Japan Arts Council

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National Theatre Farewell Performanes Upon the Reconstruction Project - Towards a New Adventure -
National Theatre - Tokyo Presents

Kabuki Performances in March 2023
Introduction to a Masterpiece of Kabuki

Kabuki Performance "Ichijō Ōkura Monogatari|Gojōbashi"

Performance Dates : March 3 (Fri.) -27 (Mon.)
*No Performance on 10 (Fri.) and 20 (Mon.)
Venue : National Theatre (Large Theatre)


Running Time : Approximately 3 hours 10 minutes including interval

Kataoka Kamezō
Kabuki Performance "Ichijō Ōkura Monogatari"
Nakamura Matagorō
Nakamura Kashō
Nakamura Tanenosuke
Nakamura Baika
Arashi Kitsusaburō
Kataoka Kamezō
Nakamura Kaishun
and others
Kabuki Performance "Gojōbashi"
Nakamura Kashō
Nakamura Tanenosuke
and others

Ticket Prices(tax included)
1st Grade = 8,000 yen (Students: 5,600 yen)
2nd Grade = 5,000 yen (Students: 3,500 yen)
3rd Grade = 3,000 yen (Students: 2,100 yen)
Special Offer for International Audiences (Welcome! Kabuki Ticket)

Seating Plan

*English audio guide with live commentary is available for the second half of the performances from March 11 to 27. The rental fee for the guide is 800 yen (incl. tax). Click here for details of audio guide.

*Entry Time (for Welcome! Kabuki Ticket holders)
 You can enter the auditorium during an intermission (see the following times) before the second act.
 ・Matinee Show (starting at 12:00 pm) → around 1:25 pm
 ・Evening Show (starting at 5:00 pm) → around 6:25 pm

*Subtitles: Not available.
*English synopsis is available. It is included in the paid Japanese program.

Booking Opens
February 13 (Mon.) 10:00AM

Box Office
0570-07-9900 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English
(10:00AM - 6:00PM)
Online Booking : https://ticket.ntj.jac.go.jp/top_e.htm

Counter Sales at the Theatre 
available from February 14 (Tue.)
(Business hours: 10:00AM – 6:00PM )

in Japanese


  Under the title of “Introduction to a Masterpiece of Kabuki,” National Theatre’s Kabuki Performance in March features real Kabuki masterpieces that come with easy-to-understand guidance by the performers. Known as a Gidayū Kyōgen masterpiece, Kiichi Hōgen Sanryaku no Maki is a collaborative piece by Bunkōdō and Hasegawa Senshi and was premiered as Ningyō Jōruri at the Osaka Takemoto-za theater in 1731.

  The story unfolds dramatically, depicting those who aspired to the revival of the Genji clan in the days when Taira no Kiyomori lived in splendor. Today’s programs, Ichijō Ōkura Monogatari and Gojōbashi, correspond to the fourth and fifth acts of the original five-act story. Ichijō Ōkura Monogatari, featuring Ichijō Ōkurakyō Naganari ― a unique character modeled on a real person ― is a popular program that can even be presented independently. The scenes represented here are a rarely performed Kusemai (a dance-like art form originated in medieval Japan) and the famous scene Okuden. Gojōbashi is a dance drama depicting the encounter between Ushiwakamaru (later called Minamoto no Yoshitsune) and Musashibō Benkei.

Ichijō Ōkura Monogatari
Act I: Kusemai
  Ushiwakamaru’s mother, Tokiwa Gozen, becomes a concubine of Taira no Kiyomori, a warlord on the enemy’s side, to save the life of her sons after her husband, Minamoto no Yoshitomo, was killed by Kiyomori in the Heiji Rebellion. She is later forced to marry Ichijō Ōkurakyō. Descendant of the Genji clan though he is, Ōkurakyō is indifferent to the confrontation between the Genji (Minamoto) and Heike (Taira) clans, engrossed only in Kyōgen. One night, Kiyomori’s retainer, Harima no Daijō Hiromori, who is unable to gauge Tokiwa Gozen’s real intentions, visits the mansion of Ōkurakyō. Conspiring with Yatsurugi Kageyu, a chief retainer who plots to usurp the headship of the Ichijō family, Hiromori attempts to kill Ōkurakyō. However, confused by Ōkurakyō, who feigns madness while dancing with a blank countenance, Hiromori cannot achieve this end but rather only makes a fool of himself.

Act II: Okuden
  Aiming for the revival of the Genji clan, Yoshioka Kijirō and his wife, Okyō, sneak into the mansion of Ōkurakyō to find out Tokiwa Gozen’s true intentions. Kijirō blames Tokiwa for behaving as if she forgot all about the Genji. Tokiwa, however, was secretly praying for the overthrow of the Heike clan, while pretending to be enjoying herself by playing yōkyū (a kind of archery). Kageyu dashes out to tell Kiyomori about Tokiwa’s true mindset. Just then, someone slashes at Kageyu with a sword. It was Ōkurakyō, who stands dignified with a long sword in hand ― an appearance that is far from his usual. So, what will be the startling truth revealed by Ōkurakyō in the end?

  Night after night, Ushiwakamaru has been fighting with passers-by on the Gojō bridge while honing his swordplay skills to gain allies. Having heard the rumor of a rogue on the bridge, Musashibō Benkei goes there to face off with him. Suddenly, Ushiwakamaru steps forward to challenge Benkei, and then defeats him. Having revealed his identity, Ushiwakamaru accepts Benkei as a retainer and then sets out aiming for the revival of the Genji clan.

  Nakamura Matagorō, who studied under the late Nakamura Kichiemon II, known for his signature role of Ōkurakyō, rises to the challenge to perform Ōkurakyō for the first time. This includes taking on the rarely performed Kusemai – the scene which Kichiemon II had longed to perform. The star-studded cast also includes Nakamura Kaishun in the role of Tokiwa Gozen. The pre-performance commentary, “Introduction: The Raising of the Armies – the Genji Clan,” provides an easy-to-understand explanation about the highlights of the piece. We invite you to celebrate this spring day with these masterpieces full of the real pleasures of classical Kabuki.