IWAI HANSHIRď VIII

Stage names:

Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII In Japanese
Iwai Shijaku II In Japanese
Iwai Kumesabur˘ III In Japanese
Iwai Hisajir˘ II In Japanese

Nickname: Shid˘ Hanshir˘

Guild: Yamatoya

Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)

Poetry names: Shid˘, Baiga, Shijaku, Tojaku, Enji

Existence: 1829 ~ 19 February 1882

Connections:

Great-great-grandfather: Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II

Great-grandfathers: Iwai Hanshir˘ IV, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III

Grandfathers: Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Segawa Rok˘ IV

Father: Iwai Hanshir˘ VII

Father-in-law: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XII

Adopted sons: Iwai Kumesabur˘ IV, Iwai Shijaku III, Iwai Shijaku IV

Disciples: Iwai Matsunosuke III (?), Iwai Matsunosuke IV, Iwai Komurasaki III, Iwai Kiyosa, Iwai Shigematsu, Iwai Kiyotar˘ V (?)

Career:

1829: born in Edo in the district of Sumiyoshi-ch˘.

11th lunar month of 1829: he made his first stage appearance at a very early age, receiving the name of Iwai Hisajir˘ II at the Nakamuraza.

11th lunar month of 1832: great shűmei for the Iwai clan at the Nakamuraza. Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Iwai Kumesabur˘ II and Iwai Hisajir˘ II respectively took the names of Iwai Tojaku, Iwai Hanshir˘ VI and Iwai Kumesabur˘ III. They performed together in Segawa Jok˘ II's kaomise drama "Goban Tadanobu Yuki no Kuroshiro" and their stage partners were Matsumoto K˘shir˘ V, Nakamura Shikan II, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ IV and Sawamura Tossh˘ I.

8th day of the 4th lunar month of 1836 [1]: Iwai Hanshir˘ VI died in Edo.

1st day of the 4th lunar month of 1845 [2]: his father Iwai Hanshir˘ VII died in Edo.

6th day of the 4th lunar month of 1847 [3]: his grandfather Iwai Hanshir˘ V died in Edo.

1851: Kumesabur˘ became tateonnagata at the Kawarasakiza and he was the stage partner of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII.

4th lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Nakamuraza of the Tokiwazu-based dance "Kioi Jishi Kabuki no Hanakago", commonly called "Kioi Jishi", starring Ichikawa Kodanji IV, Band˘ Takesabur˘ I, Onoe Kikujir˘ II and Kumesabur˘.

8th lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Segawa Jok˘ III's drama "Higashiyama Sakura S˘shi" (commonly called "Sakura Giminden"); Kumesabur˘ played the roles of the shiraby˘shi Katsuragi and Ashikaga Mitsuuji [casting].

7th lunar month of 1852: premiere at the Kawarasakiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Jiraiya G˘ketsu Monogatari"; Kumesabur˘ played the roles of Princess Tagoto, Asazawaya Kishigawa and Princess Teruta [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1854: Kumesabur˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Yűgiri in the drama "Kuruwa Bunsh˘"; the role of Fujiya Izaemon (Yűgiri's lover) was played by Kataoka Gad˘ II.

2nd lunar month of 1859: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kosode Soga Azami no Ironui" (commonly called "Izayoi Seishin"); Kumesabur˘ played the role of Izayoi (Osayo) [casting].

9th lunar month of 1859: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's Kiyomoto-based dance "Jitsugetsusei Chűya no Oriwake", commonly called "Ryűsei"; the leading roles were played by Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘ I, Ichikawa Kodanji IV and Kumesabur˘.

1st lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Sannin Kichisa Kuruwa no Hatsugai"; Kumesabur˘ played the roles of Oj˘ Kichisa and Hitoe [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kagamiyama Gonichi no Iwafuji"; Kumesabur˘ played the roles of Ohatsu, Onoe II and Oryű [casting].

7th lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Hachiman Matsuri Yomiya no Nigiwai" (commonly called "Chijimiya Shinsuke"); Kumesabur˘ played the role of Miyokichi [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1862: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Aoto Z˘shi Hana no Nishikie" (commonly called "Shiranami Gonin Otoko"); Kumesabur˘ played the role of Akaboshi Jűz˘ [casting].

