February Kabuki Program at Kabukiza Theatre

Daily: February 2nd through 26th

Box Seat : 20,000 / First Class Seat : 18,000 / Second Class : 14,000 / Upper Tier A : 6,000 / Upper Tier B : 4,000
Unit: Japanese Yen (tax included)

This month's performance commemorates 390th year anniversary of the first kabuki performance at the Saruwakaza Theatre which is said to be the first kabuki theater in Edo. Also, Nakamura Kankurō's two sons will make their debut in the Evening show. Nakamura Kankurō is an actor who takes the family name of the founder of the Saruwaka-za theater.

Matinee (from 11:00 AM):


[The First Kabuki Performance in Edo]


Saruwaka : Nakamura Kankuro
Izumo no Okuni : Nakamura Shichinosuke
Itakura Katsushige, a magistrate : Bando Yajuro
Fukutomiya Manbe : Nakamura Ganjiro


 This piece is a dance portraying Saruwaka (Nakamura) Kanzaburō I, the founder of the first kabuki theatre in Edo (present day Tokyo).
 Izumo no Okuni, a kabuki dancer who has become popular in Kyoto, and Saruwaka, a clown, come to Edo. Saruwaka saves the lumber dealer Fukutomiya Manbē who was in distress. As a result, the magistrate Itakura Katsushige permits Saruwaka to build a theatre in Nihonbashi. Saruwaka is delighted to be able to perform kabuki in Edo and dances the 'Saruwaka mai' (Saruwaka dance) with Okuni and their troupe of young actors.


[Yoritomo in Exile]


Masaki Kozaemon, in reality Minamoto no Yoritomo : Onoe Shoroku
Seizaemon in Jigokudani, in reality Priest Mongaku : Nakamura Kankuro
Omasu, in reality Masako : Nakamura Shichinosuke
Ofuji, Kozaemon's wife, in reality Tatsuhime : Nakamura Tokizo


 This is a 'jidaimono' history play set at the end of the Heian Period (12th century). It is a time when the powerful Heike clan lives in splendor, eclipsing their rivals, the Genji clan. The leader of the latter, Minamoto no Yoritomo is now in exile.
 Masaki Kōzaemon, a writing-master in Shimoda, Izu Province, lives with his wife Ofuji. Kōzaemon and Ofuji are always having matrimonial quarrels because he is so shameless with other women. But however often they argue she always pardons him when he flirts with her. Due to Ofuji's habitual jealousy, one day when the beautiful Omasu appears at the door asking to become a pupil, Ofuji drives her away. Omasu is just on her way home when she encounters Kōzaemon, and he brings her back with him.
 Kōzaemon is, in reality, Minamoto no Yoritomo who is concealing his ambition to destroy the Heike clan. Ofuji, on the other hand, is really Tatsuhime, the daughter of Itō Sukechika who is allied with the Heike. Furthermore, Omasu is none other than the daughter of Hōjō Tokimasa, Yoritomo's ally. Tatsuhime has Yoritomo's interests at heart and yields the position of wife to Masako. However, overhearing their intimate talk, Tatsuhime is seized with jealousy. Just then, a mendicant priest named Seizaemon who is staying at Kōzaemon's house, strikes her with his Buddhist rosary and suddenly her sinful thoughts disappear and she comes to her senses. Seizaemon is, in reality, Saint Mongaku. He has brought an Imperial decree from the cloistered emperor Goshirakawa which orders Yoritomo to destroy the Heike clan. Yoritomo and Mongaku reveal their identities to each other. Yoritomo accepts the Imperial order and prepares to raise his standard to destroy the Heike.


[Four Thousand Gold Coins]


Tomizo, a homeless from Yashu : Onoe Kikugoro
Osayo, Tomizo's wife : Nakamura Tokizo
Itamiya Tokutaro : Nakamura Kinnosuke
Saijiro, a homeless from Asakusa : Onoe Shoroku
A retired man in the corner : Nakamura Karoku
Rokube, an udon restaurant vendor : Nakamura Tozo
Hamada Sanai : Bando Hikosaburo
Matsusima Okugoro, the headman of the prison : Ichikawa Sadanji
Fujioka Tojuro : Nakamura Baigyoku

 This is a 'sewamono' play, a work portraying in a realistic way the lives of ordinary people in the Edo period. Written by Kawatake Mokuami, this play caused a sensation in its day for its realistic depiction of an Edo period jail.
 The plot is loosely based on a true incident: two men, one a masterless samurai, and the other a seasoned thief, break into the shogunate treasury and steal the immense sum of four thousand gold coins. Though the samurai tries to use the money to support a normal life by starting a loan business, the other wastes his share gambling and resorts to extorting money from his former partner. The enormity of their crime makes it impossible to keep it secret and they are soon caught.


