Kenuki, Narukami

Kenuki, Narukami

Product Description

English subtitles and commentary, Region Code All, NTSC. Kenuki performed in 2006, Narukami in 1956. Ichikawa Danjuro is one of the most famous names in kabuki, and the present one (born 1946) is a truly fantastic tachiyuki (male role) actor. Nakamura Tokizo (born 1955) is another talented and versatile actor. Kenuki is the third act of five of the play Narukami Fudo Kitayama Zakura, first satged in 1742. The play involves the story of a missing poem, that prays for rain to help the drought. The person responsible for the missing poem is called Gemba, plotting the overthrow of the Ono family who had inherited the precious poem. Many props are used in this play including a giant pair of tweezers (the meaning of kenuki) which float in the air due to a hidden magnet. Narukami (The Thunder God) derives from the noh play Ikkaku Sennin. A high priest, Narukami, uses his special powers to trap the dragon gods of rain, causing a drought. The emperor sends the most beautiful woman from his court, Princess Taema, to seduce Narukami and set the dragon gods free. What ensues is an often amusing story, as Taema relates a bogus story in a suggestive way causing the priest to lose consciousness. She later feigns pain in her stomach, and Narukami offers to massage her, an action that causes immense physical longing in him, leading him to renounce his religious vows. Taema frees the dragon gods and there is a sudden downpour of rain. Narukami realizes he has been tricked and vows to transform into a bolt of lightening and take revenge on Taema. A tachimawari fight ensues between Narukami and some acolytes, during which the actor performs several well known mie poses, including the hashiri maki, or pillar winding pose. Narukami makes a famous roppo exit.