Japan Arts Council

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National Theatre Tokyo 55th Anniversary
ACA National Arts Festival Supports

Kabuki Performances in November
Performance Dates : November 2 (Tue.) - 25 (Thu.), 2021
No Performance on 10 (Wed.) and 18 (Thu.)
Venue : National Theatre (Large Theatre)

Curtain Time
12:00/17:00

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☆ There will be pre-show commentary by Nakamura Hashinosuke from 16:45-17:00 before each Friday evening performance.

Running Time
Approximately 2 hours 50 minutes including interval


Written by Namiki Sōsuke
"Ichinotani Futaba Gunki"

Cast
Nakamura Ganjirō
Nakamura Kinnosuke
Nakamura Matsue
Ichimura Takematsu
Nakamura Kotarō
Nakamura Hashinosuke
Ichikawa Otora
Nakamura Tamatarō
Nakamura Kichinojō
Nakamura Jūjirō
Nakamura Kikaku
Kataoka Takatarō
Nakamura Shikan
and others

Ticket Prices (including tax)
[1st Grade]  Adluts: 12,000 yen (Students: 8,400 yen)
[2nd Grade] Adluts:   8,000 yen (Students: 5,600 yen)
[3rd Grade]  Adluts:   3,500 yen (Students: 2,500 yen)
Seating plan

*Audio guide: Available for rent in Japanese. Click here for details.
*Subtitles: No subtitles available.
*English synopsis is available. It is included in the paid Japanese brochure.


Booking Opens
October 13 (Wed.), 2021 

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Box Office
 0570-07-9900 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English (10:00~18:00)
 http://ticket.ntj.jac.go.jp/top_e.htm
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Counter Sales at the Theatre 
available from October 14 (Thu.), 2021


in Japanese




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     Ichinotani Futaba Gunki (Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani) was written by Namiki Sōsuke (Senryū), one of the playwrights who contributed to the golden age of Jōruri (Gidayū-bushi) after the death of Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Sōsuke was involved with the three greatest works of Gidayū Kyōgen (works originally written as Jōruri puppet plays and later adapted to Kabuki) which includes the famous play Kanadehon Chūshingura, as well as many other masterpieces.
     This five-act piece gained popularity after its premiere in December 1751; however, Sōsuke passed away after he finished writing the third act. Ever since it was adapted into Kabuki for the competing performances of two Edo theaters, the Morita-za and Nakamura-za, in April 1752, great actors of the times have given sublime performances from generation to generation, thus making it one of the most popular programs even today.

     This is a very imaginative piece, based mainly on the story of the Great Battle of Ichinotani from “The Tale of the Heike” and focusing on the great activities of Kumagai no Jirō Naozane and others. Dramatic elements include the tragedy of Kumagai, a Genji warrior who was given a kōsatsu (official notice board) that read, “If you steal even a single branch of this cherry tree, you'll lose your finger,” by Genji-General Minamoto no Yoshitsune. This actually was a cryptic message from Yoshitsune to Kumagai about an important mission involving Taira no Atsumori, the son of Goshirakawain, the retired emperor Goshirakawa. Today, Kumagai Jinya (Kumagai's Encampment), the third act that is the climax of the story, will be presented from the very beginning, which is not often done. Mikagehama Hamabe (Hōbiki), an important background piece of the Kumagai Jinya, is the opening act. Mikagehama is being performed for the first time since 1972, and it will help you better understand the events depicted in Kumagai Jinya.
[Outline of the Story]

Mikagehama Hamabe
     The stonecutter Byakugō no Midaroku shows his neighborhood villagers a flute he was given by a young client for the gravestone that he built on the shore. Fuji no Kata then appears and claims the flute is the “Aoba no fue” (flute of green leaves), the treasure of her son Taira no Atsumori. The Genji-side pursuers then arrive, led by Banba no Chūta, running after Fuji no Kata. In the furious brawl, the villagers knock Chūta dead. In bewilderment, they begin drawing lots to decide who is to blame for the incident. While this remains unsettled, Midaroku comes forward and says that he will turn himself in.
Kumagai Jinya
     At the encampment, Kumagai recounts to his wife, Sagami, and Fuji no Kata the last moments of Atsumori, who Kumagai killed on the battlefield. Yoshitsune soon appears to inspect the head, which is supposed to be that of Atsumori. Prior to the inspection, Kumagai shows the official notice board to Yoshitsune, indicating that he faithfully followed the secret order from Yoshitsune to save Atsumori. Yoshitsune declares that it is the head of Atsumori, but in fact it is the head of Kumagai's son, who was killed in place of Atsumori. Noticing that it is indeed her son, Sagami collapses in tears, lifting the head up in her arms. Meanwhile, Midaroku appears and is identified as Yaheibyōe Munekiyo, a former Heike retainer who once rescued the young Yoshitsune. Munekiyo expresses his deep appreciation to Yoshitsune, who repaid an obligation by handing over a certain person hiding in an armor chest to him. Kumagai, who changes his name to Renshō to become a priest, leaves the encampment holding back his tears.
     Nakamura Shikan, whose acting prowess continues to build, inhabits the role of Kumagai, a warrior who realizes the hopelessness of this war-torn era in his predicament of being caught between the code of the samurai and his feelings of affection. This piece is performed in Shikan-gata (Shikan style), a specialty of his family. Meanwhile, Nakamura Ganjirō plays the role of Midaroku for the first time with increasingly elegant accomplishment. The cast also includes such talented performers as Nakamura Kinnosuke and Kataoka Takatarō. The National Theatre invites you to sit back and enjoy this Gidayū Kyōgen masterpiece.