OCTOBER 2008

2 shows in Nagoya (Misonoza), 10 in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Zenshinza Gekij˘, Asakusa K˘kaid˘, NHK Hall, Heisei Nakamuraza) and 1 tour (Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour)!

Misonoza (Nagoya)
Dates 1 ~ 25 October 2008 (Kichirei Kaomise K˘gy˘ Kabuki)
MatinÚe

Tenmangű Natane no Gokű
(Shihei no Nana Warai)

Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji

Gion Sairei Shink˘ki (Kinkakuji)

Evening

Tsuru Kame

Shuzenji Monogatari

Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)

Fuji Musume

Tomo Yakko

Casting

Nakamura Kinnosuke, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Gat˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘

Comments

The first kaomise of the year and the 44th kaomise at the Misonoza. It celebrates the shűmei of Nakamura Kinnosuke, who plays the roles of Konoshita T˘kichi, Minamoto no Yoriie and Lord Matsue in "Kinkakuji", "Shuzenji Monogatari" and "K˘chiyama".

  • Shihei no Nana Warai:
    (Shihei's Seven Laughs)
    The Heian period court minister Sugawara no Michizane is famous for being exiled to Kyushu by a political rival. He died angry and vengeful and was said to be transformed into a thunder god. His angry spirit was placated by making him a god and now Michizane is worshipped as Tenjin, the god of learning. This is the subject of one of the most famous plays of Bunraku and Kabuki ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami") and Michizane's political rival, Fujiwara no Shihei, is always depicted as a larger-than-life villain, an evil courtier with magical powers. This play, a rarely performed classic of the Kansai style of Kabuki, and reverses the story totally. Michizane (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) is the victim of slander and Shihei (Kataoka Gat˘) does his best to try to mend the situation, but unfortunately Michizane is exiled. But after Michizane leaves, Shihei shows his true self and in a famous scene, laughs triumphantly. Shihei engineered Michizane's exile himself.
  • Musume 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. The role of the shiraby˘shi is played by Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, who performs at the Misonoza his kiju kinen dance. This performance includes the bombastic oshimodoshi finale, with Sakata T˘jűr˘'s elder son Nakamura Kanjaku in the role of the demon-queller.
  • Kinkakuji: "Kinkakuji" retains the epic scale of plays adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater and is full of miracles and larger-than-life characters common on the puppet stage. It is full of the classical forms of all kinds of stylized characters and the role of Princess Yuki is considered to be one of the most difficult and beautiful roles for an onnagata female role specialist. Matsunaga Daizen (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) has defeated the Sh˘gun and has set up base in the Golden Pavilion. The brilliant strategist Hisayoshi, disguised as a disgruntled retainer named T˘kichi (Nakamura Kinnosuke), pretends to come under Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within. Princess Yuki (Nakamura Tokiz˘) is being held prisoner by Daizen, but is able to free herself by drawing a mouse in the cherry petals of the tree that she is tied to. It comes to life and chews the ropes holding her.
  • Tsuru Kame: the crane (tsuru) is said to live for a thousand years, the tortoise (kame) is said to live for ten thousand years. Together, they are a traditional symbol of longevity. There is no particular plot to this play, but simply shows a visit by the empress to the Moon Pavilion where two courtiers dance as the spirits of the crane and tortoise. Starring Nakamura Tokiz˘ as the empress and his two sons, Nakamura Baishi and Nakamura Mantar˘, as the spirits of the crane and the tortoise.
  • Shuzenji Monogatari: a mask carver (Nakamura Tomijűr˘) has been ordered to make a portrait of Yoriie (Nakamura Kinnosuke), the second Sh˘gun, but despairs of his artistic powers because no matter how many times he tries, the mask always shows the signs of death. But finally he learns that the mask holds the secrets of the tragic fate of Yoriie and his own daughter. This modern play by Okamoto Kid˘ is probably the greatest classic of New Kabuki (Shinkabuki), a perfect blend of the technique of old Kabuki and modern ideas of drama.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) is a skilled thief and extortionist, but cannot turn down a request to help those in need. He disguises himself as a high-ranking priest to try to gain the freedom of a girl held by a powerful samurai lord (Nakamura Kinnosuke) because she will not become his mistress. Using the famous poetic cadences of the late 19th century playwright Mokuami, K˘chiyama not only succeeds in his mission to rescue the girl, but he manages to extort a fair amount for himself.
  • 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 Senjaku.
  • Tomo Yakko: a samurai footman rushes after his master in the pleasure quarters, but loses sight of him. He dances with pride in his master and enjoys his dance so much that he begins emphasizing it with vigorous foot stamping. Starring Nakamura Kanjaku in the role of the yakko.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 October 2008 (Geijutsusai Jűgatsu ďkabuki)
    MatinÚe

