Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
History of Kabuki
Development of Shosagoto - Nakamura Tomijuro 1st & Nakamura Nakazo 1st
Buyo (dancing) called "Shosagoto" or "Furigoto," performed by Onnagata actors, was included in the Genroku period performance repertoire. In the Kyoho and Horeki periods [1716-1764], Shosagoto performed by Onnagata actors developed and Nagauta began to become settled as its accompaniment.
Segawa Kikunojo 1st built the foundation for Shosagoto. His specialties were "Shakkyomono" and "Dojojimono" based on Noh plays. Later, Nakamura Tomijuro 1st, the third son of Yoshizawa Ayame 1st, performed "Kyoganoko musume dojoji" for the first time. This was a comprehensive compilation of previously-performed Dojojimono. This particular dance number is often performed today as a typical example of Onnagata Buyo. Shosagoto by Onnagata are said to have been perfected by Nakamura Tomijuro 1st.
Nakamura Tomijuro 1st (from "Kokon haiyu nigao taizen")
Nakamura Nakazo 1st performing Sekibe in "Tsumoru koi yuki no sekinoto" (from "Kokon haiyu nigao taizen") In the Temmei and Kansei periods [1781-1801], Shosagoto began to be danced not only by Onnagata but also by Tachiyaku (male roles). This was due to the custom of dramaturgy of a Shosagoto scene as part of a long play. Also, Tokiwazu and Tomimoto, which recite stories but have strong musical elements, were founded and were used to accompany dancing.
Nakamura Nakazo 1st displayed his ability as the most talented Shosagoto performer among Tachiyaku actors at that time. His specialty was works with strong Buyogeki (dance drama) elements, including "Tsumoru koi yuki no sekinoto" and "Modorikago iro ni aikata," which are performed even now.
Later, in the Bunka/Bunsei period [1804-1830], Nakamura Utaemon 3rd and Bando Mitsugoro 3rd performed Hengebuyo, in which a single actor does nonstop performances of dance numbers portraying many roles. This became very popular and led to new developments in Shosagoto.
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