JUNE 2011

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘, National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon), 1 in Nagoya (Chűnichi Theatre), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in Yamaga (Yachiyoza) and 1 tour (Kansai)!

  • Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Fukusuke perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • Sakata T˘jűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Hidetar˘ and Ichikawa Danz˘ perform at the Hakataza!
  • Nakamura Hashinosuke, Onoe Kikunosuke and Nakamura Kantar˘ perform at the Theatre Cocoon!
  • The Omodakaya guild performs at the Chűnichi Theatre!
  • Nakamura Kanjaku performs at the National Theatre!
  • Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2011

    Yoritomo no Shi

    Kajiwara Heiz˘ Homare no Ishikiri
    (Ishikiri Kajiwara)



    Fubuki T˘ge

    Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

  • Sumiyoshi Torii Mae
  • Tsuribune Sabu Uchi
  • Nagamachi Ura
  • Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame (Kasane)


    Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Kichiemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Kataoka Takatar˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Kataoka Sennosuke, Matsumoto Kintar˘


  • Yoritomo no Shi: a play by Mayama Seika first presented in 1932. Minamoto no Yoritomo created a strong warrior government, but died very soon, leaving things to his son Yoriie (Ichikawa Somegor˘). But Yoriie feels that there is something suspicious about his fatherĺs death and is in torment because even though he is supposed to be the most powerful man in the land, no one will tell him anything. It ends with a confrontation with his mother H˘j˘ Masako (Nakamura Tokiz˘), who is ready to kill her own son rather than let the truth out that could destroy their rule. She declares that a man has only one short life, but the clan must survive to the end of time. Featuring also Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kash˘.
  • Ishikiri Kajiwara: the Heike general Kajiwara (Nakamura Kichiemon) is asked to test the sharpness of a sword by slicing two live human beings in half. He deliberately makes the sword fail the test to keep the sword, a priceless heirloom belonging to the enemy Genji clan, from falling into the hands of his Taira clan. A miracle has convinced Kajiwara to change sides. Kajiwara finally demonstrates the true power of the sword by cutting a large stone basin in two. Featuring also Nakamura Shibajaku, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Kash˘.
  • 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 Kataoka Nizaemon in the role of the parent shishi and his grandson Kataoka Sennosuke in the role of the cub.
  • Fubuki T˘ge: Oen and Sukez˘, an adulterous couple, have to take refuge in a mountain hut built for pilgrims because of a violent snow storm. Oen was the wife of the gambler Naokichi, who was Sukez˘'s boss. They fell in love and, in order to escape death (a normal punishment for their immoral conduct), they had to elope. They now live as fugitives, in great fear of revenge by Naokichi. Fate has something in store for them as, this very night, Naokichi, who goes on pilgrimage, has to shelter himself in the same hut... Featuring Ichikawa Somegor˘, Kataoka Takatar˘ and Kataoka Ainosuke in the roles of Naokichi, Oen and Sukez˘.
  • 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 Nakamura Kichiemon as Danshichi, with Kataoka Nizaemon, Nakamura Karoku and Nakamura Fukusuke as Issun Tokubŕ, Tsuribune Sabu and Otatsu. Featuring also Nakamura Shibajaku, Ichikawa Danshir˘ and Matsumoto Kintar˘.
  • Kasane: one can never escape past evils. Yoemon is fleeing to the countryside, but Kasane, the woman he abandoned, refuses to let him go. She catches up with him at a lonely river bank. A skull stabbed with a scythe appears and Kasane is possessed by its spirit, actually the spirit of her dead father, and her face suddenly becomes disfigured. She pours out her feelings of jealousy and resentment and Yoemon kills Kasane, but even after her death, he cannot escape her vengeful spirit. Starring Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Kasane and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Yoemon.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Fubuki T˘ge"

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2011 (Rokugatsu ďkabuki)


    Mekura Nagaya Ume-ga-Kagatobi

    Migawari Zazen


    Kanadehon Chűshingura
    (Gion Ichiriki Jaya)

    Hanabusa Shűjaku no Shishi

    Shin Sarayashiki Tsuki no Amagasa
    (Sakanaya S˘gor˘)


    Sakata T˘jűr˘, Onoe Kikugor˘, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Matsue, Onoe Matsuya, Onoe Ukon, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Matsumoto Kingo


