From Oregon with Kabuki オレゴンから歌舞伎

On June 10th at Portland State University’s Lincoln Performance Hall, Professor Laurence R. Kominz and his Japanese Theater students put on one of his finest kabuki productions to date. I was lucky to be involved as guest music director and one of  the ozatsuma shamisen players.

I was happy to be able to put nearly all of my Japanese musical instruments–including my new shimedaiko from Maruoka Taiko–to good use in the hayashi geza (kabuki orchestra pit). I also wore for the first time the beautiful Obigen obi that Somemaru and the Hayashiya ichimon bought for me in March as a parting gift.

I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone and posted them on my Twitter page, so be sure to take a look at those. There were a couple professional photographers at the show, so I should have some nicer pictures to show in the near future.

The audience was wonderful, and I am excited to get to work on my next project: a four-week course on Japanese vaudeville, which will culminate in a public yose performance on August 17, complete with rakugo, manzai, other variety acts, and of course, live music!

6月10日に、ポートランド州立大学のリンカーン パーフォーマンス ホールで、ローレンス R. コミンズ教授とその日本演劇の生徒が、歴史的な歌舞伎芝居(演目は「外郎売り」)を発表しました。幸いなことに、僕は囃子下座のディレクターを勤め、大薩摩三味線も弾かせていただきました。





3 thoughts on “From Oregon with Kabuki オレゴンから歌舞伎

    • Hi, Toranosuke,

      I know you and I, being UH Manoa grad students, have been spoiled by having the best Asian theater program outside of Japan. Larry Kominz has done great work in the past, but he really outdid himself this time!

      Kominz has also been dipping (splashing is more like it) his toes into professional theater lately too; he was recently dramaturg for Mishima’s “The Black Lizard” (published in English translation in his recent anthology), directed by Jerry Mouawad at the Imago Theatre in Portland (it will be revived in fall since it had rave reviews and was well attended). He is also an artistic advisor for Bag n’ Baggage’s (Hillsboro, Oregon) production of “Kabuki Titus,” on stage this July. He is co-directing “Drum of the Waves of Horikawa” with Mouawad at Imago in 2014, and it sounds like his ultimate kabuki dream may come true if he can convince PSU’s Theater Department to put Chûshingura on the main stage a year or two after that.

      I enjoy reading your posts Toranosuke. Thanks for your comment.

      • Exciting to hear about! Thanks. I hope to make it out to Portland one of these days to see one/some of these productions!

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