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3rd performanceNamida Drops OFFICIAL REPORTOfficial report

The third performance of Ennosuke and His Fun Friends, ``Namida Drops,'' will be held in Tokyo from March 8th to 14th (Kanda Myojin Hall), and in Kyoto on the 19th (Kyoto Arts Theater Shunjuza).
On March 21st, we celebrated Osen Aouraku at Aoi Hall, Okazaki Civic Hall in Aichi Prefecture.
We bring you a report of Sen's performance in Tokyo.


What is “Ennosuke and his merry friends”?
This is a theater project produced by Ennosuke.
It was launched in 2021 with the concept of ``creating a place for young actors who have lost opportunities to perform due to the coronavirus pandemic.'' Actors from a variety of backgrounds, including kabuki, straight plays, musicals, new national dramas, popular theater, action, and dance, gathered there.

``Namida Drops'' also featured Ennosuke, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Ao Shimomura, Noritoshi Kashima, Shoji Ishibashi, and other fun friends.

The venue, Kanda Myojin Hall, was built on the grounds of Kanda Myojin Shrine and opened in December 2018. The lobby, facing a large glass window, is filled with light, and the walls are decorated with celebratory noshi and drop-shaped votive tablets prepared as a support project for this performance. All of the messages written by the visitors to their patrons were warm and heightened expectations for the story that will soon begin.



​The lobby of Okazaki Civic Hall where the Aichi performance was held

The introduction begins with the sound of a bell. Several black-clad figures appear on the stage.


“Once upon a time, a crybaby god cried when he saw the morning glow.”

"Look at the sunset and cry"


Each person connects their words with familiar phrases and lines.

And the sound of falling tears, or the sound of rain, saying "Poron. Poron. Poron"

spread out on stage. Even sour lemons can be made into lemonade by pouring honeydew into them.

This message left a deep impression on me, and the story of the "Bitter World" began, in which many filth spilled out.


​Scene at the square where the festival was held (from the Kyoto performance)

The setting is a country that looks like Japan and is still in the midst of war.

There is a bell tower in the capital, with a large bell at the top.

Kiyohiko (Ennosuke) has lived as a bell ringer there for 20 years. Under the protection of Tateto (Shimomura), the owner of the bell tower, they ring the bell, pray, study, eat, and sleep without meeting anyone.

Tsuruya Namboku's ``Kinpei Sarushima Gun'' is adapted into a modern drama.

``Namida Drops'' was born from Ennosuke's idea. Directed by Seitora Ichikawa, Azusa Fujikura wrote a new script combining ``Kinpei~'' with Victor Hugo's novel ``Notre Dame de Paris.'' Seihiko is a character reminiscent of Quasimodo, the insect man from Notre Dame, and Kiyohime from Kinpei. In his first appearance, Kiyohiko told the story of his own life. The intelligence in his voice and eyes made me imagine 20 years of loneliness. Gradually, his complex inner self is revealed.


​ A scene at Cafe Mirakuru, where the Kisaragi Dance Company hides out.

The sword-bearer is both a priest and a person of authority.

He leads the guards, including the guard captain Hyouko (Daichi), Ryu (Shimokawa Maya), Kai (Ichise Hidekazu), and Takamura (Ishibashi Masataka), and imposes tyranny on the people.

On this day, a festival was allowed in the city to take a break.

People gather in the plaza in front of the bell tower, and Tokoroten shop So (Matsubara Kaiji) and ramune shop Rin (Tatsuwana Shindai) come and go. Then came the Kisaragi Dance Company.

According to a member of the troupe, Hiiragi (Sanshisuke Ichikawa), the members of the prestigious group of futuristic dancers, who are drifters, will perform after this.

The innocent exchanges between the three of them instantly created both the suffering of the people during the war and the temporary hustle and bustle.


​Dance performance scene of "Kisaragi Dance Company"

The dance troupe is led by the leaders Nyo (Masatsugu Ishibashi) and Tsuki (Danyuki Ichikawa).

He has a constant presence in both classical and modern plays, showing the group's chic, earthy charm and pride.

The person leading the dance performance is Fumoto (Go Anai).

Hiiragi, Kanata (Shounosuke Ichikawa), Hinata (Ezaru Ichikawa), Sumire (Shozo Ichikawa), and Asahi (Kisuke Ichikawa) are part of the Kisaragi dance troupe with their lively "wachawacha". Create a physical experience.

Yet, their individuality shined through their breakthrough brightness, height of perspective, and sense of distance, and each of them showed off their mischievousness.

The dance scenes add a lot of contrast to the work, and there are moments when you can see the shadow of the master in the emotionally charged lines. My heart is excited by the unknown brilliance of young Kabuki actors.


​ Performance scene of "Hisui" and "Kisaragi Dance Company" played by Yasuko Matsuyuki

As the festival gets excited with the dancing of the dance troupe, a dancer Hisui (Matsuyuki) wearing an emerald veil takes to the stage.

To borrow the words of Tateto later, Hisui is truly a ``dancer in the shining plaza.''

The beauty that seems to be filled with light reaches beyond the veil and spreads throughout the area.

Her sweet, benevolent singing voice seems to heal the hearts of her listeners, without making any boundaries between story and reality.

