JUNE 2015

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon), 2 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza) and 1 tour (Ichikawa Ennosuke Tour)!

  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun and Ichikawa Sadanji perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Senjaku and Kataoka Hidetar˘ perform at the Hakataza!
  • Kataoka Ainosuke performs at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs at the Theatre Cocoon!
  • Kataoka Takatar˘ and Band˘ Kamesabur˘ perform at the National Theatre!
  • Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ and Ichikawa Monnosuke are on tour!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 June 2015 (Rokugatsu ďkabuki)
    June Grand Kabuki

    Tenp˘ Yűky˘roku

    Shin Usuyuki Monogatari

  • Hanami
  • Sengi
  • Evening

    Shin Usuyuki Monogatari

  • Sannin Warai
  • Kajiya
  • Yűgao Dana


    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Danz˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Matsumoto Kingo, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Baishi, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Kunio, Nakamura Tanenosuke


    "Shin Usuyuki Monogatari" is staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen for the June Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza. The rarely-staged "Kajiya" act is part of the production. Normally, even with the "Kajiya" act, it is possible to stage this drama within one program (either matinÚe or evening). The Sh˘chiku Company has decided to split the drama in two parts, "Hanami" and "Sengi" in the matinÚe, "Sannin Warai" and "Kajiya" in the evening program. If you plan to enjoy "Shin Usuyuki Monogatari" in its entirety, you have to purchase two tickets instead of one.

  • Tenp˘ Yűky˘roku:
    (Record of an Unruly Life)
    Katsu Kokichi (Nakamura Hashinosuke), a low-ranking warrior, is universally disliked for his dissolute behavior but he reforms for the sake of his small son who later becomes Katsu Kaishű, one of the leading figures of the Meiji Restoration of 1868. A modern historical play, it was written by Mayama Seika, one of the most important Japanese dramatists of the twentieth century. Featuring Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Danz˘ and ďtani Tomoemon.
  • Shin Usuyuki Monogatari:
    (The Tale of Princess Usuyuki)
    Most of the matinee program consists of a full-length production of a Kabuki epic. This play, adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater, combines the best of kabuki -- romance, colorful spectacle and tragedy. With its numerous good roles, a large gathering of popular and accomplished actors are necessary to stage it. Rarely performed, when this play appears, it is always an event.
  • Hanami: Saemon (Nakamura Kinnosuke), the eldest son of the Sonobe family and Princesss Usuyuki (Nakamura Baishi), the daughter of the Saizaki family, fall in love after glimpsing one another under the cherry blossoms of Kiyomizu temple and are brought together by their servants. The villain Daizen (Kataoka Nizaemon) places a curse on a sword presented to the temple by Saemon. By framing the couple, he hopes to bring destroy their families so they cannot hinder his effort to take over the country. Saemon's servant Tsumahei (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) almost defeats this plan and is attacked by Daizen's henchmen in a spectacular fight scene with water buckets. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon and Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Dankur˘ and Magaki.
  • Sengi: Saemon and Princess Usuyuki (Nakamura Kotar˘) are charged with treason. Minbu (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) comes to investigate the two, and although they maintain their innocence, Daizen is able to turn the evidence against them. The compassionate Minbu gives them a temporary reprieve, but still, must place them under house arrest, each at the house of the other's family, with Saemon at the Saizaki residence and Princess Usuyuki at the Sonobe residence. Starring Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Kataoka Nizaemon and Nakamura Shibajaku as Saizaki, Sonobe Hy˘e and Matsugae.
  • Sannin Warai: unable to prove the innocence of the young couple, their fathers are charged with cutting off their heads. Sonobe Hy˘e (Kataoka Nizaemon) and his wife Ume-no-Kata (Nakamura Kaishun) allow Princess Usuyuki to escape. Saizaki (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) appears with a head box which he says contains the head of Saemon and demands that Sonobe cut off Princess Usuyuki's head. Sonobe returns, having secretly stabbed himself to atone for letting Princess Usuyuki (Nakamura Yonekichi) escape. Saizaki reveals that, in fact, he has done the same and the two, seemingly stern and villainous men reveal that they have sacrificed themselves for love of their children. Featuring also Nakamura Shibajaku (Matsugae).
  • Kajiya: Dankur˘ (Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon), the villainous son of the swordsmith Masamune (Nakamura Karoku) longs to master the secrets of sword-making, but his father refuses to teach anything, nor will he teach anything to his apprentice Kunitoshi (Nakamura Hashinosuke), the son of Kuniyuki. But with many plot twists, this epic play comes to a conclusion in a melding together of young love, the transmission of ancient secrets of sword-making and finally, an old sword-maker finding an opportunity to return a debt to his teacher, the man that taught him everything he knows.
  • Yűgao Dana: this modern Kabuki dance was inspired by a traditional screen painting and was first performed by Ichikawa Ennosuke II. As an elderly husband and wife sit at the veranda enjoying the summer evening breeze, they meet a young couple going to the local folk dance. The couple reminds them of their younger days and, though not quite as graceful, they perform a light-hearted dance as they reminisce about their earlier days. Starring Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji as the old woman and the old man.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 June 2015 (Rokugatsu Hakataza ďkabuki)
    June Hakataza Grand Kabuki

