NAKAMURA GENTARď

Stage names:

Nakamura Gentar˘ In Japanese
Iwai Gentar˘ In Japanese

Existence: ???

Connection:

Masters: Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I, Iwai Hanshir˘ I

Brother: Nakamura Gennosuke

Disciple: Nakamura Takesabur˘ I

Career:

Before 1699: he started his career at an early age, becoming a disciple of Iwai Hanshir˘ I and performing wakashugata roles under the name of Iwai Gentar˘.

3rd day of the 4th lunar month of 1699 [1]: his first master Iwai Hanshir˘ I died in ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1701: Gentar˘ played at the Kitagawa no Shibai the role of T˘nai Jir˘ in the kaomise drama "Ima Komachi Eiga Guruma", which was produced by Kokon Shinzaemon.

2nd lunar month of 1702: Gentar˘ played in the same theater the role of Toranosuke in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Jor˘ Raig˘ Bashira".

7th lunar month of 1702: Gentar˘ played in the same theater the role of the kosh˘ Hayato in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Mibu Aki no Nenbutsu".

Fall 1702: Gentar˘ went to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1702: he became disciple of Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I and wakaonnagata, took the name of Nakamura Gentar˘ and played at the Ichimuraza the role of Takiguchi's wife in the drama "Yorimasa H˘raizan"; the role of Takiguchi was played by Ikushima Shingor˘.

3rd lunar month of 1707: Gentar˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, was (superior) [visual].

11th lunar month of 1707: Gentar˘ played at the Yamamuraza the role of Murasame in the kaomise drama "Yukihira Obana Gitsune"; his stage partners in the roles of Murasame's lover Ariwara no Yukihira and Murasame's sister Matsukaze (also in love with Yukihira) were Ikushima Shingor˘ and Tsutsui Kichijűr˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1708: Gentar˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, was j˘-j˘ (superior - superior) [visual].

3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1708 [2]: his second master Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I died in Edo.

11th lunar month of 1708: Gentar˘ played at the Yamamuraza the role of Ayame in the kaomise drama "Yorimasa Shiki Samba".

3rd lunar month of 1709: Gentar˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, was j˘-j˘-(shiro)kichi (superior - superior - (white) excellent) [visual].

7th lunar month of 1709: Gentar˘ played in the same theater the role of Princess Chűj˘ in the drama "Keisei Hibari Yama"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II, Yamanaka Heikur˘ I, Ikushima Shingor˘, Ogawa Zengor˘ I and Nakamura Gentar˘, who played the role of Princess Chűj˘.

11th lunar month of 1709: Gentar˘ played at the Yamamuraza the role of Princess Shinobu in the kaomise drama "Taihei Okuni Kabuki", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata actors Asao Jűjir˘ I, Arashi Sanjűr˘ I and Fujikawa Buzaemon I.

11th lunar month of 1710: Gentar˘ moved to the Ichimuraza and played the role of Shirotae in the kaomise drama "Shusse Taiheiki", which celebrated the shűmei of Takii Hanshir˘ and welcomed in Edo the Kamigata actor Kirinami Takie.

3rd lunar month of 1711: Gentar˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual].

11th lunar month of 1711: Gentar˘ played at the Ichimuraza the role of Nowaki in the kaomise drama "Shusse Taiheiki".

Fall 1714: Gentar˘ went back to Kamigata.

11th lunar month of 1714: Gentar˘ played the role of the courtesan Takao in the drama "Bandai-ga-Ike no Tsurukame", which was produced by Arashi Sanjűr˘ I at the nadai Shioya Kuroemon's theater. He achieved a great success at the end of the program by performing in solo in a d˘j˘jimono.

1st lunar month of 1715: Gentar˘'s rank in the ďsaka hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual].

2nd lunar month of 1716: Gentar˘ became zamoto and coproduced with Sugiyama Heihachi the kaomise drama "Ch˘ja Mannengura" in ďsaka.

24th day of the 4th lunar month of 1716 [3]: his brother Nakamura Gennosuke died.

Fall 1716: Gentar˘ went to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1716: Gentar˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Tomoe Gozen in the kaomise drama "Mitsudomoe Katoku Biraki", which celebrated the shűmei of Arashi Kiyosabur˘ II. He fell ill and was replaced by Nakamura Sen'ya I.

11th lunar month of 1727: Gentar˘ made a stage comeback in Edo at the Ichimuraza, playing the role of Takasaka Danj˘'s daughter Takane in the drama "Goshozome K˘y˘ Gunki". He was sick but he forced himself to perform. He most likely died soon afterwards but the the day of his death was not recorded.

Comments:

Nakamura Gentar˘ was born in Kamigata but settled in Edo while still a child. He became a talented wakaonnagata actor and an outstanding dancer, whose career spanned from the end of the Genroku era to the first year of the Ky˘h˘ era. He excelled in keisei, nuregoto and bud˘goto roles. He was treated by the Edo audience as one of their own and they refused to recognize any hint of Kamigata in his style. He was Genta-sama, the favourite of Edo" in the hy˘banki "Yakusha Tomoginmi" ("Friendly investigations in actors" published in 1707). "There is no one who can play Edo fűryű musume roles like him" (from "Yakusha Hako Denju", alias "the Treasure chest of secret arts", 1712). He was also the owner of a cosmetic shop in Edo in the district of Kanda Suda-ch˘.

[1] The 3rd day of the 4th lunar month of the 12th year of the Genroku era was the 2nd of May 1699 in the western calendar.

[2] The 3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of the 5th year of the H˘ei era was the 24th of March 1708 in the western calendar.

[3] The 24th day of the 4th lunar month of the 6th year of the Sh˘toku era was the 13th of June 1716 in the western calendar.

The Actor Nakamura Gentar˘ as a woman playing battledore and shuttlecockDate
Artist: Torii Kiyomasu I
Date: c. 1704
The Art Institute of Chicago (print in the public domain)

 
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