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October Kabuki Program at Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre: Matinee

YORITOMO NO SHI 【The Death of Yoritomo】 

A play by Mayama Seika first presented in 1932. Minamoto no Yoritomo created a strong warrior government, but died very soon, leaving things to his son Yoriie. But Yoriie is something suspicious about his father’s death and is in torment because even though he is the most powerful man in the land, no one will tell him anything. In the end, he must confront his mother Hojo Masako, who is ready to kill her own son rather than let the truth out that could destroy their rule. She declares that a man has only one short life, but the clan must survive to the end of time.

RENJISHI 【Parent and Child Lion Dance】 

This is one of the most popular dances in kabuki, showing parent and child lion spirits. In Asian tradition, the shishi is not really a lion, but a kind of mythical creature that guards the mythical stone bridge to heaven. There is also a tradition that the way a parent shishi teaches its child is very severe and in this dance, the father lion throws his son into a valley, hoping that he will have the strength to climb back up on his own.

KAGATOBI 【The Evil Masseur Dogen and the Firemen of Kaga】 

The firemen serving the fabulously wealthy Kaga clan were famous for their colorful spirit. This play features a short pageant of these firefighters combined with a dark story of the sinister masseur Dogen who uses murder, theft and extortion to satisfy his lust and greed. The actor playing Dogen doubles as one of the gallant bosses of the firefighting gang alongside the firefighter that unmasks Dogen’s villainy.

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