NOVEMBER 2020
Postponement of one Kabuki show and cancellation of another show in November 2020 due to coronavirus (COVID-19)!!!

6 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre), 1 in Fukuoka (Hakataza), 1 in Toyooka (Eirakukan) and 1 in Yamaga (Yachiyoza)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 1 ~ 26 November 2020
Kichirei Kaomise ďkabuki
Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki
1st program

Kumo no Ito Azusa no Yumihari

2nd program

Migawari Zazen

3rd program

Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki
(Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari)

4th program

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
(Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata)

Casting

Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Ichikawa En'ya, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Matsumoto Kingo, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘, Onoe Ukon, Nakamura Hayato, Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Kangyoku, Nakamura Yonekichi, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Ichikawa Danko, Sawamura Kuniya

  • Kumo no Ito: one of the oldest dances related to the legend of a giant ground spider that attacked the medieval warrior, Minamoto no Yorimitsu. Yorimitsu is visited by the spider with magical powers disguised first as a child, second as a courtesanĺs girl attendant (shinz˘), then as a taiko mochi and finally as a courtesan. After revealing its true nature the spider spins trying to trap the warrior in its web. Starring Ichikawa Ennosuke in the 5 roles of this hengemono. Featuring Nakamura Hayato in the role of Minamoto Raik˘.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) wants nothing more than to visit his lover Hanako, but he has one important problem, his homely and overbearing wife (Ichikawa Sadanji). He creates a scheme saying that he will be practicing Zen meditation all night and has his servant (Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘) 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.
  • Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari: the world is ruled by Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the Heike clan. Tokiwa Gozen, the widow of the head of the defeated Genji clan and mother of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, the future leaders of the clan, has become the mistress of the dictator Kiyomori, then the wife of Lord ďkura, a seemingly simple-minded fool who spends all his time watching pretty women dance. Outraged members of the Genji clan sneak into Lord ďkura's mansion only to discover that Tokiwa Gozen's immorality and Lord ďkura's idiocy are a guise, the only way to survive in a world ruled by the enemy. This performance stars Matsumoto Haku˘ as Lord ďkura, Nakamura Kaishun as Tokiwa Gozen, Nakamura Shikan as Yoshioka Kijir˘ and Nakamura Kazutar˘ as Yoshioka's wife Oky˘.
  • 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 Shid˘ as the fox Tadanobu. Also featuring Nakamura Kangyoku and Ichikawa Somegor˘ as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Comments

    The traditional November kaomise programs at the Kabukiza.

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 2 ~ 25 November 2020
    1st Program

    Heike Nyogo no Shima

  • Rokuhara Kiyomori Yakata
  • Kikai-ga-Shima (Shunkan)

  • 2nd Program

    Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi

  • Sugisaka Hakasho

  • Keya-mura Rokusuke Sumika

  • Fumi Uri

    Sanja Matsuri

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Jakuemon, Onoe Kikunosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Nakamura Baishi, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Takanosuke, Nakamura Kash˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Arashi Kitsusabur˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Ogawa Hiroharu

    Comments

    The Second Grand Kabuki performances at the National Theatre since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. This is also the first stage apperance of Nakamura Tokiz˘'s grandson and Nakamura Baishi's son Ogawa Hiroharu!

  • Heike Nyogo no Shima: there are few plays as universally popular as the story of Shunkan, a rebellious monk exiled to a remote island along with two companions, all conspirators against Taira no Kiyomori, the powerful dictator that rules Japan. They are pardoned, but Shunkan sacrifices himself so that one of his companions can leave together with his new wife, a fishing girl named Chidori. In the end, Shunkan, now alone forever, waves at the ship bearing his companions until it disappears in the distance. This play is actually one act of a long play by the great writer Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653~1724) titled "Heike Nyogo no Shima" first performed as a puppet play in 1719. The original play is loosely based on historical events and the entire play has spectacle and a grand scale that sets off the intense human drama of the one act that is usually performed. In 1967, the National Theater revived the first act that takes place in Kiyomori's mansion and this production will feature both this scene and the more famous act that contains the heart of the drama. Starring Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon as Shunkan and Kiyomori, Onoe Kikunosuke as the good messenger Tanzaemon and Shunkan's wife Azumaya, Nakamura Matagor˘ as the evil messenger Senoo, Nakamura Jakuemon as the island girl Chidori and Nakamura Kinnosuke as Shunkan's companion Naritsune.
  • Kiyomori Yakata:
    (Kiyomori's Mansion at Rokuhara)
    After attempting to overthrow the tyrant Kiyomori, the priest Shunkan and his companions have been exiled. Kiyomori summons Shunkan's wife Azumaya and attempts to force her to wait on him personally but instead she commits suicide, berating Kiyomori for his crimes.
  • Shunkan:
    (Shunkan's Exile on Devil's Island)
    After three years on the island, a ship comes for the exiles. But Shunkan's name is not on the list of the pardoned carried by the evil Senoo. However, there is another pardon carried by another official. When they try to board the ship, Senoo refuses to allow Chidori, the young wife of one of the exiles, to board since her name does not appear on the list. Shunkan tries to help and Senoo contemptuously tells him that his beloved wife is dead. With nothing but emptiness awaiting him in the capital, Shunkan decides to kill Senoo and put Chidori on the ship. As the ship leaves, Shunkan waves until they disappear in the distance.
  • Sugisaka/Keya-mura: Rokusuke (Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon), a farmer who lives at the foot of Mt. Hiko in Buzen Province, is a master swordsman. In Kokura Domain, a proclamation was issued that they will employ a man who defeats Rokusuke as a retainer. After his mother's death, Rokusuke keeps vigil at Sugisaka Grave for 49 nights. One night, when Rokusuke is praying to Amida Buddha, Mijin Danj˘ (Band˘ Yajűr˘), a masterless samurai passes by with his old mother (Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘). Mijin Danj˘ asks Rokusuke to let him win the sword match wanting to be a good son. Touched by his filial piety towards his mother, Rokusuke promises to do so. After they part, a young samurai serving Rokusuke's master, Yoshioka Ichimisai, is attacked by a bandit. Rokusuke drives the bandit away, but he breathes his last after leaving the boy he was with in Rokusuke's care. A few days later the sword match is held at Rokusuke's house and Rokusuke gives Danj˘ the match as he had promised. Just after, Rokusuke's fiancee Osono (Kataoka Takatar˘) whom Rokusuke has never met comes to Rokusuke's house disguised as a Zen priest. To Rokusuke's surprise, Yasomatsu (Ogawa Hiroharu), the boy left in Rokusuke's care, turns out to be the son of Osono's sister. Furthermore, Rokusuke finds out that Danj˘ is in reality Ky˘goku Takumi who attacked Ichimisai, Osono's father and Rokusuke's master, under the cover of darkness. Rokusuke becomes furious to know that he was deceived, and goes out with Osono to avenge himself on Ky˘goku Takumi.
  • Fumi Uri:
    (Love Letter Seller)
    This is one of a series of four transformation dances that is now performed independently. A woman (Nakamura Baishi) appears carrying a branch of plum blossom to which many love letters are tied. She enacts how two courtesans Odamaki and Katsumi compete for a man. Having finished talking, she departs.
  • Sanja Matsuri: a vigorous dance starring Kataoka Sennosuke and Nakamura Takanosuke. It is based on dolls at the Sanja festival showing the founding of the temple at Asakusa when two fishermen found a golden image of the Kannon in their nets. In this case, the holy spirits that they encounter are two spheres with the characters for "good" and "evil" on them, and the spirits possess the two and animate them into a lively dance.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Hakataza (Fukuoka)
    Dates 11 ~ 25 November 2020
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Tokubetsu K˘en
    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ Special Performances
    MatinÚe

