Kabuki Theater on Film: "Shunkan"
Jul 21 2013
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Japanese Cultural and Community Center
1840 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Interested in Kabuki theatre? Join us for a special class focusing on a video of the classic Kabuki drama, "Shunkan." Taking its theme from "Tale of Heike," the play features an all-star cast in one of Kabuki's most famous tragedies.
Shunkan, Naritsune and Yasuyori have been exiled to Devil's Island for plotting against the Heike leader Kiyomori. After three years, two envoys from Kiyomori arrive by ship to announce a pardon--but only for Naritsune and Yasuyori. Will Shunkan have to spend the remainder of his days on this lonely, god-forsaken island? (synopsis)
In Japanese with English translation. Class is free and open to the public. All ages welcome!
Background links and resources are listed below.
If you are curious about why Kabuki's unique combination of drama, music, dance, and spectacle continues to entertain millions every year, "here's your chance to see one of the finest Kabuki films ever made, free, amongst fans and experts who will gladly fill you in on all the social and historical aspects of the performance" (Flavorpill "Editor's Pick").
What is Kabuki? Click here for a good introduction.
Presented by JETAANC Kabuki Club. Co-sponsored by Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California.
Shunkan - Related Links and Resources
English translation of Kabuki script:
The Kabuki play was based on an earlier Bunraku puppet play by Chikamatsu, called Heike nyogo no shima (synopsis and background):
English translation of Bunraku script:
Sound file excerpt of the Bunraku version (with subtitles):
Both the Kabuki and Bunraku plays were based on an earlier Noh play, also called Shunkan (synopsis, script, and photo story):
All of the plays were based on The Tale of Heike (Heike monogatari), one of the great epic tales of medieval Japan. Based on history, the epic tells of the rise and fall of the fortunes of the powerful Heike Clan.
Short bio of the historical Shunkan:
Introductions to Tale of Heike:
Chapter-by-chapter synopsis and background information on Tale of Heike (Shunkan's story is told in Chapters 2 and 3), by John R. Wallace:
English translation of Tale of Heike by Helen Craig McCullough, generally recognized as the best translation:
Translation by A.L. Sadler:
Translation by Royall Tyler:
English translation by Burton Watson:
Eiji Yoshikawa's modern novelization of Tale of Heike:
Japanese original text of Tale of Heike: