In November 1980, members consisting mainly of seniors (Shu Kogure, Hidenori Inoue, etc.) at Osaka University of Arts Theatrical Arts Department launched the troupe by playing “The Atami Murder Case” by Kohei Tsuka. The name of the troupe “Shinkansen” was decided upon the reason that the members used a bullet train, known as Shinkansen, to go back home during that time. The troupe became popular as a copying troupe of Tsuka’s work and became the centerpiece of the theater boom among college students in the Kansai region. The genre of the play shifted from the copy of Tsuka’s play to an original entertainment full of comedy, rock, and action. Currently, it is subdivided by series such as Inoue Kabuki and Shinkansen R, and these unique characteristics were established as “Shinkansen-ism.” Gekidan☆Shinkansen is now one of the genres in the entertainment field. The gorgeous cast in every work draws attention of the audience since the troupe is acknowledged as a troupe that the actors want to play in.
Gekidan☆Shinkansen’s greatest number of recruitments took place during the 2012 winter performance “ZIPANG PUNK ~ Goemon Rock III”, recording over 130 thousand people. In 2015, Gekidan☆Shinkansen reached its 35th anniversary.
Seven Souls in the Skull Castle
Seven Souls in the Skull Castle
“Seven Souls in the Skull Castle,” produced at Ikebukuro West Gate Park in 1990, is brushed up and performed every 7 years. It is now recognized as the troupe’s masterpiece. Especially, the 1997 version had the perfect harmony with all of the story, performance, sword battle, and music, and became the best of ‘Inoue Kabuki’ series. In 2004, they tried out a bold attempt, named “Skull Year,” and performed the same work in the spring and fall with completely different casts and direction. The change between the two works, dramatic “Ver. RED” and pretense “Ver. BLUE” was a huge success and brought an end of its work. In 2011, after 21 years from the first performance, they brought back “Seven Souls in the Skull Castle” with young casts, creating a new conception.
After another 7 years, “Seven Souls in the Skull Castle” is now dynamically performed for more than a year from 2017 to 2018, as the opening performance of “Stage Around” theater, which the audience is 360°surrounded by the stage and its seating floor rotates.
Early 1590. During Toyotomi Hideyoshi was ruling the country after Oda Nobunaga has died, the Eastern Plain villages far away from the capital were raided by Eastern Plain Demon Skull Corps, lead by <Tenmao (Songha)>.
This day, while Skull Iron Guards were attacking a village, <Sagiri (Nana Seino)>, covered with cuts and bruises, jumps in. She is being chased because she has the plans of the secret passages of Skull Castle, Tenmao’s castle.
Then, extravagant in both their dresses and their deportment, the members of Rowdies of the East enter. At the fore stands their leader, <Hyogo (Munetaka Aoki)>. However, by the betrayal of one of their members <Sango (Masato Kawano)>, the Rowdies get into a scrape. Just then, a casually dressed man appears and beats the Iron Guards with a large iron pipe. He calls himself <Sutenosuke (Shun Oguri)>, and goes off to the biggest brothel in the Eastern Plain “Mukai Village” with Hyogo to cure Sagiri’s wounds.
The brothel village “Mukai” is busy with travelers coming in and out since it serves as a post town, and there is <Mamiana Jiroemon (Yoshimasa Kondo)>, dressed like a wandering samurai, looking dubious as if he is hiding a situation. <Gokuraku (‘Paradise’) Tayu (Ryo)>, who has the best reputation in the brothel, undertakes Hyogo and others’ favor to shield Sagiri willingly.
That night behind the buildings, Sagiri was about to be attacked by the Demon Skull Corps again, but Sutenosuke and <Ranbei (Koji Yamamoto)>, the owner of “Mukai Village”, checks. Suddenly, Tenmao appears. In fact, the three of them, Sutenosuke, Ranbei, and Tenmao, spent time together in the past. Sutenosuke and Ranbei’s sword is unable to compete with Tenmao with invincible Spanish armor and mask. However, by Mamiana Jiroemon interfering between them, they ended up without fighting.
Sutenosuke, making up his mind to battle with Tenmao and the Demon Skull Corps, visits the sword smith <Gantetsusai (Arata Furuta)> deep in the mountains to ask for a sword that cuts through the invincible armor, the “armor-piercer”.
However, about that time, Ranbei was trying to go to Skull Castle alone. Sagiri realized this and secretly follows.
What is the relationship between Sutenosuke, Ranbei, and Tenmao? Can Sutenosuke and his peers prevent Tenmao’s stratagem?
|Mon||Tue||Wed (H)||Thu (H)||Fri (H)||Sat||Sun||Mon||Tue||Wed||Thu||Fri||Sat||Sun||Mon|
- (H) ... Holiday
- (N) ... No Performance
- (R) ... Reserved
S 13,000 yen Side S 12,500 yen A 9,800 yen
(reserved seats, tax included)
- * Pre-school children and under may not enter.
- * All persons entering the theater must have a ticket.
- * For customers with wheelchair, please contact us before the previous day of the performance.
- * The resale of the tickets for commercial purposes is prohibited.
- * Seat type ‘Side S’ may include some scenes that are difficult to see.
Cast & Staff
Sutenosuke – Shun Oguri
Once was one of the ninja agents of Oda Nobunaga.
After Oda died, he threw his name away and started calling himself Sutenosuke, and became a wandering samurai.
The casual dress up and the large iron pipe is his trademark.
Even though he is an easy-going and perverted person, he is also a talented swordplay hero.
Mukaiya Ranbei – Koji Yamamoto
Once served Oda Nobunaga, named Mori Ranmaru.
After Oda died, he came to the Eastern Plain and started running the Eastern Plain’s biggest brothel, “Mukai Village”.
Spent time together with Sutenosuke and Tenmao in the past.
Tenmao – Songha
Once was one of the servers of Oda Nobunaga with Sutenosuke.
Took Oda’s desire as his mission and created Skull Castle and the Eastern Plain Demon Skull Corp.
Prevented Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s unification of the whole country and started planning lawlessness from the Eastern Plain.
Wears invincible Spanish armor and mask.
Gokuraku (‘Paradise’) Tayu – Ryo
The best Tayu in “Mukai Village” located at the end in the Eastern Plain.
Unifies women who are hurt by the sorrowful past of “Mukai Village” with Ranbei.
Hyogo – Munetaka Aoki
The leader of The Rowdies of the East.
Cheerful and bossiness person who is deeply in love with Gokuraku Tayu.
Carries a large sword on his back, however he never pulls out and fights with his bare hands.
Sagiri – Nana Seino
The survivor of the Kumakis and is good at fortification.
Fortifies the Skull Castle with Tenmao’s instruction, however she carries the plans away to take a revenge on Tenmao because he killed the Kumakis to protect his secret.
Being chased by the Demon Skull Corps on the way to Tokugawa Ieyasu’s place, she is saved by Hyogo and Sutenosuke and left at “Mukai Village” with care.
Sango – Masato Kawano
One of the members of The Rowdies of the East lead by Hyogo.
Continues betraying for more than 30 years.
The Rowdies gets into a scrape because of his betrayal.
Mamiana Jiroemon – Yoshimasa Kondo
Saves Sagiri from being chased by the Demon Skull Corps with Sutenosuke.
Wandering samurai who decides to stay in “Mukai Village”.
Gantetsusai – Arata Furuta
Old friend of Sutenosuke.
A perverted sword smith who loves swords.
Seems like he cut himself and made scars on his face and body because he loves swords so much.
Asked by Sutenosuke, he makes the ‘armor-piercer’, the sword that cuts Tenmao’s invincible armor.