikan VIII and two of his three sons, Nakamura Hashinosuke IV and Nakamura Fukunosuke III, will celebrate their shűmei in different central cities [more details].
  • Onoe Kikunosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ and Nakamura Baishi will perform in different eastern cities [more details].
  • The program for the June 2018 educational Kabuki program at the National Theatre, called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class") has been published. "Renjishi" will be staged with Nakamura Matagor˘ and Nakamura Kash˘ in the roles of the father shishi and his cub [more details].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Onoe Ukon were the award-winners of the Grand Award (Taish˘) for the former actor and the Theater "New Face" Award (Engeki Shinjin Sh˘) for the latter actor of the 39th Matsuo Artistic Awards (Matsuo Gein˘ Sh˘). They received their prize the 28th of March 2018 at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel in T˘ky˘.

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘ perform a sanbas˘ ritual dance in the precincts of the Kamigamo Shrine, ahead of the coming 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei in Ky˘to (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII in Ky˘to at the Minamiza in November 2018 [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Ichikawa Chűsha received the 18th of March 2018 at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ the Incentive Award (Sh˘rei-sh˘) of the 34th Asakusa Artistic Awards (Asakusa Gein˘ Sh˘). During the same ceremony, the signed handprint of Nakamura Matagor˘ was taken and set into the Plaza of Stars (SutÔ no Hiroba in Japanese) on Orange Street (Orenji D˘ri in Japanese) in front of the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Nakamura Senjaku was one of the 8 award-winners of the 74th Japan Art Academy Awards (Nihon Geijutsuin Sh˘) for the year 2017.

    The world of Kabuki and the world of Otaku will collide for the third time in Kabuki history at the end of April 2018! Ch˘kabuki (literally Ultra-Kabuki) will be back! Nakamura Shid˘ will once again share the stage with the virtual 3D creature Hatsune Miku. They will perform together in a Ch˘kabuki dance-drama which will be entitled "Tsumoru Omoi Hana no Kaomise". This jidaimono will involve the fight for the imperial throne that is set in the Heian period. Nakamura Shid˘ and Hatsune Miku will play two roles each. It will staged at the Makuhari Messe the 28th and the 29th of April 2018, as part of the Niconico Ch˘kaigi 2018 event, an important yearly event for the Otaku tribes [more details].

    Three posters for the April 2018 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    Oda Eiichir˘'s internationally popular manga "ONE PIECE", which got his first Kabuki adaptation by Ichikawa Ennosuke in October 2015/November 2015 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, will be staged one more in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza in April 2018. The first time was in March 2016 in the same theater. Most of the actors will be Kabuki actors, with 3 non-Kabuki guest actors : Hira Takehiro, Kashima Noritoshi and Asano Kazuyuki [more details]. It will also be staged for the first time in Nagoya, in May 2018 at the Misonoza [more details].

    Pictures for the opening day at the Kabukiza and for the musical production entitled "KAWAII KABUKI - Momotar˘ by the Hello Kitty Troupe" in March 2018:

    28 February
    2018

    There will be Kabuki performances in Madrid from the 27th of June to the 1st of July 2018. The Heisei Nakamuraza, led by Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke, with Kataoka Kamez˘ and Nakamura Tsurumatsu, will travel to Spain as part of the events celebrating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Spain in 1868. They will perform in "Fuji Musume" and "Renjishi" at the Teatros del Canal in Madrid.

    The two programs for the April Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in April 2018 have been published [more details]. Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon will do his isse ichidai performance for the roles of the villains Tateba no Taheiji and Saeda Daigakunosuke in Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Ehon Gapp˘-ga-Tsuji".

    The two programs for the Dankikusai May Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza in May 2018 have been published [more details]. It will be the fifth Dankiku festival at the fifth Kabukiza since the passing away of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XII. Two important events will be commemorated : the 1080th anniversary of the Narita-san Temple, where the Deity Fud˘ My˘˘ is worshipped, and the 330th anniversary of the birth of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II (born in 1688). There is a deep connection between the the Narita-san Temple and the Ichikawa Danjűr˘ line of actors since Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I.

    The Minamiza will reopen in November 2018! Kabuki will be staged in both November 2018 and December 2018 to celebrate this long-awaited reopening. In November 2018, it will be the 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei in Ky˘to (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII.

