NTSC, Region Code All, English Commentary and booklet notes. 99 mins (main programme) + 23 minutes (special feature on 50 selected works of Kabuki). Colour. Filmed May 2003 and May 2006.
Ichikawa Danjuro XII (1946-2013) was a brilliant tachiyaku actor, and holder of the most prestigious name in Kabuki. In Uiro Uri he plays the role of the moxa peddler / Soga Goro Tokimune. Bando Mitsugoro (born 1956) is a leading contemporary tachiyaku.
The Kabuki Juhachiban - Eighteen Best Kabuki plays associated with the Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors, are considered as seminal representations of the Aragoto style, that exaggerates all aspects of the role to portray warriors, gods or demons. Shibaraku (Wait a Moment!) was a scene staged for the first time in 1697, as part of the drama Daifukucho Sankai. The play is the epitome of the Aragoto style founded by its author Ichikawa Danjuro I. The villain Kiyohara Takehira has ordered his retainers to kill people who will not obey his orders. The hero Kamakura Gongoro appears with a yell of 'Shibaraku!' (Wait a Moment!) and rescues these people. Takehira orders his henchmen to get rid of the intruder, but they are no match for the superhero. Gongoro accuses Takehira of power usurpation and pleads with him to return the stolen imperial sword and seal. Takehira's low ranking soldiers try a last attack against Gongoro, who beheads them all in a single strike with his giant sword. Gongoro strikes his final mie and victoriously leaves the theatre through the hanamichi.
Uiro Uri was originally a short scene staged for the first time in 1718. It is based on the revenge by the Soga brothers on Kudo Saemon Suketsune, the villain responsible for the murder of their father. The dramatic fight is transformed into light fantasy by showing Sogo Goro Tokumine disguised as Toraya Tokichi, a moxar peddler. He arrives at the pleasure quarters of Oiso, near Mount Fuji, where he meets a party led by Kudo Saemon Suketsune. This highlight is considered to be a three minute speech littered with puns and tongue twisters.