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Review: January 2019 New Year Kabuki: Part One – Shinbashi Enbujo and the National Theatre of Japan

January 26, 2019 3 comments

Part one of a two-part review.

Shinbashi Enbujo

new year kabuki at the shinbashi enbujo january 2019 mini posterThe first performance of the afternoon was ‘Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura’, (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees), one of the three most popular plays of the Kabuki repertoire (which includes ‘Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy’, and ‘Chūshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers’). The particular act of the play performed was ‘Torii Mae’, (Before the Gate of the Fushimi Inari Shrine). This part of the play focuses on the story of how Shizuka Gozen (Otani Hiromatsu) the lover of Minamoto Yoshitsune (Otani Tomaemon) who is following Yoshitsune on his flight from his older brother Yoritomo, is restrained in her attempts to follow Yoshitsune. To restrain his lover Shizuka Yoshitsune enlists the help of his retainer Satō Tadanobu (Nakamura Shidō) who is in fact not the real Tadanobu but is indeed a magical fox. As a fairly standard and very popular act from Read more…