Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Kabuki repertoire
Introduction of work
"Fujimusume" was originally part of a Gohenge buyo (5 different dances performed nonstop by a single actor) called "Kaesu gaesu onagori otsue." The concept of the work was that each character in an otsue painting comes out of the painting and dances. After the beginning of the Showa period, Onoe Kikugoro 6th, whose specialty was Buyo, developed a new dramatization according to the understanding that a wisteria nymph has slipped out of the painting and is dancing. This version has been the one generally used since then.
Fujimusume, one of the most important Onnagata Buyo. Wisteria nymph danced by Nakamura Tokizo 5th, "Fujimusume" April 1994
Distinctive expressions
New dramatization by Onoe Kikugoro 6th
The stage curtain is open, all onstage lights are turned off (the stage is completely dark) and a strain of a Nagauta song is sung. At the signal of the "chon" sound of the Ki (wooden clappers), the lights are snapped on, the stage is suddenly blazing with light, and a wisteria nymph in the form of a young girl is standing in front of huge wisterias winding around an enormous pine tree, a most impressive sight. Using the enormous pine tree and wisteria for the stage set was a new dramatic technique determined by Onoe Kikugoro 6th, who designed this set in order to make his strongly-built sturdy body look as much as possible like a small cute girl.
Also, in the second half of the Nagauta, he used "Fuji ondo," newly composed Nagauta music. The choreography for the section of the singing that begins, "Fuji no hanabusa iroyoku nagaku," showing the girl drunk on sake, is a highlight of this work.
> Expression in Kabuki: Expression by sounds: Ki (clappers)