NOVEMBER 2012

5 shows in T˘ky˘ (Shinbashi Enbuj˘, National Theatre, Meijiza) 1 in Toyooka (Eirakukan), 1 in Naruto (ďtsuka Museum of Art), 1 on Shikoku island (Kanamaruza) and 2 tours (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Tour, Kinshű Special Tour)!

Shinbashi Enbuj˘ (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2012 (Kichirei Kaomise ďkabuki)
Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki
MatinÚe

Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki

  • Izutsuya
  • Nanba Ura Koroshi
  • Hikimado
  • Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi

    Evening

    Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki (Kumagai Jin'ya)

    Shiokumi

    Shisen Ry˘ Koban no Ume-no-Ha

    Casting

    Kataoka Nizaemon, Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Senjaku, Onoe Kikunosuke, Nakamura Kaishun, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Sawamura Yoshijir˘, ďtani Keiz˘, Nakamura Matsue, Band˘ Kamesabur˘, Band˘ Kametoshi, Onoe Matsuya, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Mantar˘, Fujima Taiga

    Comments

  • Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki: a performance of rare scenes of this play first performed in 1749 in the puppet theatre, scenes leading up to the climactic "Hikimado" ("Skylight") scene making clear the complex relationships among the main characters. 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 (Nakamura Kanjaku) and Ch˘gor˘ (Ichikawa Sadanji). In some seldom performed acts, we see rivalries over courtesans in the pleasure quarter and the tragic intrigues that force Ch˘gor˘ to kill a man and flee. Finally, in the "Hikimado" scene, Ch˘gor˘ takes refuge with his mother Ok˘ (Band˘ Takesabur˘) who lives with her stepson Jűjibŕ (Kataoka Nizaemon). Unfortunately Jűjibŕ has succeeded to his late father's duties and is ordered to capture Ch˘gor˘. Jűjibŕ is caught between his duties and his loyalty to his stepmother while his mother is caught between her love for her two sons. These conflicts are symbolized by the humble wooden skylight, which opens and closes, showing both sides of the dilemma. Featuring also Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Nakamura Senjaku in the roles of the courtesan Fujiya Miyako (later Ohaya the wife of Jűjibŕ) and Yamazakiya Yogor˘.
  • Bunshichi Mottoi: Ch˘bŕ spends his days and nights gambling, but is finally made aware of his family's problems when his daughter takes a job in the pleasure quarters. Having received the money for her contract, he shows his good side to save a young man on the edge of suicide after losing a large sum of money, but nobody believes Ch˘bŕ, thinking that he has gambled the money away. The performance stars Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘ and Onoe Kikunosuke in the roles of Ch˘bŕ, Ch˘bŕ's wife Okane and Bunshichi. Featuring also Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Danz˘, Nakamura T˘z˘ and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Kumagai Jin'ya: this play is a dramatization of the clash between the Genji general Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane and the Heike warrior Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani, one of the most famous passages of the epic "Tales of the Heike". In the Kabuki version, on the cryptic orders of the Genji leader Yoshitsune, Kumagai hides the enemy warrior Atsumori and has his own son take the warrior's place. On the battlefield, Kumagai has to kill his own son in Atsumori's place. Things become worse when his wife Sagami and Atsumori's mother Fuji-no-Kata arrive at his camp. In the highlight of the play, he tells them the story of his mortal battle with Atsumori, keeping Atsumori's well-being and his own sacrifice a secret. He then shows the head of Atsumori for inspection by his leader to see if he has interpreted his orders correctly. This performance stars Kataoka Nizaemon as Kumagai, with Nakamura Kaishun as Kumagai's wife Sagami, Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Fuji-no-Kata, Nakamura Baigyoku as Yoshitsune and Ichikawa Sadanji as Midaroku.
  • Shiokumi: in the classical theatre, one of the most familiar plays is "Matsukaze", about two sisters Matsukaze and Murasame who are humble fisher girls who become lovers of an imperial court aristocrat exiled to their village. When the aristocrat returns to the imperial capital, Matsukaze is driven mad with longing. In this dance a woman diver (Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘) comes to the shore and dances thinking of her love as she sees moon reflected on seawater in the pail. This dance distills the elegance of the play in the first section and then accentuates her passion through her encounter with Konobŕ (Nakamura Kanjaku), a lustful fisherman.
  • Shisen Ry˘:
    (Four Thousand Gold Coins)
    In this play loosely based on a true incident, two men, Fujioka T˘jűr˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku) and Yashű no Tomiz˘ (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘), the former a masterless samurai, the latter a seasoned thief, break into the treasury of the Shogunate and steal the immense sum of four thousand gold coins. Though the samurai tries to use the money to support a normal life by starting a loan business, the other wastes his money gambling and resorts to extorting money from his former partner. The enormity of their crime makes it impossible to keep it secret and they are soon caught. Written by Kawatake Mokuami, this play caused a sensation in its day for its realistic depiction of a Meiji period jail. Featuring also Nakamura Tokiz˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Onoe Kikunosuke and Onoe Sh˘roku.
  • Sources: Earphone Guide Website or Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Meijiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 27 November 2012 (Jűichigatsu Hanagata Kabuki)
    November Young Actors Kabuki
    MatinÚe

