Some roles demand quick changes of clothes or character, but in the whole wide world of theater, “Haji Momiji Ase no Kaomise” (“A Blushing Maple Perspires in Public”) — aka “Date no Juyaku” (“The 10 Roles of the Date House”) — is probably the only play in which a single actor plays 10 roles, both male and female, and changes costumes more than 40 times.

Based on the story of a 17th century power struggle in the Date clan which controlled the powerful Oshu Domain in northeastern Honshu when the Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan from 1603-1867, this kabuki-style work by Nanboku Tsuruya IV was first performed in 1815 by Danjuro Ichikawa VII. It then remained dormant until 1979, when Ennosuke Ichikawa III (now known as En’o Ichikawa II) revived it to great acclaim.

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