4 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza, National Theatre, Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada), 3 in ďsaka (Sh˘chikuza, National Bunraku Theatre), 2 in Nagoya (Misonoza), 1 in Toyooka (Eirakukan), 1 in Sakai (Daisen Park) and 1 in Yamaga (Yachiyoza)!

  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Shid˘ and Band˘ Minosuke perform at the Kabukiza !
  • Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan and Kataoka Takatar˘ perform at the National Theatre !
  • Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Rakuzen, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ and Band˘ Kamez˘ perform at the Misonoza !
  • Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Ichikawa Udanji and Ichikawa Sai'nyű perform at the Sh˘chikuza!
  • Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ performs at the Yachiyoza !
  • Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Kazutar˘ perform at the Eirakukan!
  • The Zenshinza troupe perform at the National Bunraku Theatre!
  • Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 October 2018
    Jűgatsu ďkabuki
    October Grand Kabuki

    Sannin Kichisa Tomoe no Shiranami
    (ďkawabata K˘shinzuka)

    ďeyama Shuten D˘ji

    Sakura Giminden


    Miyajima no Danmari

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshinoyama)

    Sukeroku Kuruwa no Hatsuzakura


    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon, Matsumoto Haku˘, Nakamura Kankur˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Senjaku, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Matagor˘, Kataoka Hidetar˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘, Nakamura Shid˘, Band˘ Minosuke, Matsumoto Haku˘, Ichimura Manjir˘, Band˘ Takesabur˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Sawamura S˘nosuke, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Kotar˘, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichimura Takematsu, ďtani Hirotar˘, Nakamura Tanenosuke, Nakamura Hayato, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Tamatar˘, Nakamura Tsurumatsu, Nakamura Kichinoj˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Kataoka Matsunosuke, Arashi Kitsusabur˘


    The Kabukiza commemorates the 6th anniversary (7th memorial services) of the passing away of the Heisei star Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII.

  • Sannin Kichisa:
    (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
    The playwright Kawatake Mokuami excelled at portrayals of thieves and this short scene, with its music and poetic lines, is one of his most famous. A beautiful young woman helps out a woman who is lost on the road. But she is actually Oj˘ Kichisa, a male thief who is disguised as a woman. He steals an immense sum of money that the woman is carrying and this leads to an encounter on this riverbank of three thieves, all with the name Kichisa. The two others Kichisa are Osh˘ Kichisa, a bonze turned thief, and Ob˘ Kichisa, an ex-samurai turned thief Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang. Featuring Nakamura Shichinosuke as Oj˘ Kichisa, Nakamura Shid˘ as Osh˘ Kichisa and Band˘ Minosuke as Ob˘ Kichisa.
  • ďeyama:
    (The Demon of Mt. ďe)
    One of the most famous stories about demons is about Shuten D˘ji, the demon of Mt. ďe, who loved sake and terrorized Ky˘to by kidnapping beautiful women and forcing them to serve him before he ate them. Finally, he is defeated by the famous demon-quelling warrior Minamoto no Raik˘ and his four followers. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as Shuten D˘ji and Nakamura Senjaku as Raik˘. Based on a classical play, this is a dance that was created by Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII. Also featuring Nakamura Kinnosuke and Ichikawa Komaz˘.
  • Sakura Giminden: this play is rare among classics in having a political theme. It depicts a country landlord Kiuchi S˘g˘ (Matsumoto Haku˘) who cannot stand the suffering of the farmers around him. A series of bad harvests has made things very hard, but corrupt officials refuse to lower taxes or relent in any way. Finally, S˘g˘ decides to bring the case directly to the Sh˘gun, a move punishable by death. The play shows S˘g˘ as he persuades the old keeper of the river crossing (Nakamura Karoku) to let him pass and says a final farewell to his wife Osan (Nakamura Shichinosuke) and children. Meanwhile, he is watched by a villainous informer, Maboroshi no Ch˘kichi (Band˘ Yajűr˘). Finally, S˘g˘ brings his case directly to the Sh˘gun (Nakamura Kankur˘), knowing that whether he is successful or not, he will be executed.
  • Miyajima no Danmari: the beautiful courtesan Ukifune (Nakamura Senjaku) appears at Itsukushima Shrine, but she is actually the famous and daring thief Kesatar˘ coming to steal the treasures of the shrine. Other famous characters from the Heike clan, closely associated with the shrine, appear, and there is a dreamy fight in the dark. This play is especially famous for the odd way in which Ukifune mixes both masculine and feminine movements. Featuring also Nakamura Kinnosuke, Ichimura Manjir˘, Kataoka Kamez˘, Ichikawa Komaz˘ and Band˘ Yajűr˘.
  • Yoshinoyama: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu. But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries, a drum made from the skins of his fox parents. Starring Nakamura Kankur˘ as Tadanobu, with Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as Shizuka. Featuring also Band˘ Minosuke as Hayami no T˘ta.
  • Sukeroku: the dandy Sukeroku is the most famous patron of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. But his reputation as the lover of Agemaki, the highest ranking courtesan in the quarter is matched by that of his tendency to pick fights. In fact, Sukeroku is the samurai Soga no Gor˘ in disguise, and he uses the fights to find a lost heirloom sword. His search takes place in the colorful atmosphere of the Yoshiwara where processions of beautiful courtesans compete with the splendor of cherry blossoms in full bloom. All the top stars in Kabuki appear in a procession of beautiful, exciting and amusing roles. Starring Living National Treasure Kataoka Nizaemon and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Hanakawado Sukeroku and Miuraya Agemaki. Featuring also Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kankur˘, Kataoka Sennosuke, Nakamura Kotar˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Nakamura Matagor˘ and Band˘ Minosuke in the roles of Ikyű, the shirozake seller Shinbŕ, Fukuyama Katsugi, the courtesan Miuraya Shiratama, the passer-by, Kanpera Monbei and Asagao Senpei. Featuring also Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ (Mank˘), Kataoka Hidetar˘ (the Miuraya ny˘b˘) and Band˘ Takesabur˘ (Otatsu).
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Theatre (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 October 2018

