Interested in learning about kabuki? Join a FREE lecture by a kabuki expert in English. Afterwards, for an additional fee, you can watch the evening kabuki program at Hakataza. The costumes, music, dance and drama will make you a fan of kabuki for life! Reservations required. Up to 50 seats available, apply by May 31 by registering on this website.
*Offer limited to international residents of Fukuoka and Japanese persons involved in international business, etc. in Fukuoka.
For more information on this year’s June Grand Kabuki at Hakataza, click here.
FREE – English Lecture on Kabuki
• 6/17 (Sun.)
• Hakataza Theater Rehearsal Room
• 2-1 Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
• 092-852-6666 (RKB Mainichi Broadcasting, Asian Dept., weekdays: 9:30~17:30)
• Apply here: http://rkb.jp/escape/
OPTIONAL – Kabuki Evening Program
• 6/17 (Sun.)
• 16:20~ (limited 50 seats)
• Special discounted tickets ¥9,000 (2nd floor reserved seats) *for lecture attendees only, limited to 50 seats
Highlights for June Grand Kabuki at Hakataza Theater
For the convenience of people who cannot read Japanese, we are posting information and synopses of the upcoming performances.
Date no Juyaku (The Ten Roles of Meiboku Sendai Hagi) / 伊達の十役
The main lead, Matsumoto Koshiro, will play the role of 10 male and female protagonists while changing costumes over 40 times at an amazing speed. Audience can expect to see main features of kabuki, such as chunori (mid-air stunts) and danmari (death battle in complete darkness).
At the start of the performance, using photo panels, Matsumoto Koshiro will explain the relationships that the 10 protagonists have with each other. A cunning servant of the Ashikaga shogun family, Nikki Danjo, plots against his master for the sake of resolving the grudge of his father who died in an attempt to overthrow the rulership of Ashikaga. Through the power of his dead father’s spirit, Danjo gains the ability to transform himself into a rat. He encourages the shogun, Ashikaga, to indulge in debauchery at the pleasure quarters, and poisons his successor, in order to take over the family.
On the other hand, Yoemon is sent for execution as his affair with the housemaid has been exposed. Fortunately, his lord, Ashikaga shogun, forgives him and pardons his life. In order to show his gratitude, Yoemon tries his best to stop Danjo, but things do not go as planned…
Evening Show No. 1
Shunkan / 俊寛
It has been three years since three criminals were exiled to an abandoned island for attempting to overthrow the political regime. They all live their modest lives happily, and one of them marries a young lady who lives on the island. At this point, a messenger appears by ship, telling the three criminals that their punishment has ended. As they board the ship, the lady is told that she is not allowed to accompany her husband back to the city. Shunkan, the protagonist, offers his spot to the lady. As the ship departs, the protagonist’s chest tightens as he starts to feel the torment of loneliness.
Evening Show No. 2
Kojyo (Formal introduction) / 襲名披露 口上
This is a stage celebration of Matsumoto Hakuo succeeding the name Matsumoto Koshiro (the stage name is passed down through generations). The main actors will gather at the stage, dressed in kamishimo (Old ceremonial dress), and give a formal speech individually.
Evening Show No. 3
Sakanaya Sogoro (Fishmonger Sogoro) / 魚屋宗五郎
Sogoro’s family is stricken by grief when they find out that his younger sister has been sentenced to death by her master for having a secret affair with the servant (in the past, loyalty to the master had to be prioritized, and love relationships between servants were punishable by death). A co-worker of Sogoro’s sister shows up to offer her condolences, and informs him that the affair is merely a false accusation. Upon hearing this, Sogoro breaks his abstinence from alcohol and returns to his old habit of heavy drinking. He gets drunk and breaks into the samurai‘s house to avenge his sister. After finding out the truth about his sister’s death, Sogoro breaks his vow to stop drinking. In his drunken state, Sogoro causes a huge scene. This is the play written by Mokuami, which shows the vivid lives of the citizens of Edo.
Evening Show No. 4
Shungyo Kagamijishi (The Kagami Lion Dance) / 春興鏡獅子
The story takes place during the New Year at a palace in the shogun‘s castle in Edo. Each year, okagamihiki is held as part of the New Year tradition. The shogun selects his favorite servant, Yayoi, to perform a dance that brings good fortune. Yayoi starts a lovely dance, and picks up the lion head (mask used for lion dance) placed on the altar. As she resumes her dance, the spirit of the lion head takes over her body, causing Yayoi to disappear. Shortly after, the spirit of the courageous lion appears, and begins to dance wildly.
The stark contrast between dancing styles of a lovely woman and a vigorous lion spirit forms the highlight of this magnificent performance.