NAKAMURA SHIKAN IV

Stage names:

Nakamura Shikan IV In Japanese
Nakamura Fukusuke I In Japanese
Nakamura Masanosuke I In Japanese
Nakamura Komasabur˘ In Japanese
Nakamura Tamatar˘ I In Japanese

Nickname: ďshikan [1]

Guild: Narikomaya

Line number: YODAIME (IV)

Poetry names: Shid˘, Shish˘, Jijaku, Kakusei

Existence: 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month of 1830 [2] ~ 16 January 1899

Connections:

Father: Nakamura Tomishir˘

Brother: Nakamura Fukusuke II

Adoptive father: Nakamura Utaemon IV

Adopted sons: Nakamura Utaemon V, Nakamura Fukusuke III

Disciples: Nakamura Kan'emon II, Nakamura Komagor˘, Nakamura Kansuke II

Career:

1830 ~ 1838: born in ďsaka. He was the son of Nakamura Tomishir˘, first a disciple of Nakamura Tomijűr˘ II then a theater t˘dori. He started his career at an early age, performing under the names of Nakamura Tamatar˘ I, Nakamura Komasabur˘ and Nakamura Masanosuke I.

1838: he was adopted by Nakamura Utaemon IV and they went together to Edo.

3rd lunar month of 1839: he took the name of Nakamura Fukusuke I at the Nakamuraza, performing in the hengemono "Hana Goyomi Iro no Showake".

4th lunar month of 1839: Fukusuke played at the Nakamuraza the role of Koben in the drama "Hime Komatsu Ne-no-Hi no Asobi".

1st lunar month of 1843: premiere at the Ichimuraza of the dance "Kashiragaki Ise Monogatari" (commonly called "Noriaibune"), which was staged within the new year drama "Kioi Uta Soga no Hanadashi"; Fukusuke was one of the seven dancers [more details].

7th lunar month of 1847: Fukusuke played at the Kawarasakiza the role of Ise no Sabur˘ in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

12th lunar month of 1849: Nakamura Utaemon IV and Fukusuke went back to ďsaka.

17th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1852 [3]: his adoptive father Nakamura Utaemon IV died; Fukusuke went back to Edo.

7th lunar month of 1852: Fukusuke played at the Ichimuraza the role of Kotar˘ Nobuyuki in the drama "Meiyo Ninseiroku". He also played the 5 roles of the hengemono "Aki mo Mada Mebae".

9th lunar month of 1852: the play "Sesshű Gapp˘-ga-Tsuji" was staged for the first time in Edo, at the Ichimuraza; Fukusuke played the role of Takayasu Shuntokumaru [casting].

5th lunar month of 1853: Fukusuke played at the Ichimuraza the roles of Sat˘ Tadanobu and the fox Genkur˘ in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

1856: tour in Ise.

9th lunar month of 1856: Fukusuke went back to Edo and achieved a great success at the Nakamuraza, playing the leading roles of the 6-roles hengemono entitled "Ise Meisho Wazato Iezuto".

5th lunar month of 1857: Fukusuke played at the Moritaza the role of Matahei in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘"; the role of otoku was played by Ichikawa Danz˘ VI.

1st lunar month of 1859: premiere at the Nakamuraza of the Nagauta-based sanbas˘mono "Kotobuki Shiki Sanba"; Fukusuke played the role of Sanbas˘ [casting].

5th lunar month of 1859: Fukusuke played at the Moritaza the role of Danshichi Kurobŕ in the drama "Z˘ho Natsu Matsuri Otoko Kagami"; his stage partners in the roles of Tokubŕ, Sabu and Otatsu were Ichikawa Kuz˘ III, Ichikawa Danz˘ VI and Arashi Hinasuke VI.

7th lunar month of 1860: Nakamura Fukusuke I took the name of Nakamura Shikan IV, in Edo at the Nakamuraza, where he played the roles of Shihei and Sh˘getsuni in the drama "Tenmangű Megumi no Kamimagaki" and Sanbas˘ in the dance "Na mo Kaete Shosa no Mitsugumi", and at the Moritaza, where he played the roles of Gotohei in the drama "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘".

2nd lunar month of 1861: premiere at the Ichimuraza of the dance "Chigiru Koi Haru no Awa Mochi"; Shikan played the role of an awa mochi maker [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1862: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Aoto Z˘shi Hana no Nishikie" (commonly called "Shiranami Gonin Otoko"); Shikan played the role of Nang˘ Rikimaru [casting].

4th lunar month of 1864: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Wakaba no Ume Ukina no Yokogushi" (commonly called "Kirare Otomi"); Shikan played the role of Genzaemon [casting]. He also played the role of Ishikawa Goemon in the drama "Sanmon Gosan no Kiri"; the role of Mashiba Hisayoshi was played by Sawamura Tossh˘ II.

