Released May 2013. NTSC, Region Code All, English Commentary and booklet notes. 119 mins (main programme) + 23 minutes (special feature on 50 selected works of Kabuki). Colour. Filmed September 2008.
Ichikawa Sadanji IV (born 1940) is a tachiyaku actor (especially of villains) known for his loud voice and commanding stage presence. Nakamura Kichiemon II (born 1944) is a Living National Treasure specialising in male heroes of jidaimono, historical plays. Nakamura Shikan VII (1928-2011) was a great onnagata actor. Bando Tamasaburo is the leading onnagata actor today.
Omi Genji Senjin Yakata was staged for the first time as Kabuki in 1770. Of the nine original acts, only one has survived, called Moritsuna Jinya (Moritsuna's Battle Camp). This play is one of the greatest classics of the jidaimono, historical play style. Two brothers, Sasaki Moritsuna and Sasaki Takatsuna live near the lake of Omi, one is for the shogun, the other a rebel. Moritsuna holds his brother's son, Koshiro, a hostage and tells his mother to tell the boy to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). Messengers arrive saying Takatsuna had been killed in battle, and a representative of the Shogun called Tokimasa, comes with Takatsuna's head. Moritsuna identifies the head, and realizes it is not that of his brother. Ruthlessly, Takatsuna has his son sacrifice his life to force Moritsuna to identify the head of an imposter as that of his dead brother.