Monday, September 16, 2019

ENGEKIKAI (#8) August 2019: Cover and Contents

Kabuki Woogie is devoted to a variety of kabuki-related subjects. It began with a series of essays, including photos and videos, of a research trip to Japan in 2010, subsequently added my 25-chapter history of the first Kabuki-za, and then began a series on Japanese books about kabuki from my collection. It also posts the monthly covers of Engekikai, the kabuki magazine of record. It will add occasional essays by guest contributors based on papers they delivered at conferences and symposiums. One can poke around in its archives to find all of these past posts.




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.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

ENGEKIKAI (#7) July 2019: Cover and Contents


Kabuki Woogie is devoted to a variety of kabuki-related subjects. It began with a series of essays, including photos and videos, of a research trip to Japan in 2010, subsequently added my 25-chapter history of the first Kabuki-za, and then began a series on Japanese books about kabuki from my collection. It also posts the monthly covers of Engekikai, the kabuki magazine of record. It will soon add occasional essays by guest contributors based on papers they delivered at conferences and symposiums. One can poke around in its archives to find all of these past posts.


The cover for ENGEKIKAI, the kabuki magazine of record, for July (#7) 2019, shows Onoe Kikunosuke as Benkei, and his son, Onoe Ushinosuke VII, making his stage debut as Minamoto Ushiwakamaru, in EHON USHIWAKAMARU, performed at the Kabuki-za in May 2019. The issue’s main contents, headlined on the cover, is about kabuki depictions of characters considered fūunji (lucky adventurers or soldiers of fortune). The issue also looks at the debut of young Ushiwakamaru. There’s an interview with Ichikawa Emiya, and a discussion with playwright Mitani Kōki and the actors Matsumoto Kōshirō, Ichikawa Ennosuke, and Bandō Ainosuke about the production of Mitani’s new play, TSUKIAKARI MEZASU FURUSATO, based on the manga FUUNJI TACHI (The Lucky Adventurers). Another article is an interview with actor Bandō Minosuke about the manga kabuki play NARUTO, produced at Kyoto’s Minami-za. One other item listed is an interview with Matsumoto Hakuhō.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

12. KABUKI BOOK COVERS: ICHIKAWA SADANJI GEIDAN KIKIGAKI


Kabuki Woogie is devoted to a variety of kabuki-related subjects. It began with a series of essays, including photos and videos, of a research trip to Japan in 2010, subsequently added my 25-chapter history of the first Kabuki-za, and then began a series on Japanese books about kabuki from my collection. It posts monthly covers of the kabuki magazine ENGEKIKAI, with details on their contents, and recently began adding occasional essays by guest contributors based on papers they delivered at conferences and symposiums. One can poke around in its archives to find all of these past posts.

This is a commemorative volume, published in 1969 in a boxed edition, celebrating the career of the popular actor of male roles, Ichikawa Sadanji III (1898-1969), who died that year. It has a decent, if not extraordinary, number of black and white photos, both off and onstage, chronicling his career. The title means “Ichikawa Sadanji’s Thoughts on Kabuki Acting,” and its text is primarily a record of Sadanji’s theatrical reminiscences as written by Hōjō Makoto, covering the years 1952 to 1968, as published serially in the Yomiuri Shinbun. A chronology closes the book, which is published in a boxed edition. This volume is #1,418 of 1,500.


Front cover.

Limited edition page with ccpy number in red.
Frontispiece, decorated with the Sadanji crest (mon) of three boxed sake measures in the center of which is the character for "Sa" or "left." It is based on the famous mon of the Ichikawa Danjūrō line, which heads the Ichikawa acting family.
Portrait by Hasegawa Noboru of Ichikawa Sadanji III as Nagoya Sanza in Saya-ate.

Book's credits, noting the instiutions responsible for the materials and stating that Yoshida Chiaki and Umemura Yutaka are the photographers, 

Top: Sannin Kichiza with Sadanji III, right, as OBō Kichiza, Onoe Baiko VII, left, as Ojō Kichiza, and Onoe Shoroku II, cener as Oshō Kichiza. Bottom left: Sadanji III as Tsuribune Sabu in Natsu Matsuri. Bottom right:  Sadanji III as Tadanobu Rihei in Shiranami Gonin Otoko.

Sadanji III as Munesada in Seki no To.

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Above: Sadanji III celebrating his son's taking the name Ichikawa Omezō; he is presently Sadanji IV. Bottom: With Omezō in a dressing room.

Sadanji III relaxing at home.

Sadanjir performing the formal nirami mie pose associated with the Danjūrō
line. The actor then known as Ichikawa Ebizō ,who became Danjūrō XII, is at the right.

Sadanji III as Tokubei in Natsu Matsuri.

Publication information page.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

ENGEKIKAI (#6) June 2019: COVER AND CONTENTS


Kabuki Woogie is devoted to a variety of kabuki-related subjects. It began with a series of essays, including photos and videos, of a research trip to Japan in 2010, subsequently added my 25-chapter history of the first Kabuki-za, and then began a series on Japanese books about kabuki from my collection. It also posts the monthly covers of Engekikai, the kabuki magazine of record. It recently began adding occasional essays by guest contributors based on papers delivered at conferences and symposiums. One can poke around in its archives to find all of these past posts.
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The cover for ENGEKIKAI, the kabuki magazine of record, for June (#6) 2019, shows Ichikawa Ennosuke IV in the role of the old lady Iwate (in actuality, the demon of Adachigahara) in the dance-drama Kurozuka, a major work in which his family line—known as Omodakaya—specializes. The chief material in this issue is included in part two of the magazine’s overview of kabuki during the Heisei era (1989-2019), which was just succeeded by the Reiwa era. Other articles listed on the cover—which offers only partial contents—include an interview with actor Onoe Kikunosuke, reviews of April’s productions, a piece on a training school for child kabuki actors, and the latest installment in the long-running series, “Kōshirō’s Thousand and One Nights,” by star actor Matsumoto Kōshirō. There is also an illustrated, two-page interview with Tel Aviv University professor Zvika Serper, a kabuki specialist who studied kabuki, kyōgen, and nō performance with Japanese masters.


