Key Kabuki Words Key Kabuki Words
Kabuki is spectacular and you don’t have to know anything to enjoy it. But a little bit of information about a few of the terms and the plays makes it even better.
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Kanjincho / 勧進帳
—The Subscription List—
Please see Key Kabuki Words - Plays mentioned in the program page of "Discover Kabuki based on Noh and Kyogen"
Kanadehon Chushingura / 仮名手本忠臣蔵
—The Treasury of 47 Loyal Retainers—
Please see Key Kabuki Words - Plays mentioned in the program page of "Chushingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers"
Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu / 盟三五大切
—The Geisha Koman and the Boatman Sangoro—
This play was written in 1825 by Tsuruya Nanboku IV. It is a modern revival which is frequently performed for its colorful roles and grotesque humor. The geisha Koman and the boatman Sangoro are lovers, but he encourages her to try to swindle money out of patron Gengobei. Sangoro needs the money for the son of his former samurai lord, whom he has never met. In the end, Gengobei kills Koman in a jealous rage and ironically, it turns out that he is the man for whom Sangoro is trying to raise the money in the first place.
Meiboku Sendai Hagi / 伽羅先代萩
—The Turmoil in the Date Clan—
Please see Key Kabuki Words - Plays mentioned in the program page of "The Beauty of Onnagata"
Heike Nyogo no Shima : Shunkan / 平家女御島・俊寛
This is one act of a long historical drama by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653 - 1724) and this act, which is the only one that is performed regularly, is based on a classical Noh play about the exile Shunkan. When there is a general pardon, Shunkan's companions in exile are pardoned, but in the end, Shunkan is left alone on the island.
Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami / 弁天娘女男白浪
—Benten, the Thief—
A masterpiece by Kawatake Mokuami (1816 - 1893), the last great playwright of kabuki, this features spectacle and poetic speeches. The full length play is about five thieves, but the most famous is Benten Kozo, a male thief who goes disguised as a woman.
Futago Sumidagawa / 雙生隅田川
—The Twins at the Sumida River—
A rarely performed play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653 - 1724) that dramatizes the classical Noh play "Sumidagawa." When it is performed, it is often as the setting of the classical kabuki routine "koi tsukami" "wrestling with a carp" which is an opportunity to use real water on stage.