Mar. 7Japan's Historic Kabuki Theaters
Several old theater buildings around Japan give a feeling of what it was like to see kabuki in the Edo period. Experience these performances from up close.
Feb. 7Kabuki & Ukiyo-e
What's the link between ukiyo-e art and kabuki? Many famous prints are of kabuki actors and were sold to fans. They're key documentation of staging and costumes. Explore this fascinating relationship.
Jan. 3The Peerless Chikamatsu Monzaemon
The universal plays of Chikamatsu Monzaemon were written 300 years ago yet are still used in movies and TV today. Kabuki actor Nakamura Kazutaro explores his genius.
Nov. 1Kabuki Stage Sets
Kabuki actor Nakamura Kazutaro explores the unique nature of kabuki stage sets, stage machinery, how these items are made, and the work done by stagehands during performances.
- Benten Musume Meo
—Benten, the Thief—
Chushingura – Hachidanme: Michiyuki Tabiji no Yomeiri
—The Treasury of Loyal Retainers – Act VIII: The Bride's Journey—
- Gion Sairei
—The Golden Pavilion—
- Koi Bikyaku
Yamato Orai – Fuin Giri
—The Courier from Hell – Breaking the Seals—
Chushingura – Sandanme
—The Treasury of Loyal Retainers – Act III—
Oct. 4A Visit to the Kabukiza
Kabukiza is the only theater dedicated to showing kabuki all year round. Explore unique stage machinery based on centuries-old ideas, the backstage, roof garden, and shop.
Sep. 6Powerful Aragoto Heroes
The strong, manly aragoto style of kabuki acting and plays is our focus this week. Join kabuki actor Kataoka Ainosuke and our guide Nakamura Kazutaro as they examine its history and try out some aragoto moves in the studio!
Jul. 5Tachiyaku Male Roles
Kabuki actor Kataoka Ainosuke is in the studio with Nakamura Kazutaro and explores some of the male tachiyaku roles of kabuki, including tragic heroes and battle scenes.
Jun. 7Onnagata Props
Explore some of the props used by onnagata, kabuki actors who play female roles. A props expert joins actor Nakamura Kazutaro to explain how these items are made and how they're used in performance.
- Iromoyo Chotto
Karimame – Kasane
- Ichijo Okura
—The Simpleton, Lord Okura—
—The Girl at Dojoji Temple—
- Osome Hisamatsu
Ukina no Yomiuri
—The Seven Roles of the Love Story of Osome and Hisamatsu—
- Imoseyama Onna
Teikin – Mikasayama Goten
—Husband and Wife Mountains – The Mikasayama Palace Scene—
May 3Imoseyama Onna Teikin (Husband and Wife Mountains)
Explore the Japanese "Romeo and Juliet", Imoseyama Onna Teikin. Actor Nakamura Kazutaro introduces scenes from this deeply tragic romance.
Apr. 5The Star Dramatists of Kabuki History
Explore 400 years of kabuki history through plays of different eras. Actor Nakamura Kazutaro introduces famous writers from each period.
—The Love Suicides at Sonezaki—
—The Ghosts of Yotsuya—
- Kumo ni Magou
Ueno no Hatsuhana – Kochiyama
—The Villainous Tea Priest Kochiyama—
- Bancho Sara
—The Modern Tale of the Ghost of the "Plate Mansion"—
- Iwashi Uri Koi
—The Sardine Seller's Net of Love—