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Narukami (Narukami)
The Kabuki Eighteen
Narukami (Narukami)

The priest Narukami uses his occult powers to trap the dragon god of rain in a waterfall, and as a result a terrible drought afflicts the country. A beautiful woman seduces Narukami into breaking his vows of abstinence, thus freeing the dragon god. In his anger Narukami transforms himself into a raging demon. The play borrows from the noh play Ikkaku Sennin. The first half is played as a love scene, the second half as aragoto, creating an effective contrast. The role of Narukami was first played by Danjuro I, but todayís version is based upon Saint Narukami, the God Fudo and the Cherries of Kitayama (Narukami Fudo Kitayama Zakura), performed by Danjuro II.

The play was revived in May 1910 by Ichikawa Sadanji II, in a revised script by Oka Onitaro.

Premiere : First month, 1684
Original title : The New Yearís Pine & the Four Heavenly Kings (Kadomatsu Shitenno)
Actor : Danjuro I
Theatre : Nakamura-za, Edo
Text : Hattori Yukio, Ichikawa Danjuro Daidai. Tokyo: Kodansha, 2002.
Photographs : Ogawa Tomoko
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