Kabuki - Encountering a 400-Year Heritage

Kabuki – Encountering a 400-Year Heritage

The Japan Foundation is proud to present “Kabuki – Encountering a 400-Year Heritage” in two Mexican cities (Mexico City and Monterrey), to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Japan-Mexico Relations (2009~2010). The tour will also reach out to El Salvador and Honduras.
In September 1609, villagers of OnjukuBay, Chiba, rescued passengers from a wrecked ship on route to Mexico, then known as New Spain. To honor this endeavor, the governments of Japan and Mexico have planned a number of exchange programs, in 2009 and 2010 for the “400th Anniversary of Japan-Mexico Relations”.

On this tour, presentations will feature Kabuki actors Kyozo Nakamura and Matanosuke Nakamura, who have a great deal of experience performing overseas, joined by the promising young actor Kinosuke Ichikawa. Audiences will be introduced to various aspects of Kabuki theater, including the Kabuki music such as nagauta, shamisen and percussion instruments as well as other backstage aspects such as costumes and make-up that are not normally exposed to the public. Dance performances will showcase the enchanting female Kabuki dance “Sagi Musume (Heron Maiden)” as well as “Shakkyo (Stone Bridge)”, which highlights movements of the shishi, a lion-like king of beasts. For first-time viewers and regulars alike, these performances promise to entice one and all with glamour and fascination. To our friends in Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, we invite you to experience 400 years of history, in the world of Kabuki.

Performance Schedule

Tour Schedule: October 8 - 21, 2010
Monterrey Performance Friday, October 8, 2010 (from 8:00 p.m.)
Place: Teatro de la Ciudad, Monterrey
Co-Presented by the Embassy of Japan in Mexico, Santa Lucia Festival, Teatro de la Ciudad, Monterrey
Mexico City Performance Tuesday, October 12, 2010 (from 8:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 (from 8:30 p.m.)
Place: Teatro de la Ciudad "Esperanza Iris"
Co-Presented by the Embassy of Japan in Mexico, Mexico City, Teatro de la Ciudad
San Salvador Performance Saturday, October 16, 2010 (from 6:30 p.m.)
Place: National Theater of El Salvador, Main Hall
Co-Presented by the Embassy of Japan in El Salvador, Secretariat of Culture of the Presidency of El Salvador
Sponsored by TCS Telecorporation
Santa Ana Performance Monday, October 18, 2010 (from 6:30 p.m.)
Place: Santa Ana National Theater, Main Hall
Co-Presented by the Embassy of Japan in El Salvador, Secretariat of Culture of the Presidency of El Salvador
Sponsored by elecorporacion Salvadoreña
Tegucigalpa Performance Thursday, October 21, 2010 (from 6:00 p.m.)
Place: Manuel Bonilla National Theater
Co-Presented by the Embassy of Japan in Honduras, Manuel Bonilla National Theater
Sponsored by the Secretary of Culture, Arts and Sports and Asociacion Hondurena de Becarios del Japon (AHBEJA)

Performer Profiles

Kyozo Nakamura

Kyozo NakamuraKyozo Nakamura was born in 1955 in Tokyo. He graduated from the Hosei University (Bachelor degree in Japanese Literature). He joined the Japan Arts Council’s Training School for Kabuki Actors as a 6 term trainee. In September 1982, he commenced in a professional career as a member of the Nakamura Jakuemon IV family under the acting name, Nakamura Kyozo, which was given by his master. Ever since, he has continued working as a professional Kabuki actor through monthly performances in Kabuki-za (Tokyo), National Theatre (Tokyo), Osaka Shochiku-za, Minami-za (Kyoto), Misono-za (Nagoya), Hakata-za (Fukuoka) etc., as well as other tours of Kabuki performances throughout Japan. He also participates in lecture and performance tours of Kabuki in other regions around the world such as Europe, North America, Oceania, and South East Asia. In 1994, he was promoted to Nadai (billboard-ranked actor) in Kabuki-za. He has been authorized as a holder of the “Important Intangible Cultural Properties Kabuki.” In addition, he works as a lecturer of Drama Studio at the New National Theatre and part-time lecturer of the faculty of Education at Chiba University.


Matanosuke Nakamura

Matanosuke NakamuraMatanosuke Nakamura was born in 1963. After graduating from the National Treatre’s Training School for Kabuki Actors in 1986, he embarked on a professional career as a “tachi-yaku” or a male role under the guidance of Matagoro Nakamura. He was promoted to Nadai (billboard-ranked actor) in 1999 and received the award the Encourage Prize from the Japan Actor’s Association in 2004.

Kinosuke Ichikawa

Photo of Kinosuke IchikawaKinosuke Ichikawa, born in 1973, is a tachi-yaku (male role) Kabuki actor of the Ichikawa Ennosuke Clan. His first Kabuki stage performance was in April 1995, when he played one of the “masses” in the land of Kumaso in “Yamatotakeru” at Shimbashi Embujo Theater. In July 1998, he took apprentice to Ukon Ichikawa and in February 1999 was awarded the name Kinosuke Ichikawa.


Ichishiro Yoshimura: nagauta (classical Japanese vocal ensemble)
Koichiro Maki: nagauta (classical Japanese vocal ensemble)
Toshinori Kineya: nagauta (classical Japanese vocal ensemble) *Mexico Only
Satoshiro Imafuji: shamisen
Eishichiro Kineya: shamisen *Mexico Only
Katsushinra Kineya: shamisen
Sakichiro Tanaka: taiko (Japanese drum)
Tadayuki Mochizuki: taiko (Japanese drum)
Masanori Kodera: taiko (Japanese drum)
Keiichi Masuda: fue (Japanese flute)

Staff Artisans

Yukoh Iguchi: Stage Director
Naoki Yabuta: Prop Master
Shigemitsu Sakamoto: Prop Master *Mexico Only
Yuichi Udagawa: Wig Master
Shohei Takemura: Costumer
Masao Nakano: Producer

Shochiku Co., Ltd.

[Contact Us]

Performing Arts Section, Arts and Culture Department, The Japan Foundation
Yasutaka Takeda (Mr)
Tel: +81 (0)3-5369-6063 Fax: +81 (0)3-5369-6038

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