Stage names:

Ichikawa Gonjűr˘ In Japanese
Arashi Rikaku In Japanese
Arashi Rikaku III In Japanese
Arashi Yoshisabur˘ 2.3 In Japanese
Arashi Rikimatsu In Japanese
Arashi Rikimaru I In Japanese

Real name: Okada Kikusabur˘

Guilds: Yamazakiya (Ichikawa years), Teshimaya (Arashi years)

Poetry names: Rikaku, Rik˘

Existence: 15th day of the 9th lunar month of 1848 [1] ~ 27 March 1904


Adoptive father: Arashi Rikaku II

Masters: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, Arashi Rikan III


15th day of the 9th lunar month of 1848: born in Ky˘to in a Kabuki-liking family (his father Iseya Kisabur˘ was a government official). He started to learn traditional dance and music at an early age.

3rd lunar month of 1858: he became disciple of the star Arashi Rikan III, who gave him the name of Arashi Rikimaru. He played the role of Sodehagi's daughter Okimi in the drama "ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara", which was staged at the Minamigawa no Shibai; the role of Sodehagi was played by Arashi Rikan III.

1858 ~ 1864: he took the name of Arashi Rikimatsu at an unknown dates and joined a travelling troupe of children-actors performing in miyaji shibai. He went on tour in both Kyűshű and Shikoku.

21st day of the 4th lunar month of 1863 [2]: his master Arashi Rikan III died.

1864: he was adopted by Arashi Rikaku II and received the name of Arashi Yoshisabur˘.

14th day of the 7th lunar month of 1864 [3]: his adoptive father Arashi Rikaku II died.

1865: Arashi Yoshisabur˘ took the name of Arashi Rikaku III.

1866: he quarreled with the widow of Arashi Rikaku II and decided to leave ďsaka.

2nd lunar month of 1867: Rikaku went to Edo. He changed the writing of his first name:

Original writing for Rikaku New writing
璃珏 璃鶴

You need a Japanese Language Kit installed within your system in order to be able to read the characters

7th lunar month of 1869: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kichisama Mairu Yukari no Otozure"; Rikaku played the roles of Kobori Samonnosuke, the Enj˘ji page Kamesabur˘ and It˘ Kichinoshin [casting].

1871: Rikaku was sent to prison because of his involvement in a murder by poisoning. This story is about a notorious dokufu, so-called ôpoison-womanö, who was named Okinu. She was of humble origins but became a famous geisha in Edo. Later, she was nicknamed Yoarashi Okinu (literally Night Storm Okinu). She poisoned with arsenic her current "official" lover, a man named Kobayashi Kinpei, in order to be freely with her new lover, who was none other than Rikaku. The actor was himself involved deeply in the plot; he was arrested and initially condemned to death along with Okinu. Since Okinu was pregnant, however, her execution was postponed. Rikakuĺs sentence was eventually moderated and he served "only" three years in jail. The same clemency did not applied to the murderer; after giving birth, Okinu was finally executed. Her head was cut off and displayed in public for several days. All the details of this poisoning case are well explained in a great article written by Trevor Skingle:
===>The Story of Kabuki Actor Arashi Rikaku and the Geisha Yoarashi Okinu's Murder of Kobayashi Kinpei

1874: Rikaku came out of prison and went back to the Kabuki world; he became a disciple of the actor Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX.

October 1874: he took the name of Ichikawa Gonjűr˘ at the Kawarasakiza, playing the role of Sakurai Shinnoj˘ in Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kumo no Ueno San'e no Sakumae", which was premiered in this theater [casting].

May 1875: revival at the Kawarasakiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kusunoki-ryű Hanami no Makuhari", which was entitled "Hanamidoki Yui no Makuhari"; Gonjűr˘ played the roles of Kanai Tamigor˘ and Motoyoshi Shinhachir˘ [more details].

September 1878: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Takeshiba Kinsaku I's drama "Tsűzoku Saiyűki"; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Son Gokű [casting].

May 1881: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "ďsakazuki Shusen no Tsuwamono"; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Lord Ii Kamon-no-Kami Naotaka [casting].

October 1881: premiere at the Harukiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kiwametsuki Banzui Ch˘bŕ"; Gonjűr˘ played the roles of Sakuragawa Goroz˘ and Mizuno Jűr˘zaemon [casting].

November 1884: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Mokuami's katsureki drama "H˘j˘ Kudai Meika no Isaoshi"; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Osaragi Michinoku-no-Kami [casting].

July 1890: premiere at the Shintomiza of "Kiyomasa Seichűroku", a revised version of Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1875 drama "Minori no Aki Seish˘ Denki". It was part of a special 2-day gala program starring Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Katagiri Katsumoto [more details].

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"; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Hatakeyama Shigetada [casting].

November 1893: Gonjűr˘ took part in the opening ceremony of the Meijiza [info].

March 1899: premiere at the Meijiza of the drama "Kurotegumi Kuruwa no Tatehiki", which gathered the main scenes from the sukerokumono part of Kawatake Shinshichi II's 1858 drama "Edo Zakura Kiyomizu Seigen"; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Torii Shinzaemon [casting].

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; Gonjűr˘ played the role of Kobayashi Asahina Sabur˘ [casting]. This was his last stage performance; victim of a sudden pneumonia, he had to retire.

13 September 1903: his master Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX died.

27 March 1904: Gonjűr˘ died in T˘ky˘.


Ichikawa Gonjűr˘ was a tachiyaku actor, born and trained in Kamigata, who became one of the best disciples of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX. His most striking features were great vocal projection, great lines delivery and ... a terrible Kamigata accent. He was also involved in a famous criminal case which led him to the T˘ky˘ jails, where he spent three years. His others notable performances include the roles of Mizuno Jűr˘zaemon ("Yudono no Ch˘bŕ") and Lord Ii Kamon-no-Kami Naotaka ("ďsakazuki Shusen no Tsuwamono").

[1] The 15th day of the 9th lunar month of the 1st year of the Kaei era was the 11th of October 1848 in the western calendar.

[2] The 21st day of the 4th lunar month of the 3rd year of the Bunkyű era was the 7th of June 1863 in the western calendar.

[3] The 14th day of the 7th lunar month of the 1st year of the Genji era was the 15th of August 1864 in the western calendar.

Ichikawa Gonjűr˘ playing the role of Matsudaira Izu-no-Kami in a print made by Toyohara Kunichika

Prints & Illustrations

Print made by Y˘shű Chikanobu in 1882

Print made by K˘ch˘r˘ H˘sai in 1891

Print made by K˘ch˘r˘ H˘sai in 1900

Print made by K˘ch˘r˘ H˘sai in 1901

The Arashi Yoshisabur˘ line of actors

The Arashi Rikaku line of actors

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