|ICHIKAWA KODANJI IV|
Real name: Takashimaya Eita
Line number: YODAIME (IV)
Poetry name: Beish˘
Existence: 1812 ~ 8th day of the 5th lunar month of 1866 
Father-in-law: Nakamura Karoku I
Grandson: Ichikawa Udanji II
Great-grandson: Ichikawa Unosuke II
Great-great-grandson: Ichikawa Sai'nyű II
1820: he became a disciple of the actor Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII.
4th lunar month of 1821: he made his first appearance on stage, at the Nakamuraza, where he received the name of Ichikawa Eiz˘.
1822: following a quarrel with his master Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII, he went to Nagoya with his father. He received the support of Nakayama Okez˘, who introduced him to Ichikawa Kodanji III who took him as a disciple and gave him the name of Ichikawa Yonez˘ III.
1822 ~ 1824: he performed in kodomo shibai in Matsuzaka or Ise.
8th lunar month of 1829: Ichikawa Yonez˘ III took the name of Ichikawa Yonejűr˘ I in Ky˘to.
11th lunar month of 1843: reconciliation in ďsaka with his first master Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V; Yonejűr˘ played at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Yae and Sukune Tar˘ in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".
2nd lunar month of 1847: Kodanji played at the Kado no Shibai the role of Tadanobu in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V (Yoshitsune), Arashi Kichisabur˘ III (Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan) and Arashi Rikaku II (Shizuka Gozen). He performed the same role in the same play in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai in the 5th lunar month.
Fall 1847: Kodanji went back to Edo.
11th lunar month of 1847: Kodanji performed at the Ichimuraza in the drama "Genke Hachidai Megumi no Tsuwamono"; he also played all the roles of a 7-role hengemono entitled "Shiki Utsushi Tosae no Futsutsuka" [more details].
4th lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Nakamuraza of the Tokiwazu-based dance "Kioi Jishi Kabuki no Hanakago", commonly called "Kioi Jishi", starring Band˘ Takesabur˘ I, Onoe Kikujir˘ II, Iwai Kumesabur˘ III and Kodanji.
8th lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Segawa Jok˘ III's drama "Higashiyama Sakura S˘shi" (commonly called "Sakura Giminden"); Kodanji played the roles of Asakura T˘go, Sumahei and Shinonome [casting].
3rd lunar month of 1854: premiere at the Kawarasakiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Miyakodori Nagare no Shiranami"; Kodanji played the roles of Shinobu no S˘ta (in reality Yamada Rokur˘, a retainer of the Yoshida clan) and Minez˘ [casting].
9th lunar month of 1856: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's 9-act drama "Tsuta Momiji Utsunoya T˘ge"; the 2 leading stars were Kodanji (the blind masseur Bun'ya and the thief Niza) and Band˘ Kamez˘ I (Itamiya Jűbŕ).
11th lunar month of 1856: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Sh˘chikubai Yuki no Akebono"; Kodanji played the role of Yaoya Oshichi [casting]. Premiere at the Ichimuraza of the dance "Joro no Makoto Osada no Chűk˘"; Kodanji played the role of the tengű [casting].
1st lunar month of 1857: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Nezumi Komon Haru no Shingata" (commonly called "Nezumi Koz˘"); Kodanji played the roles of the t˘zoku Inaba K˘z˘ (in reality Yosobŕ's son Yokichi), Izumi no Koshir˘ Chikahira, Takashima Beizan (in reality Inaba K˘z˘) and the bokusha Sazen (in reality Inaba K˘z˘) [casting].
7th lunar month of 1857: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Ami Moy˘ T˘ro no Kikukiri" (commonly called "Kozaru Shichinosuke"); Kodanji played the roles of Kozaru Shichinosuke and Nakamanjiya Yahŕ [casting].
3rd lunar month of 1858: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Edo Zakura Kiyomizu Seigen"; the nibanme of this drama was now entitled "Kurotegumi Kuruwa no Tatehiki" in the Kabuki repertoire (commonly called "Kurotegumi Sukeroku"); Kodanji played the roles of Seigen and Sukeroku [more details].