    Ryűsei

    Kanjinch˘

    Evening

    Hagoromo

    Chatsubo

    Goaisatsu

    Omatsuri

    Casting

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, ďtani Hiromatsu

    Comments

    Ichikawa Ebiz˘ performs at the Hakataza. First Kabuki performances in Fukuoka since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Ryűsei:
    (A Falling Star)
    In myth, the heavenly shepherd boy and celestial weaver maid only can meet once a year. They no longer are united than a falling star, or ryűsei appears with an urgent report, which actually turns out to be the story of marital discord in the family of the thunder god living in a poor tenement in heaven. The highlight of this dance is this story with the dancer changing instantly from role to role playing the thunder god, his angry wife, his little son and the elderly thunder goddess from next door who tries to break up the fight. Starring Band˘ Minosuke as a falling star.
  • Kanjinch˘: probably the most popular Kabuki play today, it includes dance, comedy and the heart-warming pathos of a band of heroes during their last days. Disguised as a band of traveling priests the fugitive general Yoshitsune and his small band of retainers are stopped at a road barrier. They escape only through the quick thinking of the head retainer, a warrior priest named Musashib˘ Benkei, who improvises the text of an elaborate imperial decree. Having escaped danger Benkei and the others describe their days of glory and hardships on the road to escape in a moving dance. This program stars Ichikawa Ebiz˘ in the role of Benkei, with Nakamura Kotar˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as Yoshitsune and the barrier keeper Togashi.
  • Hagoromo: the legend of the angel who came to earth to bathe and then had her heavenly feathered robe stolen by a fisherman is famous in all forms of Japanese theater. This month features an elegant dance version of the story with ďtani Hiromatsu as the fisherman and Nakamura Kotar˘ as the angel.
  • Chatsubo: the farces of the classical Ky˘gen theater have universal appeal, showing the relationships of masters and servants and husbands and wives. In this particular dance play, a servant (Ichikawa Kudanji) carries a precious tea caddy which a thief (Band˘ Minosuke) then claims is his. The servant and the thief must both explain who owns the treasure, first in words, then in dance. Featuring also Kataoka Ichiz˘ in the role of the magistrate.
  • Goaisatsu: a special greetings (goaisatsu) stage speech made by Ichikawa Ebiz˘.
  • Omatsuri: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as a gallant fireman boss at a festival telling a rueful tale of failure in love and showing the vigorous work songs of firefighters. Featuring also Ichikawa Udanji, Band˘ Minosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘ and ďtani Hiromatsu.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Eirakukan (Toyooka)
    Dates ??? ~ ??? November 2020 [CANCELLED]
    Eirakukan ďkabuki
    Eirakukan Grand Kabuki
    Program

    ???

    Casting

    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, ???

    Comments

    This should have been the 13th Kabuki program at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go).

    Yachiyoza (Yamaga)
    Dates 30 October ~ 8 November 2020 [POSTPONED]
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Eiz˘ x Buy˘ K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Image and Dance Performances
    Program

    Omemie K˘j˘

    Fuji Musume

    Sagi Musume

    Casting

    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Yamaga at the Yachiyoza, a traditional wooden-built theater. There will be a mix of video projection (with video sequences coming from the high-quality Shinema Kabuki, "Cinema Kabuki") and real dancing on stage. It celebrates the 30th anniversary of Band˘ Tamasabur˘'s performances at the Yachiyoza. It was originally supposed to be staged in May 2020, then again in October 2020/November 2020, but, due to the COVID-19 crisis, it was postponed twice.

     
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