Kabuki Woogie began in 2011 as a way to record a research trip to Japan I took on a Mellon Fellowship a year earlier. My day-to day-experiences on that trip, including videos and photos, are archived at the beginning of the blog. Over the past few years, Kabuki Woogie provided regular entries on the history of the first Kabuki-za, Japan’s leading kabuki playhouse, founded in 1889, and still on the same site after four additional incarnations. The series, which offered 24 chapters, ended recently with a chapter on 1911, when the theatre underwent significant renovation, ending its first incarnation.
In November 2018, I began to post images of the cover of each month’s issue of the long-running kabuki magazine, Engekikai (Theatre World), which I’ve provided on Facebook for a number of years. I will also post any other items of kabuki interest as they become available, including my own writings. All previous entries remain intact and can be found by using the search box.
|Photo: Sasayama Kishin|
The cover of the January 2019 (#1) issue of ENGEKIKAI, the kabuki magazine of record, shows the actor-managers of the Heisei Nakamura-za troupe, Nakamura Shichisaburō II, left, and his brother, Nakamura Kankurō VI, in the company’s November 2018 production of Iyasakae Shibai no Nigiwai (which might loosely be rendered as The Excitement of a Prosperous Theatrical Production). Also shown are d sons, Nakamura Chōzaburō II (left) and Nakamura Kantarō II. The older brothers play a wife-husband pair of old time actor managers, and the younger brothers play their “young master” (wakadayū) sons.
The principal article in the issue is “Actors Born During the Heisei Era,” inspired by the imminent end of the era, which will happen on April 30, when Emperor Akihito abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne. His reign will have lasted 30 years. The issue also contains an interview with star actor Onoe Shōroku III; an overview of the 11th production of Kataoka Ainosuke and other actors at the Eiraku-za, an old style kabuki theatre built in 1901 in Toyooka City, Hyōgo Prefecture; the latest entry in a series by actor Matsumoto Kōshirō X, “One Thousand and One Nights”; a piece on the reopening of Kyoto’s venerable Minami-za, after extensive renovations; and a look at the traditional kaomise (“face showing”) program there this past November. Also noted is the provision of a kabuki actors’ calendar, sent to all subscribers, with each month’s page showing the image used for that month’s ENGEKIKAI cover in 2018.