3rd lunar month of 1870: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kusunoki-ryű Hanami no Makuhari" (commonly called "Keian Taiheiki" or "Marubashi Chűya"); Shikan played the roles of Uji J˘etsu, the ghost of Kusunoki Masashige and Masuda Hachiemon [more details].

11th lunar month of 1871: Shikan played the roles of Tokaiya Ginpei, Taira no Tomomori, Kajiwara Kagetoki and Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", which was coproduced by both the Nakamuraza and the Ichimuraza.

1st lunar month of 1872: premiere at the Nakamuraza of the drama "Ume Ky˘dai Naniwa Senki" (one act has survived and became the independent drama "Kimura Nagato-no-Kami"); Shikan played the roles of Sanada Yukimura, the farmer K˘saku and Tokugawa Ieyasu [casting].

January 1875: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "ďgi By˘shi ďoka Seidan" (commonly called "Ten'ichib˘"); Shikan played the role of Matsudaira Izu-no-Kami [casting].

June 1876: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Hototogisu Date no Kikigaki"; Shikan played the roles of Matsugae Tetsunosuke, Kido Kahei and ďe Hiromoto [casting].

March 1880: tour in Miyajima; Shikan played the role of Matahei in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘".

May 1881: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "ďsakazuki Shusen no Tsuwamono"; Shikan played the role of Lord Nait˘ Kii-no-Kami Nobumasa [casting].

June 1881: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's jidaimono "Youchi Soga Kariba no Akebono" [casting]; Shikan played the role of Wada no Yoshimori.

November 1885: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Mokuami's Nagauta-based matsubamemono "Funa Benkei"; Shikan played the role of the captain of the boat Mihodayű [casting].

February 1886: Shikan played at the Ichimuraza the role of Shunkan in the drama "Heike Nyogo no Shima"; his stage partners were Nakamura Fukusuke IV (Chidori), Kataoka Gad˘ III (Tanzaemon Motoyasu) and Seki Sanjűr˘ IV (Senoo Tar˘).

May 1886: Shikan played at the Ichimuraza the roles of Sat˘ Tadanobu and the fox Genkur˘ in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

October 1887: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Mokuami's matsubamemono "Momijigari"; Shikan played the role of the Mountain God [casting].

May 1888: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's drama "Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame"; Shikan played the role of Hy˘goya Seibŕ [casting].

September 1889: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Kumo no Ito Oyozume Banashi"; Shikan played several roles, including the Spirit of the Spider (kumo no sei) and Hirai Yasumasa [more details].

October 1895: Shikan played at the Asakusaza the role of Gotohei in the drama "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Ennosuke I (Izumi Sabur˘) and Nakamura Shikaku I (Yoshitsune).

February 1896: Shikan played at the Miyakoza the role of Ishikawa Goemon in the drama "Sanmon Gosan no Kiri"; the role of Mashiba Hisayoshi was played by Ichikawa Kuz˘ III.

October 1898: Shikan played at the Engiza the role of Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

16 January 1899: Shikan died in T˘ky˘.

Comments:

Nakamura Shikan IV was a great Meiji actor, who achieved fame for himself all over Japan (he toured a lot). He was equally at home in sewamono and jidaimono dramas, able to play almost any kind of role as tachiyaku, katakiyaku or even onnagata. He created many kata and some of them are still sometimes revived, like the ones for the role of Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane in the "Kumagai Jin'ya" scene of the classic "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki".

His rivalry with Band˘ Hikosabur˘ V was one of the hottest in Kabuki history: "So nearly matched in ability were Shikan and Hikosabur˘, with but two years' difference in their ages, that they were pitted against each other, and their patrons often indulged in fights over them. During a performance, when these actors were playing together, they came through the audience by way of the two hanamichi, the one to the right of the stage a mere footpath, that to the left a platform that was in reality a continuation of the stage proper. They quarrelled as to who should take the main hanamichi, and the dispute waxed so hot that they finally drew lots to settle the matter." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

[1] The Grand Shikan.

[2] The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month of the 13th year of the Bunsei era was the 26th of March 1830 in the western calendar. On some websites (wikipedia for example), the birthday of Nakamura Shikan IV was the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month of the 2nd year of the Tenp˘ era was the 15th of April 1831 in the western calendar.

[3] The 17th day of the 2nd lunar month of the 5th year of the Kaei era was the 7th of March 1852 in the western calendar.

Nakamura Shikan IV as Kumagai Naozane
Artist: Toyohara Kunichika
Date: 1869
The Art Institute of Chicago (print in the public domain)

Prints & Illustrations

The Nakamura Tamatar˘ line of actors

The Nakamura Masanosuke line of actors

The Nakamura Fukusuke line of actors

The Nakamura Shikan line of actors

 
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