[The Lion-head Fans]


The top of a tobi firefighting gang : Nakamura Baigyoku
A geisha : Nakamura Jakuemon

 This dance portrays the brilliant atmosphere of Edo (the old name for Tokyo).
 A fireman chief and a geisha dance with an ''ōgi jishi,' a fan beautifully decorated with flowers and with a cloth trailing from the end. This decorated fan represents the head of a 'shishi' lion, and the trailing cloth is its mane of hair. Please enjoy how the actors dance elegantly using these beautiful fans.

Evening Show (from 4:30 PM):


[The Brothers' Debut as Two Momotarōs]


The elder Momotaro : Nakamura Kantaro making his debut
The younger Momotaro : Nakamura Chozaburo making his debut
Grandmother : Nakamura Tokizo
Grandfather : Nakamura Shikan
Kansaku, the son of the grandparents / Commanding general of the devils : Nakamura Kankuro
Otsuru, Kansaku's wife : Nakamura Shichinosuke
Inuhiko : Ichikawa Somegoro
Saruhiko : Onoe Shoroku
Kijihiko : Onoe Kikunosuke
Okyo, the wife of the village headman : Nakamura Jakuemon
Oharu, a shrine maiden of Kibitsu Shrine : Nakamura Kaishun
Takasago, the village headman : Nakamura Baigyoku
Otowa, the Shinto priest of Kibitsu Shrine : Onoe Kikugoro

 This is a play based on the famous Japanese folktale 'Momotarō' ('The Peach Boy'). On this occasion, it is performed to commemorate the debut of Kankurō's two sons.
Once upon a time, an old man carrying firewood comes to pick up his wife who is washing clothes in a river. Just then, a big peach comes floating towards them which they lift out of the water and take home. Out of the peach appears two energetic boys. These brothers, both called Momotarō, declare that they will head for Ogre's Island to vanquish the wicked ogres. The god of Kibitsu sends Inuhiko, Saruhiko and Kijihiko to accompany them. Following this, the Shintō priest and the shrine maiden of Kibitsu Shrine, as well as the village headman and his wife all turn up to celebrate the boys' birth. The brothers put on armor and leave their house with the three others sent by the god. After a tough battle against the ogres at the Ogre's Castle, the Momotarō brothers capture the ogres, receive much treasure from them and return home triumphantly.


[ Picture Book of the Taikō Chronicles - The Retreat at Amagasaki]


Takechi Mitsuhide : Nakamura Shikan
Misao, Mitsuhide's wife : Nakamura Kaishun
Mashiba Hisayoshi : Nakamura Kinnosuke
Hatsugiku : Kataoka Takataro
Takechi Jujiro : Nakamura Ganjiro
Satsuki, Mitsuhide's mother : Kataoka Hidetaro

This is a jidaimono history play portraying General Akechi Mitsuhide's life after his rebellion against his lord Oda Harunaga.
Mitsuhide has killed the ruler Harunaga and taken over the country, but after three days, he is in danger of losing all that he has gained to the rival general Hisayoshi. Hisayoshi disguises himself as a traveling priest and comes to stay at the retreat where Mitsuhide's mother has taken refuge. Knowing that Hisayoshi is there, Mitsuhide attacks him with a bamboo spear, only to find that he has fatally wounded his own mother. His mother and wife reprimand him for the disloyal act of killing his lord, but he refuses to repent. His will of steel is only broken when his son, married just that day, arrives to report on the battle raging close by and dies from his injuries.


[Tanjirō's Love Triangle]


Tanjiro : Ichikawa Somegoro
Adakichi, a geisha : Onoe Kikunosuke
Yonehachi, a geisha : Nakamura Kankuro
Chiba Tobe : Nakamura Karoku

This work is a kabuki adaptation of a famous love story from the Edo Period called 'Shunshoku Ume Goyomi'.
Tanjirō, the foster child of a rich merchant in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters lives with Yonehachi, a geisha of the Fukagawa district, even though he has a fiancée named Ochō. Adakichi, another geisha in Fukagawa, falls in love with him at first sight as they pass each other on boats, and she and Yonehachi become rivals for Tanjirō's love.
Tanjirō’s master Chiba Hanjirō was disowned for losing a precious tea caddy named 'Zangetsu', the heirloom of the Hatakeyama clan, and he now lives at Tanjirō's house. Adakichi persuades Furutori Sabunta to sell the tea caddy in his possession as she wants to get it for Tanjirō who is searching for the lost one with Hanjirō. But this tea caddy turns out to be a complete fake. Tanjirō recovers the genuine one after great difficulty and hands it to Hanjirō. As a result, Hanjirō is permitted to return to his house and the ill feeling between Adakichi and Yonehachi dispels and they make up.


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.