February Kabuki Program at Osaka Shochiku-za Theatre

Daily: February 1st through 25th

First Class : 12,000- / Second Class : 7,000- / Third Class : 4,000-
Unit: Japanese Yen (tax included)

Performance of classic plays and dances featuring the most talented young stars in kabuki today.

Matinee (from 11:00 AM):

Daimotsu no Ura

From [Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees] [Tokaiya Inn and Daimotsu Bay]


Tokaiya Gimpei, in reality Taira no Tomomori : Onoe Matsuya
Oryu, Gimpei's wife, in reality Suke no Tsubone : Nakamura Kazutaro
Irie Tanzo : Onoe Ukon
Sagami Goro : Nakamura Tanenosuke
Minamoto no Yoshitsune : Bando Shingo
Musashibo Benkei : Nakamura Kasho


 It is a jidaimono play, a history play portraying the life of Minamoto no Yoshitsune after the war between Genji and Heike clan in 12th century.
 These are two scenes from one of the greatest classics of the puppet theatre, which has also become a classic of kabuki. After the wars between the Genji and Heike clans, the Genji are victorious and their leader Yoritomo is now shogun. But there is a falling out between Yoritomo and his brother Yoshitsune, the brilliant general responsible for the victory. Now Yoshitsune is fleeing through the country and this play fancifully has him encounter several famous warriors from the Heike clan, who are not dead, as history has it.
 Yoshitsune books passage on a boat to Kyushu, but the captain is actually Taira no Tomomori, a general of the Heike clan that Yoshitsune helped to defeat. Tomomori was supposedly killed by Yoshitsune in the final battle of the war, but in this play, Tomomori is shown as surviving, living in disguise with the child emperor Antoku and his nursemaid. At one moment the captain is a gallant commoner, but in the next, he is Tomomori, a high ranking general close to the emperor. His wife as well is a cheerful commoner who shows her true identity as a high-ranking lady-in-waiting, more precisely the wet nurse of the Emperor, in the magnificent robes of the imperial court. Tomomori uses the opportunity to try to get his revenge on Yoshitsune but is defeated again. Finally Tomomori fastens a cable of a giant anchor to his body as he plunges to death in the sea.


[The Three Dolls]


A handsome youth : Nakamura Baishi
A samurai footman : Nakamura Tanenosuke
A courtesan : Bando Shingo


 This piece is a dance with an antique flair accompanied by Tokiwazu Narrative Ensemble.
 The scene is set in the main street of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters in Edo (old name for Tokyo). Taken out from the boxes, the three dolls of a courtesan, a suave samurai and his light footed servant begin to move, each occupied by the souls. They portray in dance the night in the pleasure quarters accompanied by gay tomes of shamisen, lit up snow caves and a row of cherry trees in full bloom. The three dance together in the last section 'Sansa Shigure' (a traditional folksong of Tohoku region).

Evening Show (from 3:00 PM):


[The Golden Pavilion]


Princess Yuki : Nakamura Baishi
Konoshita Tokichi, in reality Mashiba Hisayoshi : Nakamura Kasho
Keijuin, Shogun's mother : Bando Shingo
Sogo Gunpei, in reality Sato Masakiyo : Nakamura Tanenosuke
Matsunaga Kitoda : Onoe Ukon
Kano-no-suke Naonobu : Nakamura Kazutaro
Matsunaga Daizen : Nakamura Matagoro

 It is a jidaimono play, a history play portraying the life of warriors in 16th century.
"Kinkakuji" retains the epic scale of plays adapted from the Bunraku puppet theatre and is full of miracles and larger-than-life characters common on the puppet stage.
Matsunaga Daizen has defeated the shogun and has set up base in the Golden Pavilion. The brilliant strategist Hisayoshi, disguised as a disgruntled retainer named Tokichi, pretends to come under Daizen's employ to try to sabotage his plans from within. Princess Yuki is being held prisoner by Daizen, but when she draws a mouse in the cherry petals of the tree she is tied to, the mouse miraculously comes to life and chews the ropes holding her. The role of Princess Yuki is considered to be one of the most difficult princess roles in kabuki and only the most accomplished actors are allowed to play this role.


[Parent and Child Lion Dance]


The actor Ukon, later,
The spirit of the parent lion : Onoe Matsuya
The actor Sakon, later,
The spirit of the lion cub : Onoe Ukon

 A dance adapted from a tale of the legendary shishi, a lion-like spirit.
Two entertainers dance a tale of the legendary shishi or lion-like spirits that live at the foot of a holy Buddhist mountain. Later, 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 based on the legend that shishi thrusts down its cubs to the bottom of a ravine and nurtures only strong cubs which climb up by themselves.


*This performance has no English "G-Mark Guide" (captioning) rental service.
*Programs with English pages are sold at the theatre.(Most of the pages are in Japanese)