SEPTEMBER 2007

3 shows in T˘ky˘ (Kabukiza) and 3 tours (Western Provinces, Kabuki Forum, Kinshű Special Tour)!

Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
Dates 2 ~ 26 September 2007 (Kugatsu ďkabuki)
MatinÚe

Ry˘ma ga Yuku

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

Mura no Matsukaze Ninin Shiokumi

Evening

Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki (Akoya)

Migawari Zazen

Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa

Casting

Nakamura Kichiemon, Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Nakamura Shikan, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kaishun, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Fukusuke, Nakamura Shinjir˘, Nakamura Karoku, Nakamura Kash˘, Ichikawa Somegor˘

Comments

This is the second edition of a special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan), which is produced at the Kabukiza to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan. The star of this program is his adopted son Nakamura Kichiemon II. The last item in the evening program, "Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa", belongs to the Shűzan Jisshu.

  • Ry˘ma ga Yuku: this is a dramatization of the first section of the tremendously popular historical novel by Shiba Ry˘tar˘ (1923~1996) about Sakamoto Ry˘ma (1836~1867), a visionary revolutionary at the end of the Tokugawa Period who brought various rival factions together to battle the Shogunate and would have led Japan boldly, if he had not been assassinated in a bloody battle. Starring Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Kash˘ and Nakamura Karoku.
  • 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 Nakamura Kichiemon as Kumagai, with Nakamura Fukusuke as Kumagai's wife Sagami, Nakamura Shibajaku as Fuji-no-Kata, Nakamura Shikan as Yoshitsune and Nakamura Tomijűr˘ as Midaroku.
  • Ninin Shiokumi: in the classical Theatre, there are few plays as evocative as Matsukaze, the story of a court noble exiled to the seacoast where he falls in love with two fisher women. The women make their living scooping up heavy buckets of sea water to make salt and this has become a famous dance. Starring Band˘ Tamasabur˘ and Nakamura Fukusuke as the two fisher women.
  • Akoya: the courtesan Akoya is the wife of the fugitive general Kagekiyo and has been captured and will be tortured until she reveals his whereabouts. But she claims not to know. The wise Shigetada (Nakamura Kichiemon) puts Akoya to a test, all the time hindered by his companion, the humorous villain Iwanaga (Ichikawa Danshir˘). Shigetada forces Akoya to play several instruments since the slightest disturbance in the sound would indicate that she is lying. A showpiece for an onnagata who must actually play the koto, the bowed kokyű and the shamisen flawlessly as part of the drama. Starring Band˘ Tamasabur˘ as Akoya.
  • Migawari Zazen: a dance play adopted from a classical ky˘gen farce. A man (Ichikawa Danjűr˘) 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 (Ichikawa Somegor˘) 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.
  • Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa: in the early Edo period, the first Sh˘gun had a great problem in dealing with Toyotomi Hideyori, the young son of Hideyoshi. Even though Tokugawa Ieyasu took control of Japan away from Hideyoriĺs clan, it remained very influential and powerful. Although the Tokugawa Sh˘gun was respectful and cordial on the surface, he constantly searched for an opportunity to destroy Hideyori and his clan. This play is one of many that focuses on Hideyoriĺs loyal retainer, the elderly but still powerful Kat˘ Kiyomasa. Tokugawa Ieyasu (Ichikawa Sadanji) invites Hideyori (Nakamura Fukusuke) to a banquet at the Nij˘ Castle in Ky˘to. Hideyori is at constant risk and is only protected by the constant vigilance of Kiyomasa (Nakamura Kichiemon). Plays about Kiyomasa were a particular favorite of Nakamura Kichiemon I and this month features a rare performance of a play from the tradition of the present Kichiemonĺs grandfather.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabukiza (T˘ky˘)
    Dates 27 September 2007 (Kabukiza Tokubetsu Buy˘ K˘en)
    Program

    Shikakubashira Saru no Kusemai

    Takao

    Ukare B˘zu

    Yuki

    Sagi Musume

    Casting

    Nakamura Jakuemon, Nakamura Tomijűr˘, Band˘ Tamasabur˘, Onoe Sh˘roku

    Comments

    A special Buy˘ program at the Kabukiza, which stars Band˘ Tamasabur˘ ("Sagi Musume" and "Yuki"), Nakamura Tomijűr˘ ("Ukare B˘zu"), Nakamura Jakuemon ("Takao") and Onoe Sh˘roku ("Shikakubashira Saru no Kusemai").

