Nakamura Kichiemon is for the second time the zagashira of a troupe of
young actors performing at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. He plays four major roles, including the role of Hasegawa Heiz˘, a role which
he played for many years in the TV series "Onihei Hankach˘".
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 (Ichikawa Somegor˘) 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 (Nakamura Shibajaku) 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.
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˘.
Tsuri Onna: a dance based on a classical Ky˘gen farce.
A master (Nakamura Kinnosuke) longs for a wife and is told by the gods in a dream to go fishing for one.
He is united with a beautiful princess (Nakamura Shibajaku). His servant Tar˘kaja (Nakamura Kash˘) wants a
wife as well, but when he goes fishing, is stuck with a very surprising companion,
played by Nakamura Kichiemon in a rare, humorous, female role.
Mikasayama Goten: a fantastic Kabuki period play showing intrigues
in the imperial court in the earliest days of Japan. The dictator Soga no Iruka
has set up his own court and now seeks to destroy his opponent Kamatari.
A mysterious fisherman named Fukashichi (Nakamura Kichiemon) comes as a messenger from Kamatari,
claiming to bring a message of surrender. Meanwhile, Iruka's younger sister,
Princess Tachibana (Ichikawa Komaz˘) has fallen in love with a handsome young man named
Motome (Ichikawa Somegor˘). But Motome is actually the son of Kamatari and says that he will
only grant her love if she will cut off Iruka's head. Moreover, a country girl
named Omiwa (Nakamura Fukusuke) has also followed Motome. Omiwa's blood and the work of all
these people combined are what is necessary to finally defeat the magical
powers of the evil Iruka.
H˘kaib˘/Futa Omote Mizu ni Terutsuki: a comic play featuring the antics of an evil begging
priest named H˘kaib˘. H˘kaib˘ (Nakamura Kichiemon) is in love with the beautiful,
young Okumi (Nakamura Shibajaku) who is herself in love with Y˘suke,
a servant at her father's store. Y˘suke (Nakamura Kinnosuke)
is actually an aristocrat searching for the lost treasure of his family.
He regains possession only to have the scroll stolen by H˘kaib˘.
Y˘suke accepts Okumi's love, but is also pursued by Princess Nowake (Ichikawa Somegor˘),
his true fiancee. In a grim but humorous scene at a graveyard, everyone tries to
get Okumi and the scroll. But H˘kaib˘ ends up killing Princess Nowake and is
killed himself before he can enjoy the fruits of his villainy.
The last scene, "Futa Omote Mizu ni Terutsuki", is one of the great classics of dance and is often performed
separately. Y˘suke and Okumi try to run off together only to find a
strange figure that looks exactly like Okumi.
Y˘suke tries to find out which is the real Okumi.
In fact, in a virtuoso turn for the star actor who plays
this double role, the mysterious figure is made up of the combined spirits
of H˘kaib˘ and Princess Nowake, each questing for love even after death.
Source: Earphone Guide website, except "ďkawa no Inkyo"