MARCH 2024

4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, Shinbashi Enbuj˘, T˘ky˘ International Forum), 2 in Nagoya (Heisei Nakamuraza), 2 in Ky˘to (Minamiza) and 1 tour (Y˘shun Special Tour)!

  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku and Nakamura Matagor˘ perform at the Kabukiza!
  • Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku and Kataoka Kamez˘ perform at the Heisei Nakamuraza and for the Y˘shun Special Tour!
  • Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke perform for the Y˘shun Special Tour!
  • Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Kazutar˘ and Nakamura Hayato perform at the Minamiza!
  • Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Ichikawa Danko, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ and Ichikawa Emiya perform at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 March 2024
    Sangatsu ďkabuki
    March Grand Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Terakoya)

    Keisei D˘j˘ji

    Genroku Chűshingura
    (Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘)

    Evening

    Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba

  • Ai no Yama/Yadoya/Okkake/Jiz˘-mae/Futami-ga-Ura
  • Fukuoka Magodayű Yashiki Daidaik˘
  • Aburaya/Okuniwa
  • Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori (Kisen)

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Ainosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Matagor˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Baishi, Band˘ Shingo, Ichikawa Komaz˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, Nakamura Matsue, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Onoe Ushinosuke, Onoe Sakon, Onoe Maholo, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Ogawa Hiroharu

    Comments

    The March Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza. "Keisei D˘j˘ji" is staged to commemorate the 12th anniversary (13th memorial service) of the passing away of Nakamura Jakuemon IV.