2nd lunar month of 1859: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kosode Soga Azami no Ironui" (commonly called "Izayoi Seishin"); Kodanji played the role of the priest Seishin, who became the thief Seikichi, [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, Iwai Kumesabur˘ III and Kodanji.
7th lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Hachiman Matsuri Yomiya no Nigiwai" (commonly called "Chijimiya Shinsuke"); Kodanji played the role of Shinsuke [casting].
8th lunar month of 1861: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Sakura S˘shi Gonichi no Bundan", a revised version of Segawa Jok˘ III's drama "Higashiyama Sakura S˘shi"; Kodanji played the roles of Asakura T˘go, Katagiri Saiz˘ and K˘zen [casting].
8th lunar month of 1862: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kanzen Ch˘aku Nozoki Garakuri";
Kodanji played the roles of Murai Ch˘an and the Iseya bant˘ Kyűhachi [casting].
11th lunar month of 1864: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Koharunagi Okitsu Shiranami" (commonly called "Kogitsune Reiza"); Kodanji played the role of Nippon Daemon [casting].
2nd lunar month of 1866: Kodanji appeared on stage for the last time, at the Moritaza, playing the roles of Oni˘ Shinzaemon, Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, the ghost of Kawazu Sabur˘ Sukeyasu, Chichibu no Sh˘ji Shigetada and Ikake Matsu in the new year drama "Fuji to Mimasu Suehiro Soga".
8th day of the 5th lunar month of 1866 : Kodanji died in Edo.
Ichikawa Kodanji IV was a short-sized actor, who had none of the physical features, which are essential for Kabuki stars (great voice, fine eyes, beautiful face) but became one of the best tachiyaku of the nineteenth century. He excelled in hayagawari and was a pionner for many keren like spectacular chűnori. It is his association with the leading playwright Kawatake Mokuami, which made him of interest in the history of pre-Meiji Kabuki. The two formed a very close partnership and Mokuami wrote some of his best sewamono for Ichikawa Kodanji IV.
"Ichikawa Kodanji IV was the son of a vendor of hinawa (the match cord used for lighting pipe tobacco)-an occupation held in low esteem even in theater society. Once, brutally kicked by a superior , young Kodanji fell headlong from a building's second story and lost consciousness. After a wretched childhood in Edo, Kodanji pursued his artistic apprenticeship during an adolescence in the Ky˘to-ďsaka region. As a full-fledged actor, during the mid-1800s he took back with him to the Edo troupes the realism and stylization of the western theater style. He was not favored by nature with an attractive physical appearance, but the feverish intensity of his art in the title roles of Chijimiya Shinsuke, Ikake Matsu, or Sakura S˘go exceedingly true to life. In 1866, during his performance in "Ikake Matsu", a notice from the office of the Edo magistrate decreed: "During recent years, dramas depicting current life have probed too far into human feelings. Since this tendency is detrimental to the manners of society, plays should reflect human feelings as little as possible." At this, Kodanji could only grieve: he had no way to express his resentment, nor any choice but to give up acting. The very next day his health began a rapid decline; death followed shortly at age fifty-five, at the very pinnacle of his career." (Masakatsu Gunji in "Tokugawa Japan")
 The 8th day of the 5th lunar month of the 2nd year of the Kei˘ era was the 20th of June 1866 in the western calendar.
 The 23rd day of the 3rd lunar month of the 6th year of the Ansei era was the 25th of April 1859 in the western calendar.
 This superior was the Kamigata actor Arashi Tokusabur˘ III and the incident occured in 1842 at the Takeda no Shibai. Being ill, Kodanji was late in taking his cue. Arashi Tokusabur˘ III chastised him for the offence by striking him with a z˘ri, which caused him to fall down a stairway behind the scenes. He never forgot this incident, and later, in the 7th lunar month of 1844 in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai, when he had become successful and was performing with Arashi Rikan III in the drama "Keisei Shina Sadame", he cleverly inserted a reference to the z˘ri incident into his lines.
The Ichikawa Yonez˘ line of actors
The Ichikawa Yonejűr˘ line of actors
The Ichikawa Kodanji line of actors
|Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News|