Heisei Nakamuraza in New York; Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

Heisei Nakamuraza in New York; Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

Product Description

The Heisei Nakamuraza troupe was founded in 2000 by Nakamura Kanzaburo XV111, one of Japan's leading kabuki actors. This was the fifth edition of the 100 strong all male troupe and the first time they performed outside Japan in July 2004 in the USA. This DVD is mostly a documentary about Nakamura Kanzaburo, with two other options on the main menu, scene selection and excerpts from the production, but not the entire play, Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami. This performance was from the Lincoln Center in New York, 17-25 July. Heisei Nakamuraza is noted for productions that add a contemporary creative energy and humour while respecting the ancient heritage of kabuki, and are considered by some to be close to the earlier days of kabuki in the 17th century. Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami (Summer Festival: Mirror of Osaka) was originally written for bunraku (puppet theatre) and staged for the first time in 1745. Danshichi is a fishmonger and otokodate (chivalrous commoner) who looks after the welfare of ordinary townspeople against the samurai. He had been imprsioned for wounding a samurai, but after receiving a pardon he is to be released. His wife, Okaji, son, Ichimatsu and Sabu, another otokodate, go to meet him. While they are praying, Danshichi is brought out and released, goes to the barber and gets a clean set of clothes. The courtesan Kotoura enters trailed by the evil samurai Sagaemon. Danshihsi gives him a beating and then gets into another fight with Tokubei who has come to get Kotoura, although the two men realizing they are both loyal to the same samurai Hyodayu, swear eternal friendship. In the final act, a festival is in progress and Danshichi catches up with Giheiji, his evil father-in-law. Giheiji says he kidnapped Kotoura in order to sell her. Danshichi offers to buy her but as he has no money. Realizing he has been tricked, the two get into a fight and Danshichi kills him. Stripped down to his loin cloth, we see Danshichi's tatooed body and a series of mie poses, while the festival continues in the background. He tries to wash himself in a well, and his final lines of the play are 'Evil though he was, a father-in-law is still a parent. Father, please forgive me!'. NTSC, 150 minutes, Japanese only, Region Code 2.