|NAKAMURA KICHIEMON II|
Real name: Namino Tatsujir˘
Pen name: Matsu Kanshi
Line number: NIDAIME (II)
Birthday: 22 May 1944
Great-great-grandfather: Nakamura Karoku I
Great-grandfather: Nakamura Karoku III
Father: Matsumoto Haku˘ I (K˘shir˘ VIII)
Adoptive father: Nakamura Kichiemon I
Brother: Matsumoto Haku˘ II (K˘shir˘ IX)
Son-in-law: Onoe Kikunosuke V
Grandson: Onoe Ushinosuke VII
June 1948: he made his first appearance on stage at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘, receiving the name of Nakamura Mannosuke.
September 1954: his grandfather (and adoptive father) Nakamura Kichiemon I died.
January 1961: Mannosuke and his brother Ichikawa Somegor˘ VI signed exclusive contracts with the T˘h˘ Company and left the Sh˘chiku Company, followed in March by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII, Ichikawa Chűsha VIII and Nakamura Shikaku II.
December 1966: second month of the opening ceremony of the National Theatre with the full length performance of the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"; Kichiemon played the role of Ume˘maru [casting].
June ~ July 1990: Kichiemon took part in a Kabuki tour in the USA, performing in 26 shows in several big cities; he played the roles of Narukami and Tamanoi in the plays "Narukami" and "Migawari Zazen" [casting]. Kichiemon plays also the role of Musashib˘ Benkei in the play "Kanjinch˘", which was performed only in Los Angeles.
January 2001: Kichiemon played at the National Theatre the role of Sodehagi, one of the most difficult female roles in the Kabuki repertoire, in the drama "ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara". Kichiemon successfully overcame this great challenge.
15 December 2002: Kichiemon joined the prestigious Japan Art Academy (Nihon Geijutsuin).
September 2003: the Kabukiza commemorated the 49th anniversary (50th memorial service) of the death of his grandfather Nakamura Kichiemon I; Kichiemon plays 2 of his adoptive father's favourite roles, K˘chiyama S˘shun in "K˘chiyama" and Shunkan in "Heike Nyogo no Shima".
May 2006: Kichiemon played at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ the roles of Danshichi Kurobŕ, Ishikawa Goemon and Beniya Ch˘bŕ in the dramas "Natsu Matsuri", "Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe" and "Sh˘chikubai Yushima no Kakegaku".
January 2007: Kichiemon received the 48th Mainichi Performing Arts Awards (2006) and the Special Award of the 6th Asahi Performing Arts Awards (2006).
July 2011: Kichiemon received the prestigious title of Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuh˘ in Japanese).
November 2014: the Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza commemorated the 32nd anniversary (33rd memorial service) of the passing away of Matsumoto Haku˘ I. His two sons, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ and Kichiemon, were the zagashira [more details].
December 2014: "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" was staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen (5 acts, 6 scenes), including the rarely-staged "Fujikawa Shinseki" and "Okazaki Yamada K˘bŕ Sumika" acts (they were staged for the last time more than 44 years ago, in September 1970 at the National Theatre), at the National Theatre with Kichiemon as zagashira; he played the role of Karaki Masaemon [more details].
March 2017: "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" was staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen at the National Theatre. The core of this revival was "Okazaki". The third act, commonly called "Engakuji", which was staged for the last time in February 1931 at the Meijiza, was revived as well; Kichiemon played the role of Karaki Masaemon [more details | casting].
Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon II is an amazing tachiyaku and one of the most popular contemporary actors.
"He specializes in the male heroes of jidaimono, the historical plays, and the role of commoner in sewamono, Edo-period dramas. He is especially popular because of his ability to depict the warmth and humanity of these characters. Another role with which he is closely associated is one that he played for ten years in the TV series "Onihei Hankach˘". He played Hasegawa Heiz˘, a government law enforcement officer who is partial to alcohol and has a soft spot for criminals, unless they are murderers. Kichiemon himself admits to feeling a special fondness for this role." (from an article written by Jean Wilson for the website Metropolis)
Nakamura Kichiemon II's best roles : K˘chiyama S˘shun ("K˘chiyama"), Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane ("Kumagai Jin'ya"), the boatman Matsuemon/Higuchi Jir˘ Kanemitsu ("Hirakana Seisuiki") and Matsu˘maru ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami").
The Matsu Kanshi line of playwrights
The Nakamura Kichiemon line of actors
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