Onoue Iemoto Onoue Kikunojo The beginning of Onoue Kikunojo's challenge - to the production of his new Kabuki "Touken Ranbu" (Part 2)Onoue Iemoto Onoue Kikunojo The beginning of Onoue Kikunojo's challenge - to the production of his new Kabuki "Touken Ranbu" (Part 2)



Onoue 4th generation iemoto, 3rd generation Onoue Kikunojo Leap to the future


Onoue Kikunojo Onoe's prologue to his challenge - up to his new Kabuki production of "Touken Ranbu" (Part 2)

July 2023. We are in the midst of the new Kabuki play ``Touken Ranbu'' being performed at the Shinbashi Enbujo. Onoe Kikunojo, the third generation head of the Onoue family, is listed as a co-director with Kabuki actor Matsuya Onoue. That is not all. Mr. Kikunojo is coming up with new attempts one after another. Continuing from the first part, we asked Kikunojo Onoe about the reasons and passion that drive him.



➡Prologue to Onoue Kikunojo's challenge - up to the production of the new Kabuki "Touken Ranbu" (Part 1)

As a choreographer and director, he has worked on a series of highly acclaimed plays.



Kikunojo Onoue, the fourth head of the Onoue school of Japanese dance, is co-directing the new Kabuki play "Touken Ranbu," which will be performed at the Shinbashi Enbujo in July 2023, along with the lead actor Matsuya Onoue.



``Although Matsuya Onoue and I are about 10 years apart in age, we actually grew up as neighbors where if you called him ``hey,'' you would hear him.He also came to our house to practice. I've been watching him since he was in high school.I was involved in his independent Kabuki performance ``Challenge'' from the first time, and I was also in charge of directing the final performance.''


And this time. It is said that Mr. Matsuya Onoe approached Mr. Kikunojo in the following way.


``This time, Matsuya-san himself wanted to try his hand at directing, and he asked me to work with him.I'm now at an age where my juniors are giving me opportunities as well.I'm grateful.''


"Touken Ranbu" is a new attempt to turn the world of the game into a Kabuki stage, following the new Kabuki "Final Fantasy X" that was planned and composed in the spring of 2023.

Kikunosuke Onoe Kikunosuke Onoe

Mr. Kikunojo says he loves rakugo. Perhaps because of that, his delivery and rhythm are light. He has the power to calm those around him.

Underlying commonalities discovered during new challenges



In 2017, Kikunojo also choreographed and supervised the ice show ``Hyoen,'' a collaboration between figure skating and kabuki. "Hyoen" is an ice show starring Daisuke Takahashi, who was active as a men's single and ice dancer until last season. What does it mean for a Japanese dance master to choreograph figure skaters, who are different from Kabuki actors and dancers? What was the challenge of being involved in an ice show like for Kikunojo?




``Figure skaters are very stoic.When I watched Daisuke Takahashi and his friends practice, they practiced their swings over and over again against the wall, not on the ice, but on the floor. They train their bodies to perform the tricks. They put their lives on the line for years to practice, even if they are asleep. I was impressed by the method of thoroughly training the ``vessel'' known as the body.''

The difference between dancers, kabuki actors, and athletes. I could see a glimpse of it.




``Actors cannot spend years on a single stage performance. They have to (prepare) in three or four days. Even when it comes to dancing, when you stand on stage and the adrenaline rushes through you, the performance is born in that moment. One of the best parts of the performance is the movement that comes naturally from the soul of the actor.However, for us dancers, we are more interested in the movement than the role. Daisuke Takahashi and his colleagues create the ``vessel'' by repeating it thoroughly in the rehearsal room, focusing on movement, and then putting their soul into it. I reaffirmed that after watching practice."


Kikunosuke Onoe Kikunosuke Onoe

Soft movements and unmoving trunk. The different effects come together to form a beautiful dance.

A series of challenges.
I want the appeal of classical performing arts to become more familiar and widely known.



Mr. Kikunojo has a very busy schedule as he travels back and forth between Tokyo and Kyoto to train not only in the local Shinbashi Hanayagi world, but also with geishas in Kyoto and Pontocho, as well as choreographing and supervising, but he wants to take on various challenges. That's what it means. The range of its actions is surprisingly wide. He introduced me to some of them.



In July 2020, when the world was suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, I started the online salon "K7 THEATER" together with Kanjuro Fujima, the 2th head master of the Fujima school of Japanese dance.



“At a time when the world was forced to refrain from self-restraint due to the coronavirus pandemic, and theater performances were being canceled one after another, we started an online salon with Kanjuro Fujima. We provide explanations of traditional performing arts, performances of Japanese musical instruments, etc. Before the coronavirus pandemic, we thought that people would be more interested if they knew a little bit about Japanese dance and traditional performing arts. However, I haven't been able to find anything top-notch.I hope this distribution will create an opportunity for people to enjoy Japanese dance.If you go to the theater after watching this, you can enjoy such roles even more. I hope I can carry it.”




Fujima style Mr. Kanjuro Fujima and Mr. Kikunojo Onoe Fujima style Mr. Kanjuro Fujima and Mr. Kikunojo Onoe

With Kanjuro Fujima, the 8th head master of the Fujima school.

Another interesting activity is Issei-kai, which is a collaboration with Ippei Shigeyama, a Noh performer from the Sengoro Shigeyama family of the Okura school. In 2022, the new work ``Kitsune'' will be performed, along with classics such as ``Renshishi'' and ``Niani''. He appeared on stage with Sodama Nakamura, who has become a hot topic as a star Kabuki actor.




