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Bando Mitsugoro X (born Hisashi Morita, 56) succeeded to his current stage name 11 years ago, after the death of his father Mitsugoro IX. He was rigorously trained in Kabuki acting and dancing by his father, who had learned the trade under the renowned Onoe Kikugoro VI and Kikugoro’s head disciple, Onoe Shoroku.

Mitsugoro is proving to be a great asset to 21st-century kabuki, both in the traditional sense but also as an actor of shin kabuki “new kabuki” plays: He has played the title roles in “Dogen no Tsuki” (“The Zen Master Dogen and the Moon”) by Wahei Tatematsu, which was staged at the Kabukiza theater in March 2002; in “Zeami” by Masakazu Yamazaki at the New National Theater in December 2003; and in “Nue” (“A Thrush with Strange Cries Feared as a Chimera”), Yoji Sakate’s kabuki based on a Noh play by Zeami, which showed at the small auditorium of the New National Theater in July 2009.

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