Grand Kabuki, evening show
SANEMORI MONOGATARI (The Tale of Sanemori)
A play about the early days of the rivalry between the Genji and Heike warrior clans. The warrior Sanemori (Nizaemon) has been charged by the leaders of the dominant Heike clan with finding Aoi Gozen (Kaishun), the pregnant wife of the leader of the enemy Genji clan. He is to kill her child if it is a son who can become head of the Genji clan, but secretly, old loyalties to the Genji make him save the baby’s life. Sanemori tells the story of how Koman (Hidetaro), the daughter of the old couple who is protecting Aoi Gozen, bravely fought to protect the sacred standard of the Genji from the Heike. Koman mysteriously comes back to life when her severed arm is rejoined to it.
KOJO (Stage Announcement)
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. This month, Living National Treasure Jakuemon, the senior actor of the kabuki world will act as master of ceremonies as the actors congratulate the new Kinnosuke.
FUTATSU CHOCHO KURUWA NIKKI - The Sumo Match
"Futatsu Chocho" means "two butterflies" and also comes from the fact that two sumo wrestlers who play important roles in the full length play have names beginning with "cho": Chokichi and Chogoro. Nuregami Chogoro throws a match and begs instead the younger wrestler Hanaregoma Chokichi to persuade his patron Gozaemon to give up Azuma. But Chokichi loses his temper and the two end up competing in a test of pride. Starring Living National Treasure Tomijuro as Chogoro and the new Kinnosuke as Chokichi.
SAKANAYA SOGORO (Sogoro, the Fish Seller)
Sogoro (Kanzaburo), a fish seller, has taken a vow not to drink, but when he learns about his sister's unjust murder at the hands of a daimyo lord, a death that they were told was execution for her wrongdoing, he starts to drink again. Drunk, he storms into the lord's mansion to seek an apology. This play by Meiji playwright Kawatake Mokuami is known for its realistic portrayal of members of the common class during the Edo period and highlights their fierce pride and frustration at the privileges of the dominant samurai class. Also featuring the new Kinnosuke.
- Tokaiya or Ikari-Tomomori by Shoroku at the National Thetre(2011.07.23)