Stage name:

Sadoshima Denpachi In Japanese

Existence: ??? ~ 12th day of the 12th lunar month of 1712 [1]


Father: Sadoshima Denbŕ

Son: Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘ I

Disciples: Sadoshima Sabur˘zaemon, Mishima Sadohachi


1681: Denpachi performed as a d˘kegata in ďsaka. He was the son of of Sadoshima Denbŕ, who headed one of the Onna Kabuki ('Woman Kabuki') troupe in Ky˘to

11th lunar month of 1686: Denpachi performed as a d˘kegata in ďsaka in the troupe led by the zamoto Araki Yojibŕ I performing in the theater managed by ďsaka Tazaemon; his stage partners were Yamashita Hanzaemon I, Iwai Hanshir˘ I, Yamamura Kanzabur˘, Sakurayama Rinnosuke I, Sodeoka Masanosuke II, Sakata T˘kur˘, Takenaka Hanzabur˘, Matsushima Han'ya II, Takigawa Kiyosabur˘, Yoshikawa Genzabur˘, Mihara Jűdayű I, Wakabayashi Shiroemon, Kozakura Kodayű and Sadoshima Denpachi.

1st lunar month of 1700: Denpachi performed in ďsaka in the new year drama "Nanto Jűsangane", which was produced in ďsaka by Iwai Hanshir˘ II.

1700 ~ 1712: Denpachi stopped acting in Kabuki and became a dance master, the head of the Sadoshima school of dancing. His most talented pupil was his son Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘ I.

12th day of the 12th lunar month of 1712 [1]: Denpachi died.


Sadoshima Denpachi was a Kamigata d˘kegata actor and "and a dancer of great skill who was prominent just before Genroku" (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan"), who taught his son Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘ I the famous "Goban" [more details] and "Ch˘gor˘'s Seven Changes" dances.

"One thing my father Denpachi used continually to say to me when I was young was that actors were not people who "gave eyes to money", but the most vital thing in their whole life was to make their name more widely known. He would emphasize this to me most strongly, over and over again, till my ears were almost deafened." (from Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘ I's "Sadoshima's Diary", translated by Charles J. Dunn and Torigoe Bunz˘ in "The Actors' Analects")

"At the end of his diary, the Kabuki actor Sadoshima Denpachi, who died in 1712, writes that "one dances with the eyes", implying that the dance one is performing can be equated with the body and the eyes with the soul. He adds that a dance in which the eyes do not take part is a dead dance, while a living dance is one in which eye and body movements work together." (Eugenio Barba and Nicola Savarese in "A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer")

[1] The 12th day of the 12th lunar month of the 2nd year of the Sh˘toku era was the 8th of January 1713 in the western calendar.

Sadoshima Denpachi

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