JUNE 2007

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon), 1 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in Nagoya (Chűnichi Theatre) and 2 tours (Kansai, Zenshinza)!

  • Kataoka Nizaemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun and Nakamura Shibajaku perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Onoe Kikugor˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kanjaku and Ichikawa Danshir˘ perform at the Hakataza!
  • Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke and Nakamura Fukusuke perform at the Theatre Cocoon!
  • The Omodakaya guild performs at the Chűnichi Theatre!
  • Nakamura Senjaku and Kataoka Takatar˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2007 (Rokugatsu ďkabuki)

    Imoseyama Onna Teikin

  • Komatsubara
  • Hana Watashi
  • Yoshinogawa
  • Enma to Seirai

    Ky˘kaku Harusame Gasa


    Genroku Chűshingura
    (Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘)

    Mekura Nagaya Ume-ga-Kagatobi

    Funa Benkei


    Kataoka Nizaemon, Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Nakamura Shibajaku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Karoku, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura T˘z˘


  • Imoseyama: "Imoseyama Onna Teikin", is a masterpiece by Chikamatsu Hanji (1725~1783) first presented in 1771 in the puppet theater. It is an epic taken from early Japanese history, weaving together history, legend and myth. The country chafes under the domination of the dictator Iruka. This short section of the full-length play shows the story of two rival families who are only alike in being dominated by the dictator until a tragedy reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet brings them together.
  • Komatsubara: on a beautiful spring day, handsome young Koganosuke (Nakamura Baigyoku), son of Daihanji and Hinadori (Nakamura Kaishun), the beautiful daughter of Sadaka, widow of Dazai happen to meet and fall in love, not realizing that their families are bitter enemies, with estates on either side of the Yoshino river. But Koganosuke also has heavy duties and helps Uneme, the daughter of the loyal minister Fujiwara no Kamatari to escape from the clutches of the evil minister Emiji.
  • Hana Watashi: Iruka (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) blames Koganosuke for the loss of Uneme and has heard of his love for Hinadori. He fears that these two rival clans may be plotting against him so summons Daihanji (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) to Sadaka's (Sakata T˘jűr˘) mansion, confronts the two rival parents and orders Koganosuke to become his retainer and Hinadori to serve in his bedchamber. He gives them branches of cherry blossoms to be thrown into the Yoshino river as a signal of the answers of the young people.
  • Yoshinogawa: in the most famous scene of the play, there is a spectacular set with the house of Daihanji on one side of the stage and the house of Sadaka on the other side with the river running through the center of the stage. Both parents know that their children would rather accept death than bow down to the dictator Iruka, but hide this and speak proudly and aggressively to the other, hoping desperately that at least the other child might be spared. However, all their efforts are in vain and finally, in death, the young couple is united in marriage, ending the feud between the two families.
  • Enma to Seirai: this is a new dance play written by Nakamura Kichiemon himself under the name Matsu Kanshi that is an adaptation of a Ky˘gen farce. Enma, the king of hell (Nakamura Tomijűr˘) is upset that religion has meant that fewer people are falling into hell. He summons a falconer named Seirai (Nakamura Kichiemon) and wants to condemn him for taking life, but the falconer says that it is the falcon that does it and he is blameless. In dance, he describes hunting with a falcon and this is so interesting that Enma himself wants to try it.
  • Harusame Gasa: this is a rare performance of a play by Fukuchi ďchi (1841~1906) one of the fathers of modern Kabuki. It shows a confrontation between a gentle patron of the pleasure quarters who has become a gang boss (Ichikawa Somegor˘) and the former samurai who is responsible for his current state (Band˘ Hikosabur˘) and their rivalry over a courtesan (Nakamura Shibajaku). The play is also an opportunity to present Ichikawa Somegor˘ĺs young son on stage for the first time with greetings from the senior members of his family.
  • Ohama Goten: there are few plays more popular in Kabuki than "Chűshingura" or the Treasury of the Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers. In the modern period, this play was reworked by Mayama Seika as "Genroku Chűshingura", a play focusing on different incidents and different characters in this revenge classic adding historical details reflecting the Genroku period. One of the most popular parts of this play shows the man that will be the next Sh˘gun, seemingly detached from the vendetta, but in fact, intensely interested in the progress of the quest of the band of loyal retainers. Starring Kataoka Nizaemon as Lord Tsunatoyo and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Tominomori Sukeĺemon.
  • Kagatobi: the firemen serving the fabulously wealthy Kaga clan were famous for their colorful spirit. This play features a short pageant of these firefighters combined with a dark story of the sinister masseur D˘gen who uses murder, theft and extortion to satisfy his lust and greed. The actor playing D˘gen doubles as one of the gallant bosses of the firefighting gang alongside the firefighter that unmasks D˘genĺs villainy. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as D˘gen and Nakamura Kichiemon as the firefighter that defeats him.
  • Funa Benkei: in this powerful dance-drama, which is based on the well-known play of the same title, Ichikawa Somegor˘ performs two strikingly different characters, Yoshitsune's mistress Shizuka and the ghost of Taira no Tomomori. The first part of the drama shows Benkei (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) persuading Yoshitsune to part with Shizuka. Then, when Yoshitsune and his retinue embark, the ghost of Tomomori, believed to have perished in the battle of Dan-no-Ura between the Minamoto and Taira forces in 1185, emerges from the raging waves and begins to attack Yoshitsune. Overpowered by Benkei's fervent prayer, Tomomori's ghost finally retreats in agony.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide website
    Sasaguchi Rei for "Funa Benkei"