  • Terakoya: Genz˘ and his wife Tonami run a small school and are protecting Kan Sh˘j˘'s son and heir, saying that he is their son. However, word has gotten out Kan Sh˘j˘'s son is there and Genz˘ has been ordered to behead him. Moreover, Matsu˘maru is to come to inspect the head. Their only alternative is to kill one of the other students as a substitute, but all of the students are farmer's children who could never pass for the son of a court aristocrat. However, a new boy arrives that day and Genz˘ makes the terrible decision to kill him in the place of his lord. As it turns out, Matsu˘maru has sent his own son to be sacrificed, because of his family's long loyalty to Kan Sh˘j˘. But he must face the most terrible situation for a father, inspecting the head of his own son and lying when he says that it is the genuine head of the son of Kan Sh˘j˘. Finally Matsu˘maru reveals his true feelings to Genz˘ and he and his wife Chiyo mourn their dead son. Starring Onoe Kikunosuke as Matsu˘maru, Kataoka Ainosuke as Genz˘, Nakamura Baishi as Chiyo and Band˘ Shingo as Tonami. Featuring also Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘ and Nakamura Mantar˘ as Sonoo-no-Mae and Shund˘ Genba.
  • Keisei D˘j˘ji: this is one of the several dances based on the legend of Anchin and Kiyohime (d˘j˘jimono). This version of the work differs from "Musume D˘j˘ji" in that Kiyohime's spirit appears as the keisei Kiyokawa (Nakamura Jakuemon). The priest Anchin is in reality, the Heike warrior Taira no Koremori (Onoe Sh˘roku) who is in hiding. Featuring also Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ in the role of the priest Sonshű.
  • Ohama Goten: there are few plays more popular in Kabuki than "Chűshingura" or the Treasury of the Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers. In the modern period, this play was reworked by Mayama Seika as "Genroku Chűshingura", a play focusing on different incidents and different characters in this revenge classic adding historical details reflecting the Genroku period. One of the most popular parts of this play shows the man that will be the next Sh˘gun, seemingly detached from the vendetta, but in fact, intensely interested in the progress of the quest of the band of loyal retainers. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon as Lord Tsunatoyo and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ as Tominomori Sukeĺemon. With Nakamura Baishi as Okiyo, Kataoka Takatar˘ as Ejima and Living National Treasure Nakamura Karoku as Tsunatoyoĺs teacher Arai Kageyű.
  • Ise Ondo: in May 1796, there was a murder case caused by a local doctor Magofuku Itsuki at Aburaya, a courtesan house in Furuichi, Ise Province. Based on this incident, this piece has been enjoying high popularity since its first performance in July 1796, which got favorable notices for its artful structure and ingenious staging. Centering around the investigation into the celebrated sword Aoe Shimosaka that caused the feud of a daimy˘ family, the story set in the notable site in Ise unfolds, depicting the love between the main character Fukuoka Mitsugi (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) who was modeled on Itsuki and Okon (Nakamura Jakuemon), a courtesan at Aburaya. Aoe Shimosaka, a sword treasured in the Hachisuka family, the domain lords in Awa Province, went missing. Chief retainerĺs son Imada Manjir˘ (Onoe Kikunosuke) found the sword, but he pawns it for his amusement expenses, instigated by Tokushima Iwaji and his fellow-conspirators, part of the ensuing rebellion. On top of that, the ring replaces the genuine written appraisal for the sword with forged one. With his birth parents being the retainers of the Imada family, Mitsugi, an adopted son of his Ise mentor Fukuoka Magodayű, busily involves in the recovery of the sword and the appraisal. Magodayű's younger brother Saruta Hikodayű (Ichimura Kitsutar˘) makes his nephew Sh˘jiki Sh˘dayű steal the daidaik˘ (a religious body set up for the visit to the Grand Shrines of Ise) reserve fund worthy 100 ry˘, fixing the blame on Mitsugi. However, Mitsugiĺs aunt Omineĺs wittiness catches out the wrongdoing by Hikodayű and Sh˘dayű. Mitsugi visits Aburaya in order to give Manjir˘ the Aoe Shimosaka sword, which he obtained in cooperation with Omine. However, Iwaji switches the blades secretly. Besides, Mitsugi gets abandoned by his sweetheart Okon. Her true intention, however, was to take back the appraisal for Mitsugi by pretending she was giving herself to Iwaji. Insulted by chief maid Manno who supports Iwaji, and also abused by Iwaji and his sidekicks, Mitsugi goes off keeping a lid on his anger. Then, the cook Kisuke, a retainer of Mitsugi, notices that Iwaji switched the swords so he hands Mitsugi the genuine one. But Mitsugi believes he has the fake not knowing the fact, and returns to Aburaya, then slashes Manno during arguments with her. As if led by the weird and ghostly air of the sword, he goes on to slay Manno, Iwaji and others. Later, Mitsugi finds the real intention of Okon, who hands the appraisal to him, and realizes from Kisukeĺs words that he has the genuine sword. He heads to see Manjir˘, to hand him the sword and the appraisal. In roller-coastering opening acts, you can enjoy the natural appeal of Kabuki such as the funny give-and-take over the secret letters on an evil deed in "Okkake" and "Jiz˘-mae", and a fantastic dumb show given in the dark in "Futami-ga-Ura". In the comedy "Daidaik˘", the humorous performance by the clown villain Sh˘dayű livens up the stage. In "Aburaya", Mitsugiĺs anger gradually boils up while the characters with lots of personality get involved. The elaborate depiction of such a process attracts the interest of the audience, making all of you glue to the stage till the end, the appalling scene of murder in "Okuniwa". Also, we have a variegated lineup for you, including Nakamura Kaishun as Manno, Ichikawa Komaz˘ as Omine, Band˘ Yajűr˘ as Oshika, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Sh˘dayű and Kataoka Ainosuke as Kisuke. Featuring also Nakamura Matagor˘ and Nakamura Kash˘ as Fujinami Sazen and the yakko Rinpei.
  • 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 Sh˘roku as Kisen and Nakamura Baishi as Okaji.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Heisei Nakamuraza (Nagoya)
    Dates 6 ~ 18 March 2024
    MatinÚe

    Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami

  • Hamamatsuya
  • Inasegawa Seizoroi
  • Migawari Zazen

    Evening

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

    Ninin Fuji Musume

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Toranosuke, Kitamura Rokur˘

    Comments

    The Heisei Nakamuraza is back in Nagoya, within the D˘h˘ High School. These performances commemorate the 12th anniversary (13th memorial service) of the passing away of Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII.