  • Ya-no-Ne: like a picture come to life, this play combines the most exaggerated costumes and movements with leisurely humor. The aragoto hero Soga no Gor˘ is sharpening a giant arrow and sleeping in wishes of good fortune for the New Year when he sees his brother Jűr˘ in a dream asking him to come and rescue him. The two Soga brothers are part of one of the most popular vendetta stories in Kabuki, suffering for eighteen years before being able to avenge the death of their father. In this play, when Gor˘ finds out that his brother is in trouble, he jumps on the horse of a passing daikon vendor and, brandishing a giant daikon as a whip prepares to rush to his brother's side. Starring Onoe Sh˘roku and Band˘ Kametoshi as Gor˘ and Jűr˘.
  • 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 Baigyoku as Matsuz˘, the firefighter that defeats him. Featuring also Ichikawa Sadanji, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Onoe Kikugor˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Ichikawa Sadanji). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Onoe Sh˘roku) take his place while he visits Hanako. He returns, giddy from a night of pleasure and tells his story to his servant in dance, unaware that his wife has discovered his deception and has taken his servant's place.
  • Gion Ichiriki Jaya: "Chűshingura" is one of the most popular plays in the theatre and shows a true event when forty-seven masterless samurai avenged the death of their lord by killing his enemy. The seventh act is one of the most popular and shows the leader of the vendetta Yuranosuke as he is hiding his intention to avenge his lordĺs death by pretending to be only interested in pleasure, but also encountering key figures on his side and the side of the enemy. Yuranosuke (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) spends his days and nights in the pleasure quarters of Ky˘to in an effort to make their lordĺs enemy, Moron˘, believe he is not planning a vendetta. His acting is so good that even men in his own group believe he has given his life up to pleasure. Moron˘ is not so easily convinced, though, and has sent spies, including a former retainer of their late lord, En'ya Hangan, to find Yuranosuke's true intentions. Okaru (Nakamura Kaishun), the wife of one of the retainers is now a courtesan at the Ichiriki Teahouse, unaware that her husband is dead. Okaru's brother Heiemon (Nakamura Baigyoku), a servant in the Hangan household, has also come to the teahouse and the interaction of these characters becomes a matter of life and death and ends with Yuranosuke preparing to lead the vendetta.
  • Shűjaku Jishi: lion dances (shishi) show a vigorous masculine spirit that is the guardian of a sacred mountain in China. But the Kabuki tradition transforms this fierce dance into a showpiece for an elegant female role specialist. Sakata T˘jűr˘ stars as an elegant princess in her palace who is then transformed into a feminine version of the spirit of the lion.
  • 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. Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Danz˘, Onoe Sh˘roku and Ichikawa Sadanji.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 6 ~ 27 June 2011

    Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu


    Nakamura Hashinosuke, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kantar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Band˘ Shingo, Sasano Takashi, Nakamura Kunio


    12th edition of the original Cocoon Kabuki performance, which recreates the atmosphere of the Edo koshibai and brings the actors closer to the audience.

  • Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu: this play is a blend of "Chűshingura" with its tangled stories of loyalties and masterless samurai that ultimately avenge their master's death and the story of "Godairiki", about the love between a geisha named Koman and the samurai Satsuma Gengobŕ which is spoiled by the jealousy of a man named Sangor˘. Sasano Sangor˘ (Nakamura Kantar˘) is married to Koman (Onoe Kikunosuke), but she becomes a geisha to help him to raise the money to help his lord, a man that he has never seen. In the pleasure quarters the samurai Satsuma Gengobŕ (Nakamura Hashinosuke) falls in love with her and spends huge sums of money on her, despite the fact that he needs money for the sake of the "Chűshingura" vendetta. Finally Gengobŕ gets money and Sangor˘ and Koman decide to defraud him of the money, which results in a massacre in the pleasure quarters. Ironically, Gengobŕ is none other than the unknown master for whom Sangor˘ was trying to raise money. This story of passion and greed takes place against the background of inexplicable fate and the strict requirements of samurai society and adds ample doses of sardonic humor, the perfect play for our times.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Chűnichi Theatre (Nagoya)
    Dates 4 ~ 24 June 2011

    Shin Suikoden


    Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘, Kasahara Akira



    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 26 June 2011 (Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)

    Kabuki no Mikata

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)


    Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Hayato


    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 "Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata".

  • Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura") features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum. Starring Nakamura Kanjaku as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Nakamura Kanjaku's son Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Kikaku as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Educational Kabuki tour in Kansai
    Date 3 ~ 23 June 2011

    Kabuki-he no Goannai

    Kanadehon Chűshingura
    (Amakawaya Gihei Uchi)


    Kataoka Gat˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Kataoka Shinnosuke, Nakamura Matanosuke


    36th edition of an educational Kabuki tour in Kansai. The first item is a speech about Kabuki and the second is the rarely-staged drama "Amakawaya Gihei Uchi".

  • Amakawaya Gihei Uchi: Yuranosuke (Kataoka Shinnosuke) has involved Amakawaya Gihei (Kataoka Gat˘), a merchant, in the vendetta so as to assemble weapons for the raid. Gihei has sent his wife (Kamimura Kichiya) to her father-in-lawĺs home so as to prevent her from knowing of his involvement. His father-in-law pesters him to divorce her so that he can marry her off to a wealthy man. At this moment some of Yuranosukeĺs men arrive to test Giheiĺs loyalty. Even when they threaten to kill his infant son unless he confesses the location of the weapons, Gihei remains steadfast. Yuranosuke then reveals himself and the fact that Gihei has passed the test. Yuranosuke abruptly cuts off the hair of Giheiĺs wife and declares to the father-in-law that she cannot be married off because she has become a nun.
  • Source: Paul Kennelly

    Yachiyoza (Yamaga)
    Dates 24 ~ 25 June 2011 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Charitţ Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Charity Dance Performances




    Band˘ Tamasabur˘


    A special dance program for the victims of the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake Disaster.

  • Yuki:
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ appears as an ďsaka courtesan named Soseki, expressing her feelings of loneliness after having been jilted by her lover and who has decided to become a nun. This jiuta dance is performed in a restrained chamber style.
  • Kane-ga-Misaki: Band˘ Tamasabur˘ appears as a beautiful young girl, expressing her love and feelings of jealousy. This is the same story as the colorful "Musume D˘j˘ji" dance, but is performed in a restrained chamber style.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

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