January Kabuki Program at Kabukiza Theatre

Daily:@January 2nd through 26th

Box Seat : 21,000 / First Class Seat : 19,000 / Second Class : 15,000 / Upper Tier A : 6,000 / Upper Tier B : 4,000
Unit: Japanese Yen (tax included)

This month you can see gorgeous stage perfect for New Years with masterpieces of classics, dances and "New Kabuki" plays by splendid actors from young stars to top rate actors. In Evening Show there is a dance commemorating the 7th anniversary of Nakamura Tomijuro's death who was an excellent actor and dancer.

Matinee (from 11:00 AM):


[Tokugawa Yoshinobu Leaves Edo]


Tokugawa Yoshinobu : Ichikawa Somegoro
Yamaoka Tetsutaro : Kataoka Ainosuke
Doi Shojiro : Otani Hirotaro
Amano Hachiro : Nakamura Kasho
Takahashi Isenokami : Nakamura Matagoro


 This "New Kabuki" play by Mayama Seika is part of a trilogy about the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate. The shogunate official Yamaoka Tetsutaro has already pleaded successfully to the imperial forces for the life of the shogun in return for his surrender. But the shogun Yoshinobu begins to reconsider and now Yamaoka must plead with the shogun to surrender without a struggle as he promised or he will run the risk of having the entire country fall into civil war. Moved by Yamaoka's intellective and sincere thoughts, shogun Yoshinobu decides to surrender. Thinking of the 270 years the Tokugawa shogunate had ruled Yoshinobu leaves Edo and the Edo period comes to an end, bringing the dawn of the Meiji Era.


[Dance of Otsu-e Characters]


Wisteria Maiden :
A falconer :
A blind masseur : Kataoka Ainosuke
A boatman :
A demon :
Benkei : Nakamura Kasho
A dog : Nakamura Tanenosuke
Geho, a tall headed god of happiness : Nakamura Kichinojo
Goro of "YA NO NE" : Ichikawa Somegoro


 This piece is a five transformation variety of dance by Kawatake Mokuami based on "Kyokanoko Musume Dojoji."
 A memorial service for the temple bell is to be held today, so Geho, a tall headed god of happiness, wealth and long life, one of Seven Gods of Good Fortune, comes with many children in Chinese costume and hairstyle. As Geho is about to hold a drinking party, a Wisteria maiden appears and wishes to see the new temple bell. In exchange Geho requests her to dance. She begins to dance at once but disappears in time. As a falconer runs off, a blind masseur appears leaning upon a stick and a dog frisks about him. As they go off, the Wisteria maiden appears again and expresses young girls' feeling of love in dance. At a sudden roar of thunder the Wisteria maiden exits and a chic boatman enters. After the boatman's dance the Wisteria maiden appeared again and was dancing, when she disappeared in the fallen temple bell. Benkei runs to the bell and prays to it, then a devil shows up. Goro of "YA NO NE" enters from the hanamichi runway to force back the devil. Finally he vanquishes it with Benkei praying.


[The Vendetta at Iga Province -Numazu Post]


Jube, a draper : Nakamura Kichiemon
Oyone : Nakamura Jakuemon
Yasube, a carrier : Nakamura Kichinojo
Ikezoe Magohachi : Nakamura Matagoro
Heisaku, a palanquin bearer : Nakamura Karoku

 This piece is a dramatization of one of the most famous historical vendettas of the Edo period. This act shows the tragedy of the common people who unintendedly got involved in the vendetta. The kimono merchant Jube meets a porter Heisaku as he travels west on business. They find that not only are they long-separated father and son, but that they also lie on opposite sides of the vendetta. Their loyalties prevent them from openly acknowledging their relationship. Heisaku sacrifices his life to get information from his son essential to his side's cause.

