Kabukiza TheatreNovember 26 ,2018
The 'Kabuki class for children' was held at the Kabukiza Theatre
The 'Kodomo Kabuki Kyōshitsu' ('Kabuki class for children', sponsored by the Tomin-Gekijo Foundation) has been held since 1952 and its 248th performance took place on November 23rd at the Kabukiza Theatre.
Before the performance, a special lesson about kabuki and props was held by Mr. Seki from Fujinami-Kodougu Co. Ltd. and Mr. Iwai from Shochiku Co. Ltd.
As the curtains opened, gasps were heard from the audience at the sight of various types of 'katana' (Japanese swords) that were exhibited beautifully on stage. Mr. Seki explained about the details of each sword and why each sword had a different shape.
After a short explanation about the story, the performance finally began.
The dance that was performed this time was 'Chatsubo' ('The Tea Urn') featuring the kabuki actors Nakamura Kashō, Nakamura Tanenosuke and Nakamura Kichinojō.
'Chatsubo' is a comical dance adapted from a kyōgen play. The country bumpkin Magoroku (Nakamura Tanenosuke) is on his way back from Togano'o, a place famous for good tea. He has received tea leaves for his master and, relieved and tired from this hard work, he is sitting in a drunken stupor with the tea urn on his back. Just then, the thief Kumataka Tarō (Nakamura Kashō) appears and tries to steal the tea urn! In those days, tea was a luxury item. Magoroku wakes up and a quarrel begins between the two about who the tea urn's true owner is.
Just then, the local magistrate (Nakamura Kichinojō) happens to come by and tries to stop the quarrel.
Although he tries to judge which of the two is telling the truth, no matter what he asks, Kumataka Tarō copies the answer of Magoroku and even copies how he dances!
Being at loss, Magoroku finally whispers the answer to a certain question and, not being able to catch his words and copy, Kumataka Tarō is finally found guilty.
He steals the tea urn, and runs away with Magoroku closely at his heels.
The theatre was filled with the laughter of children and students in the audience reacting to their first experience of kabuki.