2nd lunar month of 1864: Iwai Kumesabur˘ III took the name of Iwai Shijaku II at the Nakamuraza, performing in the drama "Mukashi Banashi Homare Soga". He also performed in the dance-dramas "Ume Sakura Mitsugumi Sakazuki" and "T˘kaid˘ Meisho Karakuri".

3rd lunar month of 1870: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kusunoki-ryű Hanami no Makuhari" (commonly called "Keian Taiheiki" or "Marubashi Chűya"); Shijaku played the roles of Shigejir˘'s sister Fujie, the ghost of Princess Nadeshiko and the yuna Kofuji (in reality Kurobŕ's sister Ofuji) [more details].

10th lunar month of 1870: Shijaku played at the Moritaza the roles of Otane and Nureginu in the drama "Yosetemitsu Renj˘ Kidan", whose plot and characters were similar to the classic "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘".

11th lunar month of 1870: Shijaku played at the Moritaza the role of the courtesan Yűgiri in the drama "Kuruwa Bunsh˘" (performed under the title "Koremo Katamimaru Izaemon"). The role of Fujiya Izaemon (Yűgiri's lover) was played by Sawamura Tossh˘ II.

2nd lunar month of 1872: Iwai Shijaku II and Iwai Hisajir˘ III respectively took the names of Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII and Iwai Kumesabur˘ IV [5] at the Moritaza; Hanshir˘ played the roles of Isonami and Omatsu in the drama "Kaikeizan Sakiwake Genji". Hanshir˘ also played the roles of Yoshitsune [7] and Agemaki [8] in the dramas "Kanjinch˘" and "Sukeroku Yukari no Yaezakura". This program was very successful and it was staged up to the 23rd day of the 4th lunar month.

5th lunar month of 1872: Hanshir˘ played at the Moritaza the role of Okaru in the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

9th ~ 10th lunar months of 1872: the Moritaza was relocated in the district of Shintomi-ch˘. Hanshir˘ took part in the opening program in the 10th lunar month, performing the drama "Sangoku Mus˘ Hisago no Gunsen". He also played the role of Kinsh˘jo in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's masterpiece "Kokusen'ya Gassen".

10th lunar month of 1872: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's zangirimono "Tsuki no En Masu no Igaguri"; Hanshir˘ played the role of Otomi [casting].

March 1873: Hanshir˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Osan in the shinjűmono "Hanabiraki Kasa no Rokuro"; the role of Osan's lover Mohŕ was played by Onoe Kikugor˘ V.

June 1873: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘", commonly called "Kamiyui Shinza"; Hanshir˘ played the role of Okuma [casting].

5 October 1873: his adopted son Iwai Shijaku III died.

1874: Hanshir˘ became zagashira at the Nakamuraza.

June 1874: Hanshir˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Umegawa in Segawa Jok˘ III's shinjűmono "Koi no Tayori Misao no Kanabumi"; the role of Umegawa's lover Kameya Chűbŕ was played by Nakamura S˘jűr˘.

October 1874: Hanshir˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Koman in the drama "Gochűmon Satsuma J˘fu" (similar to Namiki Gohei I's drama "Godairiki Koi no Fűjime"); the roles of Sangobŕ and Gengobŕ were played by Nakamura Shikan IV and Nakamura S˘jűr˘.

March 1875: Hanshir˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Shizuka Gozen in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

October 1875: premiere at the Nakamuraza and the Shinboriza of Takeshiba Kinsaku I's drama "Minori no Aki Seish˘ Denki"; Hanshir˘ played the role of Uji-no-Kata [more details].

1877: tour in Nagoya with Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX.

October 1878: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Jitsugetsusei Ky˘wa Seidan"; Hanshir˘ played the roles of Rokubŕ's daughter Okoro, Aoi Gozen and Kihachi's ny˘b˘ Omaki [casting].

January 1879: Hanshir˘ played at the Shintomiza the roles of Konami and Oishi in the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura". He also played the roles of Ono no Komachi, the courtesan Sumizome, the spirit of Komachi's cherry tree and Yoshimine Munesada (role rotation everyday) in the drama "Tsumoru Koi Yuki no seki no To".