    Koi Ny˘b˘ Somewake Tazuna
    (Shigenoi Kowakare)

    Yakko D˘j˘ji

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

    Fuji Musume

    Evening

    Honch˘ Nijűshik˘

  • Jusshuk˘
  • Kitsunebi
  • Yuki no Yűbe Iriya no Azemichi (Naozamurai)

    Hanabusa Shűjaku no Shishi

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Shikan, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Fukusuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Sawamura Tanosuke, Ichimura Kakitsu, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Onoe Matsuya, Onoe Ukon, Band˘ Kokichi, Kataoka Aoi

    Comments

  • Shigenoi Kowakare:
    (Shigenoi's Parting from her Son)
    This play was adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater and was written by its greatest playwright, Chikamatsu Monzaemon. A young horse driver is invited to help cheer up a little princess. But the boy happens to be the son of the princess's nurse, Shigenoi (Nakamura Fukusuke). She was forced to abandon him since he was the result of a forbidden relationship. Now she must turn her back on him again to keep any shame from falling on the princess.
  • Yakko D˘j˘ji: "Musume D˘j˘ji" is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at D˘j˘ji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version the dancer is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Sakanaya S˘gor˘: S˘gor˘ (Onoe Kikugor˘), 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.
  • 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 Nakamura Shikan.
  • Jusshuk˘: Princess Yaegaki is mourning the death of his fiance Katsuyori, but as she burns incense in his memory, she notices the resemblance between the new gardener and her fiance's portrait. The gardener is in fact Katsuyori, who has entered the household of Yaegaki's father to regain the possession of a stolen family treasure, a famous helmet, with the help of Nureginu, a woman who also mourns for the man that died in the place of the real Katsuyori. Unfortunately, Yaegaki's father has also seen through the disguise and plans to kill Katsuyori. The role of Princess Yaegaki, one of the most important onnagata roles, is played by Band˘ Tamasabur˘, supported by Onoe Kikunosuke and Nakamura Fukusuke in the roles of Katsuyori and Nureginu.
  • Kitsunebi: magical foxes possess Princess Yaegaki (Band˘ Tamasabur˘) to help her stealing a precious helmet, the treasure of the Shingen clan, and to allow her to save the life of her beloved Katsuyori.
  • Naozamurai: the thief Naozamurai has been betrayed and is on the run. He risks one last meeting with his lover, the courtesan Michitose, but he has never revealed his true identity to her and as far as she knows, he is a wealthy merchant. On a freezing, snow-bound night, in a romantic scene accompanied by the lush and erotic singing of Kiyomoto narrative music, the two lovers Naozamurai and Michitose meet and part forever. Starring Onoe Kikugor˘ as Naozamurai and the popular young star Onoe Kikunosuke, Onoe Kikugor˘'s son, as Michitose.
  • Shűjaku Jishi: lion dances (shishi) show a vigorous masculine spirit that is the guardian of a sacred mountain in China. But the Kabuki tradition transforms this fierce dance into a showpiece for an elegant female role specialist. Nakamura Fukusuke stars as a top-ranking courtesan elegantly in a banquet parlor who is then transformed into a feminine version of the spirit of the lion.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 27 October 2008
    Program

    Tair˘

    Casting

    Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura T˘z˘

    Comments

    This program commemorates the 12th anniversary (13th memorial service) of the late playwright H˘j˘ Hideji (1902~1996).

  • Tair˘: Ii Naosuke was the head of state in Japan in 1860 when there were pressures from inside and outside the country. Imperial loyalists demanded that the Sh˘gun step down and hand over rule to the emperor to resist the foreign barbarians. The United States and other countries insisted that Japan open its doors. On March 3, at the snow-covered gate to the Sh˘gun's castle, Ii Naosuke was assassinated by imperial loyalists. This modern play is a rare revival of a historical epic on a grand scale about the life of Ii Naosuke by H˘j˘ Hideji. Naosuke began as the fourteenth son of the lord of the Hikone domain with no hope of advancement, but found himself catapulted to the top of the Japanese political establishment with the title of tair˘ or "supreme councilor". The play shows the turbulent disputes with the members of the Mito clan and the imperial court and the events that led to the controversial Ansei Purge when Naosuke imprisoned and executed everyone opposed to his policies. But this famous and reviled historical figure is shown through the delicate private side of his life. His days of poverty in Hikone with his beloved mistress Oshizu, the difficult relations between Masako, the high-born wife he was forced to accept when he became a samurai lord and Oshizu, who had the status of secondary wife and his private torment as he pursues what he believes is the only way for Japan and the Sh˘gunate to survive, even though it makes him hated by everyone. When this play premiered, the role of Ii Naosuke was played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII (1910~1982) and this month will be taken by his son, Nakamura Kichiemon, who has become famous for his performances as Ii Naosuke in another play written by H˘j˘ Hideji and made famous by his father. This month will mark the first revival of this vast historical epic and will bring new dimensions to Nakamura Kichiemonĺs performance of the role of Ii Naosuke.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Heisei Nakamuraza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 October 2008
    Program A

