ICHIKAWA CH█SHA VII

Stage names:

Ichikawa Chűsha VII In Japanese
Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII In Japanese
Nakayama Tsurugor˘ In Japanese
Onoe Tsunejir˘ [1] In Japanese

Real name: Hashio Kamejir˘

Guild: Tachibanaya

Line number: SHICHIDAIME (VII)

Poetry name: Chűsha (7)

Existence: 27th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1860 [2] ~ 12 July 1936

Connections:

Masters: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, Nakayama Kiraku III, Onoe Tamiz˘ II

Adopted son: Ichikawa Chűsha VIII

Disciple: Ichikawa Nakajir˘

Career:

27th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1860 [2]: born in Ky˘to in the district of Daikoku-ch˘. His father Hashio Kyűhŕ, who was a pawnbroker, gave him the name of Kamejir˘. He quickly became a disciple of the actor Onoe Tamiz˘ II, who gave him the name of Onoe Tsunejir˘ [1].

Spring 1864: he made his first stage appearance, within the precinct of the Fushimi Inari shrine in Ky˘to, performing in the play "Suzuki Mondo".

1864 ~ 1875: Tsunejir˘ joined a travelling troupe and performed up to Ise. He met in Nagoya the actor Nakayama Kiraku III, became his disciple and received the name of Nakayama Tsurugor˘ around 1871. He became quickly the zagashira of a children-actors troupe.

Spring 1875: Tsurugor˘ settled in T˘ky˘.

July 1879: Tsurugor˘ became disciple of the star Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and took the name of Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII at the Saruwakaza, performing in the play "Chűk˘ Somewake Tazuna".

November 1879: Yaoz˘ moved back to Kamigata; he played at the Kadoza the roles of Rokur˘ and Kat˘ Kiyomasa in the plays "Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki" and "Ch˘sen K˘fuku Ja no Me Natsu".

Beginning of 1880: Yaoz˘ moved back to T˘ky˘.

23 May 1880: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Arimatsuzome Sum˘ Yukata"; Yaoz˘ played the roles of Onogawa's disciple Hachijin Ch˘hachi and Chűz˘ [more details].

May 1881: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "ďsakazuki Shusen no Tsuwamono"; Yaoz˘ played the role of Hiraoka Jiemon [casting].

January 1890: Yaoz˘ played at the Harukiza the role of Miuranosuke in the drama "Kamakura Sandaiki"; his stage partners in the roles of Princess Toki and Sasaki Takatsuna were Nakamura Fukuen and Ichikawa Ennosuke I.

March 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "Buyű no Homare Shusse Kagekiyo", a revised revival of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's jidaimono "Shusse Kagekiyo"; Yaoz˘ played the roles of Minamoto no Yoritomo and the carpenter Edo Shigenari [casting].

September 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "Z˘ho Onna Narukami"; Yaoz˘ played the role of Sakuma Genba [more details]. He also achieved a great success by playing the roles of Takebe Genz˘ and Fujiwara no Shihei in the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".

December 1891: Yaoz˘ took part in the shűmei of Nakamura Tomijűr˘ III at the Harukiza; he performed in the plays "Fushimi no Tokiwa", "Chűshingura Meimeiden" and "Toshi no Ichi Kuruwa no Uchiiri".

January 1892: premiere at the Kabukiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's drama "Shiobara Tasuke Ichidaiki"; Yaoz˘ played the roles of the r˘nin Shiobara Kakuemon and Hara Tanji [casting].

July 1892: premiere at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kaidan Botan D˘r˘", adapted for Kabuki from a famous Rakugo story created by San'yűtei Ench˘; Yaoz˘ played the role of Miyanobe Genjir˘ [casting].

October 1894: Yaoz˘ played at the Harukiza the role of Abe no Munet˘ in the play "Sodehagi Saimon"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Kuz˘ III (Sadat˘), Nakamura Tomijűr˘ III (Sodehagi) and Ichikawa Kien (Yoshiie).

April 1897: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi Ochi's drama "Otokodate Harusame Gasa"; Yaoz˘ played the role of Karigane Sh˘bŕ [more details].

