|ICHIKAWA SADANJI II|
Real name: Takahashi Eijir˘
Nickname: Dait˘ry˘ (president)
Line number: NIDAIME (II)
Poetry names: Ky˘ka, Ensh˘, Sh˘en
Existence: 19 October 1880 ~ 23 February 1940
Father: Ichikawa Sadanji I
Adopted son: Ichikawa Sh˘en
April 1884: first stage appearance; he received the name of Ichikawa Botan.
July 1890: premiere at the Shintomiza of "Kiyomasa Seichűroku", a revised version of Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1875 drama "Minori no Aki Seish˘ Denki". It was part of a special 2-day gala program starring Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX; Botan played the role of Toyotomi Hideyori [more details].
July 1896: Ichikawa Botan took the name of Ichikawa Koyone I.
September 1900: Ichikawa Koyone I took the name of Ichikawa Ensh˘ II.
7 August 1904: his father Ichikawa Sadanji I died.
September 1906: Ichikawa Ensh˘ II took the name of Ichikawa Sadanji II. He inherited from his father the management of the Meijiza ... and its heavy debt. He could not manage it well and quickly got rid of it to join the Sh˘chiku Company.
December 1906 ~ August 1907: Sadanji traveled in Europe to study theatre and dance abroad. He met in Paris the famous actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Gabrielle RÚjane and became student in London at the Theatre school run by Herbert Beerbohm Tree (his elocution teacher told him that he had absolutely no chance to become an actor!). He went back to Japan through the USA.
November 1909: foundation with Osanai Kaoru of the Jiyű Gekij˘ study group (the "Free Theatre"). The first program, the premiere in Japan of Henrick Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman", was staged at the Yűrakuza.
February 1925: Katsu Hy˘z˘ I's drama "Kachi Zum˘ Ukina no Hanabure", commonly called "Shirafuji Genta", was revived at the Hong˘za, under the supervision of the writer Nagai Kafű; Sadanji played the role of Gonsuke [casting].
January 1935: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Uno Nobuo's drama "Fubuki T˘ge"; Sadanji played the role of Naokichi [casting]. Sadanji also produced "Edo-j˘ no Ninj˘" and "Daini no Shisha", the first and second plays of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura" at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘. He played the role of Asano Naganori in the former drama and the role of ďishi Kuranosuke in the latter drama [more details].
1936: Sadanji planned to revive the Jiyű Gekij˘ but it did not materialize it.
April 1938: Sadanji produced at the Meijiza "Kira Yashiki Uramon" and the first act of "Sengoku Yashiki" [casting], the seventh and ninth plays of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Sadanji played the role of Yoshida Chűzaemon in "Sengoku Yashiki".
November 1938: premiere at the Kabukiza of "Nanbuzaka no Yuki Wakare", the sixth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Sadanji played the role of ďishi Kuranosuke [casting]. He also played the role of Togashi in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘"; the roles of Benkei and Yoshitsune were played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII and Ichimura Uzaemon XV.
February 1939: Sadanji produced at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ the second act of "Sengoku Yashiki", the ninth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; he played the role of ďishi Kuranosuke [casting].
23 February 1940: Sadanji died.
Ichikawa Sadanji II was one of the most popular actors in Japan in the first half of the twentieth century. He was an open-minded reformist, working hard to promote new plays, and an adept of revivals of long-forgotten classical dramas. His close collaborations with Okamoto Kid˘, Osanai Kaoru and Mayama Seika were very fruitful and many Shinkabuki dramas, which they created together, were still in the current Kabuki repertoire. Ichikawa Sadanji II gathered them in a special collection of ten plays called Ky˘ka Gikyoku Jűshu, which included "Toribeyama Shinjű", "Banch˘ Sarayashiki" and "Shuzenji Monogatari".
Ichikawa Sadanji II playing the role of the wicked priest Narukami of the eponymous drama "Narukami" (print made by Natori Shunsen)
The Ichikawa Koyone line of actors
The Ichikawa Sadanji line of actors
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