Stage names:

Iwai Hanshir˘ I
Iwai Handayű

Guild: Z˘shigaya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: 1652 ~ 3rd day of the 4th lunar month of 1699


Sons: Iwai Hanshir˘ II, Iwai Hanzabur˘, Iwai Hanshir˘ III

Son-in-laws: Yamashita Kinsaku I, Arashi Shinpei I

Disciples: Iwai Sagenta I, Iwai Gentar˘, Iwai Genjir˘


1652 ~ 1685: Born in Arima. His father is a folding fan seller. His first name is Ch˘shir˘. He starts his actor career at an unknown date, performing in Kamigata theaters under the name of Iwai Handayű.

1685: Iwai Handayű takes the name of Iwai Hanshir˘ I. He also plays in ďsaka in the drama "Toribeyama Shinjű".

11th lunar month of 1686: Hanshir˘ performs in ďsaka, at ďsaka Tazaemon's theater, in the productions of the zamoto Araki Yojibŕ I. His yearly salary is 150 ry˘. His stage partners are Araki Yojibŕ I, Yamashita Hanzaemon I, Yamamura Kanzabur˘, Sakurayama Rinnosuke I, Sodeoka Masanosuke II, Sakata T˘kur˘, Takenaka Hanzabur˘, Matsushima Han'ya II, Kozakura Kodayű, Takigawa Kiyosabur˘, Yoshikawa Genzabur˘, Mihara Jűdayű I, Wakabayashi Shiroemon and Sadoshima Denpachi.

1st lunar month of 1687: Hanshir˘'s rank in the first hy˘banki published in Kabuki history is naka ("middle" or "intermediate").

1688: Hanshir˘ plays the role of Asakura Daigaku in the drama "ďkumagawa Genzaemon", which is staged in Ky˘to at Miyako Mandayű's theater. His stage partners are Kataoka Nizaemon I, Sakata T˘jűr˘ I and Kaneko Kichizaemon.

Fall 1688: he plays in the same theater in the drama "Keisei Tamatebako".

1689: Hanshir˘ moves to ďsaka for a higher salary (300 ry˘) and plays in the drama "Ise Gosengű", which is produced by Yamatoya Jinbŕ II.

11th lunar month of 1689: Hanshir˘ becomes zamoto and produces in ďsaka the drama "Fujiwara no Haruhime", starring Murayama Heijűr˘ I, Nakagawa Kinnoj˘ and Uemura Kichiya II.

1st lunar month of 1690: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka the dramas "Sakaba no ďji" and "Ume no Yoshibŕ", starring Murayama Heijűr˘ I in the former and the successful duo Nakamura Kazuma II/Mihara Jűdayű I in the latter.

1691: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai the drama "Sakai no Daiji Kaich˘", starring Sakata T˘jűr˘ I.

1692: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka the drama "Sada no Raik˘ji", starring Sugiyama Kanzaemon I and Otowa Jirosabur˘ I; this production is a failure in term of audience.

3rd lunar month of 1693: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Butsumo Mayasan Kaich˘", starring Sugiyama Kanzaemon I, Iwai Sagenta I and Murayama Heijűr˘ I; this production is a success and a long run (150 days). The same play is simultaneously staged in Ky˘to at Miyako Mandayű's theater.

7th lunar month of 1694: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka Tsuuchi Jihŕ I's drama "Nihon Ajase Taishi", starring the Edo actor Band˘ Matatar˘ I.

11th ~ 12th lunar months of 1694: Hanshir˘ successfully produces in ďsaka the drama "Zenk˘ji Kaich˘".

11th lunar month of 1695: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka a kaomise program, which welcomes the Edo actor Ichikawa Danshir˘ I.

12th lunar month of 1695: Akaneya Hanshichi (son of a sake merchant) and his lover Sankatsu commit suicide together in ďsaka. This event causes quite a stir and is immediately adapted for Kabuki by Hanshir˘, under the title "Akane no Iroba". The roles of Sankatsu and Hanshichi are played by Hanai Azuma and Sugiyama Kanzaemon I; Hanshir˘ plays the role of Minoya Heiemon. This production is a long run (150 days).

11th lunar month of 1696: Hanshir˘ welcomes in his ďsaka productions the star Kataoka Nizaemon I.

1st lunar month of 1698: Hanshir˘'s rank in the ďsaka hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, is ("superior").

6th lunar month of 1698: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka the drama "Semimaru Nido no Shusse", in which he plays the role of Kiyotsura; his stage partners are Asao Jűjir˘ I (Kita no Kata), Fujikawa Buzaemon I (Mareyo), Yamashita Matashir˘ I (Senju Tar˘), Shinozuka Jirozaemon (Sakagami no ďji), Uemura Takenoj˘ (Semimaru), Mihara Jűdayű I, Ogura Bun'emon and Uemura Kichisabur˘.

1st lunar month of 1699: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka Tsuuchi Jihŕ I's drama "Taisanji Yakushi no Kaich˘".

3rd lunar month of 1699: Hanshir˘ produces in ďsaka Tsuuchi Jihŕ I's drama "Keisei Hachij˘ Shima"; he falls sick before the end of the production and has to be replaced by his son Iwai Kamematsu. Hanshir˘ dies the following month. His tombstone is located in ďsaka in the precinct of the Gensh˘ji Temple, in the district of Shimoteramachi.


Iwai Hanshir˘ I was an important zamoto and a good tachiyaku actor, who founded one of the most important lines of Kabuki actors, which started in ďsaka and flourished in Edo from Iwai Hanshir˘ IV. His mon, which represents 3 folding fans, is an allusion to his father's business.

Iwai Hanshir˘ I (center of the picture) in 1686

The Iwai Hanshir˘ line of actors

Search this site powered by FreeFind
  Site map | Disclaimer
Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News