APRIL 2011

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘), 2 shows in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 2 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza)!

  • Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Onoe Kikunosuke and Nakamura Kinnosuke perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura T˘z˘ perform at the Kanamaruza!
  • Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Nakamura Shid˘ perform at the Minamiza!
  • Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 April 2011 (Shigatsu ďkabuki)
    April Grand Kabuki

    Oedo Miyage

    Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
    (Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Fűin Giri)


    Ehon Taik˘ki (Amagasaki Kankyo)

    Meoto D˘j˘ji

    Gonza to Sukejű


    Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Kataoka Gat˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Sadanji, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku


  • Oedo Miyage:
    (A Souvenir of Edo)
    This modern play is a light comedy with a fanciful episode from the life of commoners in the Edo period. Two women, Otsuji (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) and Oyű (Nakamura Kanjaku), who travel annually to Edo to sell the cloth that they weave encounter a young couple. Moved by the spirit of romance, Otsuji spends all the money that she has made for a once in a lifetime meeting with a fabulously handsome Kabuki actor (Nakamura Kinnosuke).
  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan. Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance. Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy. This performance stars kiku7 as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Tokiwa Gozen, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • Fűin Giri:
    (Breaking the Seals)
    In the pleasure quarters, the most important possessions were money and reputation. In danger of losing his lover, the courtesan Umegawa, the money courier Kameya Chűbŕ breaks the seals on a package of money entrusted to him after being taunted by a rival, even though the use of such money is punishable by death. Starring Sakata T˘jűr˘ as Chűbŕ, Nakamura Senjaku as Umegawa, Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Chűbŕ's treacherous friend Tanbaya Hachiemon, Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Oen, the proprietress of the teahouse, and Kataoka Gat˘ as Jiemon.
  • Amagasaki Kankyo: Akechi Mitsuhide (known in this play as Takechi Mitsuhide) is known as the "three day ruler of Japan", having only control for a brief time after attacking and killing Oda Nobunaga (known in this play as Harunaga) and before being defeated in turn by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (known in this play as Mashiba Hisayoshi). In the most famous act of this play, after assassinating Harunaga, Mitsuhide comes to see his mother, but she refuses to forgive him for betraying his lord. Mitsuhide sees his son and mother both die before his eyes as he tries to defeat his rival Hisayoshi, but instead is confronted with the drama of his own immediate family. Starring Ichikawa Danjűr˘ and Onoe Kikugor˘ as Mitsuhide and Hisayoshi. Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Band˘ Mitsugor˘ as Mitsuhide's wife Misao, Mitsuhide's son Jűjir˘, Jűjir˘'s fiancee Hatsugiku, Mitsuhide's mother Satsuki and Sat˘ Masakiyo.
  • Meoto 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 there are two dancers and one 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 Kikunosuke as the female dancer and Onoe Sh˘roku as the male dancer.
  • Gonza to Sukejű: in this comedy by Okamoto Kid˘, two palanquin bearers constantly argue and their wives, but when they witness a murder, it changes everything in the nagaya tenement where they live. This modern play takes one of the classic stories of the wise magistrage ďoka Tadasuke and looks at it from the point of view of common townspeople. Starring Band˘ Mitsugor˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku in the roles of Gonza and Sukejű. Featuring also Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 9 ~ 24 April 2011 (Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai)

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

    Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana (K˘chiyama)


    Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori

    Fuji Musume

    Waki Noboru Mizu-ni Koi Taki (Koi Tsukami)


    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa En'ya, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Matsue


    27th edition of the Spring Kabuki performance Shikoku Konpira Kabuki ďshibai at the Kanamaruza on Shikoku Island.