    Keisei Hangonk˘

  • Takashima Yakata / Takeyabu
  • Tosa Sh˘gen Kankyo (Domo Mata)
  • Kumo no Ito Azusa no Yumihari

    Evening

    Tenjiku Tokubŕ Imay˘ Banashi

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Shun'en, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Juen, Nakamura Kikaku, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Nakamura Yonekichi

    Comments

    The Omodakaya guild is back at the Meijiza!

  • Takashima Yakata: the story is about Kan˘ Shir˘jir˘ Motonobu (Ichikawa Monnosuke), a samurai who serves at the Palace of the Rokkaku Family in Takashima (province of ďmi). Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, the daughter of Rokkaku Yorikata, is in love with Motonobu. Nagoya Sanza, a senior retainer of the Rokkaku clan, helped the girl to make Motonobu exchange a cup of sake with Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, which means that the marriage between the two is concluded. Unfortunately for them, the evil and jealous Fuwa no D˘ken, the senior retainer of the Rokkaku family and the father of Fuwa Banzaemon (the arch enemy of Nagoya Sanza), also covets her. He covers Motonobu with a false charge and makes him arrested. Tied to a pillar, Motonobu draws with his own blood the image of a tiger on a sliding paper-door. The image is such a masterpiece that the tiger takes on life, begins to move, picks up Motonobu on its back and disperses the enemies.
  • Takeyabu: this scene is a spectacular tachimawari in a bamboo grove, outside the moat of the Rokkaku palace. Utanosuke (Ichikawa En'ya), a young artist of the Kan˘ school and a disciple of Motonobu, tries unsuccessfully to fight the soldiers of Fuwa no D˘ken to protect Princess Ich˘-no-Mae, who had run away from the Palace with Motonobu.
  • Domo Mata: the artist Matahei (Ichikawa Ukon) has been refused a professional name because of his stuttering. He makes a poor life by drawing folk paintings and decides to make one last effort to gain respectability. His wife Otoku (Ichikawa Emiya), who is given as much to chatter as Matahei is silent, pleads his case. Turned down again by his master, Matahei decides to take his life. He draws a farewell portrait of himself, a painting so skillful that the lines seep through solid rock and this miracle convinces his master to confer a professional name. Featuring Ichikawa Juen as Matahei's master Tosa Sh˘gen Mitsunobu.
  • Kumo no Ito: this spectacular hengemono is about the warlord Minamoto Raik˘, who is confined to bed with illness in his palace. His devoted retainers are on night watch. The spirit of a spider, which has caused Raik˘'s illness in the first place, tries to enter the palace and hopes to destroy Raik˘. The spirit of this evil spider transforms itself in different people: a tea-bringing young servant girl, a medicine peddler, a shinz˘ and a zat˘ expert in sendai j˘ruri. At the end, this spirit appears as the beautiful and gorgeous keisei Usugumodayű, who sneaks in Raik˘'s sleeping room and tries to seduce him. Fortunately for Raik˘, his retainers can intervene in the nick of time and defeat the spider, which furiously throws out streamers of long, sticky web-like threads. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke in the 6 roles of this hengemono. Featuring Ichikawa Monnosuke in the role of Minamoto Raik˘. featuring also Nakamura Kikaku, Ichikawa Omez˘, Nakamura Yonekichi and Ichikawa En'ya as the shitenn˘ Sakata Kintoki, Usui Sadamitsu, Watanabe no Tsuna and Urabe Suetake.
  • Tenjiku Tokubŕ: written in 1804, it was one of the first hit plays by the playwright Tsuruya Nanboku IV, who is famous for his ghost plays. The play features Tokubŕ, a villain who has magical skills. He escapes from pursuers by transforming himself into a giant toad and the star reveals himself as the actor inside the suit in an exciting fight scene. A mysterious blind monk arrives at the mansion of a samurai lord and entertains with the music of a strange xylophone-like instrument and stories of foreign countries, only to be unmasked as Tokubŕ. He jumps into the pond in the garden, with a spray of real water, only to appear instantly in a new guise at the end of the hanamichi runway. In the Edo period, rumors that these tricks were performed with illegal Christian magic led to an investigation by officials of the Shogunate. (These rumors may have been started deliberately as a publicity stunt). Instead of closing down the show, it made it wildly popular and gave it a sensational three-month run - unprecedented for a play that started as a stopgap, summer production. The play begins with a mysterious old man ho reveals to Tokubŕ (Ichikawa Ennosuke) that he is his son, and that he is actually Chinese and aims to take control of Japan. The old man commits suicide to pass on his secrets of magic. The mansion collapses and soon, Tokubŕ can be seen on the roof, standing on a giant toad holding the cut-off head of the old man. This production features all the spectacular scenes of the original play, using all the modern technical resources of the stage at the Meijiza for a play that is guaranteed to be an enjoyable treat. Featuring Ichikawa Danshir˘ and the whole troupe.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "Takashima Yakata", "Takeyabu" and "Kumo no Ito"

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 3 ~ 26 November 2012
    Program

    Ukiyozuka Hiyoku no Inazuma

  • T˘kaid˘ Sakaigimura
  • Kamakura Hasedera
  • Sukedayű Yashiki
  • Suzu-ga-Mori
  • Sanza R˘taku
  • Sayaate
  • Casting

    Matsumoto K˘shir˘, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, ďtani Tomoemon, Ichikawa Unosuke, Nakamura Utae, Matsumoto Kingo, Sawamura S˘nosuke, ďtani Hirotar˘, ďtani Hiromatsu, Band˘ Shingo, Nakamura Hayato

    Comments

    Revival at the National Theatre of 6 scenes from one of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's longest and most famous dramas:

  • Ukiyozuka Hiyoku no Inazuma:
    (Nagoya Sanza and Fuwa Banzaemon: A Clash of Love and Pride in the Pleasure Quarters)
    Originally based on a comic book which wittily showed the daily life of famous historical characters fallen on hard times, the full length play dramatized the stories of the handsome young samurai Nagoya Sanza and Shirai Gonpachi, creating the classical versions of these old characters that have become standard today. This production focuses on the story of Shirai Gonpachi (Ichikawa Komaz˘), a masterless samurai forced to kill a man and who then escapes to Edo. It also features the story of Nagoya Sanza (Nakamura Kinnosuke), a flashy hero of the late 16th century who the model of masculine beauty in the earliest days of Kabuki. The play also shows his lover Iwahashi (Nakamura Fukusuke), a lady-in-waiting in a samurai household who becomes a courtesan to be with her love and the darkly attractive Fuwa Banzaemon (Matsumoto K˘shir˘) who is Sanzaĺs enemy because he killed Sanzaĺs father. The play shows the rivalries and fights within the samurai household that result in all these characters being thrown into the nightlife of Edoĺs pleasure quarters, then with exaggeration and grotesque humor shows Nagoya Sanzaĺs life as a masterless samurai. Finally, with swaggering movements and stately spectacle, shows the confrontation of the two men in the middle of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters with the cherry trees in full bloom. Matsumoto K˘shir˘ also plays the role of Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ, an otokodate who is the rescuer of Shirai Gonpachi.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kanamaruza (Konpira)
    Dates 1 ~ 11 November 2012
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Special Performances
    Program

    Yuki

    Kane no Misaki

    Ibuki

    Casting

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ will star in two Buy˘ dances, "Yuki" and "Kane no Misaki". The 3rd item in the program is a special creation, which features both the Kabuki star and the professional taiko drumming troupe Kod˘. The creation is based on their seventh albums, which is entitled "Ibuki".

    Sh˘chiku ďkabuki Tour
    Dates 1 ~ 25 November 2012 (Sh˘chiku ďkabuki)
    Sh˘chiku Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Gosho Zakura Horikawa no Youchi (Benkei J˘shi)

    Tenaraiko

    Casting

    Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Nakamura Kotar˘

    Comments

    A special Autumn tour sponsored by the Sh˘chiku!

