Stage names:

Nakamura Denkurô IV In Japanese
Ôtani Tokugorô In Japanese

Line number: YODAIME (IV)

Poetry name: Bukaku

Existence: 1774 ~ 28th day of the 8th lunar month of 1799 [1]


Adoptive father: Ôtani Hiroji III

Father-in-law (and second adoptive father): Nakamura Kanzaburô XI


1774 ~ 1779: born in Edo. He became at an early age disciple of the actor Ôtani Hiroji III.

11th lunar month of 1779: first stage appearance at the Ichimuraza, where he received the name of Ôtani Tokugorô [2] and performed as a koyaku in the kaomise drama "Azuma no Mori Sakae Kusunoki", which celebrated the shûmei of Azuma Tôzô III and Segawa Otome.

1792: he was adopted by Nakamura Kanzaburô XI.

1st lunar month of 1793: he took the name of Nakamura Denkurô IV at the Nakamuraza, playing the role of Soga Gorô Tokimune in the new year sogamono drama "Saikai Soga Nakamura"; his stage partners in the roles of Soga Jûrô Sukenari (Gorô's brother) and Kudô Saemon Suketsune (the Soga brothers enemy) were Sawamura Sôjûrô III and Ichikawa Yaozô III.

1st lunar month of 1795: Denkurô achieved a great success at the Miyakoza, playing the role of Kobayashi no Asahina in the new year sogamono drama "Edo Sunago Kichirei Soga". This role was closely associated to the great actor Nakamura Denkurô I.

1st lunar month of 1796: Denkurô's rank in the Edo hyôbanki, tachiyaku section, was jô-jô (superior - superior) [visual].

9th lunar month of 1796: the play "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi" was staged for the first time in Edo, simultaneously at the Kiriza and the Miyakoza; Denkurô played the role of Kinugawa Yasaburô in the former theater [casting].

6th lunar month of 1797: the dance-drama "Tsumoru Koi Yuki no seki no To" was revived for the first time, in Edo at the Kiriza; Denkurô played the role of Yoshimine Munesada [casting].

1st lunar month of 1798: premiere at the Kiriza (Edo) of Namiki Gohei I's drama "Tomioka Koi no Yamabiraki", commonly called "Ninin Shinbê"; Denkurô played the role of the Shinbashi yaoya Isaburô [casting].

7th lunar month of 1799: Denkurô appeared on stage for the last time, in Edo at the Ichimuraza, playing 2 roles in the drama "Onna Moji Fude no Michinoku".

28th day of the 8th lunar month of 1799 [1]: Denkurô died in Edo [3].


Nakamura Denkurô IV was a promising actor who unfortunately died before reaching the peak of his art. He was able to play both tachiyaku or tateonnagata roles.

[1] The 28th day of the 8th lunar month of the 11th year of the Kansei era was the 27th of September 1799 in the western calendar.

[2] It was reported in Nojima Jusaburô's book "Kabuki Jinmei Jiten" that his first stage name was Ôtani Denzô II. This piece of data was not reported in the latest edition (2012) of "Kabuki Haiyû Meiseki Benran".

[3] Nakamura Denkurô IV's tombstone was located in the cemetery of the Reiganji temple in the district of Fukagawa.

The actors Matsumoto Yonesaburô I (left) and Nakamura Denkurô IV (right) in a print made by Utagawa Toyokuni I in 1798

Prints & Illustrations

The Nakamura Denkurô line of actors

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