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 5 ~ 28 June 2007 (Rokugatsu ďkabuki)

    Ninagawa Jűniya


    Onoe Kikugor˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Kanjaku, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Kamejir˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Kamesabur˘


    "If music be the food of love, play on!". The trouble caused by love is the theme of Shakespeareĺs play, a comedy with great depth. June at Hakataza features an encore performance of a bold experiment. Ninagawa Yukio, known throughout the world for productions of Shakespeare and his blending of traditional and modern theatrical techniques will direct Kabuki actors in an adaptation of Shakespeareĺs "Twelfth Night".

    After being shipwrecked and being separated (presumably forever) from her twin brother Sebastian, Viola dresses as a young man, calls herself Cesario and takes service with Orsino, who is in love with the fabulously wealthy Olivia. In the guise of Cesario, Viola becomes Orsinoĺs messenger to Olivia, but she does not love him. Instead, she falls in love with Cesario and in turn, Viola falls in love with Orsino. But while these characters suffer for love, others lust after Oliviaĺs wealth. Her uncle Toby cannot stand to see the money leave the family and tries to get her married to the obnoxious Andrew. Meanwhile, Oliviaĺs steward Malvolio is also in love with her, but he is so stuck-up and out of date that the people around him plot to make him think that Olivia returns his love, only making him seem more ridiculous than ever.

    In Juneĺs production, all of Shakespeareĺs characters will take on a new, Kabuki incarnation. Viola will become Princess Biwa (a biwa is a Japanese lute), and disguised as a man, she will take the name Shishimaru, sounding like a proper samurai, and all the other characters get new Japanese names as well.

    Ninagawa Yukio is famous throughout the world for his direction of new plays and the classics, using modern theatrical techniques and traditional aesthetics with a bold visual touch. For example, his production of "Macbeth" brought the play into the world of Japan and transformed the stage into a giant Buddhist altar, with mysterious old women praying throughout the play, as though the story of Macbeth took place within the altar as a message from the land of the dead. His production of "King Lear" brought together a famous English actor as Lear and a popular Japanese actor as the fool and was performed in England, while his production of "Oedipus Rex" combined an actress from the Japanese modern theater with an actor from Ky˘gen, the traditional comic style, and the production even went to Greece.

    The new production of "Ninagawa Jűniya", which was in fact premiered in July 2005 at the Kabukiza, will star Onoe Kikunosuke as Biwa and her twin brother Shuzennosuke, while Onoe Kikugor˘ will play Maruo B˘dayű and the jester Sutesuke. Also featuring Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danshir˘ and Nakamura Tokiz˘. Donĺt miss this exciting new Kabuki experiment!

    Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 7 ~ 28 June 2007

    Sannin Kichisa


    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukusuke, Kataoka Kamez˘, Sasano Takashi, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke


    8th edition of the original Cocoon Kabuki performance, which recreates the atmosphere of the Edo koshibai and brings the actors closer to the audience. The great play "Sannin Kichisa" narrates the adventures of three thieves whose common features are the same first name (Kichisa) and a strong sense of honour. Osh˘ Kichisa, an ex-bonze turned thief, is played by Nakamura Kanzabur˘. Oj˘ Kichisa, a thief who dresses like a young woman to steal people, is played by Nakamura Fukusuke. Ob˘ Kichisa, an ex-samurai turned thief, is played by Nakamura Hashinosuke.

    Chűnichi Theatre (Nagoya)
    Dates 3 ~ 24 June 2007

    Hitori Tabi Gojűsan Tsugi


    Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Danjir˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen


    The Chűnichi Theatre produces the Omodakaya guild in the revival of one of the most spectacular plays of the Ennosuke Jűhachiban, without Ichikawa Ennosuke (still on sick leave). The young star Ichikawa Ukon plays 15 roles in a play full of keren, including an amazing chűnori!

  • Hitori Tabi Gojűsan Tsugi:
    (Traveling Alone to the Fifty-three Stations)
    "Hitori Tabi Gojűsan Tsugi" was first performed in 1827, and was written by the famous playwright Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755 - 1829). It built on the popular explosion of fascination of travel on this highway seen in the bestselling comic novel "Hizakurige" ("Shanks Mare") about the adventures of Yaji and Kita on the road and lavish series of multi-colored woodblock prints showing all fifty-three stations along the highway. But in addition to the expected travel scenes and comedy of Yaji and Kita, audiences also got a spectacular series of scenes scary, sexy and comic reworking all Nanboku's favorite themes including a monstrous cat. Ichikawa Ennosuke long specialized in reviving Nanbokuĺs plays, each production including Ennosukeĺs trademark fast-changes and flight through the air. March at Minamiza features the young actors of Ennosukeĺs troupe headed by Ichikawa Ukon in a full-length performance of this exciting and entertaining spectacle.
  • Source: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 24 June 2007 (Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Hikimado)


    Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘


    Educational program at the National Theatre called Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitu ("Kabuki appreciation class"). This is a very interesting formula for the beginners because there is lively presentation on stage of Kabuki or some aspects of the art like music, stage tricks or fighting scenes, followed by the drama "Hikimado", starring Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Band˘ Yajűr˘ in the roles of Jűjibŕ, Ohaya and Nuregami Ch˘gor˘.

    Educational Kabuki tour in Kansai
    Date 30 May ~ 18 June 2007

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Ninokuchi-mura)


    Kataoka Gat˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Shinnosuke


    32nd edition of an educational Kabuki tour in Kansai. It starts with a presentation on Kabuki and the highlight of the program is the drama "Ninokuchi-mura", starring Kataoka Gat˘, Kamimura Kichiya and Kataoka Shinnosuke in the roles of Magoemon, Umegawa and Chűbŕ.

    Zenshinza Tour
    Dates 28 May ~ 24 June 2007

    Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘ (Kamiyui Shinza)


    Nakamura Umenosuke, Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Keishi, Nakamura Baijaku, Segawa Kikunoj˘, Nakamura Seinosuke, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘, Yamazaki Ky˘ka, Osagawa Genjir˘, Anegawa Shinnosuke


    This production of "Kamiyui Shinza" includes the rare "Izakaya" scene:

  • Kamiyui Shinza: Shinza is a barber that goes from door to door, but at the same time, he is a villain that kidnaps Okuma, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy household, and even resists the efforts of Yatagor˘ Genshichi, the most prestigious strongman in town, to get her release. Starring Nakamura Baijaku as Shinza, Kawarasaki Kunitar˘ as Okuma, Segawa Kikunoj˘ as Chűshichi and Arashi Keishi as Yatagor˘ Genshichi.
  • 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