Nostalgia Across the Sea / Millennium Challenger! (Chunichi)
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Picture Credit: Your wikiname
English Title: Nostalgia Across the Sea / Millennium Challenger!
Japanese Title: 望郷は海を越えて / ミレニアム・チャレンジャー！
Romanized Title: Boukyou wa Umi o Koete / Mireniamu Charenjaa!'
Troupe: Cosmos Troupe
Performances: Chunichi Theater, 2/3 - 2/22
Nostalgia Across the Sea:
Based On: novel Orosha-koku suimutan (Dreaming about Russia) by Inoue Yasushi
Author / Director: Tani Masazumi
Composer: Yoshizaki Kenji, Miyahara Tooru
Choreographer: Nishizaki Mayumi, Shou Sumire
Author/Director: Ishida Masaya
Composer: Nishimura Kouji, Minami Yasuo, Bob Sakuma, Onodera Tadakazu, SASA
Choreographer: Ai Erina, Maeda Kiyomi, Irie Tashiaki, SAM
Available on DVD: No
DVD Scene/Music Cut: N/A
|Kuki Umihito||Wao Youka|
|Princess Yu / Ekaterina (Catherine the Great)||Hanafusa Mari|
|Akizuki Kuroudo||Ayaki Nao|
|Tokaiya Genkurou||Juri Sakiho|
|Count Aleksei Orlov||Mizu Natsuki|
|Kuki Takamura||Koshi Haruki|
|Akizuki Yatarou / Count Borodin||Manaka Hikaru|
|Countess Pavel||Moemi Serika|
|Pietr III||Asahina Kei|
|Katagiri Katsunoshin||Hayami Riki|
|Suwa Risaburou||Mutsuki Mao|
|Funakoshi Izo||Kuon Maya|
|Souma Saburouta||Sono Mikage|
Other Cast: Mariho Erina, Anri Michiru, Asagi Yuuna, Kajika Kumi, Mikaze Maira, Tsukifune Sarara, Amou Tamaki, Asana Irumi, Mizuki Mai, Yuumi Hiro, Mebae Haruka, Toono Asuka
WARNING!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!
Nostalgia Across the Sea
The following synopsis comes directly from the program book.
In the autumn of 1756 (the 6th year of Horeki), the Kuki clan is found in the mountainous fief of Sanda (northwest of today's Takarazuka). It has been relocated from the seashore by the Tokugawa shogunate because of the clan's navy, known as the strongest during the age of civil wars and therefore regarded as a menace to the security of the new rulers. The lord of Sanda, Takamura Kuki, is determined to defend the fief as a land warrior, whereas Umihito Kuki, his younger brother, maintains the pride of a sea warrior and dreams of sailing out to unseen foreign lands notwithstanding the shogunate's isolation policy. Umihito is engaged to Princess Yu, a beautiful and lively daughter of the lord of Tanba-Ayabe fief. Although the match itself was made for the convenience of their families, they have known each other since childhood and are strongly bound by mutual respect and profound love.
On the wedding day of Umihito and Princess Yu, a powerful dance is performed at the banquet after the traditional fashion of pirates. As the dance is achieving its climax, Genkuro Tokaiya, a shipping agent, runs in with the news that a Dutch merchant ship has arrived at Nagasaki's Dejima bringing on board Japanese drifters. Umihito decides to go and talk with the drifters, leaving his bride behind. He sails out of Miyazu harbour towards Dejima in high spirits with his clansmen sharing the same dream of travelling abroad. But a tsunami hits their ship with a roaring sound and sends it drifting. One after another, Umihito's companions are carried away by the severity of their floating life, which seems endless.
In the spring of 1757, seven of them are finally washed alive on a Siberian shore: Umihito, Genkuro, Umihito's lieutenant Kuroudo, boatswain Katsunoshin Katagiri, sailor Saburota Souma, as well as Soemon, a father who left a baby at home, and Izo Funakoshi who had never sailed before. They now under the circumstances have to go all the way through the frozen Siberia in order to obtain a return permit. After a hard journey covering seven months and 3000 km, they arrive at Irkutsk. Umihito talks to various people in haste to obtain the permit from the governor of Siberia. But nobody answers him while Katsunoshin, Izo and Saburota become utterly exhausted. Then a young woman named Ludmilla, speaking in Japanese, invites them to recuperate at her house. It appears that her father, Otokichi, is a former Japanese drifter. Otokichi laughs at them, saying that their dream of returning to Japan is impossible and silly. Just as Kuroudo reproves Otokichi for his rudeness, a sharp pain hits his right arm. He has concealed his suffering of his frostbitten arm so as not to cause anxiety to others. There is no cure but to cut off his arm. Kuroudo insists that he would rather die than live as a samurai without his sword hand. But Umihito brings down a sword on Kuroudo's arm, trying desperately to hold back his pity.
At the seashore of Miyazu, Princess Yu is waiting for Umihito's return in spite of an offer of remarriage from the Kyogoku clan. When her father's vassals come to bring her back, she tells them that she would rather kill herself than become a wife of someone other than Umihito. She sends them away showing her determination by holding a ladies' sword against her neck.