January 1900: premiere at the Kabukiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's dance-drama "Yami no Ume Hyaku Monogatari"; Yaoz˘ played the role of Miyamoto Musashi [more details].

October 1900: Yaoz˘ played at the Masagoza the role of the smuggler Kezori in the drama "Koi Minato Hakata no Hitofushi".

March 1901: Yaoz˘ played at the Masagoza the role of Takechi Mitsuhide in the drama "Ehon Taik˘ki".

February 1903: Yaoz˘ played at the T˘ky˘za the role of Iwafuji in the drama "Kagamiyama Koky˘ no Nishikie"; the roles of Onoe and Ohatsu were performed by Onoe Eizabur˘ V and Ichimura Kakitsu VI.

March 1903: premiere at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kichirei Soga no Ishizue", which was produced to celebrate the shűmei of Onoe Kikugor˘ VI, Onoe Baik˘ VI and Onoe Eizabur˘ VI; Yaoz˘ played the role of Oni˘ Shinzaemon [casting].

April 1904: premiere at the Kabukiza of Mori ďgai's drama "Nichiren Sh˘nin Tsujisepp˘", in which Yaoz˘ played the role of the priest Nichiren.

June 1904: premiere at the Kabukiza of the drama "Meiboku Kasane Monogatari"; Yaoz˘ played the role of Yoemon [casting].

January 1906: Yaoz˘ played at the Kabukiza the roles of the villains Lady Yashio and Nikki Danj˘ in the classic "Meiboku Sendai hagi"; the role of Masaoka was played by Onoe Baik˘ VI.

November 1908: revival at the Kabukiza of the Kabuki Jűhachiban drama "Kagekiyo"; Yaoz˘ played the role of Iwanaga Saemon Munetsura [casting].

May 1909: Yaoz˘ played at the Suehiroza (Nagoya) the role of Yosabur˘ in the drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi"; the roles of Otomi and K˘mori Yasu were played by Nakamura Shikan V and Ichikawa Danz˘ VII.

May 1913: Yaoz˘ played at the Minamiza (Ky˘to) the roles of Adachi Motoemon and Ky˘ya Mansuke in the drama "Tengajaya-mura"; his stage partners were Nakamura Fukusuke IV (Hayase Iori), Nakamura Shibajaku IV (Hayase Genjir˘) and Nakamura Ganjir˘ I (T˘ma Sabur˘emon).

January 1915: Yaoz˘ played at the Hong˘za the role of the warrior Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane in the "Kumagai Jin'ya" scene of the classic "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki".

December 1915: Yaoz˘ played at the Kabukiza the role of Iwafuji in the drama "Kagamiyama Koky˘ no Nishikie"; the roles of Onoe and Ohatsu were performed by Nakamura Utaemon V and Ichimura Uzaemon XV.

October 1918: great shűmei at the Kabukiza; Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII took the name of Ichikawa Chűsha VII by playing the role of Takechi Mitsuhide in the drama "Toki-ha Ima Kiky˘ no Hataage". His adopted son Ichikawa Matsuo I took the name of Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VIII. Chűsha was one of the haimy˘ used by the Ichikawa Yaoz˘ line of actors and Ichikawa Chűsha VII was the first actor to use it as a stage name.

May 1919: Chűsha played at the Kabukiza the role of Takechi Mitsuhide in the drama "Ehon Taik˘ki".

February 1922: Chűsha played at the Shintomiza the role of Iwafuji in the drama "Kagamiyama Koky˘ no Nishikie"; the roles of Onoe and Ohatsu were performed by Nakamura Utaemon V and Onoe Baik˘ VI.

November 1923: Chűsha played at the Minamiza in Azabu (T˘ky˘) the role of Matsu˘maru in the "Terakoya" scene of the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"; the roles of Matsu˘maru's wife Chiyo and Takebe Genz˘ were played by Band˘ Shűch˘ III and Kataoka Ichiz˘ IV. This was the first kabuki performance to be staged in T˘ky˘ after the terrible earthquake that hit the city the 1st of September 1923.