February 1879: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka"; Hanshir˘ played the role of Oran's niece Okura [casting].

16 July 1879: Hanshir˘ took part in the gala night at the Shintomiza in the honor of the General Ulysses S. Grant [more details].

23 May 1880: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Arimatsuzome Sum˘ Yukata"; Hanshir˘ played the roles of Omichi's daughter Omaki and Takao's spouse Owaka [more details].

January 1881: Hanshir˘ played at the Shintomiza the roles of Shizuka Gozen, Kosen and Osato ("Sushiya") in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

March 1881: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Mokuami's masterpiece "Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana"; Hanshir˘ played the roles of Namiji and Michitose [casting].

June 1881: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's jidaimono "Youchi Soga Kariba no Akebono"; Hanshir˘ played the role of Kisegawa no Kametsuru [casting].

July 1881: Hanshir˘ played at the Shintomiza the role of Fukushimaya Osono in the drama "Kodaigata Shinzome Yukata" [print].

November 1881: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Mokuami's zangirimono drama "Shima Chidori Tsuki no Shiranami"; Hanshir˘ played the role of Benten Oteru, later Mochizuki's wife Oteru [casting].

January 1882: Hanshir˘ appeared on stage for the last time, in T˘ky˘ at the Saruwakaza, where he performed for a few days in the dramas "Sumidagawa Tsukige no Harukoma", "Ono no T˘fű Aoyagi Suzuri" and "Mitsu no Asa Hatsuyu no Shimenawa". He suddenly fell seriously ill.

19 February 1882: Hanshir˘ died in T˘ky˘ [4].

Comments:

Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII, who was both tall and good-looking, was an excellent onnagata, especially in the sewamono roles, and considered as the worthy heir of his grand-father Iwai Tojaku. He costarred the best tachiyaku from the last years of the Edo period to the first years of Meiji: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII, Kataoka Nizaemon VIII, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ V, Ichikawa Kodanji IV, Nakamura Shikan IV, Onoe Kikugor˘ V and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX. He was one of the last true Edo onnagata.

"The eighth Hanshir˘ who appeared with these actors was the son of the seventh, and was born in ďsaka [6]. He was extremely effeminate in manner, a true onnagata of the old school, and was known for his good deeds, always assisting his pupils, and kindly disposed to his servants and the menials of the theatre. An award of merit was given him by the Government, as an example to others of a good citizen and loyal subject." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

[1] The 8th day of the 4th lunar month of the 7th year of the Tenp˘ era was the 22nd of May 1836 in the western calendar.

[2] The 1st day of the 4th lunar month of the 2nd year of the K˘ka era was the 6th of May 1845 in the western calendar.

[3] The 6th day of the 4th lunar month of the 4th year of the K˘ka era was the 20th of May 1847 in the western calendar.

[4] Iwai Hanshir˘ VI's tombstone was located in the cemetery of the J˘shinji Temple in the district of Fukagawa.

[5] At the same time, Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII's adopted son Arashi Eizabur˘ took the name of Iwai Shijaku III at the Nakamuraza

[6] A mistake in ZoŰ Kincaid's book "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan" as Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII was born in Edo.

[7] The roles of Benkei and Togashi were played by Kawarasaki Sansh˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji I.

[8] The roles of Sukeroku and Ikyű were played by Kawarasaki Sansh˘ and Nakamura Nakaz˘ III.

Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII playing the role of Shizuka Gozen in the "Shi-no-Kiri" scene of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", which was performed in January 1881 at the Shintomiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)

Prints & Illustrations

Print made by Utagawa Kuniyoshi in 1852

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1852

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1855 (courtesy of V.)

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1859

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1860

Print made by Utagawa Yoshitsuya in 1862

Print made by Toyohara Kunichika in 1869

Print made by Toyohara Kunichika in 1871

Print made by Sh˘sai Gink˘ in 1874

Print made by Y˘shű Chikanobu in 1881

Print made by Morikawa Chikashige in 1881

The Iwai Hisajir˘ line of actors

The Iwai Kumesabur˘ line of actors

The Iwai Shijaku line of actors

The Iwai Hanshir˘ line of actors

 
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