|NAKAMURA NAKAZď I|
Line number: SHODAI (I)
Poetry name: Shűkaku
Existence: 1736 ~ 23rd day of the 4th lunar month of 1790 
Adoptive father: Nakayama Kojűr˘ V
Master: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VIII
Adopted son: Nakayama Kojűr˘ VII
1740: He was adopted by Oshun, a dance mistress of the Shigayama school. Her family were costumers to the Nakamuraza. Oshun's husband was the Nagauta music master Nakayama Kojűr˘ V. They give him the name of Manz˘.
1743: he became disciple of Nakamura Katsujűr˘ I and received the name of Nakamura Ichijűr˘.
11th lunar month of 1745: he took the name of Nakamura Nakaz˘ at the Nakamuraza, performing in the kaomise drama "Suehiro Izu Nikki", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata actor Fujikawa Heikur˘ and the shűmei of ďtani Hiroemon II and Nakamura Denkur˘ II.
1751: he left the theater world and became the manager of a sake shop in the district of Ningy˘-ch˘.
1752: he married the daughter of the music master Kineya Kisabur˘ VII.
11th lunar month of 1754: Nakaz˘ was back on stage, at the Nakamuraza, performing in the kaomise drama "Miura no ďsuke Bumon no Kotobuki". His performance was bad and he was in despair. His personal and professional problems led him to think about suicide. He fortunately received the patronage of the actor Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, who took him under his wing and let him work as a dance choreographer at the Nakamuraza.
9th lunar month of 1766: Nakaz˘ achieved a great success at the Ichimuraza by playing the role of Ono no Sadakur˘ in the 5th act of the drama "Kanadehon Chűshingura". He gave a new dimension to this role, getting rid of all the original sentences (his line was limited to the exclamation "50 ry˘!") and turning his performance into a bloody pantomime. Thanks to Nakaz˘, this role, which was performed before by minor actors, became a star role. The scene, which was a "box lunch scene" (an uninteresting scene within a long drama used by the members of the audience to eat their box lunches), became a key one in this drama. It was said that Nakaz˘'s performance was so good that he blew away the cheap box lunches.
11th lunar month of 1768: Nakaz˘ performed at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Ima o Sakari Suehiro Genji", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata star Nakamura Utaemon I and the shűmei of Osagawa Tsuneyo II.
1st lunar month of 1770: Nakaz˘ played in the same theater the role of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune in the new year sogamono drama "Kagamigaike Omokage Soga"; his stage partners in the roles of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were Ichikawa Yaoz˘ II and Ichikawa Komaz˘ II.
11th lunar month of 1770: Nakaz˘ performed at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Nue no Mori Ichiy˘ no Mato", which celebrated the shűmei of Matsumoto K˘shir˘ II, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ V, Nakamura Sh˘ch˘ and Ichikawa Monnosuke II.
1st lunar month of 1771: Nakaz˘ played in the same theater the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune in the new year sogamono drama "Sakaich˘ Soga no Nendaiki"; his stage partners in the roles of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were Ichikawa Danjűr˘ V and Ichikawa Komaz˘ II.
3rd lunar month of 1775: Nakaz˘ played in the same theater the role of the woman selling shinobu, in reality the ghost of the evil monk Dainichib˘, in Kawatake Shinshichi I's dance-drama "Shinobu-gusa Koi no Utsushie"; this dance was both a futa-omotemono and a d˘j˘jimono [more details].
11th lunar month of 1775: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Kanai Sansh˘'s Tomimoto-based dance-drama "Shijűhatte Koi no Showake", the first version of "Oshidori", which was staged within the kaomise drama "Hana Zum˘ Genji Biiki"; Nakaz˘ played the role of Matano Gor˘ Kagehisa [more details].
3rd lunar month of 1776: first Kabuki adaptation of Matsu Kanshi's puppet theater drama "Koi Musume Mukashi Hachij˘", which was staged at the Nakamuraza; Nakaz˘ played the role of Akizuki Ikkaku [casting].
Summer 1777: the book "Yakusha Sensakuron" ('About actors prying') was published in Edo. It gave some private information on actors. Edo readers could learn that Nakaz˘ lived in the district of Izumi-ch˘ and his annual salary was 700 ry˘.
4th lunar month of 1780: first Kabuki adaptation of Utei Enba, Kij˘ Tar˘ and Y˘ Y˘dai puppet theater drama "Go Taiheiki Shiraishi Banashi", which was staged in Edo at the Moritaza; Nakaz˘ played the role of Uji Hy˘bunosuke J˘etsu (in reality Kusunoki Masatsura) [casting].