January 1924: Chűsha played at the Sh˘chiku Gekij˘ (K˘be) the role of the warrior Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane in the "Kumagai Jin'ya" scene of the classic "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki".

January 1926: Chűsha played at the Hong˘za the role of the king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon in the drama "Sanmon"; the role of Mashiba Hisayoshi was played by Nakamura Kichiemon I.

May 1926: Chűsha played at the Asakusa Sh˘chikuza the role of Abe no Sadat˘ in the drama "ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara"; his stage partners were Band˘ Shűch˘ III (Sodehagi), Band˘ Mitsugor˘ VII (Munet˘) and Ichimura Kamez˘ III (Yoshiie).

January 1927: Chűsha played at the Kabukiza the role of the king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon in the drama "Sanmon"; the role of Mashiba Hisayoshi was played by Ichimura Uzaemon XV.

February 1927: Chűsha played at the Nakaza (ďsaka) the role of the warrior Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane in the "Kumiuchi" scene of the classic "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki"; the role of Kojir˘/Atsumori was played by Nakamura Ganjir˘ I.

July 1927: Chűsha plays for the last time the role of Takechi Mitsuhide in the play "Ehon Taik˘ki", which was staged at the Kabukiza.

December 1928: Chűsha played at the Minamiza (Ky˘to) the role of Nikki Danj˘ in the "Yuka Shita" scene of the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi". The role of Arajishi Otokonosuke was played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII.

March 1929: Chűsha played at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ the role of Togashi in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘"; his stage partners were Onoe Kikugor˘ VI (Benkei) and Ichikawa Sansh˘ V (Yoshitsune).

May 1930: Chűsha played at the Kabukiza in T˘ky˘ the role of Kakuju in the "D˘my˘ji" scene of the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"; the roles of Kan Sh˘j˘, Sukune Tar˘ and Tatsuta no Mae were played by Nakamura Ganjir˘ I, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII and Band˘ Shűch˘ III.

June 1930: Chűsha played at the Nakaza (ďsaka) the role of Nikki Danj˘ in the classic "Meiboku Sendai Hagi"; the roles of Arajishi Otokonosuke and Hosokawa Katsumoto were played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII and Nakamura Ganjir˘ I.

December 1931: Chűsha collapsed on the Kabukiza stage. He was very ill and had to rest for a few years.

October 1935: Chűsha appeared on stage for the last time, at the Kabukiza, playing the roles of Nichiren and Kiichi H˘gen in the dramas "Nichiren J˘nin Tatsu no Kuchi H˘nan" and the "Kikubatake" scene of the drama "Kiichi H˘gen Sanryaku no Maki".

Comments:

Ichikawa Chűsha VII was a very talented tachiyaku, rigorously trained by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, whose fields of excellence were the roles of jitsugoto and bud˘goto.

Ichikawa Chűsha VII's best roles: Takechi Mitsuhide ("Ehon Taik˘ki" and "Toki-ha Ima Kiky˘ no Hataage"), Matsu˘maru ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami") and Nikki Danj˘ ("Meiboku Sendai Hagi"). The kata which he created for the role of Mitsuhide were still used nowadays.

"Follower of Danjűr˘, the ninth, Ichikawa Chűsha is an actor who enjoys much popularity. His restrained manner and well-modulated voice, and cleverness in the realm of the unreal have marked him as a true disciple of the Ichikawa family. He manages to make his villains more thoroughly wicked than those of any other player." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

[1] His first stage name was Onoe T˘jir˘ in the latest edition (2012) of "Kabuki Haiyű Meiseki Benran". In all others sources, including Nojima Jusabur˘'s book "Kabuki Jinmei Jiten" or the Ritsumeikan University Actors Database, it was indeed Onoe Tsunejir˘.

[2] The 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month of the 7th year of the Ansei era was the 19th of March 1860 in the western calendar.

Ichikawa Chűsha VII playing the role of Takechi Mitsuhide in the drama "Ehon Taik˘ki" (print made by Natori Shunsen in 1926)

Print made by K˘ch˘r˘ H˘sai in 1892

The Ichikawa Yaoz˘ line of actors

The Ichikawa Chűsha line of actors

 
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