Japan Arts Council

National Theatre (Large Theatre)
Kabuki Performance for Beginners
PartⅠ Guidance "How to Appreciate KABUKI"
PartⅡ Experience the live performance of Kabuki "Futatsu Chōchō Kuruwa Nikki: Hikimado"

 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
July 3(Mon.) - July 24(Mon.), 2023
*No performances on 7(Fri.) and 17(Mon.)

Curtain Time
11:00AM *except 6(Thu.) and 20(Thu.)
6:30PM *only 6(Thu.) and 20(Thu.)

● Kabuki Performance for Beginners
○ Kabuki for Beginners (Adults and Accompanying Children)
★ Kabuki for Beginners (Evening)

Running Time
Approximately 2 hours 5 minutes including intermission

Sawamura Sōnosuke
▼Kabuki Performance
Nakamura Shikan
Ichikawa Komazō
Nakamura Matsue
Bandō Hikosaburō
Nakamura Baika
Nakamura Kinnosuke
and others

Tickets(Tax included)
All seats = 1,800 yen
1st Grade = 4,500 yen
2nd Grade = 3,000 yen
Seating plan

*Audio guide: Japanese audio guides are available for rent. Click here for details of audio guide.
*Subtitles: Available only in Japanese.
*English synopsis is available. Please ask at the reception desk.

Booking Opens
June 13, 2023

Box Office
 0570-07-9900 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English (10:00AM - 6:00PM)

Counter Sales at the Theatre 
available from June 14, 2023

in Japanese


A fugitive criminal visits his mother, who he has long been separated from since he was young.
Ironically, it turns out that his mother’s foster son is the one who is tasked with arresting him.
Whether to arrest or to release...
It is the moonlight that decides the outcome of their fate.
We invite you to enjoy this immortal masterpiece depicting the emotional bonds of a family who deeply loves one another!

  The last program of the Kabuki Performance for Beginners to be held in our original National Theatre is Futatsu Chōchō Kuruwa Nikki: Hikimado. We invite you to enjoy this timeless masterpiece – a drama loaded with poetical sentiments about a family who deeply care for one another.

  Futatsu Chōchō Kuruwa Nikki – a collaborative work of Takeda Izumo, Miyoshi Shōraku and Namiki Senryū, who created numerous masterpieces including Kanadehon Chūshingura – was written as a nine-act Ningyō Jōruri, a style of puppet show that flourished in the Edo period. Hikimado is the eighth act of the play and is a popular piece that has been frequently performed independently in Kabuki.

  The scene is Yawata no Sato (the village of Yawata) in Kyoto, which is near the Iwashimizu Hachimangū shrine. On the eve of the harvest moon, sumo wrestler Nuregami Chōgorō comes to visit his mother Okō after a long absence. Okō welcomes her son, taking him upstairs to give him a rest. Just then, Okō’s stepson Nan Yohē arrives home in triumph. To his joy, he was appointed as a local magistrate (a village police official) to inherit his deceased father’s duties, and thus be allowed to identify himself as Nanpō Jūjibē. His first assignment is to find and seize Nuregami, a criminal at large, who accidentally killed high-handed samurai warriors to save his benefactor.

  Not knowing that Nuregami and Okō are really parent and child, Yohē is determined to achieve his objective by arresting Nuregami. Yohē’s wife Ohaya, who is in the picture, tries to indirectly dissuade Yohē from doing this, only to anger him. Okō then implores Yohē to sell her Nuregami’s personal description (wanted notice), presenting the money she has saved up bit by bit. Witnessing the relationship between Nuregami and Okō, Yohē deeply sympathizes with them. Finally, he decides to let Nuregami get away, but…

  With seasonal traditions in connection with the Iwashimizu Hachimangū shrine skillfully woven into it, this Kabuki piece elaborately depicts the characters concerned about the interests of their family. In the Yawata no Sato village that is covered with bamboo groves, many houses were equipped with a “hikimado” (skylight window) – which is also a popular name of this scene. Pay close attention as to how the opening and closing of the hikimado and the moonlight coming through affect the development of the story!

  Nakamura Shikan plays the role of Yohē for the first time in 18 years. Other fine cast members who have been giving impressive performances in recent years include Nakamura Kinnosuke acting as Nuregami and Ichikawa Komazō as Ohaya – their first appearance in these roles in Tokyo. We invited you to enjoy this final showing of the Kabuki Performance for Beginners to be held at the original National Theatre!