Evening Show (from 4:30 PM):


[Ii Naosuke's Last Day]


Ii Naosuke : Matsumoto Koshiro
Priest Sen'ei, a Zen priest : Nakamura Karoku
Nagano Shuzen, scholar and advisor to Naosuke : Ichikawa Somegoro
Minabe Mutsuomi, Naosuke's old friend : Kataoka Ainosuke
Kumonoi, the chief lady-in-waiting : Kamimura Kichiya
Utsugi Mutsunojo : Matsumoto Kingo
Nakaizumi Ukyo : Ichikawa Komazo
Masako, Naosuke's legal wife : Nakamura Jakuemon
Oshizu, Naosuke's concubine : Bando Tamasaburo

 A "New Kabuki" play written by Hojo Hideji.
Ii Naosuke was the head councilor of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan in 1860 when there were pressures from inside and outside the country. Imperial loyalists demanded that the shogun step down and hand over rule to the emperor to resist the pressure from foreign countries. The United States and other countries insisted that Japan open its doors. On March 3, at the snow-covered gate to the shogun's castle, Ii Naosuke was assassinated by imperial loyalists. This modern play features the last day before the assassination as Naosuke senses that his end is near. The deaths of an old friend and his newborn daughter make Naosuke and his mistress Oshizu think back to simpler times before he was burdened by such responsibilities.


[Program commemorating the 7th anniversary of the death of Nakamura Tomijuro V]

[An itinerant Entertainer from Echigo Province]


An itinerant entertainer wearing lion masks and doing tumbling acts : Nakamura Takanosuke

 This piece is a dance portraying a street performance by an itinerant entertainer from Echigo Province (present day Niigata prefecture) wearing a lion mask, putting a drum on the stomach and doing tumbling acts. First he dances with a lion mask on, then to the piscatorial song and at last shows how one bleaches cloth in water by swinging two pieces of cloth to look like waves.




A courtesan : Bando Tamasaburo

 This piece is a dance portraying a courtesan's feeling of love in four seasons in Yoshiwara pleasure quarters in Edo (old name for Tokyo).
 A top rank courtesan thinks of her lover and begins to dance gracefully. She shows in dance how she reads a love letter to her lover, lovers' tiff and her feelings until she makes up with him in spring and an elegant dance with nothing in her hands in summer. Then she expresses having to wait for her lover through long autumn evenings, and in the end dances thinking of the snowy landscape of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters in winter.
Originally, it was a scene of a seven transformation variety of dance.


[Lord Matsuura and the Drum of Chushingura]


Matsuura Shizunobu : Ichikawa Somegoro
Otaka Gengo : Kataoka Ainosuke
Onui : Nakamura Kazutaro
Takarai Kikaku : Ichikawa Sadanji

 This piece is a side story of Chushingura, one of the most popular stories based on a real incident, the revenge of the forty-seven loyal retainers.
Lord Matsuura is disgusted because the loyal retainers do not seem to be interested in avenging the death of the lord. He is upset because he studied with the same fighting teacher as Kuranosuke, the senior retainer who should be leading the vendetta. Moreover, he learns from a haiku teacher that Otaka Gengo, one of his students who should be part of the vendetta, is now living selling susudake (bamboo as cleaning tools). Thinking that this means that he is forgetting his loyalty toward his former lord, Lord Matsuura becomes furious but his haiku teacher shows him the poem Otaka Gengo had left. Lord Matsuura thinks over the meaning the poem has when the sound of the drum is heard from a distance. The attack has begun, and in joy, Lord Matsuura counts out the strokes of the drum, struck in a pattern that is only known by students of his fighting teacher.


This performance has English "G-Mark Guide" (captioning) rental service.
The "G-Mark Guide" provides essential translation of dialogue and lyrics, as well as explanations relating to the stories. Comments are carefully timed to coincide with the action on stage.
To use the G-Mark Guide you have to pay the device rent (1000 JPY) and deposit your identity card (you will get deposit receipt, for which you will get your identity card back when you return the device) at the G-Mark Guide counter.