Home > Arts & Crafts, History, Theatre > Meiji Era Kabuki: Three Shintomiza Tsuji Banzuke Part Three – 1912

Meiji Era Kabuki: Three Shintomiza Tsuji Banzuke Part Three – 1912

Third and final part of the Meji Era Kabuki series by Kabuki collector and researcher Trevor Skingle!

The performance date places the performance this tsuji banzuke advertised on 8th February 1912, the last year, 46, of the Meiji era, which ended that same year with the death of Emperor Meiji on 30th July 1912, which had been a time of major changes in Japanese society. The developing Japanese fascination with photography and ‘bromides’ as they were called was reflected in the growing numbers of Kabuki images that became available and their collectors, usually rendered as postcards as is evidenced in those for this performance run. This is something that can still be indulged in at today’s Kabuki performances, though with more modern photographs. The improved quality of this tsuji banzuke with thicker paper and clearer printing is perhaps a reflection of an improvement on the previous two tsuji banzuke in this series, possibly using automated printing techniques, and an increased investment in the Shintomiza by Shochiku who had bought the theatre in 1909.

Shinotmiza Tsuji banzuke Feb 1912 (From the Trevor Skingle Collection – Click image to enlarge)

First performance on the programme was from the play Igagoe (Dōchū Sugoroku) – The Vendetta at Iga by Chikamatsu Hanji based on a true incident in 1634 in which Watanabe Shizuma (in the play called Wada Shizuma), with the aid of Araki Mataemon (in the play called Karaki Masaemon), killed a man named Kawai Matagorō at Iga Ueno who was the murderer of his father.

February 1912 at the Shintomiza: Igagoe Fujikawa Shyuku shin Seki (National Theatre of Japan Bromide Database)

(Above image)

Left Bromide – Nakamura Ganjirō (Shodai) as Karaki Masaemon

Right bromide (from left to right) – Nakamura Utaemon V as Watanabe Masaemon (also advertised on the 1891 tsuji banzuke when he was called Nakamura Fukusuke IV)

Nakamura Baigyoku II as Osode’s father Yamada Kōbei

Nakamura Ganjirō (Shodai) as Karaki Masaemon

Igagoe The inn and the new barrier gate at Fujikawa (From the Trevor Skingle Collection)

Act 7, Scene 1. Igagoe: Fujikawa Shuku Shinseki – Igagoe: The inn and the new barrier gate at Fujikawa

Part One. Dango Ori – The dumpling seller

Part Two. Takeyabu no Dan – The bamboo grove incident

Act 8, Scene 1 Okazaki Yamada Kōbei Jū – Yamada Kōbei’s residence in Okazaki

Together both Acts are usually referred to as Okazaki

Play synopsis http://www.kabuki21.com/okazaki.php

The Temple Precincts at Dondoro Taishi near Monzen (From the Trevor Skingle Collection)

The second and third plays in the performance are drawn from plays about the lovers Yugiri and Izaemon

The second in the performance run was the play Dondoro  Act 8, Scene 1, from Keisei Awa no Naruto by Chikamatsu Hanji. Though the main play Keisei Awa no Naruto is about Izaemon and Yūgiri within the play is the sub plot…

Act 8, Scene 1. Dondoro Taishi no Monzen – The Temple Precincts near Monzen

February 1912 at the Shintomiza: Dondoro no Naka Dondoro Daishi Monzen. The Temple Precincts at Dondoro Taishi (Ōsaka) (National Theatre of Japan Bromide Database)

Starring as…

Otsuru                                                                Nakamura Senjaku I

Jirōsuke’s wife Otoku  really Jūrobei wife Oyumi Nakamura Baigyoku II

Play synopsis http://www.kabuki21.com/dondoro.php

Continuing the Yūgiri and Izaemon theme third on the bill was advertised as Yūgiri Izaemon promoting the play Kuruwa Bunsho Yoshidaya: Love Letters from the Licensed Quarter, a one act play in two scenes 

Kuruwa Bunsho Yoshidaya: Love Letters from the Licensed Quarter (From the Trevor Skingle Collection)

Scene 1. In front of the Yoshidaya trellis windows

Scene 2. In the Yoshidaya back parlor

Play synopsis http://www.kabuki21.com/kuruwa_bunsho.php

From Yoshitsune Sembon Zakura: Yoshitsune and a Thousand Cherry Trees the final part of the performance advertises Ara o nami, literally means rough male theatrical fighting scene in the waves

Yoshitsune and a Thousand Cherry Trees Tokaiya and Daimotsu Bay scenes (From the Trevor Skingle Collection)

Act 2: Scene 3 At the Tokaiya shop and Scene 4 Daimotsu Bay

Synopsis http://www.kabuki21.com/tokaiya_daimotsu.php

Though not shown on the banzuke also listed on the Ritsumeikan University database for this performance was Himitsu bijin – Secret Beauty

I hope you have enjoyed this three part journey, bringing to life the vibrant and dynamic world of Kabuki of over a hundred years ago. As we shall see next there was also a dark side to the colourful and vibrant world of Kabuki.

Photographic images published before December 31st 1956, or photographed before 1946 and not published for 10 years thereafter, under jurisdiction of the Government of Japan, are considered to be public domain according to article 23 of old copyright law of Japan and article 2 of supplemental provision of copyright law of Japan

Author Profile:

Trevor Skingle was born and lives in London where he works in the field of Humanitarian Disaster Relief. He is a Japanophile and his hobbies are Kabuki, painting and drawing and learning Japanese.

Related Posts:

Meiji Era Kabuki: Three Shintomiza Tsuji Banzuke: 1891 Part One

Meiji Era Kabuki: Three Shintomiza Tsuji Banzuke – 1899 Part 2

A Kabuki Oshiguma (Face Pressing): A Relic From The Past

Takarazuka – The Japanese All-Female Theatre Troupe

Art Exhibition: “What is Ukiyo-e?” – ICN Gallery London

Stage Play Review: “The Bee” – A Tale Of The Macabre Starring Hideki Noda & Kathryn Hunter

Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) Master Shoho Teramoto & The Enso Of Zen

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