|IWAI HANSHIRď VIII|
Nickname: Shid˘ Hanshir˘
Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)
Poetry names: Shid˘, Baiga, Shijaku, Tojaku, Enji
Existence: 1829 ~ 19 February 1882
Great-great-grandfather: Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II
Father: Iwai Hanshir˘ VII
Father-in-law: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XII
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.
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].
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˘.
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  at the Moritaza; Hanshir˘ played the roles of Isonami and Omatsu in the drama "Kaikeizan Sakiwake Genji". Hanshir˘ also played the roles of Yoshitsune  and Agemaki  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.
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".
5 October 1873: his adopted son Iwai Shijaku III died.
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˘.
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".
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˘ .
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 . 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")
 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.
 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.
 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.
 Iwai Hanshir˘ VI's tombstone was located in the cemetery of the J˘shinji Temple in the district of Fukagawa.
 A mistake in ZoŰ Kincaid's book "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan" as Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII was born in Edo.
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)
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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