The music of Kabuki with the Tanaka School at the V&A Dundee (7th March 2024)

DCG middle left with Tanaka school musicians
Denzaemon (middle right) and Denjiro (far left) with kabuki musicians
On Thursday, 7th March, Deputy Consul General Minori Ishii attended a performance of Kabuki Music with the Tanaka School at the V&A Dundee supported by the Japan Foundation. Seven kabuki musicians, including the Tanaka Denzaemon XIII, the 13th head of the Tanaka School of Kabuki Hayashi Musicians, Tanaka Denjiro VII, Tanaka Denjuro, Tanaka Genichiro, Kineya Minosuke, Imafuji Tatsuichiro, and Kineya Katsukuniki performed music from kabuki, spoke about the art-form and its music, and answered audience member’s questions.

At the beginning of the performance, Tanaka Denzaemon XIII, provided an explanatory talk on Kabuki theatre before the musicians performed three pieces: “Matsuribayashi”, “Kanjincho”, and “Shishi”. The musical instruments used during the performance such as kotsuzumi (small hand drums), o-tsuzumi (taiko drums), shinobue (bamboo flutes), and shamisen (three stringed musical instrument), were also introduced.
The sold-out performance saw around 100 ticketholders gather and, during the Q&A session held at the end, there were many insightful questions asked. The event was a very valuable opportunity for the audience members to experience the traditional music of Kabuki and learn about Kabuki Theatre.