Sunday, February 21, 2016

Three plays at Kabukiza Theatre

http://www.kabuki-za.co.jp/

KOTOBUKISHIKI SAMBASO
STORY: There is no more important celebratory dance than Sambaso, a ritual showing the old man Okina and the vigorous Sambaso. The old man is a symbol of eternal youth and as the Sambaso stamps and shakes bells at the stage, he prays for agricultural fertility and prosperity for all. A good program to congratulate the opening of the all-star performance in the month of November.

II TAIRO
STORY: Ii Naosuke was the head councilor of the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan in 1860 when there were pressures from inside and outside the country. Imperial loyalists demanded that the shogun step down and hand over rule to the emperor to resist the foreign barbarians. The United States and other countries insisted that Japan open its doors. On March 3, at the snow-covered gate to the shogun's castle, Ii Naosuke was assassinated by imperial loyalists. This modem play by Hojo Hideji features the last day before the assassination as Naosuke senses that his end is near. The deaths of an old friend and his newbom daughter make Naosuke and his mistress Oshizu think back to simpler times before he was burdened by such responsibilities.

KUMAGAI JINYA -from Ichinotani Futaba Gunki
STORY: One of the climactic battles between the Heike and Genji clans took place on the beach at Suma, when the Genji made a surprise attack on the Heike camp and drove the Heike to escape in their boats. In one of the most famous episodes of that battle, the Genji warrior Kumagai was riding on the beach searching for a worthy opponent when he saw a magnificent general. But fighting with him, he suddenly found that it was a young boy, named Atsumori, the same age as his son. Kumagai wanted to spare Atsumori, but couldn't and eventually he was moved to reject the life of a warrior and become a Buddhist priest. This version of this story transforms the battle between Kumagai and Atsumori into a complex drama of love, duty and sacrifice with some very surprising plot twists.





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