Banshű Sarayashiki: this is a Kabuki dramatization of a famous ghost story. Okiku, a lady-in-waiting
in a samurai mansion breaks one of a set of ten precious plates and is executed for her mistake.
Her ghost then appears nightly, counting out the plates, this time desperately hoping that she will find ten plates.
Starring Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Kataoka Kamez˘ in the roles of Okiku and the cruel Asayama Tetsuzan and Tetsuzan's retainer Iwabuchi Chűta.
(The Dropped Coat)
This play transforms a classical Ky˘gen
farce into Kabuki dance. Delivering a message for his lord, the servant
Tar˘kaja (Band˘ Mitsugor˘) charms a princess and in reward for a dance showing
a famous battle, he receives a formal coat and large amounts of drink.
Knowing his lord is a greedy man, he tries to hide the coat on his return,
but unfortunately, the sake that
helped him feel so good earlier works against him.
Edo no Uta Nasake no Hitofushi:
(The Song of the Shamisen Player)
This is a rare performance of a play written for the famous Ichimura Uzaemon XV,
one of the most popular and most handsome stars of his time. It shows a samurai who goes through all kinds of
comic difficulties and finally is forced to make a living as a shamisen player.
At the conclusion of the piece, the star actor (Kataoka Nizaemon) plays the shamisen himself on stage.
Featuring also Nakamura Tokiz˘, Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Band˘ Takesabur˘.
Kurumabiki: this short scene shows the three brothers that dominate
the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami",
each with a distinctive personality. Sakuramaru (Kataoka Takatar˘) and
Ume˘maru (Kataoka Ainosuke) have been rendered
masterless by Kan Sh˘j˘'s exile. The third brother Matsu˘maru (Kataoka Shinnosuke) serves
the villain Shihei (Kataoka Gat˘), who is responsible for the downfall of Kan Sh˘j˘.
Sakuramaru and Ume˘maru try to destroy Shihei's carriage but are stopped by Matsu˘maru
and the magical glare of Shihei. Finally the brothers agree to suspend their disputes
until they all meet at their father's seventieth birthday party.
Ise Ondo: this play is famous for its classical
depiction of a woman who must pretend to reject her lover for his sake and
for the beautiful and gruesome dance-like killing scene at the end,
done to the music of the Ise pleasure quarters. Fukuoka Mitsugi (Kataoka Nizaemon),
a young apprentice at the holy Shrine of Ise tries to help find the stolen
treasured sword of his clan out of duty to his former lord. Mitsugi has the sword
in his possession, but must now find the certificate of authentication and
in order to get it for him, Okon (Nakamura Tokiz˘), a courtesan who is in love with Mitsugi
must pretend to forsake Mitsugi. But he believes that she has truly betrayed
him and further angered by the humiliating accusations of Manno (Kataoka Hidetar˘), the head
maid of the Aburaya brothel, Mitsugi inadvertently draws the sword, said
to be cursed, and the rampage begins. Featuring also Band˘ Mitsugor˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Kataoka Gat˘
in the roles of the cook Kisuke, the yakko Rinpei and Fujinami Sazen.
Sources: Earphone Guide website
Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website for "Banshű Sarayashiki" and "Edo no Uta Nasake no Hitofushi"