April Kabuki Program for Grand Opening of Kabukiza Theatre

Daily : April 2nd through 28th

Box Seat : 22,000 / First Class Seat : 20,000 / Second Class : 15,000 / Upper Tier A : 6,000 / Upper Tier B : 4,000
Unit : Japanese Yen (tax included)

Part 1 (from 11:00 AM):

KOTOBUKI IWAU KABUKI NO IRODORI - Kakuju Senzai
An elegant dance of the crane to celebrate the Grand Opening of Kabukiza Theatre. In Japanese tradition the crane is thought to be an auspicious creature and live for a thousand year.
OMATSURI
The gallant commoners of an Edo neighborhood loved nothing better than a festival. This short dance shows a gallant fireman, the hero of the commoners and then shows the festival shishi lion spirit running wild in a dance-like fight with the energetic young men of the festival.
From ICHINOTANI FUTABA GUNKI [Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani]
KUMAGAI JINYA [Kumagai's Battle Camp]
One of the climactic battles between the Heike and Genji clans took place on the beach at Suma, when the Genji made a surprise attack on the Heike camp and drove the Heike to escape in their boats. In one of the most famous episodes of that battle, the Genji warrior Kumagai was riding on the beach searching for a worthy opponent when he saw a magnificent general. But fighting with him, he suddenly found that it was a young boy, named Atsumori, the same age as his son. Kumagai wanted to spare Atsumori, but couldn't and eventually he was moved to reject the life of a warrior and become a Buddhist priest. This version of this story transforms the battle between Kumagai and Atsumori into a complex drama of love, duty and sacrifice with some very surprising plot twists.

Part 2 (from 2:40 PM):

BENTEN MUSUME MEO NO SHIRANAMI [Benten, the Thief]
-From Hamamatsuya Misesaki [the Hamamatsuya Clothing Store] to Namerigawa Dobashi [Dobashi Bridge over Namerigawa River]
Written by Kawatake Mokuami in 1862, this play was inspired by a woodblock print of a sexy young man with tattoos covering his body with a woman's hairstyle and kimono. A beautiful young woman comes to a clothing store with her servant, but is discovered shoplifting and beaten. When she proves that she was not stealing, her servant demands compensation. However, a samurai who happens to be in the store reveals that the young woman is actually a man, and he proudly announces his name as Benten, the thief. The servant is his fellow gang member Nango Rikimaru and the samurai is actually the head of the gang Nippon Daemon. The scene showing the five members of the gang in their finest kimonos under the cherry blossoms in full bloom is a kind of spectacle. In elaborate speeches, they each announce their name in the poetic diction for which the playwright Mokuami is famous.
Benten, the thief drops the precious gold-lacquered incense container with plovers drawn on it into the Namerigawa River as he is surrounded by police officers betrayed by one of his fellows. He then commits suicide by stabbing himself with his sword in the stomach. Nippon Daemon is pursued by other police officers. The magistrate Aoto Saemon Fujitsuna picks up the precious incense container from the Namerigawa River and parts with Nippon Daemon in the hope of meeting again in some day.
SHINOBIYORU KOI WA KUSEMONO [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. She appears mysteriously in the ruins of her father's palace and tries to seduce Mitsukuni, 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.

Part 3 (from 6:10 PM):

OMI GENJI SENJIN YAKATA - Moritsuna Jinya [Moritsuna's Battle Camp]
This play is one of the greatest classics of the jidaimono historical play style. Two brothers, Moritsuna and Takatsuna are generals on opposing sides. Moritsuna's forces are greater in number and strength, but his brother's brilliant strategies allow him to escape by preying on Moritsuna's psychological weaknesses. Ruthlessly, Takatsuna has his son sacrifice his life to force Moritsuna to identify the head of an imposter as that of his dead brother.
KANJINCHO [The Subscription List]
The most famous play in the original "Juhachiban" and 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 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.

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This performance has English Earphone-Guide rental service.
The "Earphone-Guide" provides essential translation of dialogue and lyrics, as well as explanations relating to the stories, music, dance, actors, properties and other aspects of kabuki that may be difficult for non-Japanese visitors to understand. Comments are carefully timed to coincide with the action on stage. To use the Earphone-Guide you have to pay the receiver rent (700 JPY) and deposit (1,000 JPY which will be paid back as you return the receiver) at the Earphone-Guide counter.

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