    Banshű Sarayashiki


    Sonezaki Shinjű


    Jiisan Baasan


    Geid˘ Ichidai Otoko


    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Kamenoj˘


    Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV celebrates his shűmei in Fukuoka at the Hakataza! Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ does also his isse ichidai performance for the role of the courtesan Ohatsu in the drama "Sonezaki Shinjű":

  • 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 Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Baigyoku and Ichikawa En'ya in the roles of Okiku, the cruel Asayama Tetsuzan and Tetsuzan's retainer Iwabuchi Chűta.
  • 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 Ganjir˘ in the role of the parent shishi and his son Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the role of the cub.
  • Sonezaki Shinjű: a young merchant named Tokubŕ has long been in love with the courtesan Ohatsu and is diligently trying to buy out her contract. But he is swindled out of his money by someone he considered a friend. Then he is beaten and humiliated in the precincts of the Ikutama shrine. He sneaks into the teahouse where Ohatsu is and she hides him under the veranda. At this point, Tokubŕ's "friend" comes and calls him a criminal. Ohatsu fiercely defends Tokubŕ and asks whether he is prepared to defend his honor by committing love suicide. Silently, from under the veranda, he holds her bare foot and draws it across his neck. The journey to the forest where they commit love suicide is like a dream, half-way between this world and the next and has some of the most famous lines in Japanese theatre: "Farewell to this world and to this night, farewell. To what should we who go to our deaths be likened? We are like the frost on the road leading to the graveyard, vanishing with each step". Starring Nakamura Ganjir˘ and his father Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ in the roles of Tokubŕ and Ohatsu.
  • Jiisan Baasan: based on a short story by Mori ďgai, this modern play by Uno Nobuo shows a loving young couple. The samurai Iori travels to Ky˘to with his lord, leaving Run, his beloved wife, behind. While there, he attacks another man in a fight over a sword and is forced into house arrest, separating him from his wife. Many years later, he returns to his home as an old man. There he meets an elderly woman and they do not recognize each other until she sees the one thing that has not changed with age, Iori's peculiar habit of putting his hand to his nose. Starring Ichikawa Chűsha and Nakamura Senjaku as Iori and Run.
  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by these stage announcements, lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. In this case, all the stars of the cast assemble to celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV.
  • Geid˘ Ichidai Otoko: a modern Kabuki drama which is about the lives of Nakamura Kanjaku III and his young son Tamatar˘ (Nakamura Ganjir˘), who will later become the Kamigata Kabuki star Nakamura Ganjir˘ I. The drama opens with the story of the actor Arashi Kakuz˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku) and Otae (Kataoka Hidetar˘), who have a 3-year old son Tamatar˘. Otae's parents dislike the idea of their daughter marrying an actor. They manage a respectable fan shop and they refuse to welcome an actor who will never work with them. Kakuz˘ subsequently leaves Otae, performs under the name of Nakamura Kanjaku III and becomes a famous actor in Edo. Tamatar˘ who has grown up in poor conditions as the fan shop went bankrupt, decides to become an actor. His father tries to convince him that acting is not a good profession but the son does not listen to his pieces of advice as he has a grudge against the man who has deserted his mother. In order to help Otae and Tamatar˘, Kanjaku transfers money to them and negotiate in the shadows with the theater producer San'ei (Ichikawa Chűsha) for his son to have a role in a big Kabuki production in a major theater in ďsaka. The son achieves a great success and thinks it is solely due to his talent. Informed by Otae about the role of his father in his success, the boy accepts his father's love. They decide to go to K˘be to meet Kanjaku but they learn that he has just died on stage. The boy pledges to carry on his father's profession.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 13 ~ 26 June 2015 (Rokugatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    June Young Actors Kabuki

    Waki Noboru Mizu-ni Koi Taki (Koi Tsukami)
    t˘shi ky˘gen production including the famous koi tsukami scene


    Kataoka Ainosuke, Ichikawa Omez˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Ichikawa Juen, Nakamura Mantar˘, Onoe Ukon


    Kataoka Ainosuke as zagashira in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza!

