|TSURUYA NANBOKU IV|
Line number: YODAIME (IV)
Existence: 1755 ~ 27th day of the 11th lunar month of 1829 
Father-in-law: Tsuruya Nanboku III
Son: Katsu Hy˘z˘ II (the adoptive father of Tsuruya Nanboku V)
Son-in-laws: Katsu Hy˘suke, Musashiya Gonza
1755: born in Edo; his father was the dyer Ebiya Izabur˘. His first name was Katsujir˘ and he switched to Inosuke when he became adult.
1777: he became a disciple of Sakurada Jisuke I.
1780: he joined the Ichimuraza and took the name of Sawa Hy˘z˘.
1780 ~ 1781: he married with Tsuruya Nanboku III's daughter.
1782: he joined the Moritaza and took the name of Katsu Hy˘z˘ I.
1787 (?): Tsuruya Nanboku III died.
11th lunar month of 1811: Katsu Hy˘z˘ I took the name of Tsuruya Nanboku IV at the Ichimuraza; he worked on the kaomise drama "Itsukushima Yuki no Mitegura", which celebrated the shűmei of Sawamura S˘jűr˘ IV.
3rd lunar month of 1813: premiere at the Moritaza of Nanboku's play "Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri" (commonly called "Osome no Nanayaku", in English "The Seven Roles of Osome"); the seven roles were played by Iwai Hanshir˘ V [casting].
5th lunar month of 1815: premiere of Nanboku's drama "Kakitsubata Iro mo Edozome" (commonly called "Oroku to Gantetsu") at the Kawarazakiza, starring Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII, Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ V.
7th lunar month of 1815: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Nanboku's drama "Haji Momiji Ase no Kaomise" (commonly called "Date no Jűyaku", in English "The Ten Roles of Date"), whose plot and characters belonged to the "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" world; the ten roles were played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII [casting].
6th lunar month of 1821: Nanboku's drama "Kachi Zum˘ Ukina no Hanabure", commonly called "Shirafuji Genta", was revived for the first time, 11 years and 3 months after its premiere in Edo at the Ichimuraza [casting], in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai [casting].
11th lunar month of 1823: Nanboku worked at the Ichimuraza, along with Mimasuya Nis˘ji, Hon'ya S˘shichi and Sakurada Jisuke II, on the kaomise drama "Yama Mata Yama Hana no Yamagatsu", which celebrated the shűmei of Osagawa Tsuneyo IV, Yamashina Jinkichi IV and Nakayama Tomisabur˘ II.
11th lunar month of 1825: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Nanboku's drama "Oniwaka Kongen Butai" ; the main roles were played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII, Iwai Shijaku I (Osome) and Iwai Kumesabur˘ II (Hisamatsu).
11th lunar month of 1828: Nanboku worked at the Nakamuraza, along with Segawa Jok˘ II and Tajima Konosuke I, on the kaomise drama "Motomishi Hana Otogi Heike"; Nanboku's yearly salary was 175 ry˘ .
27th day of the 11th lunar month of 1829 : Nanboku died in Edo.
Tsuruya Nanboku IV was one of Kabuki's most prolific playwrights and the creator of the kizewamono genre. He wrote during his career around 120 plays.
"Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755~1829) was active during the Bunka-Bunsei
era (1804~29), a time when Kabuki flourished in Edo and a number of talented actors
emerged. Nanboku himself was quite some talent. He wrote by reworking popular
18th-century kabuki plays, incorporating elements drawn from earlier dramas
(a method known as naimaze [mixing]). But the playwright was as much an innovator
as a copyist, creating such interesting new roles as iroaku (handsome but wicked villains)
and akuba (middle-aged women who can bluff, fight and swindle).
As might be expected from such characters, Nanboku's plays are filled with scenes of
extortion, killing and erotic entanglements. Dubbed kizewamono
(genuine sewamono), the dramas portray
people living at the bottom of Edo's hierarchical society, and they are written in a
brisk, earthy idiom typical of the townspeople. Scenes unfold rapidly and various stage
tricks add to the fun."
"It was the lot of the sakusha to be poor, and Nanboku was no exception.
An incident is told of him that during a period of poverty he was kneeling in front
of his little writing-desk, when his wife entered and asked for the wherewithal
to buy some rice. He had no money, so she took the mosquito net, an indispensable
article in a Japanese house in warm weather, and went to the pawnbroker,
where she exchanged it for sufficient coin of the realm to keep the house supplied
with rice for a short period. Nanboku made good use of this domestic episode,
and has immortalised it in "Yotsuya Kaidan".
The long-suffering Oiwa is cruelly treated by her husband that she may leave the house,
as he wishes to marry another woman, younger, prettier, and richer in this world's goods.
In his attempt to get rid of her he sells everything in the house piece by piece,
the mosquito net among them, hoping by his callous cruelty to drive her away."
 The 27th day of the 11th lunar month of the 12th year of the Bunsei era was the 22nd of December 1829 in the western calendar.
Tsuruya Nanboku IV
|Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News|