2014 / One-man Kabuki storyteller to come to Little Tokyo, Oct. 10

Kunitoshi Kineya

Veteran Nagauta shamisen player Kunitoshi Kineya (The Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation Los Angeles presents Kunitoshi Kineya’s “One-Man Kabuki Storyteller” at David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo on Oct. 10 at 7:30 pm. Admission free, reservation required at www.jflalc.org

Veteran Nagauta shamisen player Kunitoshi Kineya will present a shamisen demonstration and perform classical Kabuki piece “Kurozuka” in which English subtitles will be provided.

Kunitoshi Kineya has been active for nearly 40 years performing and composing pieces on the shamisen, a traditional Japanese instrument.

He began playing Nagauta shamisen when he was just eighteen years old, after being captivated by its fascinating tone and rich history. It was not long before he decided he would become a professional player and performer.

He has performed with leading Kabuki actors including Tamasaburo Bando among many others, and has also composed stage music for not only Kabuki Theater groups, but for original theater plays of his as well.

As a solo performer, Kunitoshi has made it his mission to inspire an appreciation for Nagauta in those who may not know about or have any particular interest in the art form.

Kunitoshi accomplishes this by putting an emphasis on the fun aspects of Nagauta and by using his enthusiasm on stage to engage younger audience members in this traditional music. Audiences everywhere are mesmerized by his immense talent and engaging stage presence.

Nagauta, which literally means “long song” in Japanese, is a classical style of Japanese music which traditionally accompanies Kabuki theater.

The Los Angeles venue, David Henry Hwang Theater, is located at 120 North Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Los Angeles performance is a part of the Kunitoshi Kineya U.S. tour including Honolulu on Oct. 5 and Portland on Oct. 8.

The Los Angeles show is co-organized by Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles.