MARCH 2016

2 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza), 1 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza) and 1 in Okinawa (Nakagusuku Castle)!

  • Nakamura Jakuemon, Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Ichikawa Ennosuke and the Omodakaya guild perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 March 2016 (Sangatsu ďkabuki)
    March Grand Kabuki

    Kotobuki Soga no Taimen

    Onna Modori Kago

    Niwaka Jishi

    Kamakura Sandaiki
    (Kinugawa-mura Kankyo)

    Dango Uri


    Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki (Sum˘ba)


    Gion Sairei Shink˘ki (Kinkakuji)

    Sekisan Yakko


    Nakamura Jakuemon, Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Kankur˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, ďtani Tomoemon, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Nakamura Matsue, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Kotar˘, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘


    Nakamura Jakuemon V celebrates his shűmei in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza, playing the roles of Princess Toki and Princess Yuki in "Kinugawa-mura Kankyo" and "Kinkakuji". These two roles were atariyaku for both Nakamura Jakuemon III and Nakamura Jakuemon IV.

  • Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship. In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Nakamura Hashinosuke as Kud˘ and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Onoe Sh˘roku as Gor˘ and Nakamura Kankur˘ as Jűr˘. Featuring also Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Senjaku and ďtani Tomoemon.
  • Onna Modori Kago: a usual practice was celebrated female impersonators to have famous male roles rewritten for them. Numerous titles of already popular plays to which the character onna (ôwomanö) was added appeared in the Kabuki repertory over the centuries, such as "Onna Narukami" ("Female Narukami") or "Onna Shibaraku" ("Female Shibaraku"). "Onna Modori Kago" is a female parodic dance based on "Modori Kago". The two palanquin bearers Naniwa no Jirosaku and Azuma no Yoshir˘ are replaced by two courtesans, Naniwaya Okiku (Onoe Kikunosuke) and Azumaya Otoki (Nakamura Tokiz˘). The kamuro is replaced by a yakko named Manpei (Nakamura Kinnosuke).
  • Niwaka Jishi: this lively dance evokes the atmosphere of an Edo period festival. The highlight of the piece is the lion dance performed by two of the handsome young men of the neighborhood. Featuring Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun and Kataoka Takatar˘.
  • Kamakura Sandaiki: a rare performance of a classical history play from the Bunraku puppet theatre, which shows a heroic warrior, unbending mother and delicate princess in romance and intrigue on a grand scale. War has placed the young samurai Miuranosuke (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ [*]) and his fiance Princess Toki on enemy sides. She takes care of his sick mother (Kataoka Hidetar˘) despite being on opposite sides, and Miuranosuke slips away from the battle to see his mother one last time. But she refuses to see him when he should be on the battlefield and he must leave, brokenhearted. Princess Toki's father is the leader of the enemy forces and she is faced with a terrible challenge. She will only be allowed to be united with the man she loves if she kills her father. Starring Nakamura Jakuemon as Princess Toki, considered to be one of the most difficult princess roles in the Kabuki repertory. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon in the role of Sasaki Takatsuna.
  • Dango Uri:
    (The Dumpling Peddlers)
    the mortar and pestle used for pounding rice cakes and dumplings are a symbol of a happily married couple. This short, lively dance shows a couple peddling dumplings with a series of songs and dances. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and his son Kataoka Takatar˘ in the roles of the husband and the wife.
  • Sum˘ba: "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘" means "two butterflies" and also comes from the fact that two sum˘ wrestlers who play important roles in the full length play have names beginning with "ch˘": Ch˘kichi and Ch˘gor˘. In order to help his master Yamazakiya Yogor˘ (Onoe Kikunosuke) buy out the contract of the beautiful Azuma (Ichikawa Komaz˘), the senior wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ throws a match, letting the younger wrestler Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi win, hoping to get his help. But Ch˘kichi loses his temper and the two end up competing in a test of pride. Starring popular actor Nakamura Hashinosuke as Ch˘gor˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke as Ch˘kichi.
  • 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 Jakuemon V.
  • Kinkakuji: "Kinkakuji" retains the epic scale of plays adapted from the Bunraku puppet theater and is full of miracles and larger-than-life characters common on the puppet stage. It is full of the classical forms of all kinds of stylized characters and the role of Princess Yuki is considered to be one of the most difficult and beautiful roles for an onnagata female role specialist. Matsunaga Daizen (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) has defeated the Sh˘gun and has set up base in the Golden Pavilion. The brilliant strategist Hisayoshi, disguised as a disgruntled retainer named T˘kichi (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), pretends to come under Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within. Princess Yuki (Nakamura Jakuemon) is being held prisoner by Daizen, but is able to free herself by drawing a mouse in the cherry petals of the tree that she is tied to. It comes to life and chews the ropes holding her. Starring the best of the actors in their prime in a production sure to be full of fire and excitement. Featuring also Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘ in the role of the ama Keijuin.
  • Sekisan Yakko: there are many dances featuring yakko, the boisterous footmen to samurai lords who accompanied their masters to the pleasure quarters or formed part of his ceremonial parade carrying ornamental spears decorated with white fringe. This particular dance is named after Seki Sanjűr˘ II, the actor who created it and features a vigorous dance with these ceremonial spears. Starring Nakamura Ganjir˘, Nakamura Kankur˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku in the roles of the three yakko.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    [*] Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ fell ill (stomach ulcer) before the opening day of these March Grand Kabuki performances at the Kabukiza. He was replaced by his son Onoe Kikunosuke to play the role of Miuranosuke in "Kamakura Sandaiki" up to the 11th of March. He was back on stage the 12th of March.

