MATSUSHIMA MOHEIJI

Stage name:

Matsushima Moheiji In Japanese

Poetry name: Kitei

Existence: 1700 ~ 6th day of the 10th lunar month of 1765 [1]

Connection:

Master: Matsushima Hanshichi II

Son: Matsushima Yaoz˘ (Ichikawa Yaoz˘ I)

Disciple: Matsushima Sakuya IV (?)

Career:

3rd lunar month of 1708: he started his career in Ky˘to. Disciple of Matsushima Hanshichi II, his stage name was Matsushima Moheiji. He played the role of the farmer Sh˘zabur˘ in the drama "Sh˘b˘ Daishi Happyakunenki".

1st lunar month of 1710: Moheiji became d˘kegata and played the role of the tedai Risuke in the new year ni-no-kawari drama "Keisei Shijűhachi Taka".

3rd lunar month of 1710: Moheiji's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was naka (middle).

11th lunar month of 1714: Moheiji played the role of Arii Shinroku in the kaomise drama "Azuma-zukuri ďdaidokoro", which was produced at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater by Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1723: Moheiji's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

Fall 1723: Moheiji went to ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1723: Moheiji played at the ďnishi no Shibai the role of Kisaku in the kaomise drama "Fukujukai Kogane no Minato", which was produced by Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1724: Moheiji's rank in the ďsaka hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

11th lunar month of 1724: Moheiji played at the ďnishi no Shibai the role of Yashiro T˘z˘ in the kaomise drama "Senbon Matsu Hi-no-De no Maizuru".

11th lunar month of 1725: Moheiji played at the ďnishi no Shibai the role of the ah˘ Matasaku in kaomise drama "Gokoku J˘ju Naniwa no Yakata".

11th lunar month of 1726: Moheiji played at the Naka no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Hakoiri Daikoku Gane", which was produced by Kaneko Kichizaemon.

11th lunar month of 1727: Moheiji played at the Kado no Shibai the role of Mabuchi Kinz˘ in the kaomise drama "Onna Kabuki Chiyo no Hajime".

Fall 1728: Moheiji went to Ky˘to.

11th lunar month of 1728: Moheiji played at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater (Ky˘to) the role of Yamagata Oribe in the kaomise drama "Tokiwagura Kogane no Ishizue", which was produced by Tamiya Hannosuke.

1st lunar month of 1729: Moheiji's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

11th lunar month of 1729: Moheiji performed in Ky˘to at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater in the kaomise drama "Fukuju Yakata Wag˘ no Futabashira", which was produced by Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1730: Moheiji performed in Ky˘to at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater in the kaomise drama "Eiraku Shiki no Kogane", which was produced by Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1731: Moheiji played in the same theater the role of the ah˘ Mosuke (Gengo's servant) in the new year ni-no-kawari drama "Keisei Mikasayama".

1731~1732: tour in Nagoya; Moheiji performed as a d˘kegata at the Nishi no Koji Shibai.

11th lunar month of 1732: Moheiji performed in Ky˘to at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater in the kaomise drama "Hayazaki Kogane no Hanabusa"; his stage partners were Ichiyama Sukegor˘ I, Arashi Kanshir˘ I, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I, Tomizawa Montar˘ I, Somenoi Hanshir˘, Kirinami Takie, Fujioka Daikichi, Shinozuka Kazaemon and Arashi Koroku I.

1st lunar month of 1733: Moheiji's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was goku-j˘-j˘-kichi [2] (extreme - superior - superior - excellent).

11th lunar month of 1733: Moheiji played at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater (Ky˘to) the role of the kannushi Fukudayű in the kaomise drama "Ch˘seiden Kogane no Shikigawara", which was produced by Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ I.

Fall 1734: Moheiji went to ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1734: Moheiji played at the Kado no Shibai the role of Sakuma Yogoz˘ in the kaomise drama "Shin Yakata In'y˘ no Ishizue", which was produced by Nakayama Shinkur˘ I; his stage partners were Sawamura Otoemon I, Izumikawa Sennosuke, Tamiya Shirogor˘, Yamashita Matatar˘ I and Kamakura Heikur˘ I.

Fall 1735: Moheiji went back to Ky˘to.

11th month of 1735: Moheiji performed in Ky˘to in the kaomise drama "Bankoku ďshimadai", which was produced by Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1736: Moheiji's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

Fall 1736: Moheiji went to ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1736: Moheiji performed at the Kado no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Yamato Fumi Mannen no Ayatsuri", which was produced by Iwai Hanshir˘ III.

1st lunar month of 1737: Moheiji's rank in the ďsaka hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

11th lunar month of 1737: Moheiji performed at the ďnishi no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Uta Kurabe Kachidoki no Ume", which was produced by Yoshizawa Ayame II.