Attracted by a gentle power, the fates of the three people, Tachibana, Sunlight, and Seihiko, intersect.

Seihiko is invited by the voice and goes outside during the day for the first time in his life.

“You’re welcome, isn’t this what you mean?”


The festival is canceled due to the sword being tied, but Seihiko finds a hint of hope amidst his anxiety and confusion.


That night, Hisui almost gets run over on the street.

Seihiko was arrested on the spot by security soldiers.

There was another black shadow, but it disappeared into the darkness, leaving behind the scent of sandalwood.

There was another person who happened to be at this scene.

This is Gen (Noritoshi Kashima), a playwright who wrote the script for Kisaragi Dance Company.

Unexpectedly, he witnesses an intimate encounter between Hisui and the guard captain, Sunlight.

And Jade's true identity is revealed.

Hisui is actually Nanaaya, the younger sister of a certain general.

Although Yoko was in a hostile position with "a certain general," he had a past in which he fell in love with Nanaaya.

In order to protect himself, Yoko entrusts Hisui with his family's treasured sword, Murasame.


A scene between "Seinichiko" played by Ennosuke Ichikawa and "Yoko" played by Daichi.

Sunlight plays a key character with a classy demeanor.

He creates a sense of pace in the play through his natural interaction with "strangers" at the cabaret.

At the cabaret, residents Mugi (Danichiro Ichikawa) and Sachi (Ikujiro Ichikawa), who were also seen in the plaza, were also seen. He clearly conveyed the story in the role of a man in a black suit, with only his mouth visible, and his appearance with an eccentric hairstyle added to the atmosphere of the play.

Gen is living gracefully and happily in a world of turmoil.

The unwavering brightness that overflowed from his entire body illuminated the course of the story like a Kyogen performance.

She intends to go to collect the manuscript fee, but ends up wandering into Cafe Mirakuru, which is also the hideout of the Kisaragi dance troupe.


A scene between "Seinichiko" played by Ennosuke Ichikawa and "Hisui" played by Yasuko Matsuyuki

Then, news arrives that a public execution will be held in the plaza the next day. The person who was sentenced to the punishment of being flogged was Kiyohiko, who had committed no crime. Even when he was whipped and exposed, he did not resist. Just asked for water. At that time, it was Hisui who offered a helping hand...


“Tachi” played by Ao Shimomura

Behind the scenes of this brilliant encounter, Tateto, the mastermind behind everything, is suffering.

Even though Tateto is a priest, he cannot suppress his desire for jade.

Moreover, Hisui is the sister of the enemy general. As a clergyman and a person in power, his seriousness is strangling him.

On the day I found Seihiko as a baby, I saw a cloud that looked like a dragon.

The heart-wrenching agony of being tied up in “this is how it has to be,”

He spoke deeply and vividly.

While jade has a light-like beauty, a sword has a dark beauty.

The confrontation between the captive Hisui and Tateto was almost terrifying.

Jade reveals the strength that comes from love, and brings out the weakness that comes from love in the sword.

Contrary to their positions, the emotional power relationship is vividly reversed.

The drama begins to move forward.


The Kisaragi dance troupe gathers in the plaza and seeks the release of Hisui.

The solid presence of the guards standing in the way heightens the tension.

Seihiko hides Hisui in his sanctuary, the bell tower.

Kiyohiko explains the bell's beautiful pattern and confesses that his heart is Kiyohime.

It was a calm and beautiful scene, as if all the grudges from her previous life had been burned away. If you think about the original story, there could have been a choice to have the story unfold as ``Seijiko is jealous of Hisui...''.

However, in this work, Seihiko changes after coming into contact with Hisui's compassion.

This is a heart-wrenching drama about a sisterhood between two people who couldn't live their lives the way they are, and that's why you want them to be happy.


Hand over the jade before the nine bells ring.

Otherwise, a fiery arrow will be shot at the temple.


The sword approaches. Seihiko thinks about cutting off the bell's hanging tree, but when he picks up Murasame, a dragon-like cloud appears in the sky, and it begins to rain like the day Seihiko was picked up.

Kiyohiko realized his fate, changed his mind, and dared to ring the bell.


When the ninth bell rang, a fiery arrow was shot at the bell tower and it was engulfed in flames. The stage is covered with a red curtain.

In Kabuki, the scene would be expressed through dance, but with movements that are very realistic, yet with a dance-like emotion, Seihiko is engulfed in hellfire with Murasame in hand. While looking powerfully into the distance...


"It's a different world," Gen said.

"The burnt ruins. The color of all things withered," said Tsuki.


Everyone's words made me imagine a burnt out field. And then we come back to the opening lyrical line. People gather on stage again. "Let the bitter world's filth befall the earth, and fill it with sweet drops." The audience was filled with enthusiastic applause as the performance concluded with a prayer for peace.


Aotora Ichikawa, who worked on the production, also appeared at the curtain call. Music is SADA.

The costumes were created by students from Kyoto University of the Arts, and students also participated in the ensemble cast for the Kyoto performance.

The third performance was a different color from the past performances, and it set the stage for even greater progress for Ennosuke and his cheerful friends.


Official report written by Fumika Tsukada

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