Komatsu City of Kabuki

  • Otabi Festival & Hikiyama

    The spring festival of Komatsu is the Otabi Festival. It is celebrated as the shared annual festival of the Uhashi and Motoori Hiyoshi shrines, and the name comes from the festival procession ofmikoshi palanquins around the shrines’ neighborhoods, a practice known as tabi wo suru. About 260 years ago, the performance of children’s kabuki on hikiyama floats became a part of the festivities. Eight hikiyama remain today, and the kabuki performances are held across the eight neighborhoods possessing each hikiyama. Elementary school girls are the main stars. It is on the festival night of the “Eight Hikiyama Line Up” that Kabuki City Komatsu is painted in the most beautiful colors, like that of a nishiki-e woodblock print.

    Ataka-no-seki & Kanjincho

    The Noh play “Ataka” was set at Komatsu City’s Ataka-no-seki Barrier. This was adapted into the popular “Kanjincho”, one of Japan’s “18 Best Kabuki Plays”. It is known not only as a well-scripted play but a musical masterpiece, with the dance-like enactment of famous scenes to the tune of traditional nagauta music. As part of the city’s “Furusato Education” to connect youths to their hometown, our 10 junior high schools have taken turns performing Kanjincho for over 30 years. Ichikawa Danjuro XII, who has visited numerous times to serve as mentor, is the benefactor that has supported these public performances of Kanjincho and helped build up our City of Kabuki.