A Kabuki dancer as the rampaging spirit of a shishi (mythical lion), who falls asleep after sporting among the peonies, only to be awoken by two kochō (butterflies) that tease him mercilessly as he angrily tries to catch them. He works himself into a mighty rage, flinging his luxuriant mane around in a fury of movement.
In this visit to Japan, as a rumor told with his family, his appearance on
yakatabune, tasting sake, sushi and sukiyaki has become a hot topic on Twitter. Two years ago he visited a dressing room of Kabuki actor,
. His sitting posture with the stretched spine became popular as “beautiful”. Telling about that he says: “Since I was a dancer before becoming an actor my knees are elastic, but it is hard to be stretching sitting next to regulars, my legs get numb … But this is not only for Danish people, isn’t it?”
Compilation of Yamada Ryosuke x Kamiki Ryunosuke x Nakamura Hayato’s friendship stories over the years
[PON! 2014] Kamiki Ryunosuke
Kamiki’s Ikemen Friend
Kamiki: It’s Hey! Say! JUMP’s Yamada Ryosuke. We’re in the same year. We co-starred in a drama together 7 years ago, and recently too in Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo, we co-starred again. When we turn 20, our birthday are close to each other, we talked about going drinking [together], then we went after a long while.
[Oshareism 2015] Kamiki Ryunosuke
Fujiki: This is from your classmate, a kabuki actor, Nakamura Hayato. “When we turn 20, it was the first time we drank together. Kamiki got drunk after 1 shot of drinking beer. Yamada Ryosuke & I had to take care of him."
Kamiki: Yes, they took care of me
Ueda: Yamada-kun & Nakamura-kun were your classmates?
Kamiki: Yes, we’re classmates. I was always with those two. When we all turn 20, we thought about going drinking together. We went drinking and turns out I was really weak.
Ueda: What was it like when you had a shot of the beer?
Kamiki: I was always "aaaahh…” (fans himself) “So hot! So hot!”
Ueda: Then did Yamada-kun & Nakamura-kun went “Are you okay?”
Kamiki: They were like, “Drink some water! Drink some water!”
[Men’s Kitchen 2017] Kamiki Ryunosuke x Nakamura Hayato
Kamiki: I like crab, but I can’t touch crabs. The appearance is scary. It was because of that…
Hayato: That’s right! During our school fieldtrip, [looking at the crab meal,] Kamiki was like, “Eeee…!!!” (afraid of the appearance). Me and Yamada Ryosuke had to peel the skin off [for him]
Bonus pic of our favorite Horikoshi boys during their high school field-trip:
From left to right: Kamiki Ryunosuke, Nakajima Yuto, Nomura Shuhei, Nakamura Hayato, Chinen Yuri, Yamada Ryosuke
October 2017: Maiko Mikako (Nishiura Okiya) of Gion Kobu is now wearing the sakkou hairstyle! Her Erikae will be on the 23rd of October.
As her special sakkou-kanzashi she chose the popular motif of a crane on a background of pines, which are both said to be very auspicious.
Mikako comes from a family deeply invested in traditional Japanese dance. Her grandfather was the famous Kabuki actor Sawaura Sōjurō IX and her older sister is part of the Takarazuka Ensemble, and all-female group of traditional dancers.
Mikako was very popular from the beginning of her career as a Maiko, mainly because she is very beautiful and a very good dancer. She had taken dance lessons before becoming a Maiko already, which was also the reason as to why she got to wear a white collar so early.
Daisuke Takahashi's words from Brochure of Hyoen (Kabuki on Ice) 2017
DAISUKE TAKAHASHI :
as Kuro Hogan Yoshitsune Minamoto
surprise with the scale of it that is far greater than I imagined. Everyone working for this production is an outstanding expert.”
I first heard about the initial vision of this “Hyoen” in
2015, when I was studying in New York. I vaguely thought that it must be fun
making such a show, but at the time I was away from skating trying to reset
things to start with a clean slate, so I could not see specific image of myself
to play a role in it. I just thought that it would be nice if I can do such a
show some day.
Two years later, today, “Hyoen” has realized. Honestly, it
was a surprise that this has taken shape this fast, but
more than that I feel a special link by fate that I could get the offer to be a
part of it right at the timing I made a new start as a professional skater.
And moreover, once it was revealed, the whole picture of
“Hyoen” project totally blew me away. I never thought it would have such a
massive level of projection mapping, and it comes with a far greater scale of
cast and staff than I imagined. I feel huge pressure but the other cast undoubtedly
and probably every member of the staff also feel the same way. Everyone working
for this production is an outstanding expert. All the people who never worked
with before have come together in one place across categories of business.
This time it is a collaboration of Figure Skating and Kabuki,
and I especially found it interesting that no line is drawn between the two,
self-contained as “Kabuki actors are for Kabuki and Figure Skaters Figure
Skating”. It is the first-time collaboration in the world, and therefore, both
sides took off the exact same start line groping around our way to make this
together — both sides of the cast tried new challenges in their own fields
and had a goal to become one, mixing Kabuki and Figure Skating together — the
process of it is very fresh and it is great fun.
This show brought me new discoveries in figure skating
through the costume fitted to the character or the motions particular to
Kabuki. For one thing, skating costumes are mostly tight-fitted and clingy, and
I never knew showing my movement in a costume that is not, and Kimono of all
others, was such a hard task. I have been expressing using my whole bodyline
without thinking, so it was difficult to build the performances having that
line hidden. Also, normally in figure skating, it is very important to make
each movement look big in a large rink, but this time, it is the opposite.
Instead of making a big movement, motions that are delicate and subtle are
required. I struggled to find how I can make an impact in the rink. On top of
that, I have scenes with no movement at all that never happens in figure
skating (lol). The figures of those are not flashy,
and I seriously wondered how on earth I can make them look attractive and cool.
I felt that I had to put my creativity into it.
The role I play is Yoshitsune Minamoto, someone every
Japanese knows. I was told that I would be playing this role quite some time
ago, but to be honest, I had very little idea about this man other than his
name, and I could not visualize how I can play this person. He actually has
many faces, such as, an image of Ushiwaka-maru (Translator’s notes: a mostly fictional
image of his young days meeting his faithful detainer/guard Benkei) and also a
tragic image of his death by his own sword after fleeting as a fugitive. Only,
however, since Somegoro san relieved my worries by telling me, “Takahashi san,
you are OK not to make out a role, but be as yourself”, I felt that I could
make a totally new picture of Yoshitsune away from the images already made in
the history or in the stories. In this “Basara” story, the characters are from
different time periods in the history and this particular Yoshitsune is
supposed to be a “symbol of justice”, so I think the answer for this role is to
dedicate to that and build a positive image of the persona. Vogue Japan is in
charge of the hair styling, and I expected that it was going to be somewhat
modern. I have never performed in such a hair or make-up and this excites me a
lot (LOL). It was my first time to jump with such a long hair style of course, and
I enjoy challenging an unknown experience like that.
I got a lot to learn this time on how I present “space” as
well. To us, skaters, we “express” moving and skating, not remaining still. So
it is important to adjust the size of movement according to the extent of the
rink space. Kabuki, on the other hand, has the beauty to fascinate you by only
a slight movement as well as large, flashy motions. In this show, we have the same size of the stage as regular skating
shows while we adopt motions in Kabuki style, so we have to think about the
balance in managing the space. And
moreover, we do not just use the surface of the ice but the space far above in
the air, and it must be a key factor that how we make good use of such
different layers of spaces.
In those senses above and more, I believe that Hyoen expands
new possibilities of ice shows. If we make this show a great success, I expect
the next one would come as a fusion with an art of a genre we could never
imagine. And above all, I am happy to feel that we could think that “skaters
can do such things” ourselves, and that would
give us a push to have a next dream, concept and idea for sure.
to what is asked in professional figure skaters will be found in this show”
Now figure skating as a sport enjoys receiving the
unprecedented attention from the people. And yet, while the skaters have more
chances to have their names known, it is still the reality that building a
second career is simply difficult. The period of time one can be a competitive
skater is not long, and the time to be active in the front lines as a
professional skater is limited as well. However, as “Hyoen” suggests, with the
support of the style to tell a story, or groundbreaking forms of presentation,
possibilities for skaters are greatly expanded. That is, possibilities for
skaters to be able to have different kind of careers by obtaining a new form of
expressing, “acting a character”, not jumps or skating itself. Even though the
abilities to perform elements such as jumps go off their highest level, skaters
would keep developing in representing what they want to express through their
experiences. And that quality is exactly what is demanded by the type of shows
such as “Hyoen”. I think if this style of shows spread in Japan and in the
world, surely more people can work in figure skating for a longer time. And if
more skaters can actively perform in shows, it would boost the entire level of
performances of skating population, and even some may aim for this trade —
some skaters may seek for performing on this kind of stages, not being the top
in competitions. I feel that it is the mission of our generation to find how
new careers for skaters are created.
