Ishikawa Children Perform Kabuki atop Floats in Otabi Festival

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Child actors perform kabuki atop a wheeled float in Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on May 12.

KOMATSU, Ishikawa — Child actors performed kabuki atop wheeled floats in the traditional Otabi Festival which was held May 12-14. The festival has a history of more than 350 years in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture.

The districts of Kyomachi and Daimonjicho in the city oversaw this year’s festival.

“In Kawatsura Hogen’s Palace,” which is a scene from “Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees” about a fox that longs for its parents, which had been skinned to make a drum, was performed in Kyomachi. “The Chrysanthemum Garden at Kiichi Hogen’s Mansion in Imadegawa,” which is a scene from “Kiichi Hogen Sanryaku no Maki,” about the famous samurai, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, trying to steal a famous book of strategies, was performed in Daimonjicho.

The first performance of “In Kawatsura Hogen’s Palace” was held on a float decorated in front of Uhashi Shrine with child actors performing on the outdoor stage to a big round of applause from the audience.

Yuka Nawa, a fifth grader who played the role of the fox that turns itself into Yoshitsune’s vassal Sato Tadanobu, said: “I was able to play the dual role as I had practiced. In my next performance, I will continue to clearly say my lines to the audience.”