Japan Arts Council

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Bunraku Performances in December 2022

Honchō Nijūshikō

Venue : National Theatre(Small Theatre)
Performance Dates
Dec. 6(Tue.) - Dec. 19(Mon.), 2022
No performance on 13 (Tue.)



Running Time : Approx. 3 hours and 35 minutes

Ticket Prices (tax included)
Adults: 1st Grade ¥6,500  2nd Grade ¥4,600
Students: 1st Grade ¥4,600  2nd Grade ¥3,900
Seating plan

*Japanese audio guides are available for rent. Click here for details of audio guide.
*Subtitles: Available only in Japanese. Displayed on screen beside the stage.
*English synopsis is available. It is included in the paid Japanese brochure.
*There will be intermission.

Booking Opens
November 14 (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 November 15 (Thu.)
(Business hours: 10:00AM – 6:00PM)

in Japanese

Honchō Nijūshikō
The National Theatre’s December Bunraku Performance, presented by a cast that includes both mid-career and young performers, casts the spotlight on those who, as the bearers of the next generation Bunraku, play more important roles than usual. This performance presents Honchō Nijūshikō, a grand-scale masterpiece themed on the power struggle of the Sengoku Daimyō (warlords during the Sengoku period) including Nagao (Uesugi), Takeda and Hōjō, focusing on Act 2 and Act 4.

In this tale, an incident breaks out in which the Ashikaga shōgun Yoshiharu is assassinated at the palace by someone, creating an uproar in the nation. Put under suspicion are two daimyō: Takeda Shingen in Kai Province and Nagao Kenshin in Echigo Province. Unless they find the true culprit, the Takeda and Nagao families must take by their own hand the life of their own inheritor. Thus, warning against each other, the two great warlords devise a scheme to protect their own families.

The deadline is nearing for the Takeda family to sacrifice the life of Shingen’s son Katsuyori, to take responsibility for not being able to identify the real perpetrator. Nureginu, a chambermaid who has special feelings for Katsuyori, grieves deeply. Finding the family in their predicament, Itagaki Hyōbu, a chief retainer of the family, hatches a plot. The mind-boggling farsightedness of the Sengoku Daimyō, in which secret plans of the interested parties are intricately enmeshed, with the prospect of the commitment of seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) by the tragic young nobleman Katsuyori – eventually, a startling fact comes to light!

Meanwhile, the Nagao family is in the same situation. Due to the slow-going search for the perpetrator, it’s almost impossible for them now to avoid the seppuku of Kenshin’s stepson Kagekatsu Entering into this charged atmosphere appears an odd-looking old man named Sekibē. Sekibē and the wily warlord Kenshin soon start to trade barbs full of wiles and tricks, trying to sound each other out. Meanwhile, Kenshin‘s daughter, Princess Yaegaki, prays for the repose of the soul of her fiancé Katsuyori, who died an unfortunate death. One day, a man called Minosaku comes to live with the Nagao family as a gardener. Looking at him, however, Princess Yaegaki’s countenance changes.

What will be the course of Princess Yaegaki’s ardent love? And what is the truth regarding this major incident implicating numerous Sengoku Daimyō and their families? We invite you to enjoy this great historical drama, and you will not be able to take your eyes off the grand finale of “Dōsan Saigo no Dan,” which will be performed here at the National Theatre for the first time in 30 years.