  • Koi Tsukami: Tawara no T˘ta Hidesato fights against a giant centipede at Mt. Mikami in ďmi Province. The guardian deity of Lake Biwa appears and gives him a sacred sword. T˘ta slays the centipede with the sword. In Lake Biwa the Golden Carp, Carps King's son, is about to turn into a dragon but it becomes cirrupt by the poisonous blood of the slain centipede flown into the lake. The Golden Carp loses its hope to turn into a dragon. The Carps King resents that and vows to curse the Tawara clan eternally. Years have passed and the sacred sword is now the family heirloom of the Tsuri clan, whose ancestors were from the Tawara clan. The yakko Setahei, at the service of the Tsuri clan, finds out that some evil retainers are plotting to take over the clan. He struggles to prevent it. Princess Kozakura of the Tsuri clan longs for Takimado Shiganosuke, a page whom she met in the Kiyomizu Temple. As they meet secretly at the Tsuri mansion, an envoy of the chief advisor to the emperor arrives. The sacred sword is presented to him. The magic of this sword results in the projection of the shadows of Princess Kozakura and a giant carp are projected on a paper sliding door. It means that Shiganosuke is in fact the incarnation of the spirit of a carp of Lake Biwa and it plots to destroy the Tsuri clan, as a revenge over the Tawara clan. The spirit of the carp is shot by an arrow. The archer is none other than the real Shiganosuke, who chases it up to Lake Biwa where he fights in real water (honmizu) with it under heavy rain, until at last he puts an end to its life. This scene is called koi tsukami and it is the spectacular highlight of this Kabuki drama, which is staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen full of keren and hayagawari. During the Edo period, it was developped by the Onoe clan, from Onoe Kikugor˘ I to Onoe Kikugor˘ III through Onoe Sh˘roku I. In modern times, it became the trademark of the Ichikawa Udanji line. Starring Kataoka Ainosuke in 12 roles (including the spirit of a giant carp, Tawara no T˘ta Hidesato and Takimado Shiganosuke)! Featuring Onoe Ukon in the role of Princess Kozakura. Featuring also Ichikawa Omez˘, Kamimura Kichiya, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Ichikawa Juen and Nakamura Mantar˘.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 ~ 21 June 2015

    Ryűgű Monogatari

    Momotar˘ Oni-ga-Shima Gaiden


    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Ukon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji


    Third edition of the ABKAI (Ebikai in Japanese), a gala for the young star Ichikawa Ebiz˘. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ is assisted by Miyamoto Amon (production and stage direction) and Miyazawa Akio (screenplay). Two newly-created drama will be staged. "Ryűgű Monogatari" is about the legend of Urashima Tar˘, a fisherman who, according to the legend rescued a turtle and was rewarded for this with a visit to the palace of the Dragon God under the sea. He stayed there for three days and, upon his return to his village, found himself 300 years in the future. "Momotar˘ Oni-ga-Shima Gaiden" is about the legend of Momotar˘, literally the Peach Boy, who came to Earth inside a giant peach and who successfully fought a band of demons on a distant island named Oni-ga-Shima.

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 June 2015 (Rokugatsu Kabuki Kansh˘ Ky˘shitsu)
    June Kabuki Appreciation Class

    Tsubosaka Reigenki


    Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Kamesabur˘


    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. It is followed by the drama "Tsubosaka".

  • Tsubosaka: this play stars Band˘ Kamesabur˘ as Sawaichi, a blind masseur who has become utterly depressed by the prospect of never recovering his eyesight. His faithful wife, played by Kataoka Takatar˘, has been praying to the Kannon goddess daily for several years for his recovery, and Sawaichi agrees to accompany her to the Kannon shrine to pray. Once there he announces he will stay to pray and fast for three days, and so his wife leaves to pick up some supplies for them, but in her absence, Sawaichi throws himself off a cliff. When she returns, the distraught wife decides to join her husband in death. The final scene shows the Kannon goddess, who miraculously saves the couple and cures Sawaichi's blindness.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Ichikawa Ennosuke Tour
    Dates 2 ~ 24 June 2015 (Ichikawa Ennosuke Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Ichikawa Ennosuke Special Dance Performances

    Kabuki no Mikata


    Futa Omote Mizu ni Terutsuki


    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Monnosuke


    A 12-venue Buy˘ tour for Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ and Ichikawa Monnosuke. They perform at Haneda Airport the 6th of June! They perform in Ky˘to at the Shunjűza from the 12th to the 14th of June. The Shunjűza is located within the Ky˘to University of Arts and Design (Ky˘to Z˘kei Geijutsu Daigaku). They perform at the Yachiyoza from the 19th to the 21st of June. They perform at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ from the 23rd to the 24th of June.

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