KANJINCHŌ The Subscription Scroll
Talk and DVD presentation by Toshi Aoyagi
One of the most popular, frequently performed Kabuki plays, KANJINCHŌis based on the story of the flight of the accused former hero Yoshitsune as he attempted to pass through a barrier gate with his chief retainer, Benkei, and his party of retainers. The confrontation of three men at the barrier creates a thrilling melodrama which displays prototypical Japanese characteristics. The barrier officer, Togashi, is a bureaucrat who is faithful to the system, but humanely sympathetic. Yoshitsune is a helplessly abandoned, symbolic noble, who is protected by Benkei, a wise, independent leader.
The story is brought to the stage accompanied by one of the most beautiful scores of Nagauta music. KANJINCHŌ contains multiple styles, such as sophisticated dance sequences and breathtakingly tense exchanges of spoken dialogue.