Been busy so I’m a little late with this cover. It’s for the August (#8) 2019 issue of ENGEKIKAI, the kabuki magazine of record, showing a picture of a new kabuki play by writer-actor-director Mita Kōki, starring Matsumoto Kōshirō, left, as Daikokuya Kōdayū, and his son, Ichikawa Somegorō, as Isokichi in Tsukiakari Mezasu Furusato: Fūjintachi, a new play based on a famous manga series. The indispensable Kabuki21.com website, citing it simply as FŪUJINTACHI, describes it thus:
This is a brand-new Kabuki play written and directed by Mitani Kôki, and adapted from "Fūunjitachi", a historical manga by Minamoto Tarô. In 1782 when Japan pursued a policy of national isolation, the merchant vessel Shinshômaru sailed out from Ise to Edo and was caught in a violent storm, losing its sail and rudder. The crew, 17 men under the captain, Daikokuya Kôdayû (Matsumoto Kôshirô), lost control and the vessel was left to drift on the open sea. After 8 months they land on Amchitka Island in the territory of Russia. Kôdayû starts his life there puzzled by the foreign language and culture. Some of the crew dies, but Kôdayû survives and sets sail for the Russian mainland in the vessel they make for themselves. They go further into Russia to carry out procedures of departure. People help them wherever they go and they finally manage to have an audience with Empress Catherine (Ichikawa Ennosuke).
The cover notes that the issue contains a section devoted to this play. The issue’s other principal contents—as headlined on the cover—include a leading section on the passion for reviving kabuki in the Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto) area of Japan; interviews with Kansai stars Kataoka Nizaemon and Sawamura Tōjūrō; a discussion of an experimental production of the play ONNA GOROSHI ABURA NO JIGOKU, starring movie actor Akahori Masaaki and kabuki actor Nakamura Shidō, held in unconventional venues; an interview with kabuki actor Ichikawa Monnosuke; and a round table with the lesser-known actors in Nakamura Baigyoku’s “study group,” the Takasago-Kai.