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Narukami

【鳴神】

【NARUKAMI】

 
  • Narukami Shonin showing his anger in “Narukami Fudo Kitayamazakura”. Ichikawa Danjuro 12th as Narukami Shonin. January, 1996 at the National Theatre. (Y_E0100197000303)
One of the Kabuki-Juhachiban plays.
It was in the year of 1684 when Ichikawa Danjuro 1st performed the role of Narukami Shonin for the first time. After that, Danjuro 2nd played the role many times and made it his specialty. “Narukami” as is performed today is a part of a play called “Narukami Fudo Kitayamazakura” performed by Danjuro 2nd in 1742. In this work, other Kabuki-Juhachiban plays were included, namely “Kenuki” and “Fudo”.
Feeling resentment at the imperial court, Narukami Shonin makes it not rain by confining a dragon god to the waterfall basin. Perplexed by his doing, the court sends a woman called Kumo no Taemahime (the princess of a rift in the clouds) as a messenger to Narukami Shonin, with the aim of freeing the dragon by putting Narukami Shonin off his guard. Narukami Shonin is first on the alert for the princess, but gradually relaxes his guard, falling asleep after drinking sake that he has never tasted before. She takes this opportunity to set the dragon loose and make her own escape. In heavy rain wakes up Narukami Shonin. Learning that he has been deceived by the princess, he becomes so furious as to rage violently against his pupils trying to stop him and go after the princess. The feeling of anger is expressed in the Aragoto style. His exit from the Hanamichi while performing Roppo represents the pursuit of the princess.
The play was abandoned after Danjuro 8th had performed it until Ichikawa Sadanji 2nd revived it in 1910. It is still popular today and performed often. In addition, the original of this play “Narukami Fudo Kitayamazakura” was revived by Onoe Shoroku 2nd at the National Theatre in 1967.

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