    Matsumoto Haku˘ II and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X will celebrate their shűmei in Fukuoka at the Hakataza in June 2018. Matsumoto Haku˘ II will play the roles of the master of the Miuraya and S˘gor˘ in "Date no Jűyaku" and "Sakanaya S˘gor˘". His son Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X will play the 10 roles of "Date no Jűyaku" and the leading role of the dance-drama "Kagami Jishi". The two Living National Treasures Kataoka Nizaemon and Sakata T˘jűr˘ will be the guest stars. The former will play the roles of the evil Yashio and Shunkan in "Date no Jűyaku" and "Shunkan". The latter will lead the k˘j˘ [more details].

    The famous character Hello Kitty and her cute friends will play Kabuki from the 10th of March 2018 at the Mńrchen Theater in Sanrio Puroland. It will be a new musical production entitled "KAWAII KABUKI - Momotar˘ by the Hello Kitty Troupe". A new character named Kabuki Nyanyar˘, a character designated as a Kabuki Nyanĺbassador (ambassador) will also make his debut on stage. It is worthy to report that Ichikawa Emisabur˘ will be in charge of the acting guidance and the voice of Nakamura Shid˘ will be used [more details].

    The 14th of February 2018 the 125th Emperor of Japan Akihito and his wife the Empress of Japan Michiko went to the Kabukiza to enjoy "Kotohogu Sandai Kabuki no Nigiwai" in the evening program [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will perform in a special Buy˘ program from the 19th to the 20th of May 2018 in Ky˘tango at the Tango Bunka Kaikan (Tango Culture Center) [more details].

    There were mamemaki ceremonies for setsubun the 3rd of February 2017 at the Kabukiza and the Hakataza:

    Pictures for the opening day at the Kabukiza in February 2018:

    Nakamura Takanosuke and Nakamura Tamatar˘ will perform at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre from the 24th to the 27th of March 2018 in a special Buy˘ program which is supervised by Fujima Kanjűr˘ VIII and entitled "SUGATA" (3rd edition) [more details].

    31 January
    2018

    Reminder: the year 2018 is the 130th year from the opening of the Kabukiza. More precisely, this anniversary will be celebrated the 21th of November 2018.

    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Kataoka Gat˘ will appear on stage at the Kabukiza in February 2018 in the evening program in "Kabukiza Shibai no Nigiwai", which will be the lively and colorful k˘j˘ for the shűmei of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII. There will 6 Living National Treasures on stage for this k˘j˘!

    A new Celebration Curtain (iwai-maku) designed by Kusama Yayoi will be used in February 2018 at the Kabukiza the second month of the 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    It was reported in Band˘ Yajűr˘ĺs blog that the 20th of January 2018 at the Kabukiza, during the k˘j˘ for the 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII, the new Haku˘ told the audience that Prime Minister Abe Shinz˘ was present that evening. Then, just at the end of the speech of the new K˘shir˘, in the midst of the applause, a unexpected kakegoe from the 1st floor seats called out "Senry˘ yakusha! Sannin awasete sanzenry˘!" ("An actor worth a thousand ry˘! The three of you together are worth three thousand ry˘!"). According to Band˘ Yajűr˘, it was the voice of the Prime Minister.

    The 16th edition of the original Cocoon Kabuki will happen in May 2018 at the Theatre Cocoon [more details]. These performances recreate the atmosphere of the Edo koshibai and brings the actors closer to the audience. The play "Kirare Yosa" will be revised by the playwright Kushida Kazuyoshi. It is noteworthy to report that Nakamura Kankur˘ will unusually not take part in these performances.

    In January 2018 at the Kabukiza, Matsumoto Kin'ya III and Matsumoto Kin'ichi III, two disciples of the K˘raiya guild, respectively took the names of Matsumoto K˘emon II and Matsumoto K˘z˘ II, playing the roles of Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Mihara Ariemon in the drama "Sum˘ba", which was staged in the evening program of the 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII.

    The Zenshinza will perform in May 2018 at the National Theatre in Kawatake Mokuami's zangirimono "Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka" [more details].

    Nakamura Kazutar˘ took part in a parade in ďsaka the 10th of January 2018, which was part of the T˘ka Ebisu Festival at the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, which is located in the Naniwa Ward of ďsaka and is commonly (and affectiously) called Ebessan by the people of ďsaka. The T˘ka Ebisu Festival was held from the 9th to the 11th of January 2018. T˘ka meaning the 10th day in Japanese, this festival is usually held around the 10th of January and it is extremely popular in ďsaka. During this festival sacred bamboo branches are sold to business people. The branches, known as fukusasa, are decorated with lucky symbols. The young actor was paraded through shopping and entertainment districts on a special palanquin called hoe kago, surrounded by people singing a simple catchy folk song [more details in Japanese and pictures].