  • 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. Nakamura Shichinosuke stars as Benten Koz˘, with Kitamura Rokur˘ as Nippon Daemon, Kataoka Kamez˘ as Nang˘ Rikimaru, Nakamura Toranosuke as Tadanobu Rihei and Nakamura Tsurumatsu as Akaboshi Jűzabur˘.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Nakamura Kankur˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Nakamura Senjaku). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Nakamura Toranosuke) 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.
  • 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 Kankur˘ as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Nakamura Senjaku and Kitamura Rokur˘ as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Featuring also Kataoka Kamez˘ (Kawatsura H˘gen).
  • Ninin Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. The scene is set in ďtsu City near the Lake Biwa. This dance is one of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances. Nakamura Shichinosuke will give his definitive performance of this dance in a special double version together with Nakamura Tsurumatsu.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Minamiza (Ky˘to)
    Dates 2 ~ 24 March 2024
    Sangatsu Hanagata Kabuki
    March Young Actors Kabuki
    Matsu Puro
    ('Pine Tree Program')

    Habakarinagara Tebiki K˘j˘

    Shinjű Ten no Amijima (Kawash˘)

    Shinobi Yoru Koi no Kusemono (Masakado)

    Sakura Puro
    ('Cherry Tree Program')

    Habakarinagara Tebiki K˘j˘

    Onna Goroshi Abura no Jigoku

    Shinobi Yoru Koi no Kusemono (Masakado)

    Casting

    Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Hayato, Kamimura Kichiya, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Kamimura Kichitar˘, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Kataoka Senju, Kataoka Sentar˘, Kataoka Senjir˘, Onoe Kikusabur˘

    Comments

    Young actors performing in Ky˘to at the Minamiza.

  • K˘j˘: Literally 'stage annoucement about guidance with hesitation'. Stage Annoucement and Program Guide. The close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by this kind of k˘j˘.
  • Kawash˘: this late love suicide play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon is considered by many to be his masterpiece. The paper seller Jihŕ (Onoe Ukon) is in love with the courtesan Koharu (Nakamura Kazutar˘) and all those around them are afraid that they will commit love suicide. Jihŕĺs wife Osan urgently pleads with Koharu to pretend that she does not love Jihŕ any more, in order to save his life. In the first and most famous scene in the Kawash˘ teahouse, Jihŕĺs brother Magoemon (Nakamura Hayato) masquerades as a samurai to find out Koharuĺs true feelings. Jihŕ listens in from the outside and is astonished to hear her say that she does not want to commit love suicide. In a rage, Jihŕ breaks off all relations with her, while Magoemon is moved to learn that she has done this out of consideration for Osanĺs feelings. This play is a classic example of the ďsaka style of acting.
  • Masakado: after the death of Masakado, the great pretender to the imperial throne, the only one to carry on his cause is his daughter, Takiyasha (Nakamura Kazutar˘). She appears mysteriously in the ruins of her father's palace and tries to seduce Mitsukuni (Nakamura Hayato), a warrior sent to investigate mysterious happenings at the mansion. In dance Takiyasha tells of how she fell in love with Mitsukuni, then, also in dance, Mitsukuni tells the story of how the traitor Masakado was killed. Takiyasha breaks down in tears, revealing her true identity. After a dance-like fight, the mansion collapses and Takiyasha poses on the roof with the banner of her clan.
  • K˘j˘: Literally 'stage annoucement about guidance with hesitation'. Stage Annoucement and Program Guide. The close relationship between the actors and the audience is shown by this kind of k˘j˘.
  • Abura no Jigoku: this play has become phenomenally popular in modern times for its hard-boiled sensibility and sensuous killing scene with the protagonists slipping and struggling through puddles of spilled oil, but was virtually ignored at the time it was written. It shows Yohŕ, the wastrel son of a well-to-do merchant, who constantly tries to borrow money from Okichi, the wife of a neighboring oil merchant. Pressed for funds, he tries to blackmail her, but ends up killing her in the long, dream-like scene that gives this plays its title, "the woman killer and the hell of oil". Starring Nakamura Hayato and Nakamura Kazutar˘ in the roles of Yohŕ and Okichi. Featuring also Kamimura Kichiya and Onoe Ukon.
  • Masakado: after the death of Masakado, the great pretender to the imperial throne, the only one to carry on his cause is his daughter, Takiyasha (Nakamura Kazutar˘). She appears mysteriously in the ruins of her father's palace and tries to seduce Mitsukuni (Onoe Ukon), a warrior sent to investigate mysterious happenings at the mansion. In dance Takiyasha tells of how she fell in love with Mitsukuni, then, also in dance, Mitsukuni tells the story of how the traitor Masakado was killed. Takiyasha breaks down in tears, revealing her true identity. After a dance-like fight, the mansion collapses and Takiyasha poses on the roof with the banner of her clan.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 4 February ~ 20 March 2024
    Program

