JUNE 2010

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon), 1 in Nagoya (Chűnichi Theatre), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 1 tour (Kansai)!

  • Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kanjaku and Nakamura Fukusuke perform at the Hakataza!
  • Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke and Nakamura Senjaku perform at the Theatre Cocoon!
  • The Omodakaya guild performs at the Chűnichi Theatre!
  • Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Nakamura Shid˘ perform at the Minamiza!
  • Kataoka Ainosuke and Kataoka Takatar˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2010 (Rokugatsu ďkabuki)

    Ono no T˘fű


    Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe (Ishikawa Goemon)



    Onihei Hankach˘ (ďkawa no Inkyo)

    Koi Minato Hakata no Hitofushi (Kezori)

    Kioi Jishi


    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Fukusuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Karoku


  • Ono no T˘fű: Ono no T˘fű is famous as one of the greatest calligraphers in the history of Japan and legend has it that he was inspired by the sight of a frog jumping onto a tall willow tree in the rain. This image has made it onto a hanafuda card and was a stock story of pre-war moral education. This month there is a very rare performance of a play that shows Ono no T˘fű not only as a great calligrapher, but also as a powerful fighter. After elegant court noble Ono no T˘fű (Nakamura Baigyoku) witnesses this scene, he fights with Daroku (Nakamura Kanjaku) a red-faced warrior like a sum˘ wrestler. The two unlikely combatants are evenly matched and this fight is an omen of disturbances in the land and the two joining forces to bring peace.
  • Momijigari: the general Taira Koremochi (Ichikawa Somegor˘) travels to the mountains to view the autumn leaves when he suddenly encounters a beautiful princess (Nakamura Fukusuke) and her entourage. Aided by the elegant dancing of the princess and a large amount of sake, Koremochi falls asleep, not knowing that she is actually a fierce demon. The god of the mountain (Onoe Sh˘roku) dances vigorously to try to wake up Koremochi. But as the demon appears in its true form, Koremochi is saved by the magical power of his sword.
  • Ishikawa Goemon: in the time of the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Ishikawa Goemon was a famous larger-than-life thief. When he was executed by being boiled alive, he is said to have defiantly said that the sands on the beach may run out but thieves will never disappear from this world. In this play, a rare revival, Goemon hides in a giant basket, which then flies through the air. As the basket goes to the ceiling of the theater, suddenly Goemon burst out and travels triumphantly through the sky. This production stars Nakamura Kichiemon as Ishikawa Goemon. Featuring also Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Kash˘.
  • Shiokumi: in the classical Theatre, there are few plays as evocative as Matsukaze, the story of a court noble exiled to the seacoast where he falls in love with two fisher women. The women make their living scooping up heavy buckets of sea water to make salt and this has become a famous dance. Starring Sakata T˘jűr˘ as the shiokumi Matsukaze.
  • ďkawa no Inkyo: Onihei Hankach˘ is a popular series of novels, written by Ikenami Shotar˘ from 1967, and successfully adapted to television. In all, 135 stories were published. The hero is Hasegawa Heiz˘, head of the special police who had jurisdiction over arson and robberies in Edo. His nickname is "Onihei," which means "Heiz˘ the Devil". He leads a band of law-enforcers and cultivates reformed criminals as informants to solve difficult crimes. This episode, "The Retired of the ďkawa River" is about the stealing of Onihei's precious silver kiseru, a souvenir from his late father. The investigations lead Onihei to the old boatman Tomogor˘, who used to be a thief but he's supposed to have retired. Featuring Nakamura Kichiemon and Nakamura Karoku in the roles of Onihei and Tomogor˘. Featuring also Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kash˘ and Ichikawa Somegor˘.
  • Kezori: one of the most spectacular plays in Kabuki, "Kezori" shows a man who has grown wealthy as a smuggler and shows his exotic lifestyle and expansive spirit. A merchant named S˘shichi (Sakata T˘jűr˘) is in love with a courtesan named Kojor˘ (Nakamura Fukusuke). He boards a boat unaware that it is owned by the smuggler Kezori (Nakamura Kichiemon) who is also his rival in love. S˘shichi happens to see illicit merchandise being unloaded and Kezori has him thrown into the sea. The boat revolves and Kezori poses on its prow, gazing proudly out at the world he rules. However, S˘shichi survives and goes to Kojor˘ for help. She says that she will ask one of her patrons for money and S˘shichi greets the patron only to find that it is Kezori. Magnanimously, Kezori forgives S˘shichi and will help him, but on the condition that S˘shichi become a member of his gang. Featuring also Nakamura Kanjaku, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Nakamura T˘z˘.
  • Kioi Jishi: this dance shows an Edo festival with its lively lion dance and other entertainments. The festival is full of handsome firemen and attractive geisha who do a series of graceful dances. One of the highlights of this dance is the story of the Soga brothers avenging the death of their father by attacking their enemy during a hunting party for the Sh˘gun at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Featuring Onoe Sh˘roku and Ichikawa Somegor˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 June 2010

    Sakura Giminden


    Nakamura Kanzabur˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Sasano Takashi, Nakamura Shichinosuke


    11th edition of the original Cocoon Kabuki performance, which recreates the atmosphere of the Edo koshibai and brings the actors closer to the audience.

