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Grand Kabuki Matinee

KAMAKURA SANDAIKI
(Three Generations of the Kamakura Shogunate)
Miuranosuke (Hashinosuke) is a samurai serving the lord of a besieged castle. Tokihime (Fukusuke), the woman he is betrothed to marry, is the daughter of the lord leading the attack on the castle. While he is away at battle, she comes to a lonely farming village to care for his sick mother. Miuranosuke comes back from the battle to see his mother, but she refuses to let him in since he has come away from his duties. In turn, Miuranosuke refuses to see Tokihime because she is the daughter of the enemy. Finally, all is revealed to be a plot by the brilliant strategist Takatsuna (Mitsugoro), to force Tokihime to assassinate her father.
SHINANO MOMIJI NO ONIZOROI
(The Autumn Leaves and the Demon of Mt. Togakushi)
This dance is a modern adaptation of a colorful kabuki play based on an austere Noh classic. The aristocrat Koremochi (Ebizo) has travelled to view the autumn leaves and encounters a beautiful princess (Tamasaburo) and her entourage. The entire party of beautiful women turns out to be vicious demons and attack Koremochi after lulling him to sleep with a beautiful dream-like dance.
SUITENGU MEGUMI NO FUKAGAWA (Kobei, the Brush Maker)
First performed in 1885, this play by Kawatake Mokuami shows the disruptions in society caused by the Meiji Restoration. In the Edo Period, the samurai were on top of society, but in the new Meiji world, a samurai unable to find a new way of becoming a success got left behind. This play stars Kanzaburo as a former samurai named Kobei, who makes a meager living making writing brushes. Since his wife has died, he must raise his three children by himself, but his oldest daughter is blind and the youngest boy is a baby. Kobei is helped by a generous woman (Fukusuke), but a moneylender takes everything that he has and he decides that he and his family have no choice but to commit suicide. Suddenly, there is the sound of merry music from a party at the house of a rich man next door and something in Kobei snaps. He starts to dance madly around, doing the dance from the Noh theatre of the ghost of Tomomori with a ragged broom in place of a magnificent halberd. This scene is the highlight of the play and is a virtuoso test of the actor's skills.

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