Kabuki star performs at temple ahead of tour marking succession to new stage name

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ichikawa Ebizo XI, center, performs at Naritasan Shinshoji temple in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on Saturday.

Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI performed at Naritasan Shinshoji temple on Saturday in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, and prayed for the success of a tour that will mark his succession to the prestigious stage name of Ichikawa Danjuro XIII, Hakuen.

The Ichikawa Danjuro family has been worshipping the Fudo-Myoo deity enshrined at the temple since Ichikawa Danjuro I prayed there for a child and his wife subsequently had their first son. That is said to be why the family began using Naritaya as the guild name of the Ichikawa kabuki family.

About 10,000 people watched as the 44-year-old kabuki star paraded in a rickshaw for about 700 meters along the approach to the temple. Ebizo performed a kabuki program dedicated to world peach with his son Kangen Horikoshi, 9, and daughter Ichikawa Botan, 11, on a special stage in front of the temple’s main hall.

Kangen will make his stage debut as Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII in November.

“I felt strongly once again the significance of succeeding to the name in the new era of Reiwa. Things are not easy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, but I think I have been given a chance to make a significant change,” Ebizo said.

The tour marking his succession to the stage name will get fully underway with performances at the Kabukiza Theatre in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Nov. 7.