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Kabuki Performance "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura"

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    Kabuki Performances in March
    "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura"


    Performance Date : March 3(Tue.) - March 26(Thu.), 2020
    *No performance on 10(Tue.), 11(Wed.)
    Venue : National Theatre(Small Theatre)

    Programme A : "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" Act 2
    Programme B : "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" Act 3
    Programme C : "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" Act 4


    Running Time
    Programme A : approx 3 hours and 30 mins
    Programme B : approx 3 hours and 30 mins
    Programme C : approx 2 hours and 45 mins

    Onoe Kikunosuke
    Bando Kamezo
    Nakamura Baishi
    Nakamura Mantaro
    Ichimura Takematsu
    Nakamura Yonekichi
    Ichimura Hikaru
    Onoe Ushinosuke
    Nakamura Jujiro
    Ichimura Kitsutaro
    Kamimura Kichiya
    Kawarasaki Gonjuro
    Ichimura Manjiro
    Ichikawa Danzo
    Nakamura Ganjiro
    Nakamura Tokizo
    and the Others

    Ticket Prices (including tax)
    10,000 yen (Student: 7,000 yen)
    Discount for all 3 programmes (A, B and C): 27,000 yen
    Discount for 2 programmes (any combination of A, B or C): 19,000 yen
    *You will receive the discount ticket prices when you buy tickets for 2-3 programmes at the same time.

    *End times are estimates and could vary.
    *Audio guide: Available for rent in English and Japanese. Click here for details.
    *Subtitles: No subtitles available.
    *English synopsis is available. It is included in the paid Japanese program.
    *Free Audio Guide Service and Special Discount for Overseas Visitors

    Booking Opens
    February 6, 2020 

    Box Office
    Telephone: 03-3230-3000 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English(10:00 - 18:00(JST))

    Internet reservations : https://ticket.ntj.jac.go.jp/top_e.htm

    Counter Sales at the Theatre 
    available from Februry 7, 2020

    in Japanese


    New attempt in staging of super-known piece of kabuki theatre
    (by Petr Holý, Adjunct Researcher,
    The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University)

      Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees (Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura in Japanese) belongs to one of the three most famous, popular and needless to say, grandiloquent plays in the kabuki theatre. It was adapted in 1748, being originally written for the jōruri puppet theatre only one year before by three playwrights of the day, Takeda Izumo II, Miyoshi Shōraku and Namiki Senryū I.

      It is quite exceptional that Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees is performed in the Small Theatre of the National Theatre, to underline the “baroque” atmosphere of the kabuki stage, which was a lot smaller and somehow more fairy-like in the 18th century than it is today. It is also a full-length production of an entire play (tōshi-kyōgen in Japanese) so you can experience first hand what is really spectacular about kabuki plays.

      Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees adopts the world of the rise and fall of the Taira (also Heike) clan in the twelfth-century. The Tairas were defeated at the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185 by the Minamoto (also Genji) clan led by Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who is the main character of the play and one of the most well known samurais and tragic heros in Japanese history. He has been adapted by many legends and romantic stories of literature of Japan, described even as a young man of androgynous beauty. Nevertheless, Yoshitsune became an object of hatred by his suspicious half-brother Yoritomo, and he was destined to lead a wandering life. He escapes from the capital (today’s Kyoto), accompanied by his devoted mistress, the voluptuous beauty Shizuka Gozen, and his loyal retainer Benkei. They run across phantasmagorical situations from time to time, such as the incident when the handsome magical white fox Genkurō, disguised as Satō Tadanobu, searches for a drum Hatsune no tsuzumi, made from the skin of fox’s parents. The history is mixed with a fiction and beautiful fairytales here.

      Regarding the huge and amazing scale of this play full of unexpected scenes, the March program is divided into three parts. Kabuki actor Onoe Kikunosuke V deftly portrays the main roles of Satō Tadanobu, the retainer of Yoshitsune, the fantastic fox Genkurō, general Taira no Tomomori and, new to Igami no Gonta, a sushi-shop owner's son.

      The March performance of Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees reminds the viewer of the beauty of Japanese spring in full bloom and it will surely remain as a significant play of this year and as such I am sure it will entice the hearts of many foreign theatre-goers. Do not miss this rare opportunity!