  • Sakura Giminden: this play is rare among classics in having a political theme. It depicts a country landlord Kiuchi S˘g˘ (Nakamura Kanzabur˘) who cannot stand the suffering of the farmers around him. A series of bad harvests has made things very hard, but corrupt officials refuse to lower taxes or relent in any way. Finally, S˘g˘ decides to bring the case directly to the Sh˘gun, a move punishable by death. The play shows S˘g˘ as he persuades the old keeper of the river crossing to let him pass and says a final farewell to his wife Osan and children. Meanwhile, he is watched by a villainous informer, Maboroshi no Ch˘kichi. Finally, S˘g˘ brings his case directly to the Sh˘gun, knowing that whether he is successful or not, he will be executed.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Chűnichi Theatre (Nagoya)
    Dates 5 ~ 27 June 2010

    Kanadehon Futae Z˘shi


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


  • Kanadehon Futae Z˘shi: a combination of Kabuki's greatest classic of loyalty with a ghost play that is Kabuki's greatest classic of disloyalty. When "Kanadehon Chűshingura" (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) first appeared in 1748 it was a tremendous hit because it dramatized a historical incident in 1703 that showed that feudal values were still alive. A samurai lord suddenly attacked a senior advisor to the Sh˘gun inside the Sh˘gun's palace and was punished by being forced to commit ritual suicide. After great hardship, forty-seven of his loyal retainers banded together to avenge their lord's death by attacking his enemy. But by 1825 when "Yotsuya Kaidan" first appeared, the world was a great deal more cynical about all the samurai values. "Yotsuya Kaidan" was actually performed together with "Kanadehon Chűshingura" and its characters are disloyal members of the clan. It is also the story of Iemon (Ichikawa Danjir˘), a former member of the clan who is in love with Oiwa (Ichikawa Emisabur˘), also a former member of the clan. But her father takes her away when he knows that lemon has stolen money from the clan. Iemon kills her father and then promises her to help her avenge her father's death. They live together in poverty, but at this point, the Oume, the granddaughter of a wealthy doctor who belongs to the enemy clan, falls in love with him. To get Iemon, the doctor gives Oiwa a poison that disfigures her horribly. Iemon decides to betray Oiwa and she becomes a vengeful ghost. Ennosuke has combined these two classics with his customary spectacle and speed with his trademark flight through the air as well. Ennosuke is not part of the cast but he has supervised the production, which stars Ichikawa Ukon in the roles of the ghost of Nitta Yoshisada, Naosuke Gonbŕ and Amakawaya Gihei. Featuring also Ichikawa Monnosuke in the roles of Akatsuki Hoshigor˘ (in reality Kiryűmaru), Sat˘ Yomoshichi and Gihei's wife Osono.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 1 ~ 6 June 2010 and 19 ~ 27 June 2010
    (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)

    Yukari no Tsuki

    Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To


    Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Nakamura Hayato


    A special Kabuki dance-program starring Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Nakamura Shid˘.

  • Yukari no Tsuki:
    (The moon of Karma)
    A dance about a courtesan's sad mental state. While watching the moon, she is lamenting that she has to separate from her lover and to marry another man because of her poverty. Starring Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Seki no To:
    (The Snowbound Barrier)
    A snow-covered barrier decorated by a mysteriously blooming cherry tree provides the background for the larger-than-life story of a traitorous aristocrat disguised as a barrier guard and the beautiful woman, actually a supernatural spirit in disguise, that will defeat him. Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Shid˘ and Nakamura Hayato star in what is considered to be one of the greatest Kabuki dance-dramas.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 June 2010 (Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)

    Kabuki no Mikata



    Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke


    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 "Narukami".

  • Narukami: one of the most popular and universally appealing plays in the Kabuki Jűhachiban collection of plays featuring the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The holy man Narukami (Kataoka Ainosuke) is angry at the Imperial Court and has taken refuge in the mountains where he has imprisoned inside a waterfall the dragon that brings rain, bringing a severe drought to the country. Princess Taema (Kataoka Takatar˘) is sent by the Imperial Court to try to seduce Narukami, destroying his magical powers and release the rain. When he finds that he has been betrayed, anger transforms Narukami into a Thunder God.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Educational Kabuki tour in Kansai
    Date 5 ~ 21 June 2010

    Kabuki-he no Goannai

    Koi Bikyaku Yamato ďrai (Ninokuchi-mura)


    Kataoka Gat˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Band˘ Shinsha


    35th edition of an educational Kabuki tour in Kansai. The first item is a speech about Kabuki and the second the drama "Ninokuchi-mura":

  • Ninokuchi-mura:
    (Ninokuchi Village)
    Chűbŕ (Kataoka Shinnosuke) and Umegawa (Kamimura Kichiya) couple on their way to love suicide goes through the snow covered landscape on their way to the man's home town where they will meet their end. They travel throughout the countryside with the stolen money, hoping for a few fleeting moments of happiness before the money runs out and they are captured and punished. Featuring Kataoka Gat˘ in the role of Magoemon.
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