    Kabuki Tour in the western provinces
    Dates 31 August ~ 24 September 2007
    Program

    Sh˘fudatsuki Kongen Kusazuri

    K˘j˘

    Banch˘ Sarayashiki

    Modori Kago Iro ni Aikata

    Casting

    Nakamura Kinnosuke, Nakamura Baigyoku, Nakamura Tokiz˘, Nakamura T˘z˘, Onoe Sh˘roku, Nakamura Matsue, Matsumoto Kingo, Nakamura Baishi, Nakamura Hayato

    Comments

    Nakamura Kinnosuke celebrates his shűmei in the Western provinces, playing the roles of Hanaregoma Shirobŕ and Azuma no Yoshir˘ (in reality Mashiba Hisayoshi) in "Banch˘ Sarayashiki" and "Modori Kago".

  • Kusazuri:
    (the Tug-of-War Over the Armor)
    A short dance in the oldest style of Kabuki, leisurely and full of humor, combining the charm of an onnagata female role specialist with the larger-than-life heroism of the bombastic aragoto style of acting. The strong woman Maizuru stops the powerful, but rash, warrior Soga no Gor˘ from rushing to a fight by pulling on the set of armor he is carrying. Starring Nakamura Matsue and Nakamura Baishi as Gor˘ and Maizuru.
  • K˘j˘: there is a close relationship between the stage and the audience in Kabuki and this is shown by these ceremonial stage announcements where the top stars of the company address the audience directly. For this tour, the actors celebrate the shűmei of Nakamura Kinnosuke.
  • Banch˘ Sarayashiki: the story of Okiku, who became a ghost after breaking one of a precious set of plates and being killed in punishment by a quick-tempered lord, is one of the most famous in Japanese tradition. But this is a modern play, which transforms the ghost story into a portrait of the interaction of contrasting and incompatable personalities. The samurai lord Aoyama Harima (Nakamura Baigyoku) is passionate and quick to fight and is in the middle of a fight when he is stopped by his aunt (Nakamura T˘z˘). She has arranged a marriage for him and Harima is unable to admit that the reason he will not marry is because he is deeply in love with Okiku (Nakamura Tokiz˘), a lady-in-waiting in his household. As strong as Harima is, his aunt's will is much stronger. But this makes Okiku wonder about the strength of Harima's love for her and she tests him by breaking one of a set of heirloom plates. When she tests Harima's feelings, this seals her fate and sets the tragedy of the play in motion.
  • Modori Kago: two palanquin bearers, one from ďsaka, the other from Edo (pre-modern T˘ky˘), decide to stop and rest. As they do so, each boasts of the respective merits of his native town. Finally, the little apprentice courtesan (kamuro) they have been carrying, alights from the palanquin and joins them in their dance. Featuring Onoe Sh˘roku as the palanquin bearer from ďsaka (in reality Ishikawa Goemon), Nakamura Kinnosuke as the palanquin bearer from Edo (in reality Goemon's arch-enemy Mashiba Hisayoshi) and Nakamura Kinnosuke's son Nakamura Hayato as the kamuro.
  • Source: Earphone Guide website

    Kabuki Forum
    Dates 15 ~ 26 September 2007
    Program

    Ume˘maru no Dekiru Made

    Hachiman Matsuri Yomiya no Nigiwai

    Yasaku no Kamabara

    Casting

    ???

    Comments

    The stars of this original program, the 22nd edition of the Kabuki Forum, are all disciples of famous actors.

    Kinshű Special Tour
    Dates 7 ~ 24 September 2007
    Program

    Yoshiwara Suzume

    Geidan

    Niwaka Jishi

    Meoto D˘j˘ji

    Casting

    Nakamura Kantar˘, Nakamura Shichinosuke

    Comments

    The word kinshű means "Autumn Brocade". This Autumn tour stars the two young stars Nakamura Kantar˘ and Nakamura Shichinosuke. The second item in this program is a speech about the art of Kabuki. The first one and the last two ones are dances.

     
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