    Heike Nyogo no Shima

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

  • Shikina no Ura
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘, Nakamura Shikan, Kataoka Takatar˘, Nakamura Kikaku, Nakamura Matsue, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Nakamura Fukunosuke, Nakamura Baika, Band˘ Shingo


    Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Heike Nyogo no Shima" is staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen at the National Theatre. The "Shikina no Ura" act was staged for the last time in October 1995 (only revival since the end of WWII). The other rarely-staged act, "Rokuhara Kiyomori Yakata", was staged three times, always at the National Theatre: April 1967, October 1995 and October 2007.

  • Heike Nyogo no Shima: Taira no Kiyomori (Nakamura Shikan), the dictator in the 12th century, exiles the priest Shunkan (Nakamura Shikan) and two noblemen to Kikai-ga-Shima for plotting against him. He takes Shunkanĺs wife Azumaya (Kataoka Takatar˘) to his mansion and compels her to serve him, but she preserves her chastity by committing suicide. A boat arrives in the island with the envoys of Kiyomori. A pardon is given to Shunkanĺs fellow conspirators, but Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so, he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife Chidori can accompany her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching it disappear in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever. As the boat arrives at Shikina Bay, a roofed pleasure boat Cloistered Emperor Goshirakawa (Living National Treasure Nakamura T˘z˘) and Kiyomori are on board passes by. Kiyomori plots to make Goshirakawa drown, pretending to visit Itsukushima Shrine. Chidori tries to rescue Goshirakawa but is killed by Kiyomori. In time, the spirits of Azumaya and Chidori who resent cold-hearted Kiyomori haunt him.
  • Source: National Theatre

    Misonoza (Nagoya)
    Dates 1 ~ 25 October 2018
    Kichirei Kaomise
    Annual Festive Face-Showing Program

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
    (Torii Mae)

    Ninin Wankyű

    Nozarashi Gosuke


    Onna Shibaraku


    Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi (Kirare Yosa)

  • Misome
  • Genjidana
  • Casting

    Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Onoe Sh˘roku, Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘, Band˘ Rakuzen, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘, Band˘ Shűch˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Nakamura Baishi, Ichimura Kitsutar˘, Nakamura Mantar˘, Onoe Ukon


    The classic October kaomise programs in Nagoya. For the first time at the Misonoza since its reopening in April 2018. This is the 49th kaomise in Nagoya.