11th lunar month of 1784: premiere at the Kiriza of the Nagauta-based dance-drama "Ky˘ran Kumoi no Sode", commonly called "Nakaz˘ Ky˘ran", which was staged within the kaomise drama "Jűni Hitoe Komachi Zakura" and which starred Nakaz˘ in the leading role of Ono no Yoshizane. It was also the premiere in the same kaomise program of the Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Tsumoru Koi Yuki no seki no To"; Nakaz˘ played the roles of Sekibŕ and ďtomo no Kuronushi [casting].
11th lunar month of 1785: Nakamura Nakaz˘ I and his adopted son Nakamura Mansaku respectively took the names of Nakayama Kojűr˘ VI and Nakamura Nakaz˘ at the Nakamuraza, performing in the kaomise drama "Yuki Motsutake Furisode Genji".
11th lunar month of 1786: Nakayama Kojűr˘ VI and Nakamura Nakaz˘ took back their previous names, Nakamura Nakaz˘ I and Nakamura Mansaku, at the Kiriza, playing in the kaomise drama "Mutsu no Hana Izu no Hataage".
12th lunar month of 1786: Nakaz˘ went to ďsaka.
1st lunar month of 1787: Nakaz˘ played at the ďnishi no Shibai in the new year drama "Keisei Sakura no Jindate", which was produced by Nakamura Kumetar˘ II. He also performed in solo in the auspicious dance "Kotobuki Sanbas˘".
2nd lunar month of 1787: Nakaz˘ played in the same theater the roles of Tadanobu and Gonta in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". The performance was a huge success and a 42-day long run.
10th lunar month of 1787: Nakaz˘ went to Ky˘to.
Fall 1788: Nakaz˘ went back to Edo.
11th lunar month of 1788: Nakaz˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Ishikawa Goemon in Sakurada Jisuke I's kaomise drama "T˘zum˘ Hana no Edokata". Premiere at the Nakamuraza of the Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Modori Kago Iro ni Aikata" (commonly called "Modori Kago"); Nakaz˘ played the role of Naniwa no Jirosaku (in reality Ishikawa Goemon) [casting].
7th lunar month of 1789: Nakaz˘ played in the same theater the roles of Shunkan and Taira Morikuni in the drama "Heike Hy˘banki", which celebrated the 77th, 13th, 37th, 37th, 60th and 7th memorial services of late Nakamura Denkur˘ I, Nakamura Denkur˘ II, Kineya Kisabur˘ VII, Nakayama Kojur˘ V, Nakamura Denjir˘ I and Nakamura Denjir˘ III. Nakaz˘'s performance suffered from his health problems.
8th lunar month of 1789: Nakaz˘ appeared on stage for the last time, in Edo at the Nakamuraza, where he performed in the dance "Kotobuki Yotsugi Sanbas˘".
Nakamura Nakaz˘ I was an amazing jitsuaku actor, who started as an unknown low-ranking actor and rose to the top, becoming a senry˘ yakusha during the Tenmei era. He studied as a pupil of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, often shared the same stage with Ichikawa Danjűr˘ V and his style was said to be similar to Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II's one. He was also an outstanding dancer and he wrote several books about his life and his art.
Nakamura Nakaz˘ I's best roles: Sekibŕ/Kuronushi ("Seki no To") Kakogawa Honz˘/Sadakur˘ ("Kanadehon Chűshingura"), Matsu˘maru/Kan Sh˘j˘ ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"), Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune (sogamono).
"The career of Nakamura Nakaz˘ is one of the most varied of all the actors. He was possessed of many theatre gifts, but he had inherited a samurai temperament and exercised his genius just when social conditions had begun to dampen the enthusiasm of the people for the theatre." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")
Nakamura Nakaz˘ I's wife Okishi, the daughter of the Nagauta shamisen-player Kineya Kisabur˘ VII, was also Shigayama Mansaku VII, the 7th iemoto of the Shigayama School of Buy˘. Nakamura Nakaz˘ I was Shigayama Mansaku VIII, the 8th iemoto of the Shigayama School. Nakamura Nakaz˘ I's adopted son became Shigayama Mansaku IX, the 9th iemoto of the Shigayama School.
 The 23rd day of the 4th lunar month of the 2nd year of the Kansei era was the 5th of June 1790 in the western calendar.
 The 15th day of the 11th lunar month of the 6th year of the An'ei era was the 14th of December 1777 in the western calendar.
 Nakamura Nakaz˘ I's tombstone was located in the precincts of the J˘zaiji Temple, in the district of Shitaya.
The Nakamura Nakaz˘ line of actors
|Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News|