Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Kabuki repertoire
Introduction of work
This Buyo has 3 types of Ongyoku (musical accompaniment): Takemoto, Nagauta and Tokiwazu.
The Noh play of the same title, telling the story of Taira Koremochi subjugated the female demon of Togakushiyama mountain in Shinshu, was converted for Kabuki.
Koremochi visited Togakushiyama for a maple-viewing party, met a princess called Sarashinahime, and drank the sake she offered him. Soon after this, Sarashinahime revealed her true character as a demon, and attacked Koremochi who was dead drunk, but Koremochi escaped from danger by using his fine sword called Kogarasumaru.
The highlight of "Momijigari" is that a single actor dances as 2 distinctively different characters. One is the typical princess type called Akahime in the first half of the play, and the other, in the second half of the play, is a female demon violently fighting Koremochi.
"Momijigari" was performed for the first time in 1887 [Meiji 20], with Ichikawa Danjuro 9th in the role of Sarashinahime, actually the demon of Togakushiyama, and Ichikawa Sadanji 1st in the role of Koremochi. The eboshi and kariginu of the costume worn by Koremochi are based on historical fact, influenced by the Katsurekimono (real history plays) which Danjuro was actively performing at that time.
Distinctive expressions
Nimaiogi (two fans)
The highlight of the dance by Sarashinahime is the section commonly called Nimaiogi which is choreographed using 2 fans, as shown in the picture image. Ichikawa Danjuro 9th worked hard on this dance, which he choreographed himself and performed for the first time. Its movements are bolder than usual for the dance of a princess. Immediately after the scene shown here, Sarashinahime shows her true character as a demon, peeking at Koremochi who is dead-drunk and sleeping.

Dance movement of 'Nimaiogi' by Sarashinahime. Sarashinahime played by Nakamura Jakuemon 4th, "Momijigari" November 1990