  • Torii Mae:
    (In Front of the Fushimi Inari Shrine)
    This is a short scene showing the troubles of Yoshitsune after his brother Yoritomo, the Sh˘gun, turns against him. Yoshitsune (Band˘ Kamez˘) is forced to flee from the troops sent by his brother Yoritomo. The trip will be hard and he decides he must leave behind his lover Shizuka Gozen (Onoe Ukon), despite her passionate pleas to remain with him. As a reminder of himself, he presents her with a precious hand drum that he had received from the emperor. Yoshitsune's retainer Tadanobu (Onoe Sh˘roku) rescues Shizuka from Yoritomo's troops and Yoshitsune decides to have Tadanobu protect her on the road, not knowing that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox in disguise. Featuring also Band˘ Hikosabur˘ as Musashib˘ Benkei.
  • Ninin Wankyű: the fabulously wealthy Wan'ya Kyűbŕ (nicknamed Wankyű) is disowned by his family for falling in love with the courtesan Matsuyama. Then, when she dies, he goes mad with grief and wanders through the countryside. This dance shows him as he imagines meeting Matsuyama again and there is a lively dance recalling their happiness together before the vision fades and he is left alone. Starring Nakamura Tokiz˘ as Wankyű and Nakamura Tokiz˘'s son Nakamura Baishi as Matsuyama.
  • Nozarashi Gosuke: this is a sewamono play, a work portraying in a realistic way the lives of ordinary people in the Edo period (1603-1868). Gosuke (Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘) is a chivalrous commoner in ďsaka and a pupil of a famous priest. Being a very handsome and suave man, he finds himself proposed to by two women. But he is perplexed because he is undergoing ascetic practices. Nor is this all, having inadvertently insulted a local gang boss, he is challenged by the gang. Since it is the anniversary of his mother's death, however, he refrains from fighting back due to his religious observances. Finally, he takes his own revenge on the gang boss later, in front of a large temple gate in a spectacular fight scene. Featuring also Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Kaishun, Band˘ Shűch˘, Ichikawa Danz˘, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji.
  • Onna Shibaraku: more ceremony than play, "Shibaraku" is one of the oldest pieces in Kabuki. Just as an evil villain is about to execute a group of loyal retainers, a voice calls out for him to wait and a hero appears to save the day. This version is a parody, though, as the hero is played by an onnagata female role specialist, who mixes the super-human strength of an aragoto hero with the soft gentleness of a Kabuki heroine. Featuring Nakamura Kaishun as the heroine Tomoe Gozen and Band˘ Rakuzen as the larger-than-life villain Kaba no Kaja Noriyori, with Living National Treasure Onoe Kikugor˘ as a friendly stage attendant who makes sure that everything goes right. Featuring also Nakamura Baigyoku, Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘, Band˘ Hikosabur˘, Band˘ Kamez˘ and Band˘ Shűch˘.
  • Renjishi: 2 entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. There is a comic interlude with 2 Buddhist pilgrims. Then, the shishi themselves appear and perform their dance with wild shaking of their long manes. The dance shows a parent shishi forcing his cub to undergo harsh training in order to grow up strong. This theme is often associated with the training a parent actor gives his son. This performance features Onoe Sh˘roku in the role of the parent shishi and his son Nakamura Mantar˘ in the role of the cub.
  • Kirare Yosa: Yosabur˘ (Nakamura Baigyoku), the refined young son of a wealthy merchant falls in love with Otomi (Nakamura Tokiz˘) the moment he first sees her on the beach. But Otomi is the mistress of a powerful gangster, and when their relationship is discovered, the two are attacked. Yosabur˘ is cut from head to toe and the two are dumped into the sea. Otomi lives and is taken in by a rich merchant while Yosabur˘ is now covered with scars. Yosabur˘ turns into a petty thief and extortionist but one day, finds that the woman he is about to blackmail is none other than Otomi, alive and well. Featuring also Ichikawa Sadanji, Ichikawa Danz˘ and Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Sh˘chikuza (ďsaka)
    Dates 2 ~ 26 October 2018
    Jűgatsu ďkabuki
    October Grand Kabuki

