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otherAugust 14 ,2020

Report on 'Zoom Kabuki "CHŪSHINGURA" '(3), Act V and VI,VII, IX and XI


On July 11th,18th and 25th, 'Zoom Kabuki "CHŪSHINGURA"' was streamed live and the historical challenge of presenting the entire story of 'KANADEHON CHŪSHINGURA' online was successfully completed.

【Act V and Ⅵ】

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▲From left, Matsumoto Kōshirō (Sadakurō),Matsumoto Komagoro (Yoichibē),
in Act V.

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▲Matsumoto Kōshirō (Sadakurō), in Act V.

Acts V and VI focus on some of En'ya Hangan's former retainers after he was ordered to commit suicide as punishment for his actions in Act III. In one famous scene the thief Sadakurō kills Okaru's father Yoichibē who is carrying a large amount of money. The money is from a tea house in the pleasure quarters to which Okaru sold herself to raise funds for her lover Kanpei. Kanpei used to be a samurai who worked for En'ya Hangan and he needs the money in order to join the group of former retainers now intent on revenge.

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▲Ichikawa Ennosuke (Hayano Kanpei), in Act VI.

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▲Ichikawa Ennosuke (Hayano Kanpei), in Act VI.

Shortly after, Kanpei is out hunting and shoots at a wild boar in the dark. When he approaches closer, however, instead of the animal he finds the corpse of Yoichibē. Not realizing who he is, Kanpei removes his wallet and leaves.


【Act Ⅶ】

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▲From left, Nakamura Jakuemon (Okaru), Matsumoto Hakuō I (Ōboshi Yuranosuke), Matsumoto Kōshirō (Heiemon), in Act VII.

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▲Above, Matsumoto Hakuō I (Ōboshi Yuranosuke). Below, from left, Nakamura Jakuemon (Okaru), Matsumoto Kōshirō (Teraoka Heiemon), in Act VII.

Act VII focuses on how Ōboshi Yuranosuke (leader of the now masterless retainers) avenge his master's death by killing his enemy. In order to put the enemy off guard, Yuranosuke has been drinking every night at the pleasure house where Okaru is working, pretending to be a man who isn't thinking about a revenge plan. In this scene, using Zoom technology Matsumoto Kōshirō was able to co-star with his late grandfather Matsumoto Hakuō I (1910-1982)!


【Act Ⅸ and XI】

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▲Matsumoto Kōshirō (Ōboshi Yuranosuke), in Act XI.

Act IX depicts a tragic subplot involving the families of Yuranosuke and another character who was involved in En'ya Hangan's actions in Act III. In Act XI, on a silent, snowy night, Ōboshi Yuranosuke, together with 46 of En'ya Hangan's former samurai, achieves his master's revenge. To present a powerful and thrilling battle, many clips were combined together at great speed on screen.


Kōshirō spoke of his enthusiasm for kabuki after the show. 'I believe that kabuki has the power to overcome any difficulty. I want to give everyone the opportunity to access kabuki anytime and anywhere in these difficult times.' He was so moved that his eyes were filled with tears.

Report on 'Zoom Kabuki "CHŪSHINGURA"'(1)'The Great Prologue' to ACT III
Report on 'Zoom Kabuki "CHŪSHINGURA" (2) ACT IV