Hatsuharu Kabuki Success: Fans Entranced by Botan and Shinnosuke | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hatsuharu Kabuki Success: Fans Entranced by Botan and Shinnosuke

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Danjuro Ichikawa waves to fans, while Botan and Shinnosuke Ichikawa look amazed at the number of fans waiting to see them.

In front of Tokyo’s Shinbashi Enbujo Theater in the early afternoon of January 6, a line of nearly 50 madam dressed in Japanese and Western-style attire formed under a cold sky. After 15 minutes of waiting, Danjuro Ichikawa (46), Botan Ichikawa (12), and Shinnosuke Ichikawa (10) appeared on stage to yellow cheers.

On this day, the Shimbashi Enbujō in Tokyo hosted the first day of the early spring Kabuki performance titled “Heike Nyogo No Shima – Sanemori Part II”. After the performance, a large number of fans were eagerly waiting for the three performers as they exited the venue.

“For the Danjuro family, it was the first day of the year, so everyone was in formal suits. However, despite wearing sunglasses, Danjuro strangely had thick-soled sandals on his feet (laughs). As soon as they appeared, Danjuro confidently raised one hand to respond to the fans.

However, most fans were there to see Botan and Shinnosuke. Behind Danjuro, they modestly walked, bowing slightly, creating a charming and contrasting scene.” (One female fan’s account)

Amidst cheers of “Thank you!” from fans, Dantaro put the children in the car first and, waving once more to the fans, got into the car. During the press conference the day before, when asked about the latest production that adds a new interpretation and direction to the classical Kabuki masterpiece, depicting the family and parent-child bonds, Danjuro expressed:

“If the children grow any bigger, I might not be able to do it anymore. This might be the last time I can perform with these kids.”

and spoke wistfully. As for Botan, she described the current stage production as,

“It’s all very stimulating.”

and Shinnosuke responded,

“Well, it’s quite nerve-wracking.”

and Dantaro, observing the two, remarked,

“I have the youngest mental age among us.”

He also paid lip service to the press.

“After the sexual harassment scandal involving Ichikawa Chusha (Kagawa Teruyuki) two years ago and last year’s incident with Ennosuke Ichikawa  (Sawamura Sōnosuke), happening just after the pandemic, it has been tough for the Kabuki world for two consecutive years. This year, right at the beginning of the new year, there was a joyful report about Onoe Ukon’s romance.

Danjuro, being a representative figure in the Kabuki world, is truly focused on his craft for the sake of the Kabuki world and, of course, for his two children. This year, we hope it will be a wonderful year for the Kabuki world.” (Source: Kabuki industry insider)

Fans have high expectations for the Danjuro family this year.

Danjuro’s thick-soled sandals on his feet are quite unbalanced.
Throughout, the siblings maintained a humble posture, consistently bowing forward.
Danjuro’s behavior is as expected as he puts the children in the car and waves to the fans before getting in himself.

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