    Kaka Saiyűki


    Kami no Megumi Wag˘ no Torikumi
    (Megumi no Kenka)

    Tamaya Seikichi


    Futago Sumidagawa


    Living National Treasure Sakata T˘jűr˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Ganjir˘, Ichikawa Udanji, Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Ichikawa Ukon, ďtani Tomoemon, Kataoka Ichiz˘, Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichikawa Monnosuke, Ichikawa Emisabur˘, Ichikawa Emiya, Ichikawa Omez˘, Ichikawa Kudanji, Nakamura Jűjir˘, Nakamura Yonekichi, ďtani Hiromatsu, Ichikawa Otora, Ichikawa K˘tar˘


    Ichikawa Udanji III and Ichikawa Sai'nyű II celebrate their shűmei in ďsaka at the Sh˘chikuza.

  • Kaka Saiyűki:
    (Journey to the West)
    One of the most popular Chinese classics is the story of the Journey to the West, about a Buddhist priest that traveled along the Silk Road from China to India to collect Buddhist scriptures. He is accompanied by a magical monkey spirit and some other creatures who protect him as they encounter all sorts of hazards on their journey. This play shows the group as they meet a beautiful princess, who is actually the spirit of spider. Udanji's great master Ichikawa Ennosuke III revived this work and his version was a sensation that included all kinds of stage tricks. Featuring Ichikawa Udanji and Ichikawa Ukon.
  • 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 Ichikawa Udanji III and Ichikawa Sai'nyű II.
  • Megumi no Kenka: they used to say that fights and fires were the flowers of the city of Edo and many plays feature the gallent members of firefighting troupes, who were popular heroes. This particular play depicts a rivalry between the members of the Megumi firefighting band and a group of sum˘ wrestlers, which ultimately is a confrontation between the firefighters, who represent the commoner class and the samurai patrons of the sum˘ wrestlers. The fight begins with a minor incident, but grows into a situation of such tension, that when Tatsugor˘, the leader of the firefighting gang, goes to his final fight, he goes with the full intention that this may be a fight to the death. Before he leaves, he has an emotional parting from his family. Featuring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ as Tatsugor˘ and Ichikawa Udanji as the leader of the group of sum˘ wrestlers. Featuring also Nakamura Jakuemon (Tatsugor˘'s wife Onaka), Ichikawa Sai'nyű, Nakamura Ganjir˘ and ďtani Tomoemon.
  • Tamaya Seikichi: this brand-new dance staged with a cutting-edge technique for image projection will be performed for the first time this month. Fireworks lit up night sky in Edo (the old name for T˘ky˘). Seikichi (Ichikawa Ebiz˘) dreams of becoming the best pyrotechnician in the city and works on various ways to develop and expand his fireworks to please people of Edo.
  • Futago Sumidagawa: this is a spectacular jidaimono history play written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon and based on a tragic legend about twins and their mother in the Heian period (10th century). Incurring the enmity of Jirob˘ Tengu (the tengu Jirob˘, Yoshida no Sh˘sh˘ Yukifusa's son Matsuwakamaru (Ichikawa Ukon) is kidnapped and he himself is killed. Yukifusa (Ichikawa Monnosuke), who plots to take over the Yoshida clan, persuades Matsuwakamaru's twin brother Umewakamaru to draw the eyes on the carp in a scroll painting that he took from the Imperial Court. With its eyes painted in, the carp comes to life and jumps out of the scroll, after which Umewakamaru goes into hiding. Sarushima S˘ta (Ichikawa Udanji), who was once a retainer of the Yoshida clan, makes a living as a slave trader to compensate for the gold coins he embezzled from his lord. He beat a boy to death only to learn later that the boy was Umewakamaru. He commits suicide by disembowelment, becomes Shichir˘ Tengu (the tengu Shichir˘) and vows to restore the Yoshida clan. Hanjo Gozen (Ichikawa Ennosuke) wanders in search for her son Umewakamaru. Hearing that Umewakamaru is dead, she is about to throw herself into the river when she reunites with Matsuwakamaru. Shichir˘ Tengu flies away with Hanjo Gozen and Matsuwakamaru to the capital. Featuring also Ichikawa Ebiz˘, Nakamura Ganjir˘ and Ichikawa Sai'nyű.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    Eirakukan (Toyooka)
    Dates 18 ~ 24 October 2018
    Eirakukan ďkabuki
    Eirakukan Grand Kabuki

