ICHIKAWA EN'ď I

Stage names:

Ichikawa En'˘ I In Japanese
Ichikawa Ennosuke II In Japanese
Ichikawa Danko I In Japanese

Real name: Kinoshi Masayasu

Guild: Omodakaya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: 21 May 1888 ~ 12 June 1963

Connection:

Father: Ichikawa Danshir˘ II

Brothers: Ichikawa Juen I, Ichikawa Chűsha VIII, Ichikawa Kodayű II

Son: Ichikawa Danshir˘ III

Grandsons: Ichikawa En'˘ II (Ichikawa Ennosuke III), Ichikawa Danshir˘ IV

Great-grandsons: Ichikawa Ennosuke IV, Ichikawa Chűsha IX

Disciples: Ichikawa Dan'en II, Ichikawa Juen II, Ichikawa Enzabur˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ II, Ichikawa Kotonosuke, Ichikawa En'ya I

Career:

May 1888: born in T˘ky˘ in the district of Senzoku in Asakusa.

October 1892: first stage appearance, at the Kabukiza, where he received the name of Ichikawa Danko I and performed as a koyaku in the drama "Seki-ga-Hara Homare no Gaika".

1909: Danko joined the Jiyű Gekij˘ troupe ("Free Theatre" in English) led by Ichikawa Sadanji II.

October 1910: Ichikawa Danko I and his father Ichikawa Ennosuke I respectively took the names of Ichikawa Ennosuke II and Ichikawa Danshir˘ II at the Kabukiza. The two actors performed together in the drama "Kiri Hitoha" and the long-forgotten bombastic drama "Kamahige" [1].

October 1913: revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Z˘hiki" [1]; Ennosuke played the role of Ikitsu Gazenb˘ [more details].

October 1914: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Soga Monogatari"; Ennosuke played the role of Soga Gor˘ [casting].

1919: Ennosuke traveled to Europe and to the USA to study theatre and dance abroad. This eye-opening trip led him to become involved in the creation of new productions.

September 1919: premiere at the Kabukiza of the Kiyomoto-based dance "Sumidagawa" (a adapted for Kabuki by Yamazaki Shik˘ with a musical accompaniment made by Kiyomoto Umekichi II), inspired by Russian ballets; Ennosuke played the role of the wandering woman Hanjo-no-Mae, desesparately looking for her abducted son Umewakamaru along the Sumida River [casting].

1920: creation of the first Shunjűza, a study group, whose main advisors were the playwright Osanai Kaoru and the actor Ichikawa Sadanji II. The first program of the Shunjűza was staged in October at the Shintomiza and was made up of Tanizaki Jun'ichir˘'s "H˘seiji Monogatari", Kikuchi Kan's "Chichi Kaeri" and Okamoto Kid˘'s "Nadate Kuzure". The star of this program was Ennosuke, supported by Band˘ Jusabur˘ III, Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI, Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VIII, Ichikawa K˘jaku IV and Ichikawa Sash˘ II.

November 1920: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Ogurusu no Ch˘bŕ"; Ennosuke played the role of Ch˘bŕ [casting].

6 February 1922: his father Ichikawa Danshir˘ II died.

June 1924: premiere at the Ichimuraza of the Nagauta-based ky˘gen "Akutar˘", which was adapted for Kabuki by Okamura Shik˘, with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Kineya Sakichi IV. The leading role of Akutar˘ was played by Ennosuke [more details].

July 1926: premiere at the Kabukiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Gonza to Sukejű"; Ennosuke played the role of Sukehachi [casting].

May 1927: premiere at the Hong˘za of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Shinjuku Yawa"; Ennosuke plays the role of Sait˘ Daihachi [more details].

November 1927: premiere at the Hong˘za of Kimura Tomiko's dance-drama "K˘ya Monogurui" (a drama adapted for Kabuki), which mixed Nagauta and Gidayű musical accompaniments; Ennosuke played the role of Takashi Shir˘ [casting].

September 1928: premiere at the Kabukiza of Kimura Tomiko's Tokiwazu-based dance "Koma", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Tokiwazu Mojibŕ III. The leading role was played by Ennosuke.

February 1929: premiere at the Meijiza of Kimura Tomiko's Nagauta-based dance "Nomitori Otoko", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Kineya Sakichi IV. The leading role was played by Ennosuke.

September 1930: revival at the Meijiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘", produced under the title "T˘ryű Azuma Bunsh˘"; Ennosuke played the roles of Tsurigane no Gonsuke and Shinobu no S˘ta [casting].

January 1931 ~ April 1932: second period of existence for the Shunjűza troupe, led by Ennosuke.

