MAY 2018

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Theatre Cocoon), 1 show in Nagoya (Misonoza) and 1 in Ky˘tango (Tango Bunka Kaikan)!

  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku and Onoe Matsuya perform at the Kabukiza!
  • The Zenshinza troupe performs at the National Theatre!
  • Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the Theatre Cocoon!
  • Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Udanji, Band˘ Minosuke, Onoe Ukon, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Band˘ Takesabur˘ and the Omodakaya guild perform at the Misonoza!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 May 2018
    Dankikusai Gogatsu ďkabuki
    Dankikusai May Grand Kabuki

    Narukami Fud˘ Kitayama Zakura

    Onna Date


    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Gokurakuji Yane Rippuku
  • Sanmon
  • Namerigawa Dobashi
  • Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki (Kikubatake)

    Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori (Kisen)


    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Ichikawa Danz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Onoe Sh˘roku, Onoe Matsuya, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichimura Kakitsu, ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Kotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichimura Takematsu, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Ichikawa Otora, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Terajima Maholo


    The great yearly Dankiku festival for the Naritaya and Otowaya guilds, which commemorates 2 great stars of the Meiji era: Dan = Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Kiku = Onoe Kikugor˘ V. Two important events will be commemorated : the 1080th anniversary of the Narita-san Temple, where the Deity Fud˘ My˘˘ is worshipped, and the 330th anniversary of the birth of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II (born in 1688) This year is also the fifth Dankiku festival at the fifth Kabukiza since the passing away of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XII.

  • Narukami Fud˘: this play commemorates the 1080th year since the foundation of the Narita-san Temple, and the 330th year since the birth of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II. "Narukami Fud˘ Kitayama Zakura" is a play showcasing the three works "Narukami", "Kenuki" and "Fud˘" which were some of the greatest hits of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II. "Narukami" is about a great priest who, angered by the emperor, imprisons the dragon god of rain in the pool beneath a nearby waterfall. This produces a drought throughout the land which causes great suffering for the people. A beautiful woman from the imperial court is sent to seduce the priest, and when he finds out that he has been tricked, his anger transforms him into a thunder god who vows to get his revenge. "Kenuki" is about a wise samurai who acts as a detective to find out why a princess's hair mysteriously stands on end. He discovers the crucial clue when his metal whisker tweezers suddenly start floating in mid-air. Finally, "Fud˘" is about the Buddhist deity of that name who is traditionally worshipped by the Ichikawa Danjűr˘ family of actors and the one to whom Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II attributed his success. In an impressive and spectacular tableau, the deity himself will appear on stage. Starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in 5 roles: Kumedera Danj˘, the wicked priest Narukami, Prince Hayagumo, Abe Kiyoyuki and the Deity Fud˘ My˘˘. Featuring also Onoe Kikunosuke (Princess Taema), Nakamura Jakuemon (Makiginu) and Nakamura Kinnosuke (Fujiwara no Mototsune).
  • Onna Date: Nakamura Tokiz˘ stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
  • Benten Musume: this play is a sewamono (realistic play about commoners) written by the late 19th century playwright Mokuami who is famous for his plays about thieves. The thief Benten Koz˘ dresses up as a woman to commit extortion, but his plans are ruined when his disguise is seen through. In the highlight of the play, he undresses, showing his colorful tattoos and introduces himself in a famous poetic speech. Afterwards, he is joined by the members of his gang on a riverbank, and, using the playwright's famous poetic rhythms, in turn, they each boast of their careers as thieves. Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ stars as Benten Koz˘, with Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Nippon Daemon, Ichikawa Sadanji as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Onoe Sh˘roku as Tadanobu Rihei and Onoe Kikunosuke as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘. Starring also Nakamura Baigyoku in the role of Aoto Saemon Fujitsuna.
  • Kikubatake: it is a great classic of period play Kabuki originally adapted from the Bunraku puppet theatre, full of larger-than-life characters and a stage full of dazzling color. In a garden of brilliant yellow and white chrysanthemums, there is Kiichi (Ichikawa Danz˘), an elderly strategist working for the dictator Kiyomori, his beautiful daughter Minazuru (Nakamura Kotar˘) and two footmen, the elegant young Toraz˘ (Nakamura Tokiz˘) and the powerful Chienai (Onoe Sh˘roku). But in fact, Toraz˘ is a young general from the enemy side here to steal Kiichiĺs secrets of strategy. Chienai is his retainer. But Kiichi has realized why they are there and also knows that Chienai is actually his younger brother. At the same time, Minazuru has fallen deeply in love with Toraz˘.
  • Kisen: "Kisen" is part of a series of dances showing the six poetic geniuses of ancient Japan. The five male poets are all shown as being in love with the sixth, Ono no Komachi, one of the most famous beauties of Japan. The other dances are set in ancient Japan, but this dance suddenly jumps to the Edo period where the poet-priest Kisen wanders intoxicated by the beauties of the cherry blossoms and of Okaji, a tea stand waitress. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as Kisen and Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Okaji.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 12 ~ 22 May 2018
    Zenshinza Gogatsu K˘en
    Zenshinza May Performances

    Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka


    Fujikawa Yanosuke, Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Tadamura Shin'ya, Tamaura Yűnosuke, Yamazaki Tatsusabur˘


    The usual Zenshinza May program at the National Theatre!

