Japan Arts Council

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National Theatre (Small Theatre)
Masterpieces of Japanese Music III: The Edo Period...the Meiji Period

  Masterpieces of Japanese Music, a series related to the “National Theatre Farewell Performances,” features pieces representing periods from ancient to modern times in three installments. The third performance features pieces related to the times from the Edo to the Meiji period. This was a transition period in which people saw dramatic changes in their lifestyles, from townsfolk culture to modern life. Please enjoy this variety of excellent pieces featuring rich musicality performed by leading musicians from a variety of arts fields.

Performance Date
January 28(Sat.), 2023

Performance Time
4:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m.
* End time is an estimate and may vary.

Nagauta : Genroku-fū Hanamiodori
Kineya Wakichi
Kineya Katsumatsu
Fukuhara Hyakunosuke
and others

Shinnai-bushi : Bushintei Yami no Awabi – Bushinjū – 
Shinnai Tagatayū
Tsuruga Kiyojurō
and others

Jiuta : Yotsu no Tami
Fukuda Eika
Fujii Hirokazu
Aoki Reibo

Satsuma Biwa : Shōgitai
Suda Seishū

Hauta : Wagamono and others
Honjō Hidetarō
and others

Sōkyoku : Meiji Shōchikubai
Yonekawa Toshiko
Fukami Satomi
Zenyōji Keisuke

*Audio guide: Not available.
*Subtitles: Available only in Japanese. Displayed on screen beside the stage.
*English synopsis is available. Please ask at the reception desk.

Tickets(Tax included)
Adults = 5,000yen  /  Students = 3,500yen 
Seating plan 

Booking Opens
December 18, 2022

Box Office
0570-07-9900 (From overseas: +81-3-3230-3000) in Japanese and English (10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
Internet resevations : https://ticket.ntj.jac.go.jp/top_e.htm

Counter Sales at the Theatre
available from December 19, 2022
(Business hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. )

in Japanese


Nagauta : Genroku-fū Hanamiodori
  During the Genroku years of the Edo period, the heyday of Edo culture, commoners enjoyed cheery blossom-viewing in Ueno. People from all walks of life, including Katsuyama – a prostitute in a public bathhouse – warriors clad in tanzen (a large-padded kimono) and tomoyakko (servants), flock to various places for cherry-blossom appreciation. This piece, characterized by a brilliant, modulated melody, sees a variety of efforts devoted to the performance of the vocals, shamisen and hayashi (musical accompaniment).

Shinnai-bushi : Bushintei Yami no Awabi – Bushinjū –
 &emspCourtesan Kotomi and her lover Shichibē vow to commit double suicide. Shichibē, however, shies away from his promise, finding fault with the idea ― and to top it off, he sneaks away. The piece is full of charms unique to Shinnai-bushi in that they are funny and yet pathetic.

Jiuta : Yotsu no Tami
  Yotsu no Tami is a collective term for the social classes of samurai warriors, farmers, artisans and merchants. In this piece, the lives and manners and customs of the four social classes are depicted, comparing them to the four seasons. This Jiuta is known as a rarely performed musical piece, despite being a masterpiece counted among the “Matsuura no Yotsumono,” four great masterpieces among the works by Matsuura Kengyō.

Satsuma Biwa : Shōgitai
  Warriors who honored the old regime during the Restoration period at the end of the Edo period formed Shōgitai, in rivalry with the new government forces. This piece depicts the warriors who fought bravely but were still tragically defeated at the end because of their inferior strength. Please enjoy this dynamic Satsuma-biwa performance with its narrative full of sorrow.

Hauta-kouta : Wagamono and others
  Hauta became all the rage from the end of the Edo to the Meiji period. This piece expresses the minds of a man and a woman who meet for an assignation on a snowy night. Please enjoy these brief but profound pieces that are reminiscent of Edo-Tokyo.

Sōkyoku : Meiji Shōchikubai
  Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken wrote waka poems themed on Shōchikubai (pine, bamboo and plum). Six poems celebrating their reign in early spring and congratulating its auspiciousness are sung elegantly. This is one of the representative pieces of the Meiji period, characterized by the brilliant ensemble of koto with both high-pitched and low-pitched sounds as well as shakuhachi.