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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2014)


Final installment of series also displays many famous works

The Exhibition Nakamura Utaemon VI―Never Forget Flowers and Dreams―

Kyoganoko Musume Dojoji (Kabuki-za Theater, April 1951)

Asako’s long over garment from Kirishitan Dojoji

Since 2005, the Exhibition Nakamura Utaemon VI has been an annual year-end event. In 2014, an exhibition was held in the Nakamura Utaemon VI Special Exhibition Room of the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum from March 25th to April 25th. Nakamura Utaemon VI (1917 to 2001) was a famous actor who reigned at the top of post-war kabuki theater in female roles. It is possible to examine his work from diverse and varied perspectives including the success of his roles, his inheritance of many roles from his father the Nakamura Utaemon V, his broad involvement in works ranging from new performances to revived kyogen plays, and the wide range of his passionate fans.

The deep connection shared by the Nakamura Utaemon family and the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum goes back many years to the time of Nakamura Utaemon V and museum founder Shoyo Tsubouchi. This connection was also valued by Nakamura Utaemon throughout his lifetime. The Nakamura Utaemon VI Special Exhibition Room, which was established to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Theater Museum, was once used as a break room by Nakamura Utaemon when he visited the museum to receive the 1st Waseda University Shoyo Tsubouchi Grand Award in 1994. Just like his father, Nakamura Utaemon VI generously donated a great amount of his preciously-kept materials to the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum. These materials include utensils specially-ordered props for his famous work Musume Dojoji(The Maiden at Dojo Temple), clothing of Yatsuhashi for the drama Kagotsurube, and letters by Junichiro Tanizaki and Yukio Mishima. There are also a wide range of materials from his American performances include a telegraph with the message “Love Love Love” from actress Greta Garbo and a postage stamp booklet sent by Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco. Waseda University has honored the achievements of Nakamura Utaemon by presenting him with the Award for Distinguished Service of Art.

This exhibition, the 10th in the series, brings the series to an end for the time being. While reflecting on past exhibitions, numerous famous works are displayed once again to look back on history. Also new items in the collection, such as an album recently donated by Baigyoku Nakamura are exhibited. The famous works on display are truly worthy of the 10th compilation and reflect on the roles of a famous actor portraying female roles.