News On Japan

Kikubatake: Onoe Baikō VII's Final Ushiwakamaru

Oct 18 (Kabuki In-Depth) - This performance of the Kikubatake scene took place in December 1993, at the National Theatre in Tokyo, and it would be one of the last onstage appearances of the great onnagata and nimaime Onoe Baikō VII (1915 - 1995), 78 years old at the time of this recording.

The role of Ushiwakamaru on this scene has a long tradition within the Otowaya house, being refined by Onoe Kikugorō V during the Meiji period. From him, the role was inherited by Onoe Kikugorō VI, and later by his students, Onoe Baikō VII and Nakamura Kanzaburō XVII. Onoe Kikugorō VII and Nakamura Kanzaburō XVIII played the role several times, but regrettably the new generation is yet to attempt the role.

The rest of the roles are played by Baikō VII's son, Onoe Kikugorō VII (Chienai), Ichimura Uzaemon XVII (Kiichi), Nakamura Tokizō V (Minazuru) and Bandō Hikosaburō VIII (Tankai).

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