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Kabuto Aratame
  • Shinmotsu, Ninj˘, Uramon
  • Hangan Seppuku, Shiro Akewatashi
  • Michiyuki Tabiji no Hanamuko (Ochiudo)
  • Program B

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Gion Ichiriki Jaya
  • Uchiiri, Okuniwa Sensui, Shibabeya, Hikiage
  • Program C

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Kabuto Aratame
  • Rikiya J˘shi, Matsukiri
  • Shinmotsu, Ninj˘
  • Michiyuki Tabiji no Yomeiri
  • Yamashina Kankyo
  • Program D

    Kanadehon Chűshingura

  • Tepp˘ Watashi, Futatsudama
  • Kanpei Harakiri
  • Gion Ichiriki Jaya
  • Casting

    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Band˘ Shingo

    Comments

    New edition of the Heisei Nakamuraza, which is built in the precincts of the Sens˘ji Temple in the popular district of Asakusa. Nakamura Kanzabur˘ and his troupe will stage for the first time the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura", in four different programs with the very rare production of the second act of this drama in Program C (the "Rikiya J˘shi" and "Matsukiri" scenes). The Heisei Nakamuraza stars for the very first time Kataoka Nizaemon!

    Zenshinza Gekij˘ (Kichij˘ji)
    Dates 10 ~ 20 October 2008 (Zenshinza Jűgatsu K˘en)
    Program

    Gedatsu no Kinu Momiji Kasane

    Casting

    Arashi Keishi, Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Segawa Kikunoj˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Arashi Hironari, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke

    Comments

    ???

    Asakusa K˘kaid˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 22 ~ 25 October 2008 (Zenshinza Jűgatsu K˘en)
    Program

    Gedatsu no Kinu Momiji Kasane

    Casting

    Arashi Keishi, Kawarazaki Kunitar˘, Segawa Kikunoj˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Arashi Hironari, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke

    Comments

    ???

    NHK Hall (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 27 October 2008 (Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai)
    Program

    Shinjű Ten no Amijima (Kawash˘)

    Casting

    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Toranosuke, Nakamura Jűjir˘

    Comments

    35th edition of Koten Gein˘ Kansh˘ Kai (literally the "Classics Entertainment Appreciation Association"), a yearly performance produced by the National TV network NHK. The program includes one ky˘gen, one Kabuki play, one traditional dance and traditional music.

    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki Tour
    Dates 4 ~ 15 October 2008 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Program

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)

    Kanjinch˘

    Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Sawamura Tetsunosuke

    Comments

    Short tour for the K˘raiya guild. Matsumoto K˘shir˘ plays for the 1000th times the role of Musashib˘ Benkei in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘", the 15th of October 2008 in the city Nara, on a special stage built within the precincts of the T˘daiji temple. "Hikimado" is not staged the 15th of October as it is replaced by a religious ceremony.

  • Hikimado: originally written for the puppet theater, this play shows a tragedy of commoners caught between their duty and their feelings toward their loved ones. A sum˘ wrestler named Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ (Band˘ Kamesabur˘) has killed a man and takes refuge at the home of his mother. Unfortunately, her son (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) has been ordered to arrest him. All of these complicated conflicts are symbolized by the lightness and darkness created by the humble skylight (hikimado in Japanese) as a rope is pulled to move a wooden shutter.
  • Kanjinch˘: probably the most popular Kabuki play today, it includes dance, comedy and the heart-warming pathos of a band of heroes during their last days. Disguised as a band of traveling priests the fugitive general Yoshitsune and his small band of retainers are stopped at a road barrier. They escape only through the quick thinking of the head retainer, a warrior priest named Musashib˘ Benkei, who improvises the text of an elaborate imperial decree. Having escaped danger Benkei and the others describe their days of glory and hardships on the road to escape in a moving dance. This program stars Matsumoto K˘shir˘ in the role of Benkei, with Ichikawa Komaz˘ and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

     
    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