  • Kumagai Jin'ya: this play is a dramatization of the clash between the Genji general Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane and the Heike warrior Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani, one of the most famous passages of the epic "Tales of the Heike". In the Kabuki version, on the cryptic orders of the Genji leader Yoshitsune, Kumagai hides the enemy warrior Atsumori and has his own son take the warrior's place. On the battlefield, Kumagai has to kill his own son in Atsumori's place. Things become worse when his wife Sagami and Atsumori's mother Fuji-no-Kata arrive at his camp. In the highlight of the play, he tells them the story of his mortal battle with Atsumori, keeping Atsumori's well-being and his own sacrifice a secret. He then shows the head of Atsumori for inspection by his leader to see if he has interpreted his orders correctly. This performance stars Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Kumagai, with Nakamura Shibajaku as Kumagai's wife Sagami, Ichikawa Komaz˘ as Fuji-no-Kata, Ichikawa Monnosuke as Yoshitsune and Ichikawa En'ya as Midaroku.
  • K˘chiyama: the tea priest K˘chiyama (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) 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 Baigyoku) 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. Featuring also Nakamura T˘z˘ and Ichikawa Komaz˘.
  • Gozonji Suzu-ga-Mori: The young samurai Shirai Gonpachi (Nakamura Baigyoku) is ambushed near the execution grounds of Edo on a dark night, but he manages to escape after a gruesome but humorous fight scene. He is watched by Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ (Matsumoto K˘shir˘), an Edo boss, who is impressed with his fighting skills and agrees to give him shelter in the city. This meeting between the handsome young Gonpachi and the heroic Ch˘bŕ is one of the most famous meetings in Kabuki.
  • 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 Shibajaku.
  • Koi Tsukami: a koi tsukami is a spectacular scene in a Kabuki drama, where a hero fights in real water (honmizu) the spirit of a giant carp. During the Edo period, it was developped by the Onoe clan, from Onoe Kikugor˘ I to Onoe Kikugor˘ III through Onoe Sh˘roku I. In modern times, it became the trademark of the Ichikawa Udanji line. "Waki Noboru Mizu-ni Koi Taki", a rarely-staged drama, was premiered in September 1914 at the Hong˘za of the drama "Waki Noboru Mizu-ni Koi Taki" [more details] and it used the sekai of the Priest Seigen and the Princess Sakura. Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura Shibajaku in the roles of Takimado Shiganosuke (in reality the spirit of a giant carp) and Princess Kozakura.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Koi Tsukami"

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 3 ~ 17 April 2011 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Dance Performances

    Shinobi Yoru Koi no Kusemono (Masakado)

    Nihon Furisode Hajime


    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shid˘


  • Masakado: after the death of Masakado, the great pretender to the imperial throne, the only one to carry on his cause is his daughter, Takiyasha (Band˘ Tamasabur˘). She appears mysteriously in the ruins of her father's palace and tries to seduce Mitsukuni (Nakamura Shid˘), a warrior sent to investigate mysterious happenings at the mansion. In dance Takiyasha tells of how she fell in love with Mitsukuni, then, also in dance, Mitsukuni tells the story of how the traitor Masakado was killed. Takiyasha breaks down in tears, revealing her true identity. After a dance-like fight, the mansion collapses and Takiyasha poses on the roof with the banner of her clan.
  • Nihon Furisode Hajime: this dance is a rare example of a story from ancient Japanese mythology in a puppet play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon adapted for the Kabuki theater. As part of an annual ritual, Princess Inada has been chosen to be sacrificed to a fierce serpent that lives in the mountains of Izumo. The serpent arrives in the guise of a beautiful princess, but before it can attack it is attracted to eight jars full of sake. The jars are a trap planted by the god Susanoo, who confronts the beast in its true form as an eight-headed serpent, to save the princess. Starring Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as Princess Iwanaga, in reality the serpent. Featuring also Nakamura Shid˘ in the role of Susanoo.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 22 ~ 27 April 2011 (Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    Kabuki Appreciation Class

    Tsuri Onna


    Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Kamez˘, Kataoka Matsujir˘, Kataoka Rikiya, Kamimura Kichitar˘


    19th edition of a pedagogical show in Ky˘to combining explanation for beginners (done by the professional storyteller Katsura Kujaku) and the dance-drama "Tsuri Onna".

  • Tsuri Onna: a dance based on a classical Ky˘gen farce. A master longs for a wife and is told by the gods in a dream to go fishing for one. He is united with a beautiful princess. His servant Tar˘kaja (Kataoka Kamez˘) wants a wife as well, but when he goes fishing, is stuck with a very surprising companion, played by Kamimura Kichiya in a rare, humorous, ugly woman role.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

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