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April Grand Kabuki, Program II

TERAKOYA(The Village School)
The climactic act of one of the most famous historical plays from the Bunraku puppet theater, this play shows the tragic struggles of various retainers of the court noble Sugawara Michizane, exiled due to the vile rumors spread by a rival. The young son of Michizane is in hiding in a village school, protected by Genzo, the teacher out of loyalty to Michizane, his former master. But Matsuomaru, a retainer of the enemy is led to sacrifice his own son out of loyalty to his family's old lord, and, in the climactic moment of the play, must examine his own son's head and declare that it is that of Michizane's heir. 
SANNIN KICHISA TOMOE NO SHIRANAMI (Three Thieves Named Kichisa)
The late 19th century playwright Mokuami excelled at portrayals of thieves and this short scene, with its music and poetic lines, is one of his most famous. A beautiful young woman helps out a woman who is lost on the road. But she is actually Ojo Kichisa, a male thief who is disguised as a woman. He steals an immense sum of money that the woman is carrying and this leads to an encounter on this riverbank of three thieves, all with the name Kichisa. Though they start out as rivals, they decide to become blood brothers and form a gang.
FUJI MUSUME (The Wisteria Maiden)
The spirit of wisteria blossoms dances of love in the form of a beautiful young maiden. One of kabuki's most famous and colorful dances, it will feature the dancing skills of Living National Treasure Sakata Tojuro.

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