  • Kane no Yo no Naka:
    (Men Live in a World Where Money is All)
    First performed in 1879, this play written by Kawatake Mokuami reflects the life of Japan after the Edo period with westernized Japanese and greedy businessmen. It is also an adaptation of a foreign play "Money" by Bulwer-Lytton. This marks the first performance of this play in 14 years and features Fujikawa Yanosuke, Kawarasaki Kunitar˘ and Arashi Yoshisabur˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 9 ~ 31 May 2018

    Kirare Yosa


    Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Sasano Takashi


    16th edition of the original Cocoon Kabuki performance, which recreates the atmosphere of the Edo koshibai and brings the actors closer to the audience. The play "Kirare Yosa" is revised by the playwright Kushida Kazuyoshi.

  • Kirare Yosa: Since its beginning in 1994, Cocoon Kabuki has continuously evolved. Always seen from a brand-new viewpoint, it has breathed fresh air into kabuki classics creating sensational productions that have drawn audiences into its unique and exciting world. To mark its 16th production, Cocoon Kabuki will stage a much anticipated work. The popular classic "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi" is given a completely fresh interpretation under the direction of Kushida Kazuyoshi, based on a script revised by Kinoshita Yűichi. It is a story of the handsome Yosabur˘ and the beautiful Otomi. Forced to part repeatedly, it seems that destiny always brings them back together again. Those around them are tossed about, drawn into this whirlpool of fate. Yosabur˘ will be performed by Nakamura Shichinosuke and Otomi by Nakamura Baishi. Also appearing will be Nakamura Senjaku in the role of Kannon Kyűji.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 May 2018
    SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando
    Super Kabuki II



    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Udanji, Band˘ Minosuke, Onoe Ukon, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hayato, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa K˘tar˘


    The SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando drama "ONE PIECE", based on Oda Eiichir˘'s internationally popular manga "ONE PIECE", which got his first very successful stage adaptation by Ichikawa Ennosuke in October 2015/November 2015 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. It was staged one more time in the same theater in October 2017/November 2017 ... without Ichikawa Ennosuke, who broke his left arm, and could not perform the leading roles of Luffy and Hancock. He was successfully replaced by Onoe Ukon. It is staged this month for the first time in Nagoya. Most of the actors are Kabuki actors, with 3 non-Kabuki guest actors : Hira Takehiro, Kashima Noritoshi and Asano Kazuyuki. It is almost the same cast as in 2015 (minor differences).

  • ONE PIECE: "ONE PIECE", a hugely successful manga series, first appeared in the July 1997 issue of the Weekly Sh˘nen Jump magazine. As a book, the first volume was published in December 1997 and it soon gained a national reputation. The series has now reached 80 volumes and the number of copies printed of the series in Japan alone totals more than 350 million. As a result, it was awarded the Guinness World Record as "Most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author" in June 2015. The play is a marine adventure featuring the hero Luffy who explores the ocean with his diverse crew named the Straw Hat Pirates. They are in search of the worldĺs ultimate treasure known as 'One Piece' so that Luffy can become the next Pirate King. The play depicts the episode 'PARAMOUNT WAR' which is still popular among One Piece fans! Luffy engages in war determined to fight to the last in order to rescue his brother Ace who was captured!
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Tango Bunka Kaikan (Ky˘tango)
    Dates 19 ~ 20 May 2018 (Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Dance Performances

    Omemie K˘j˘


    Aoi no Ue



    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘


    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Ky˘tango at the Tango Bunka Kaikan (Tango Culture Center).

  • K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by stage announcements, usually lavish ceremonies to commemorate various important events. This month at the Tango Bunka Kaikan, it is a stage speech delivered by Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • 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.
  • Aoi no Ue:
    (Lady Aoi)
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ plays the role of Lady Rokuj˘, the rival in love of Lady Aoi in Murasaki Shikibu's "Genji Monogatari". This dance is related to an episode in the novel in which Lady Rokuj˘ is humiliated in public by Lady Aoi but 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.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

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