11th lunar month of 1738: Moheiji played in ďsaka at the ďnishi no Shibai the role of Yamashiro no Gengor˘ in the kaomise drama "Kusunoki Yakata Sennen Gitsune", which was produced by Yoshizawa Ayame II.

Fall 1740: Moheiji and Ichiyama Dengor˘ went to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1740: Moheiji played at the Ichimuraza the role of Minamoto no Yorikane in the kaomise drama "Kichirei Imagawaj˘".

3rd lunar month of 1741: Moheiji's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

11th lunar month of 1741: Moheiji played at the Ichimuraza the role of Ochikochi Satoemon in the kaomise drama "Sugatae Onna Narihira", which celebrated the return in Edo of ďtani Hiroji I and Segawa Kikunoj˘ I; his others stage partners were Band˘ Hikosabur˘ I, Segawa Kikujir˘ I, Band˘ Matatar˘ III, Ichimura Uzaemon VIII, Nakajima Mihoemon I, Miyazaki Jűshir˘ II, Ichiyama Dengor˘, Tamazawa Saijir˘ I and Ichimura Manz˘.

Fall 1742: his son Matsushima Kichisabur˘ went to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1742: Moheiji performed, along with his son, at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Keisei Akazawayama".

11th lunar month of 1743: Moheiji performed at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Funayosooi Mitsugi Taiheiki", which celebrated the shűmei of ďtani Oniji I.

3rd lunar month of 1744: Moheiji's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent). He shared the same rank with Arashi Otohachi I. There were 2 j˘-j˘-kichi d˘kegata in Edo in 1744.

11th lunar month of 1744: Moheiji performed at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Kach˘ Taiheiki".

11th lunar month of 1745: Moheiji performed at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Suehiro Izu Nikki", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata actor Fujikawa Heikur˘ and the shűmei of ďtani Hiroemon II and Nakamura Denkur˘ II.

11th lunar month of 1750: Moheiji performed at the Moritaza in the kaomise drama "Hatsuyuki Reijin no Sode".

3rd lunar month of 1751: Moheiji's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, d˘kegata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent). He shared the same rank with Arashi Otohachi I and Tsuruya Nanboku II. There were 3 j˘-j˘-kichi d˘kegata in Edo in 1751 [3].

11th lunar month of 1751: Moheiji played at the Nakamuraza the role of Mojiemon in the kaomise drama "Honry˘ Hachinoki-zome".

11th lunar month of 1753: Moheiji performed at the Moritaza in the kaomise drama "Masakado Koky˘ no Nishiki", which celebrated the shűmei of his master Suketakaya Takasuke I and Ichikawa S˘zabur˘ II.

11th lunar month of 1754: Moheiji played at the Nakamuraza the role of the priest Mongaku in the kaomise drama "Miura no ďsuke Bumon no Kotobuki", which celebrated the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ III and Tsuuchi Monzabur˘ II.

1st lunar month of 1755: Moheiji played in the same theater the role of ďisoya Hyakubei in the new year sogamono "Waka Midori Nishiki Soga".

11th lunar month of 1757: Moheiji appears on stage for the last time, in Edo at the Moritaza, where he played the role of ďtomo Jir˘ in the kaomise drama "Ikioi Wada Gassen". Afterwards, he retired from the Kabuki world.

6th day of the 10th lunar month of 1765 [1]: Moheiji died in Edo; his tombstone was located in the cemetery of the H˘j˘in Temple in Fukagawa.

Comments:

Matsushima Moheiji was an important d˘kegata actor, who achieved fame for himself in the 3 main Kabuki cities in Japan : he was j˘-j˘-kichi for 36 years from 1723 to 1758 in Ky˘to, ďsaka and Edo (and also in Nagoya in 1732). This was indeed an amazing achievement as humour was different depending on the city. Most of successful d˘kegata in city A usually failed in achieving any fame in city B or C [4]. Matsushima Moheiji was the first d˘kegata to be highly successful in the 3 cities in any of the major theaters.

[1] The 6th day of the 10th lunar month of the 2nd year of the Meiwa era was the 18th of November 1765 in the western calendar.

[2] The ideogram for goku (the one in the red box below) was not written with the same weight and in the same aligment as j˘-j˘-kichi. Nevertheless, it was the first time in Kabuki history that a d˘kegata actor received a goku to his j˘-j˘-kichi:

[3] A very rare event in Kabuki history!

[4] Just replace A, B and C with any city from the group {Ky˘to;ďsaka;Edo} in the order you like.

Asao Motogor˘ I (left), Matsushima Moheiji (top/center) and Kamakura Heikur˘ I (right) playing the roles of the keisei Takao, Sakuma Yogoz˘ and Iwabuchi J˘shin in the kaomise drama "Shin Yakata In'y˘ no Ishizue", which was staged in the 11th lunar month of 1734 at the Kado no Shibai

 
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