SHďRIYA ARAGďRď

Sh˘riya Aragor˘ deep in thought
Short movie directed by Simon de Meguro (Kinkazan Island, some years ago)

 

Self-presentation

My name is Sh˘riya Aragor˘ (Aragor˘ of the Laughing Badger House). I was born in France in a city that could be compared to Ky˘to for many non-obvious reasons. I spent 10 years in Japan, from 1994 to 2003. From the first day of my long stay in Japan, I had in mind to go enjoying some Kabuki at least once ... you know ... the classic list of things to do before leaving Japan. Time went by, year after year, and I kept on postponing my first trip to the Kabukiza ... until December 1998. I went there and I had the shock of my life. It was a strong revelation. A kind of smaller version of what has happened to St Paul on the road to Damascus. I fell in love with the art of Kabuki.

Thinking about it, I had the chance, thanks to this amazing December 1998, program to enjoy "Ageya", "Tengajaya" and "Kumo no Hy˘shimai", with Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ and Ichikawa Ennosuke's troupe in full regalia. I sometimes wonder how things would have turned if my introduction to Kabuki were say "Genroku Chűshingura" or any other extremely serious (too serious, too rational and without any of the Kabuki magic in it) Shinkabuki dramas (donĺt get me wrong, I respect Shinkabuki ů but it does not give me any pleasure). If it were "Genroku Chűshingura", most likely there would have been no kabuki21.com at all! I would have gone to Kabukiza once, just like so many foreigners staying in Japan ... I would have checked the Kabuki box, the one located above "Climbing Mount Fuji" and below "Going to Sum˘" and that would have been the end of the story.

Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ and Ichikawa Ennosuke for the first day at the Grand Kabuki! I felt I was the luckier and happiest person on planet Earth when the Kabukiza stage curtain was pulled to end the show. Tears were filling my eyes and I swore to myself this would not be my last time at the Kabukiza! Next month, I was there for "Sanmon", "Seki no To" and "K˘chiyama" with a new year gorgeous casting. Getting severely addicted to Kabuki, I went to the Kabukiza, the National Theatre or others venues to enjoy Kabuki several times a month. I started to read a little bit and learn more about this art and so many questions popped up. Being very interested in History, I wanted to learn more about the origin of Kabuki, the different periods in Kabuki history, the lineages and ... I was quite frustrated for I could not find what I was looking for on the internet (it was before Wikipedia!). I've created a little website, gathering data about Kabuki dramas, actors, history, glossary, programs ... it was in French at the beginning (by the way I think it is still online somewhere). Then, I've decided to use the 21st century Lingua Franca and started in 2002 kabuki21.com. It took me quite a long time to get everything in English .. not a very good English unfortunately ... but all the contents is now available and readable by more people around the world.

I am not an expert, I am not a Kabuki scholar and I am not a fine connoisseur with several decades of Kabuki on my art clock. The consequence is that there are (unfortunately) many mistakes to be corrected here and there. This amateur project is nevertheless still going on, with a regular monthly update, and it goes without saying that it is open to all. If you feel in the mood to write a summary of a Kabuki drama, I would be extremely delighted to integrate your work within kabuki21.com!

Favourite Actors

Band˘ Mitsugor˘
Band˘ Tamasabur˘
Ichikawa Danjűr˘*
Ichikawa Danz˘
Ichikawa Ennosuke
Kataoka Gat˘
Kataoka Nizaemon
Kataoka Takatar˘
Nakamura Hashinosuke
Nakamura Jakuemon*
Nakamura Kanjaku
Nakamura Kanzabur˘*
Nakamura Senjaku
Nakamura Shibajaku
Nakamura Tokiz˘
Nakamura Tomijűr˘*
Onoe Kikugor˘
Onoe Kikunosuke
Sakata T˘jűr˘
Sawamura S˘jűr˘*

(*) R.I.P. !

Favourite plays

Abura no Jigoku
Botan D˘r˘
Jusshuk˘
Kamiyui Shinza
Kinkakuji
Kurumabiki
Masakado
Naozamurai
Narukami
Natsu Matsuri
Numazu
Renjishi
Sagi Musume
Sakura Hime
Sanmon
Seki no To
Shunkan
Sodehagi Saimon
Ya-no-Ne
Yotsuya Kaidan

Sh˘riya Aragor˘ carrying out a morphing experiment
(Champs-ElysÚes, November 2006)

 

Beside Kabuki, Sh˘riya Aragor˘ is fond of Literature (Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Lui Borges, JosÚ Saramago, Abe K˘b˘, Mishima Yukio, Marcel AymÚ, HonorÚ de Balzac, Anatole France, Ed McBain), Jazz Fusion (Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Pat Metheny, Stanley Clarke, Erik Truffaz), SF masters (PK Dick, Iain M. Banks, Vernor Vinge, Ursula Le Guin), Brazilian Music (Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, Seu Jorge, Zeca Pagodinho), travelling (all over the world!), good old Hard Rock/Southen Rock (Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Blue Íyster Cult, Cinderella, Deep Purple, Guns N'Roses, Judas Priest, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Magnum, Molly Hatchet, Mot÷rhead, Saxon, UFO, Whitesnake, Y&T), Japanese movies (1950s/1960s masterpieces), anything Pythonesque (big fan of the Monty Python), Belgium Biers (Westmalle, Rochefort, Chimay, Orval), History (Roman Empire, the Golden Age of Venezia, the rise and fall of the Incas, the Eastern Front 1941~1945), Italian classics (Fellini, Scola, Risi) and ... (nobody's perfect) futebol (Botafogo, FC Internazionale Milano, Olympique Lyonnais).

 
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