Ichikawa Ennosuke IV as the old lady Iwate (actually, the demon of Adachigahara) in Kurozuka. Photo: Sasayama Kishin.

Monday, June 3, 2019

12. KABUKI BOOK COVERS: JŪGOSEI ICHIMURA UZAEMON BUTAI SHASHIN SHŪ


Kabuki Woogie is devoted to a variety of kabuki-related subjects. It began with a series of essays, including photos and videos, of a research trip to Japan in 2010. I subsequently added my 25-chapter history of the first Kabuki-za, and then began documenting each monthly issue of ENGEKAI, the kabuki magazine of record. Then came this series on Japanese books about kabuki from my collection. The blog will soon add essays by guest contributors based on papers delivered at conferences and symposiums. One can poke around in the archives to find all of these past posts, or contact me for assistance. Samuel L. Leiter, ed.

This slim volume, titled Jūgosei Ichimura Uzaemon Butai Shashin Shū (A Photo Album of Ichimura Uzaemon XV, includes a representative assortment of black and white photos surveying the career of Ichimura Uzaemon XV (1874-1945), one of the most popular romantic role specialists (nimaime) of the 20th century. He also, of course, played other leading male roles. It is widely believed that his father was a French aristocrat. The subtitle at the bottom says "Kimura Ihee Sakuhin wo Chūshin to Toshite" ("Featuring the Work of Kimura Ihee"), a famous photographer.

The book was published six years after his death, in 1951, and contains not only standard photos of his performances in many roles, but, for several characters, sequential photos showing moment to moment poses, with multiple pictures on the same page. Examples shown below include the eponymous scar-faced Yosaburō in Kirare Yosa, and Danshichi in Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami. Several brief articles about him follow the photos, with a list of captions placed at the end.

There is no table of contents.

Cover of Jūgose Ichimura Uzaemon Butain Shashin Shū.
Publication information.
Ichimura Uzaemon XV as Sukeroku in Sukeroku Yukari Edo no Zakura.
Ichimura Uzaemon XV as Kanpei in Act V of Chūshingura.

Uzaemon XV as Takeda Katsuyori in Honchō Nijūshikō .

Uzaemon XV as Seishin and Sawamura Sōjūrō as Izayoi in Izayoi Seishin.

Uzaemon XV as Sukeroku and Ōtani Tomoemon as Ikyū in Sukeroku Yukari Edo no Zakura.

Part of a sequence showing Uzaemon XV as Danshichi in Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami.

Uzaemon XV in a multipage spread as Yosaburō in Kirare Yosa.

Uzaemon XV as Kataoka Naojirō aka Naozamurai in Naozamurai.



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

11. KABUKI BOOK COVERS: EBIZŌ KARA DANJŪRŌ E



Kabuki Woogie is devoted to a variety of kabuki-related subjects. It began with a series of essays, including photos and videos, of a research trip to Japan in 2010, subsequently added my 25-chapter history of the first Kabuki-za, and then began a series on Japanese books about kabuki from my collection. It will soon add occasional essays by guest contributors based on papers they delivered at conferences and symposiums. One can poke around in its archives to find all of these past posts.

This is a slender volume of artsy color photos of the late Ichikawa Ebizō X (1946-2013) in a handful of roles during 1985, the year he changed his name to Ichikawa Danjūrō XII. its title means From Ebizō to Danjūrō. It has no table of contents, and includes just a brief introduction to the actor and a closing essay on the relative significance of his name-taking announcement/ceremony. The latter half of the book is of black and white family and other personal photos. No chronology is provided. Of course, in May 2020, the late actor's son, Ichikawa Ebizō XI will become Danjūrō XIII.  
Front cover of Ebizō kara Danjūrō e showing as Kagekiyo in Kagekiyo.
Rear cover of Ebizō kara Danjūrō e, showing Danjūrō XII as Naozamurai in Naozamurai.

Publication page.

Danjūrō XII as Yoemon in Kasane,.

Danjūrō as Narukami in Narukami.
 Danjūrō XII as Naozamurai and Bando Tamasaburo V as Michitose in Naozamurai.

Danjūrō XII as Kagekiyo in Kagekiyo.
Danjūrō XII.

Monday, May 13, 2019

10. KABUKI BOOK COVERS: NAKAMURA TOKIZŌ




This is a photographic tribute volume, edited by Rikura Kōichi, and published in 1961, devoted to the life and career of Nakamura Tokizō III (1895-1959), one of the great onnagata and -nimaime actors of the mid-20th century. Almost every photo—both in performance and from his private life, is in b/w format, and the essays are both biographical and celebratory. A career chronology is provided, as usual.
Cover box for Nakamura Tokizō.

Cover for Nakamura Tokizō.


Publication page for Nakamura Tokizō.
Table of contents page.
Nakamura Tokizō III in his dressing room.
Nakamura Tokizō III (r.) in a dressing room with Nakamura Kichiemon I and Nakamura  Kanzaburō XVII.

Nakamura Tokizō III as Chiyo and Onoe Kikugorō VI as Matsuō in Terakoya.
Matsumoto Hakuō I (Matsumoto Kōshirō  VIII) as Yuranosuke and Nakamura Tokizō III as Enya Hangan in Chūshingura.
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Nakamura Tokizō III as Tonase and Tokizō IV as Konami in Chūshingura
.