June Grand Kabuki, Matinee
IMOSEYAMA ONNA TEIKIN
- Husband and Wife Mountain and the Model of Feminine Virtue -
IMOSEYAMA ONNA TEIKIN, is a masterpiece by Chikamatsu Hanji (1725 - 1783) first presented in 1771 in the puppet theater. It is an epic taken from early Japanese history, weaving together history, legend and myth. The country chafes under the domination of the dictator Iruka. This short section of the full-length play shows the story of two rival families who are only alike in being dominated by the dictator until a tragedy reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet brings them together.
The Komatsubara Plain
On a beautiful spring day, handsome young Koganosuke (Baigyoku), son of Daihanji and Hinadori (Kaishun), the beautiful daughter of Sadaka, widow of Dazai happen to meet and fall in love, not realizing that their families are bitter enemies, with estates on either side of the Yoshino river. But Koganosuke also has heavy duties and helps Uneme, the daughter of the loyal minister Fujiwara Kamatari to escape from the clutches of the evil minister Emishi.
The Passing Over of the Flowers and the Yoshino River
Iruka (Hikosaburo) blames Koganosuke for the loss of Uneme and has heard of his love for Hinadori. He fears that these two rival clans may be plotting against him so summons Daihanji (Koshiro) to Sadaka's (Tojuro) mansion, confronts the two rival parents and orders Koganosuke to become his retainer and Hinadori to serve in his bedchamber. He gives them branches of cherry blossoms to be thrown into the Yoshino river as a signal of the answers of the young people.
In the most famous scene of the play, there is a spectacular set with the house of Daihanji on one side of the stage and the house of Sadaka on the other side with the river running through the center of the stage.
Both parents know that their children would rather accept death than bow down to the dictator Iruka, but hide this and speak proudly and aggressively to the other, hoping desperately that at least the other child might be spared. However, all their efforts are in vain and finally, in death, the young couple is united in marriage, ending the feud between the two families.
EMMA TO SEIRAI
This is a new dance play written by Kichiemon himself under the name Matsu Kanshi that is an adaptation of a kyogen farce. Emma, the king of hell (Tomijuro) is upset that religion has meant that fewer people are falling into hell. He summons a falconer named Seirai (Kichiemon) and wants to condemn him for taking life, but the falconer says that it is the falcon that does it and he is blameless. In dance, he describes hunting with a falcon and this is so interesting that Emma himself wants to try it.
KYOKAKU HARUSAME GASA
This is a rare performance of a play by Fukuchi Ochi (1841 - 1906) one of the fathers of modern kabuki. It shows a confrontation between a gentle patron of the pleasure quarters who has become a gang boss (Somegoro) and the former samurai who is responsible for his current state (Hikosaburo) and their rivalry over a courtesan (Shibajaku). The play is also an opportunity to present Somegoro's young son on stage for the first time with greetings from the senior members of his family.
- Tokaiya or Ikari-Tomomori by Shoroku at the National Thetre(2011.07.23)