モナコでの歌舞伎 – Kabuki in Monaco

Author: fraise

Saturday 12 September 2009, in Journal, La France

Yesterday evening, while walking to the bus stop to go home for the weekend, I noticed that the advertisement had changed, and had a Kabuki actor. To my great delight, on approaching close enough to read it, it was indeed for Kabuki, in Monaco! I could hardly believe my eyes. As long-time readers may remember, I’ve always loved Japanese culture and the Japanese language, and five years ago, nearly went to teach English in Japan, having been accepted by an elementary school on the outskirts of Kyoto. Kabuki is a popular form of Japanese theatre that was founded some 400 years ago. Invitation to Kabuki is an excellent site with information about its particularities.

Once at home, I went straight to the “Kabuki in Monaco” website to reserve tickets, and was overjoyed that I could get a spot for next Saturday evening’s performance. The first two kabuki actors are the most prestigious in Japan: Ichikawa Danjuro XII and his son Ebizo XI, of the Narita-ya kabuki guild. From their site: “Narita-ya is the yago, or guild name, of the Ichikawa family, the best known acting family in Edo kabuki. Narita-ya is also the earliest known yago in all kabuki.” As for the third, Nakamura Tokizo V is a well-known onnagata actor, meaning he plays female roles. The play they’ll be performing, “Narukami“, likely means that Nakamura will play Princess Taema, one of his best roles, and one of the Ichikawas will play the priest Narukami — indeed, the “Narukami” link has video of Nakamura Tokizo V and Ichikawa Danjuro XII playing those very roles.

As for the dance “Kagami Jishi” (The Mirror Lion, 鏡狮子 in Japanese), I was able to find it on YouTube, in several parts. It’s played by a different actor (Bando Tamasaburo V), and has nice commentary in English:
Kagami Jishi, part I
Kagami Jishi, part II
Kagami Jishi, part III
Kagami Jishi, part IV
Kagami Jishi, part V
Kagami Jishi, part VI
Kagami Jishi, part VII

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