Umihito is going to spend the second summer in Irkutsk. In order to get the return permit, nearly everyday Umihito goes to the governor's office in vain. Soemon, Katsunoshin and Saburota become desperate. A furrier, Khabarov by name, then shows up before Umihito with the advice that he had better go to St. Petersburg to make a direct appeal to the Tsar. Umihito decides firmly on a life-or-death journey to St. Petersburg.
In St. Petersburg of 1762, Tsar Pietr's birthday is being celebrated with pomp and circumstance. Instead of Tsarina Ekaterina, the Tsar's mistress Olga and her family sit by Tsar Pietr as a matter of course, as they have made a puppet of him. The Tsar is deaf to Count Aleksei Orlov, an officer of the imperial guards who protests against the misruling. Worse still, the Tsar orders Ekaterina who defends Aleksei to hand over the empress' decoration to Olga. Ekaterina puts the decoration on Olga's chest, holding back her emotions, and leaves the scene amid roars of derisive laughter. A moment later, Umihito approaches the Tsar for the return permit and tries to convince him of their ardent desire to go home. But Count Borodin, Olga's father, immediately rejects Umihito's appeal.
In the garden of the Winter Palace, Umihito saves a lady from an assailant with a quick draw of his sword. She appears to be non other than Tsarina Ekaterina. Aleksei rushes to the scene at the noise. He alleges in rage that the author must be a soldier of the Tsar's private guards while Count Borodin protests that the accusation is groundless. The two lay a hand on the sabre. Ekaterina least disturbed goes away with Umihito serenely so as to calm down the two.
Led by Aleksei enamoured with Ekaterina, the imperial guardsmen work out a coup d'etat to enthrone her. The coup is carried out with Ekaterina in uniform as a commander. Umihito joins them and his advice steers the coup to success. Ekaterina invites Umihito to stay by her side. Umihito, however, declines the invitation, thinking of his companions longing to return home as well as of Princess Yu awaiting his return. At Ekaterina's coronation, Umihito sings and dances of his yearning for home. She is so touched as to grant the return permit.
On arriving at Ludmilla's house with the return permit much cried for by all, Umihito discovers that Katsunoshin and Saburota have died of hunger and disease. The governor of Siberia wanted to encourage more Russian-Japanese interpreters in view of the trade with Ezo, the northernmost of Japan. But, since the drifters refused to become teachers in hopes of returning home soon, the governor replied by cutting off their means of subsistence. Soemon, anxious to join his baby is none the better gravely affected. As Umihito tells him that the permit has been granted, he goes away smiling. Kuroudo has become a Christian and has decided to stay with Ludmilla and Otokichi.
Umihito, Genkuro and Izo now leave Irkutsk heading for Japan. They reach at length a beach near Miyazu. However, Japan is still under the isolation policy banning the re-entry of Japanese who have seen the outside world. Soon after the three have stealthily disembarked from a small boat, Izo breathes his last upon completing the last line of his logbook. Genkuro gets shot dead by coast guards...
A long and hard journey has come to an end with Umihito as the only surviving witness of the outside world. In his mind's eye, his brave companions of the Kuki's navy and his beloved Princess Yu appear.
Princess Yu then comes forth with Karato, materializing the reunion with Umihito. An instant later, they are assailed by the vassals of Lord Kuki who has decided to kill Umihito for the purpose of the Kuki clan's security. Genkuro and Karato are killed in defense of Princess Yu and Umihito. In the end, Lord Kuki renounces his attempt to rob his younger brother of his life and leaves. Princess Yu and Umihito now alone determine to live long appreciating the preciousness of their lives.
Speedy and energetic opening with the theme song heralding messages towards the 21st century. As the huge big-catch flag swings down, a set of big-catch flags and rough seas appear. The scene represents the "Moon" part of the "Snow-Moon-Flower" triplet, with the moon above fishing fires. Men and women wearing happi coats and headbands dance the "Rock Soran", a modern fresher version of the classic "Soran Bushi".
Jazzed "Sakura Sakura". The scene represents the "Flower" part of the "Snow-Moon-Flower" triplet. A sort of singing duel between a male part and a female part.
At a bar. "Adults in love". A barwoman and a gentleman guest sing and dance with abundant feeling. A medley of musical pieces relevant to alcoholic beverages around a tower made with champagne glasses piled one above another.
Inspired by the legend of a sacred nine-tailed fox, an unforgiven love between a man and a spectre is represented dramatically in the form of a ballet. The young man who fell in love with the spectre sings his heartrending sentiment. The scene of a snowy bamboo grove represents the "Snow" part of the "Snow-Moon-Flower" triplet. The young man cannot forget the woman-fox, while she has broken the rule that forbids her to love a human in earnest. Their love leads to nowhere but to their ruin.
Scene of the "honorary sign dancers" centering on Youka Wao playing the role of the dragon. In a Chinese decor, the energetic hip-hopped dance celebrates the Millennium.
Mona Lisa sings escorted by a gentleman.
A young painter sings with his two young models. Before a decor of palettes and colours, a chorus dance of 36 dancers, each representing a crayon of a different color.
Dandies dance gallantly on a grand staircase.
A duet of the new leaders of Soragumi.
A lively parade beginning with the "cadenza" sung by the three Etoiles.
- Final performance for Kikuho Rina, Hanakage Misaki and Saeki Seiya.
- This was a revival of the Grand Theater production performed in 2000.
- Although Juri Sakiho was previously a member of Cosmos Troupe, she had been assigned to Senka by the time of this production.
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