April 1934: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Kimura Tomiko's Tokiwazu-based dance "Hanami Yakko", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Tokiwazu Mojibŕ III; the leading role of the yakko was played by Ennosuke.

January 1935: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Uno Nobuo's drama "Fubuki T˘ge"; Ennosuke played the role of Sukez˘ [casting]. Premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Edo-j˘ no Ninj˘" and "Daini no Shisha", the first and second plays of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Ennosuke played the role of Okado Denpachir˘ in the former drama and the role of Onodera Jűnai in the latter drama [more details].

April 1935: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Saigo no Daihy˘j˘", the third play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Ennosuke played the roles of Izeki Tokubŕ and Toda Gonzaemon [casting].

17 November 1935: his brother Ichikawa Juen I died.

April 1936: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Ninin Sanbas˘", a 2-dancer version of the Sanbas˘ dance, starring Ennosuke and his son Ichikawa Danshir˘ III.

April 1938: premiere at the Meijiza of "Kira Yashiki Uramon" and the first act of "Sengoku Yashiki" [casting], the seventh and ninth plays of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Ennosuke played the role of Tominomori Sukeemon in "Sengoku Yashiki".

September 1939: premiere at the Meijiza of Kimura Tomiko's dance "Kokaji" (a drama adapted for Kabuki), which mixed Nagauta and Gidayű musical accompaniments; the leading role of the God Inari was played by Ennosuke.

November 1939: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Kimura Tomiko's dance-drama "Kurozuka"; Ennosuke played the role of the old woman Iwate, in reality an ogress [casting].

January 1940: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘", the fifth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Ennosuke played the role of Tominomori Sukeemon [casting].

April 1941: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Kimura Tomiko's Gidayű-based dance "Yoi Yakko"; the leading role of the yakko Bekunai was played by Ennosuke.

November 1941: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Sengakuji", the eighth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; the leading role of ďishi Kuranosuke was played by Ennosuke.

January 1944: the Ennosuke - Nakamura Tokiz˘ III performed for the first time, at the Meijiza, the roles of Matahei and Otoku in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘".

May 1949: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of the dance-drama "Higaki"; Ennosuke played the role of the old woman Higaki (in reality the ghost of Higaki) [casting].

July 1951: premiere at the Kabukiza of Uno Nobuo's drama "Jiisan Baasan"; Ennosuke played the role of Minobe Iori [casting].

July 1954: Ennosuke played the role of Mitsukuni at the Meijiza in the dance-drama "Masakado"; the role of Princess Takiyasha was played by Nakamura Tokiz˘ III.

October 1955: first Kabuki tour in the Popular Republic of China, in Beijing (2~13 October), Shanghai (17~18 October) and Guangzhou (24~25 October); Ennosuke played the roles of Benkei and Matahei in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘" and Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Keisei Hangonk˘" [casting]. Ennosuke had the opportunity to meet the stars of the Chinese Traditional Opera like the famous Mei Lan-Fang.

February 1956: the Ennosuke - Tokiz˘ duo played for the fourth and last time the roles of Matahei and Otoku in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘", which was staged at the Kabukiza.

April 1960: premiere at the Kabukiza of Hagiwara Yukio's dance-drama "Onizoroi Momijigari"; Ennosuke played the role of Taira no Koremochi [casting].

May 1963: great shűmei at the Kabukiza for the Omodakaya guild; Ichikawa Ennosuke II, Ichikawa Danko III and Ichikawa Kamejir˘ I respectively took the names of Ichikawa En'˘ I, Ichikawa Ennosuke III and Ichikawa Danko IV [2].

12 June 1963: En'˘ died.

Comments:

Ichikawa En'˘ I was a revolutionary and dynamic actor, who created many new dances. Ichikawa En'˘ I's best dance-dramas were gathered in 1964 by his grandson Ichikawa Ennosuke III in a special collection named En'˘ Jűshu: "Akutar˘", "Kurozuka", "K˘ya Monogurui", "Kokaji", "Koma", "Ninin Sanbas˘", "Nomitori Otoko", "Hanami Yakko", "Yoi Yakko" and "Yoshinoyama".

[1] A drama belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban.

[2]The supporting actors Ichikawa Shun'en I and Ichikawa Masutar˘ also took the names of Ichikawa Matsuo III and Ichikawa Dan'en II.

Ichikawa En'˘ I playing the role of the ogress in the dance-drama "Kurozuka" (oil painting made by Hasegawa Noboru in 1958)

Prints & Illustrations

The Ichikawa Danko line of actors

The Ichikawa Ennosuke line of actors

The Ichikawa En'˘ line of actors

 
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