He’s known as the champion of Super Kabuki, but for his two-part summer program at the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo this month, Ennosuke Ichikawa is staging regular-style productions of a new one-hour play, “Kaka Saiyuki,” and “Shunkan,” adapted from part of Chikamatsu Monzae- mon’s 1719 bunraku play “Heike Nyogogashima,” in the afternoon slot. The evenings, meanwhile, are given over to Ennosuke’s four-hour production of “Sanmon Gosan no Kiri.” Written by Namiki Gohei in 1778, this has as its central character Ishikawa Goemon, the late 16th-century “King of Burglars” who became the hero of many bunraku and kabuki plays written in the two centuries after his execution in Kyoto in 1594.
To serve up this veritable theatrical feast, Ennosuke is leading Ukon, En’ya, Danjiro, Emiya and other members of his private troupe, as well as such veteran kabuki actors as his younger brother Danshiro, Karoku Nakamura and living national treasure Shikan Nakamura.
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