|ICHIKAWA MONNOSUKE VI
Real name: Arakawa Seitar˘
Line number: ROKUDAIME (VI)
Existence: 1862 ~ 20 August 1914
Son: Ichikawa Sadanji III
Grandson: Ichikawa Sadanji IV
Great-grandson: Ichikawa Omez˘ VI
Great-great-grandson: Ichikawa Otora VII
Disciple: Ichikawa Teruz˘ II
1862: born in Matsue.
1867~1879: he started his career at an early age, playing in his village's countryside Kabuki troupe. He was spotted by the travelling actor Band˘ Kach˘, became his disciple in 1875 and received the name of Band˘ Hidenosuke. The following year, he became disciple of Arashi Kichisabur˘ IV and received the name of Arashi Rinshi.
1879: while on tour in the Ishikawa province, he had the chance to meet the star Ichikawa Udanji I and joined him. He settled in ďsaka and performed under the name of Ichikawa Fukunoj˘.
November 1888: Ichikawa Fukunoj˘ took the name of Ichikawa Metora II at the Ichimuraza, performing in the drama "Musashi no Yoroi Homare no ďkubo".
March 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "Buyű no Homare Shusse Kagekiyo", a revised revival of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's jidaimono "Shusse Kagekiyo"; Metora played the roles of the daughter of the daigűji of the Atsuta Shrine, Kagekiyo's daughter Princess Hitomaru and Shigemori's sister Koch˘ [casting].
March 1903: premiere at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kichirei Soga no Ishizue", which was produced to celebrate the shűmei of Onoe Kikugor˘ VI, Onoe Baik˘ VI and Onoe Eizabur˘ VI; Metora played the role of Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ [casting].
June 1910: Ichikawa Metora II took the name of Ichikawa Monnosuke VI at the Kabukiza, playing the role of Okuni in "Izumo no Okuni".
1912: tour in Chűbu with Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII and Arashi Kichisabur˘ VI; Monnosuke played the role of Otoku in the drama "Domo Mata", which was notably staged in February in Nagoya (Suehiroza) and in July in Hamamatsu (Kabukiza); the role of Otoku's husband Matahei was played by Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII.
April 1913: Monnosuke played at the T˘ky˘za the role of Shizuka Gozen in the "Shi-no-Kiri" scene of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura"; the roles of Tadanobu, Minamoto Yoshitsune and Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan were played by Onoe Kikugor˘ VI, Ichimura Kamez˘ III and Kataoka Ichiz˘ IV.
August 1914: Monnosuke appeared on stage for the last time, at the Kabukiza, playing the role of S˘gor˘'s wife in the drama "Shin Sarayashiki Tsuki no Amagasa". He suddenly fell ill and died the 20th of August 1914.
Ichikawa Monnosuke VI was a pure onnagata actor (jun'onnagata), excelling in the roles of merchant daughters or princesses. He was not born in the Kabuki world but he worked hard and succeeded in becoming a great actor, thanks to the support of Ichikawa Udanji I in ďsaka or Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX in T˘ky˘. He was said to be very dissatisfied to be an onnagata and his son was trained to become a tachiyaku. When he was still named Metora, he gave his son the name of Otora, the O in Otora meaning male and the Me in Metora meaning female. It was made clear that his son would never become an onnagata. Without calling it a twist of fate or a crossing of the lines, the heirs of Ichikawa Monnosuke VI were Ichikawa Sadanji III and Ichikawa Sadanji IV whereas the heirs of Ichikawa Sadanji I were Ichikawa Monnosuke VII and Ichikawa Monnosuke VIII.
The Ichikawa Metora line of actors
The Ichikawa Monnosuke line of actors
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