Wait a Minute!

Shibaraku

A superhero swoops in to save the innocent. An inventive one-act piece that conveys the joyful feel of Genroku Kabuki.

This can be regarded as the root of Japanese heroic tales. The story is simple and clear, and Edo commoners were taken by the super-heroic qualities of the main character. The relaxed mood on the stage, the gorgeous set and costumes and the great variety of characters offer a visceral enjoyment.

Synopsis

by Hashimoto Hiroki

Crisis of innocent people

Tsurugaoka Shrine, Kamakura. Kiyohara Takahira and Kamo Jiro Yoshitsuna are arguing about their gift to the shrine. The former considers himself the ruler of the world and orders the latter to become his retainer. He even persuades Yoshitsuna’s fiancée to marry him. When he is questioned, the angry Takahira says he’ll chop everyone’s heads off, putting them in a pinch.

【Left】Kiyohara Takehira(Nakamura Tomijuro) May 2004 Kabukiza Theatre
【Center】[from left]Tokiwagi(Ichikawa Unosuke)、Takaragi Kurando(Ichimura Kakitsu)、Oe Masahiro(Nakamura Mantaro)、Kamo Saburo Yoshisato(Bando Kametoshi)、Katsura no Mae(Ichikawa Monnosuke)、Kamo Jiro Yoshitsuna(Otani Tomoemon) May 2009 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】[from left]Hanyu Goro Sukenari(Otani Keizo)、Ebara Hachiro Kunitura(Sawamura Yoshijiro)、Ashigara Saemon Takamune(Bando Kametoshi)、Togane Taro Yoshinari(Kataoka Ichizo)、Narita Goro Yoshihide(Kawarasaki Gonjuro) July 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre

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Emergence of superhero

Just as he is about to strike, a loud shout can be heard: “Shibaraku!” (Wait a moment!). The hero Kamakura Gongoro emerges on the hanamichi. First he announces himself in a lively introduction called tsurane, which includes famous lines from his ancestors. He is well armed. Takehira’s supporters try to chase away the intruder, but they are easily dispelled. Gongoro proceeds powerfully to center stage and presents a dynamic mie pose.

【Left】Kamakura Gongoro(Ichikawa Danjuro) July 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre
【Right】[from left]Togane Taro Yoshinari(Ichikawa Danzo)、Narita Goro Yoshihide(Ichikawa Omezo)、Kamakura Gongoro(Ichikawa Danjuro)、Kiyohara Takehira(Ichikawa Sadanji) May 2003 Kabukiza Theatre

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Unexpected turn of fate

Gongoro dresses down Takehira for his rude behavior. In addition, he notes that the sword that Takehira is supposedly dedicating to the shrine is a fake and believes he is trying to take over the throne. He accuses Takehira of holding the treasure that Yoshitsuna lost. A member of Takehira’s gang, Teruha, turns out to be a spy and Gongoro’s cousin. She reveals that she secretly took the treasure from Takahira. The treasure is returned to Yoshitsuna, whose group then leaves for home.

Teruha(Nakamura Fukusuke) July 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre

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Grand Valse

Takehira orders his retainers to attack Gongoro, but the latter takes out his huge sword and instantly beheads them all. The remaining villains realize that they are no match for the overwhelming power of Gongoro, who leaves via the hanamichi with a flourish.

Kamakura Gongoro(Ichikawa Ebizo) May 2009 Kabukiza Theatre

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