English Top > Performance Schedule > National Theatre > Kabuki Performance for Beginners


Kabuki Performance for Beginners

  • Large
  • Kabuki
  • Organizer

    National Theatre has implemented measures for our visitors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. For more information click here.

    National Theatre (Large Theatre)
    Kabuki Performance for Beginners
    PartⅠ Guidance "How to Appreciate KABUKI"
    PartⅡ Kabuki Performance "Ninjo Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi"

     In this Kabuki Appreciation Class, popular Kabuki performances are introduced by a fine Kabuki cast for as many people as possible to casually experience the fascinating world of Kabuki with its history of 400 years. The Guidance "How to Appreciate KABUKI" that precedes the performance also enjoys tremendous popularity, where Kabuki actors give clear and detailed explanations of the highlights of the performance. In addition to a free Kabuki handbook and program, subtitles are also provided this time, making it an excellent opportunity for beginners to enjoy and understand Kabuki.

    Performance Dates
    June 2(Wed.) - June 23(Wed.), 2021
    *No performances on 7(Mon.) and 14(Mon.)

    Curtain Time
    11:00 *except 11(Fri.) and 18(Fri.)


    〇 : Kabuki Performance for Beginners
    ★ : Kabuki for Beginners (Evening)

    Running Time
    Approximately 2 hours including interval

    Guidance "How to Appreciate KABUKI"
    Nakamura Tanenosuke

    Kabuki Performance "Ninjo Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi"
    Nakamura Senjaku
    Onoe Shoroku
    Bando Kamezo
    Bando Shingo
    Nakamura Tanenosuke
    Ichikawa Danzo
    Nakamura Kaishun
    and others

    Tickets(Tax included)
    All seats = 1,600 yen
    1st Grade = 4,100 yen
    2nd Grade = 1,800 yen
    Seating plan

    *Audio guide: Japanese audio guides are available for rent. Click here for details.
    *Subtitles: Not available
    *English synopsis is available. Please ask at the reception desk.

    Booking Opens
    May 13, 2021

    Box Office
     0570-07-9900 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English (10:00~18:00)

    Counter Sales at the Theatre 
    available from May 14, 2021

    in Japanese


    A masterpiece of human interest drama, based on Rakugo (a Japanese traditional sit-down comedy)! Set in the old downtown area of Edo, the lovable characters enact a story that is funny and yet heartwarming. This is a perfect performance for those new to Kabuki!

      The June 2021 Kabuki Performance for Beginners offers a human interest drama filled with tears and laughter, and its theme is focused on the life of the Edo townspeople. Prior to the performance, one of the Kabuki actors will present an easy-to-understand commentary program entitled, “Kabuki no Mikata (How to Appreciate Kabuki),” which will include an outline with highlights of the play as well as basic information about Kabuki.

      This piece is an adaptation of Ninjō-banashi (a sentimental story) performed by the Rakugo storyteller Sanyūtei Enchō, who was active from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, and which was premiered by Onoe Kikugorō V, a famous actor during the Meiji period. The storyline that depicts the everyday life and the subtleties of the feelings of the Edo-period commoners is easily understandable to Kabuki beginners.

    [Outline and Highlights]

      In this tale, the plasterer Chōbē is always quarreling with his wife, Okane, about his gambling and drinking debt. At the end of a year, his daughter Ohisa, who couldn’t be indifferent to her family’s plight, visited a brothel that Chōbē often visited without telling her parents and asked the Madam Okoma to buy her out so that she could earn money so that her father could be reformed. Madam Okoma, who learned of the hard decision of the 17-year-old girl to engage in such a job, called Chōbē in and strongly admonished him. Chōbē borrowed fifty ryō (a currency unit) from Madam Okoma, promising that he would mend his ways and work hard in order to come for Ohisa in March of the next year.

      On his way home at midnight, Chōbē came across a man who was about to throw himself into the river. It was Bunshichi, a servant of a notions store (a purveyor of accessories, cosmetics and daily necessities). With a completely confused look, Bunshichi explained the circumstances; he went to collect fifty ryō from a client on his master’s order but he seems to have had the money picked by someone. In order to save him, Chōbē handed the fifty ryō in his possession to Bunshichi, saying that this is the money his daughter had earned for him by selling herself out. Then he quickly left.

      His wife Okane, who heard all of the details from Chōbē when he came home, blamed him severely all through the night, assuming that he had lost the money on gambling again. However, when Bunshichi and his master Seibē came along in the morning and he was cleared of suspicion, the story develops in an unexpected direction!

      Featuring realistic acting and ingenious direction capturing the realities of the common people, this is a masterpiece full of highlights, such as a comical scene of Chōbē falling over with his legs being numb while he is sorry to part from his daughter, Chōbē’s hesitation and decision about giving the money to Bunshichi, and the humorous tit-for-tat responses typical of marital quarrels.

      Supervised by the current Onoe Kikugorō, who has been highly regarded during his career in the role of Chōbē, this heartwarming performance features an array of impressive cast members ranging from veteran actors to stars, including Onoe Shōroku, who will play the role of Chōbē for the first time, along with Nakamura Senjaku as Okane and Nakamura Kaishun as Okoma.