I am feeling very lucky myself that I could be in this show,
as I have already had a lot of new discoveries. Every single one of them should
be valuable for what I do in the future.
I have a feeling that the answer to what people want from
us, professional figure skaters, is found in the “Hyoen” performances as well.
I have been thinking for some time now what are supposed to be the things pros
only can do, instead of the skating as a competitive sport to compete on the
defined elements such as jumps and spins and show the tricks continuously
evolving. It is considered that what the audience expect from professionals is
a visual “appeal” as rounded and polished entertainment. And although I
understand that that is the only quality for pro skaters to be able to surpass
the fiery battles of competitive skaters, to be honest, I was still blindly
seeking myself what is the attraction only pros hold.
However, as I got to participate in this grand project, now
I could reach a conviction. It is the luxury, such as, a generous amount of
time the pros only can spend for preparation, great means and vehicles the pros
only have access to express through, and high level and innovative tricks only
pros can challenge to obtain – this time, such as, Kabuki movements or dancing. That is the privilege allowed only to the
professionals. I think the fact that the cast is trying desperately to obtain
the new “tricks” and exhibiting them along with the finest staging should give
deep fierceness to the show, and that creates an
entertainment that gives you thrills different from competitive skating.
In other words, I feel that I am tested here if I can show
something only a pro can. And if I am, I will definitely show you I achieve
Geisha dancing kimono.
Meiji period (1868-1911), Japan.
The Kimono Gallery. A tall geisha silk ‘susohiki’ - trailing kimono for
dance - featuring yuzen-painted portraits of famous stage actors. Embroidery
highlights. A 'susohiki’ (trailing skirt) is a type of formal dance kimono worn
by maiko (apprentice geisha) and geisha that is designed to trail on the
ground. This example was worn by a geisha, as it has short, unpatterned
sleeves. While all women’s kimono are longer then the length of their body,
modern kimono are designed to be folded over at the hip. Susohiki are not, so
they are even longer and have a padded hem to drape more attractively. Another
word for susohiki is hikizuri. Although both the dancing susohiki and wedding
uchikake share the characteristic of having a padded hem, susohiki are designed
to be worn closed in front and tied with an obi, contrasting to the uchikake,
which is worn with front open without obi. This susohiki is decorated with famous
kabuki stage actors, with a bamboo fence at the bottom, perhaps alluding to a
specific performance. This example was an expensive garment to commission, and
is obviously the work of a talented textile artist, and would have been worn by
s senior and wealthy geisha of the day for important stage dance performances.
I know nothing about ice skating but holy hell those ones with them practically dancing on the ice in the traditional looking outfits is so gorgeous
it’s a show called hyoen mixing kabuki theater with figure skating! theater on ice shows aren’t new but this is the first time it’s been done with kabuki. they got kabuki actors and several well-known japanese skaters to take part and the costuming and production design is gorgeous imo. if you’re interested you can watch the whole show here. there are no subtitles but you can get the main gist of the story anyway.
[Translation] TV Person 09/03/2017 Kamiki Ryunosuke Interview Cut about Yamada Ryosuke
This interview was from one of Kamiki’s magazine appearance for his Sangatsu no Lion movie promotion. I only translated the parts where he spoke about Yamada though. I’ve always loved their friendship and I’m really happy that Kamiki talked about Yamada quiet a lot in here (almost half an entire magazine page), you know, when he’s supposed to be promoting for Sangatsu no Lion. This interview cut also gives us another different view about their friendship! Kamiki also mentioned Nakamura Hayato, Fukushi Sota, Takei Emi, Chinen Yuri, and Yabu Kota in this cut! Enjoy this interview!
P.S: As usual, please do not publish or re-post without permission.
“Ah, that’s right, Yamada-kun is also working hard.”