“We have been running this duo since 2009 as a duo of Onoue Kikunojo and Shigeyama Ippei.The duo, who live in the different genres of Japanese dance and Kyogen, are pursuing new possibilities beyond genres.In addition to performing classical works, , we create and present new works as ``Dance Kyogen'' every time, seeking new possibilities that go beyond mere collaboration.''




"Itseikai" "Itseikai"

From the left, Ippei Shigeyama and Sogyoku Nakamura from the 2022 "Itseikai" stage. A scene from the new movie ``The Fox.'' In 2023, the Kyoto performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 12th, and the Tokyo performance is scheduled for December 9th (Saturday).

Furthermore, this fall, he will be appearing in the theater unit Shinpa no Ko's Kinshu performance ``New Edition Itozakura'', 130 years after Kawatake Moku'ami's death. It is a stage play in which Kuriko Namino plays Mokuami's only daughter, Ito, and Yuga Yamato co-stars as Gumitsu, who marries into the Kawatake family. Kikunojo plays Shigetoshi, the adopted son of the Kawatake family. This will be Kikunojo's first straight play appearance.



In addition, this year he started an online salon called "Kikunojo FAN CLUB." The videos are designed to have Mr. Kikunojo talk to you in a friendly manner about Onoue, performances, and even his own personal life. This means that one body is not enough. Where does this passion and driving force come from?



This is because of our desire to convey the charm of classical performing arts to as many people as possible through Japanese dance.



Compared to the past, fewer people are familiar with traditional performing arts, including Japanese dance. In the first place, unlike in Europe and America, it is not customary for anyone to casually go to the theater. Of course, it is necessary to present it in a way that fits with modern trends, but it is important to get people to know about it first. If you know the basics, you should be able to enjoy traditional performing arts even more.




``Japanese dance may be a minor thing, but I want people to know more about it, and I think it's worth it. Even if it's just the little things, we have to get people interested. That's what it's all about.'' It starts with,” Kikunojo says. As a dancer, I work hard at various activities that effortlessly go beyond that framework, all for the sake of the future of Japanese dance.



Currently, a new Kabuki play, ``Touken Ranbu Tsuki no Tsurugie Nishino Kirinoha'', which he co-directed with Matsuya Onoe, is being performed at Shinbashi Enbujo, but he is already busy with new projects. Mr. Kikunojo is so busy that he hardly has time to take a breather, but his expression is always cheerful and cheerful.



The reason why he is able to move freely and freely between boundaries is probably because his light impression actually contains a strong conviction. How far will Kikunosuke Onoe go? We would like to take a look at the vision he envisions for the future.

Mr. Kikunojo Onoe in clothes Mr. Kikunojo Onoe in clothes

Mr. Kikunojo's impression completely changes when he wears clothes.

Kikunojo Onoe


Born in March 1976 as the eldest son of Kikunojo Onoe (currently Bokuyuki), the third generation head of Nihon Buyo Onoe and the second generation. He studied under his father from the age of 3, and made his stage debut in ``Pine Green'' at the National Theater in 1981 (at the age of 1990). In 14 (at the age of 2011) he was allowed the name Seikaede Onoe. In August 8 (age 34), he inherited the title of Onoue's fourth iemoto, and at the same time assumed the name Onoue Kikunojo, the third. In addition to presiding over the Onoe-kai and Kikuju-kai dance clubs, he also presides over the "Itsei-kai" (a two-person gathering with Kyogen master Ippei Shigeyama) and his own recitals, creating both classical and new works. He continues to put a lot of effort into releasing various works. He is also actively collaborating with artists of various genres, including Eitetsu Hayashi, one of Japan's leading Japanese drum players.

For inquiries about the online salon "K2 THEATER", which was launched with Kanjuro Fujima, the XNUMXth head master of the Fujima school of Japanese dance, or the "Kikunojo FAN CLUB", please contact:Onoue official website.

New Kabuki “Touken Ranbu Tsuki no Tsurugie Nishino Kirinoha”

The popular game ``Touken Ranbu ONLINE'', in which you grow a swordsman and fight to protect history in order to defeat a time-traversing army that plans to change history, sparked a sword boom that became the model for the swordsman. . It has been featured in various genres such as stage plays, anime, and movies, and has now become one of the popular contents that Japan is proud of. Now, "Touken Ranbu" will finally be performed as a new Kabuki play. The six sword men that appear in the main enclosure of Kabuki are Mikazuki Munechika, Kogitsunemaru, Dotanuki Masakuni, Higekiri, Hizamaru, and Kokarasumaru. The theme is the Eiroku Incident, in which the 13th Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga was killed, and this historical event is boldly dramatized using ideas unique to Kabuki. This is a new kabuki play that brings together stars such as Matsuya Onoe and Ukon Onoe.

◆New Kabuki “Touken Ranbu Tsuki no Tsurugie Nishino Kirinoha”

July 2023nd (Sunday) – July 7th (Thursday), 2

[Closed] 10th (Monday), 18th (Tuesday)

Afternoon session 12:XNUMX~
Evening session 16:30~
*Performance time is scheduled to be approximately 3 hours including intermission.
Theater: Shinbashi Enbujo

Ticket Web Shochiku

Text by Junko Morita
Photography by Natsuko Okada (Studio Mug)

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Onoue Kikunojo Onoe's prologue to his challenge - to the production of his new Kabuki "Touken Ranbu" (Part 1)

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