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 March 2016 (SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando)
    Super Kabuki II



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


    Oda Eiichir˘'s internationally popular manga "ONE PIECE" gets his first Kabuki adaptation by Ichikawa Ennosuke. Premiered in October 2015/November 2015 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, it is staged this month in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza. Technically and artistically speaking, it is not Kabuki but SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando (the second generation of SűpÔ Kabuki), a genre created by Ichikawa Ennosuke III and continued by his nephew Ichikawa Ennosuke IV. Most of the actors are Kabuki actors, with 3 non-Kabuki guest actors : Hira Takehiro, Kashima Noritoshi and Asano Kazuyuki.

  • ONE PIECE: "ONE PIECE", a big hit comic of Japan, and Super Kabuki II by Ichikawa Ennosuke IV make a miraculous collaboration! The largest-scale project ever begins! "ONE PIECE" has started since the July 1997 issue of Weekly Sh˘nen Jump. As a book, the first volume was published in December 1997 and gained a national reputation soon. The series reach 77 volumes and the number of copies printed of the series is more than the world record 320,000,000, so it was awarded Guinness World Record as the most printed comic series by a writer in June 2015. Ichikawa Ennosuke IV is one of star Kabuki actors who will bear the next generation. He challenges aggressively to classic kabuki and new kabuki with rich expression and unique personality. He succeeded to the spirit of Super Kabuki which had been originated by his uncle Ichikawa Ennosuke III (Ichikawa En墠II) and performed "Sora o Kizamu Mono" [A Man who sculptures the Sky] as the first play of Super Kabuki II in March and April 2014, which resulted in a great success. It is a marine adventure roman by the hero Luffy (Ichikawa Ennosuke) who explores the ocean with his diverse crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates, in search of the world ultimate treasure known as ONE PIECE in order to become the next Pirate King. The Straw Hat Pirates broke up in the battle against the navy at Sabaody Islands, the entrance to the new world, the next step to the big navigation in search of the world ultimate treasure. Luffy became alone, hears of his brother Aceĺs execution and hurries to rescue him. Luffy is able to break through the navyĺs barricade, but Ace has already been transferred to the navy head quarter. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates fight Summit Battle against the navy at its head quarter!
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Nakagusuku Castle (Okinawa)
    Dates 26 March 2016 (Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en)
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances

    Only the longevity dance of Musashib˘ Benkei (suodori)

    Ame no Gor˘



    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Ichikawa Fukutar˘


    Special performances in Okinawa within the precincts of the Nakagusuku Castle. Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs the longevity dance of Musashib˘ Benkei, a famous section from the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘", and the leading role of "Renjishi" (along with Ichikawa Fukutar˘). Ichikawa Kudanji performs the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in "Ame no Gor˘".

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