    Gosho Zakura Horikawa no Youchi (Benkei J˘shi)


    K˘ no Tori


    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘, Kamimura Kichiya, ďtani Keiz˘


    This is the 11th Kabuki program at the Eirakukan, a renovated traditional theater built in the city of Toyooka (prefecture of Hy˘go).

    Yachiyoza (Yamaga)
    Dates 30 October ~ 04 November 2018
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Eiz˘ x Buy˘ K˘en
    Band˘ Tamasabur˘ Image and Dance Performances


    Shunky˘ Kagami Jishi

    Fuji Musume


    Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘


    A special Buy˘ program starring the amazing Living National Treasure onnagata Band˘ Tamasabur˘ in Yamaga at the Yachiyoza, a traditional wooden-built theater. There is a mix of video projection (with video sequences coming from the high-quality Shinema Kabuki, "Cinema Kabuki") and real dancing on stage.

  • 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 Yachiyoza, it is a stage speech delivered by Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Kagami Jishi: one of the most important dances for onnagata female role specialists and is an audience favorite. The maidservant Yayoi performs an auspicious lion dance for the Sh˘gun in his opulent palace, but she gradually finds herself under the control of the lion spirit. In the second half of the dance, the lion spirit itself appears and performs its crazed dance among peonies and fluttering butterflies. Starring Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as both Yayoi and the spirit of the lion.
  • Fuji Musume: the spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of Kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Living National Treasure Band˘ Tamasabur˘.
  • Sources: Sh˘chiku Kabuki Official Website

    National Bunraku Theatre (ďsaka)
    Dates 4 ~ 10 October 2018
    Zenshinza Tokubetsu K˘en
    Zenshinza Special Performances

    Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki


    Kawarasaki Kunitar˘, Arashi Yoshisabur˘, Fujikawa Yanosuke, Matsunami Kihachir˘, Tadamura Shin'ya


    Special Zenshinza performances in ďsaka. Not at the Minamiza, as it used to be, but at the Ky˘to Gekij˘. "Ura Nagaya S˘d˘ki", which was written by the veteran movie director Yamada Y˘ji and was premiered in May 2017 at the National Theatre, is based on two famous rakugo stories, "Rakuda" and "Ido no Chawan".

    Daisen Park (Sakai)
    Dates 13 October 2018
    Kataoka Ainosuke Tokubetsu K˘en
    Kataoka Ainosuke Special Performance


    Nasu Monogatari

    Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshinoyama)


    Kataoka Ainosuke, Nakamura Kazutar˘


    A special Kabuki performance on a temporary stage built at the Daisen Park in the city of Sakai. This is the 37th edition of the World Heritage Theater, theater performances in world heritage sites in Japan. Mozu Kofungun, the Mozu Tombs in Sakai. The first item in this program is a talk about the event. The second item is a Ky˘gen dance-drama performed by the ky˘genshi Shigeyama Ippei. The third and last item is the famous Kabuki dance "Yoshinoyama".

    Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 22 October 2018

    Shibuya Konn˘maru Densetsu


    Matsumoto K˘shir˘


    A newly-created Kabuki dance at the Shibuya-ku Bunka S˘g˘ Center ďwada. Ichikawa Somegor˘ shares the stage with the dance masters Onoe Miyako and Goj˘ Tamatar˘.

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