    The 10th of January at the Kabukiza and the 12th of January at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘, there were visits to Kabuki by two groups of geisha. The geisha from the hanamachi of Shinbashi, Yoshi-ch˘, Akasaka, Kagurazaka and Muk˘jima came at the Kabukiza. The geisha from the hanamachi of Asakusa went to the Asakusa K˘kaid˘. This kind of visit by a group of geisha is called S˘ken (literally "global viewing"). The geisha went to enjoy Kabuki and the audience were delighted to see them in the theater.

    Three posters for the February 2018 performances at the Kabukiza have been published:

    The 3rd edition of the Kudanji no Kai, a special gala which stars Ichikawa Ebiz˘'s disciple Ichikawa Kudanji, will happen in two cities:

  • The 24th of April 2018 in Ky˘to at the ROHM Theatre [more details].
  • The 26th of April 2018 in Noda at the Noda City Culture Center [more details].
  • Onoe Ukon, the grandson of Kiyomoto Enjudayű VI and the son of Kiyomoto Enjudayű VII, will take the name as a music master of Kiyomoto Eijudayű VII the 26th of February 2018 at the Kabukiza. There will be a special Kiyomoto gala program, which will also commemorate the 32nd anniversary (33rd memorial services) of the passing away of Kiyomoto Enjudayű VI. This program is entitled "Enjukai". Onoe Ukon's elder brother Kiyomoto Takahiro will take the name of Kiyomoto Saiju in the same program. Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku and Nakamura Kazutar˘ will perform in this program [more details].

    New year kagami-biraki the 2nd of January 2018 in Asakusa for Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Umemaru and Band˘ Kamez˘ [more details].

    Parade (oneri) in Fukuoka in the Kawabata area, which is centered around Hakata's oldest shopping arcade since the mid-1950s, for Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Onoe Matsuya, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    Kataoka Ainosuke will perform outside Kabuki, from the 27th of April to the 26th of May 2018 at the T˘ky˘ Metropolitan Theatre in Mitani K˘ki's drama "Sake to Namida to Jikiru to Haido" (entitled in English "JEKYLL & HYDE & so on").

    Nakamura Shid˘ will perform outside Kabuki from the 3rd to the 26th of March 2018 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ in the drama "Edo wa Moete-iru ka TOUCH AND GO".

    Nakamura Kikaku will perform outside Kabuki, from the 8th to the 18th of February 2018 in T˘ky˘ at the Galaxy Theatre and from the 23rd to the 25th of February 2018 in ďsaka at the Morinomiya Piloti Hall, in Nishida Daisuke's drama "Kake Hayabusa Hito Yamato". He will also perform in the Japanese version of Anna Ziegler's drama "Photograph 51", which will be directed by Sarna Lapine and which will be staged in T˘ky˘ at the Theatre West of the T˘ky˘ Metropolitan Theatre from the 6th to the 22nd of April 2018 and in ďsaka at the Umeda Arts Theater from the 25th to the 26th of April 2018.

    The Duty of Remembrance:

  • The 22nd of February 2018, we will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the passing away of Shinozuka Jirozaemon I. This important Kamigata actor died the 23rd day of the 1st lunar month of 3rd year of the Ky˘h˘ era, which was the 22nd of February 1718 in the western calendar.
  • The 27th of February 2018, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the passing away of Nakayama Yoshio I. This important Kamigata actor died the 23rd day of the 1st lunar month of 1st year of the Bunsei era, which was the 27th of February 1818 in the western calendar.
  • They are cute or creepy. They prance around street fairs, sporting events, community gatherings and tourist destinations. They reprensent prefectures, cities, museums, schools, institutions ... even militaries forces or prisons. If you go to Japan, you are very likely to meet a few of them. I am talking about the yuru-kyara, the mascots, which have invaded Japan during the 2010s and are still on the rise. The yuru-kyara was made up of two real words, yurui meaning loose or relaxed, and kyara, a word coming from English and meaning character. The mascots are everywhere ... and we would like to report the "birth" of REN-G, the official mascot for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Phonetically, Ren-G is renjţ ... which is close to "Renjishi". This is a "double mascot" which symbolizes the two shishi of the dance-drama "Renjishi", the two mythical, lion-like creatures that "bring happiness and ward off evil" [pictures and more details in Japanese].

    News | News 2017 | News 2016 | News 2015 | News 2014 | News 2013 | News 2012 | News 2011 | News 2010 | News 2009 | News 2008 | News 2007 | News 2006
     
    Search this site powered by FreeFind
      Site map | Disclaimer
    Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News