  • Benkei J˘shi:
    (Benkei the Emissary)
    Benkei (Nakamura Hashinosuke), the warrior-priest who served Yoshitsune, is the subject of many plays and legends. He is said to have slept with a woman only once and also to never have cried. In this play, he is forced to be the emissary to tell Yoshitsune's wife, Ky˘-no-Kimi (Nakamura Kotar˘), that she must die, since the fact that her father was a member of the vanquished enemy clan is throwing a suspicion on the loyalty of Yoshitsune. The others try to find someone to die in Ky˘-no-Kimi's place and ask Shinobu (Nakamura Kotar˘), a serving woman. But her mother, Owasa (Kataoka Takatar˘), a seamstress in the mansion absolutely refuses until Shinobu meets her father. Benkei says that he is the father and the tragedy reaches a climax as he recalls his one tryst and weeps as having to kill his daughter.
  • Tenaraiko: a girl dawdles on her way home from school, plays with the butterflies in the field and dreams of love. Starring Nakamura Kotar˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Eirakukan (Toyooka)
    Dates 4 ~ 9 November 2012 (Eirakukan ďkabuki)
    Eirakukan Grand Kabuki
    Program

    Jitsuroku Chűshingura

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Waki Noboru Mizu-ni Koi Taki (Koi Tsukami)

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    This is the 5th Kabuki program at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go).

    ďtsuka Museum of Art (Naruto)
    Dates 13 ~ 15 November 2012 (Sistine Kabuki)
    Program

    Shuten D˘ji

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Kamimura Kichiya, Band˘ Shinsha, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Kamimura Kichitar˘

    Comments

    4th edition of the Sistine Kabuki, a Kabuki program within the Sistine Hall of the ďtsuka Museum of Art, which is located in the city of Naruto (Tokushima prefecture). Inside this museum, there are more than 1,000 replicas of priceless masterpieces of Western art, from ancient murals to modern paintings, which are reproduced in ceramic to their original size. The Sistine Hall is of course a "reproduction" of the Vatican Sistine Chapel. The drama, a newly-created Kabuki drama, is based on the legend of Shuten D˘ji.

    Kinshű Special Tour
    Dates 10 ~ 22 November 2012
    Program

    Yoshiwara Suzume

    Geidan

    Aki no Irokusa

    ďmi no Okane

    Oharame Kuniiri Yakko

    Casting

    Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Nakashir˘, Nakamura Nakanosuke, Nakamura Ich˘, Sawamura Kunihisa

    Comments

    The word kinshű means "Autumn Brocade". This Autumn tour stars the two young stars Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke. The second item in the program is a speech about the 2012 shűmei of Nakamura Kankur˘. All others items in this tour program are dances.

  • Yoshiwara Suzume: in this dance, a husband and wife come to the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters to sell caged sparrows for a ceremony to gain Buddhist merit by releasing living things. Caged sparrows were also images for the courtesans of the pleasure quarters, and the two dance a romantic meeting between a courtesan and her lover, showing the lively and erotic atmosphere of the pleasure quarters. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke as the husband and wife.
  • Aki no Irokusa: this dance was written in 1845 to celebrate the rebuilding of the mansion of the Nanbu clan in the Azabu district of Edo. The lord himself Nanbu Toshitada wrote the text and the music was composed by Kineya Rokuzaemon X (1800~1858). The Nagauta music includes a description of the garden of the mansion in autumn and there is a lengthy instrumental interlude that is supposed to evoke the sounds of insects in the garden. Featuring the supporting young actors Nakamura Nakashir˘, Nakamura Nakanosuke, Nakamura Ich˘ and Sawamura Kunihisa.
  • ďmi no Okane: Okane was a famous strong woman living on the shores of Lake Biwa and is known for stopping a runaway horse with her bare hands. This has become a Kabuki dance that combines strength and charming femininity. This production stars Nakamura Shichinosuke as Okane.
  • Oharame Kuniiri Yakko: this dance shows a charming country girl who sells firewood played with the comic mask of Kagura shrine entertainments. Then, with a fast change on stage, the performer shows a vigorous samurai footman (yakko) holding a ceremonial spear as part of the parade of the samurai lord (daimy˘) who is his master. This is a famous dance of the repertoire of the Band˘ School of Dance. Both roles are performed by Nakamura Kankur˘.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website, except "x"

     
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