    Yamato Takeru

    Casting

    Ichikawa Chűsha, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Ichikawa Danko, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Nakamura Yonekichi, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Juen, Ichikawa Seiko, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Utanosuke, Kashima Noritoshi

    Comments

    Revival of the famous SűpÔ Kabuki drama "Yamato Takeru", a classic of the Omodakaya guild, in T˘ky˘ at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. In the absence of Ichikawa Ennosuke, the eponymous role of Yamato Takeru is played by either Nakamura Hayato or Ichikawa Ennosuke III's grandson Ichikawa Danko.

  • Yamato Takeru: One of twin brothers, Prince Ousu (Nakamura Hayato/Ichikawa Danko), attempts to admonish his brother, Prince ďusu (Ichikawa Danko/Nakamura Hayato), who is plotting rebellion. However, in his attempt to restrain his brother, Prince Ousu accidentally takes his life. Unaware of the circumstances, their father, the Emperor (Ichikawa Chűsha), becomes enraged and orders Prince Ousu to embark on a campaign to subdue the Kumaso people who refuse to submit to Yamato. The wife of Prince ďusu, Princess Etachibana (Nakamura Yonekichi), pursues Prince Ousu as her husband's avenger. However, as she discovers Osuĺs pure and gentle heart, she begins to admire him and eventually develops feelings for him, despite their initial adversarial relationship. Having arrived in Kumaso, Prince Osu successfully defeats the Takeru brothers, the leaders of the Kumaso, and in recognition of his bravery, he is bestowed with the name "Yamato Takeru" by the Kumaso Takeru. Joyfully returning to Yamato, Takeru finds that the Emperor still has not forgiven him, and he is now tasked with a campaign to subdue the Ezo people. Accompanied by the Great Lord Takehiko (Nakamura Fukunosuke), the journey is fraught with difficulties. Takeru is commanded to defeat the mountain deity on Mount Ibuki. This his final expedition. Takeru is attacked by a giant white boar (the manifestation of the mountain deity). He kills the boar but is cursed by a female demon and falls ill. On his return trip, Takeru dies while lamenting his long separation from and his longing for his wife Princess Ototachibana (Nakamura Yonekichi).
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Y˘shun Special Tour
    Dates 26 March ~ 1 April 2024
    Y˘shun Kabuki Tokubetsu K˘en
    The Springtime Kabuki Special Performances
    Program

    T˘ku K˘nÔ

    Tsuru Kame

    Bukaku Setsugekka

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Ch˘zabur˘

    Comments

    A Spring Tour of the Nakamuraya guild with performances in 6 venues.

  • T˘ku K˘nÔ: Literally 'Talk Corner'. A speech on stage with Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke.
  • Tsuru Kame: the crane (tsuru) is said to live for a thousand years, the tortoise (kame) is said to live for ten thousand years. Together, they are a traditional symbol of longevity. There is no particular plot to this play, but simply shows a visit by the empress to the Moon Pavilion where two courtiers dance as the spirits of the crane and tortoise. Starring disciples of the Nakamuraya guild.
  • Bukaku Setsugekka: a modern series of dances featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke as the spirit of the cherry blossoms ("Sakura"), Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kantar˘ and Cho3 as autumn insects under the full moon ("Matsumushi") and Nakamura Kankur˘ as a snowman ("Yuki Daruma Goyomi").
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    T˘ky˘ International Forum (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 27th March 2024
    Nakamura FukusukeĚNakamura Kotar˘ no Kai
    The Nakamura Fukusuke & Nakamura Kotar˘ Gala
    Program

    Sanbon no Ito

    Casting

    Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Omigawa Chiaki, Matsuda Ry˘, Koshinaka Makoto, Yasuda Momotar˘

    Comments

    A 2-performance 1-day gala for Nakamura Fukusuke and his son Nakamura Kotar˘ in T˘ky˘ at the T˘ky˘ International Forum. Nakamura Kangyoku and 4 non-Kabuki actors will be the guest stars of this gala. "Sanbon no Ito" is based on the drama "Sannin Kichisa" and it challenges the members of the audience living today about the meaning of 'living'!

     
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