Sakata T˘jűr˘ celebrates his shűmei in ďsaka, playing the roles of
Danshichi Kurobŕ and the shiraby˘shi Hanako in the drama "Natsu Matsuri" and the dance "Musume D˘j˘ji".
Terutora Haizen: a rare performance of a historical
play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. The warlord Nagao Terutora (Kataoka Gat˘)
wants the services of the great strategist Yamamoto Kansuke who is now the
strategist for his rival Takeda Shingen. The wife of one of Terutora's retainers
is Kansuke's sister and so Terutora invites Kansuke's wife and mother to see her.
When the two women arrive, Terutora brings the food tray himself and knowing what
he has in mind, the old woman Koshiji (Band˘ Takesabur˘) kicks it. The furious Terutora
wants to kill them all, but is restrained by Kansuke's wife Okatsu (Kataoka Hidetar˘),
who desperately defends her mother, despite the fact that she cannot speak and
must express herself in koto music instead.
Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a
holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes.
The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong.
This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son.
This performance features Nakamura Kanjaku in the role of the parent shishi
and his son Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the role of the cub.
K˘j˘: there is a close relationship between the stage and the
audience in Kabuki and this is shown by these ceremonial stage announcements
where the top stars of the company address the audience directly. This month,
the actors celebrate the shűmei of Sakata T˘jűr˘.
Natsu Matsuri: this grisly murder story became a smashing hit
when it was first performed in 1745 because of the chivalrous spirit of the
many ďsaka characters appearing in this story, the contrast between a brutal murder
and the jovial mood of a summer festival, and the splashing of real water
used on the stage. Danshichi, a gallant fishmonger, does everything he can to protect
the weak young son of his patron with the help of his companion Tokubŕ
and the older Sabu. Although even Tokubŕ's wife Otatsu heroically helps out,
in the end, Danshichi is betrayed by his evil father-in-law Giheiji and,
in the most famous scene of the play, must kill him in a mud-covered fight
in a lonely alley with the shouts of the local festival nearby.
This program stars Sakata T˘jűr˘ as Danshichi,
with Kataoka Nizaemon, Kataoka Gat˘ and
Onoe Kikugor˘ as Tokubŕ, Sabu and Otatsu.
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 Kataoka Nizaemon as
Lord ďkura and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Tokiwa Gozen.
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
Hanako is played by Sakata T˘jűr˘.
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.
Source: Earphone Guide website