TSURUYA NANBOKU IV

Pen names:

Tsuruya Nanboku IV In Japanese
Katsu Hy˘z˘ I In Japanese
Sawa Hy˘z˘ In Japanese
Sakurada Hy˘z˘ In Japanese

Other name:

Uba J˘suke I In Japanese

Line number: YODAIME (IV)

Existence: 1755 ~ 27th day of the 11th lunar month of 1829 [1]

Connection:

Masters: Sakurada Jisuke I, Kanai Sansh˘

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

Disciples: Mimasuya Nis˘ji, Kanai Sangy˘, Matsui K˘z˘ II, Sakurada Jisuke II, Kameya T˘saku, Tsuruya Daihachi, Hanagasa Bunky˘, Katsui Genpachi, Masuyama Kinpachi II, Tajima Konosuke I

Career:

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.

1775: wishing to become a sakusha, he entered the Kabuki world to become a disciple of Kanai Sansh˘.

11th lunar month of 1775: he worked at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Hana Zum˘ Genji Biiki".

1777: he became a disciple of Sakurada Jisuke I.

11th lunar month of 1777: he received the name of Sakurada Hy˘z˘ and worked at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Masakado Kanmuri no Hatsuyuki".

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.

1st lunar month of 1803: he became tatesakusha at the Kawarazakiza, thanks to the support of the star Band˘ Hikosabur˘ III.

7th lunar month of 1804: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Hy˘z˘'s drama "Tenjiku Tokubŕ Ikoku Banashi" [casting].

7th lunar month of 1808: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Hy˘z˘'s drama "Toki-mo Kiky˘ Shusse no Ukej˘" [casting].

6th lunar month of 1809: premiere at the Moritaza of Hy˘z˘'s ghost play "Okuni Gozen Kesh˘ no Sugatami" [casting].

11th lunar month of 1809: Hy˘z˘ worked at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Misao no Hana Toba no Koizuka".

1st lunar month of 1810: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Hy˘z˘ and Sakurada Jisuke II drama "Kokoro no Nazo Toketa Iroito" [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1810: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Hy˘z˘'s drama "Kachi Zum˘ Ukina no Hanabure" (commonly called "Shirafuji Genta") [casting].

5th lunar month of 1810: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Hy˘z˘ and Sakurada Jisuke II drama "Ehon Gapp˘-ga-Tsuji" [casting].

11th lunar month of 1810: Hy˘z˘ worked at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Shitenn˘ Yagura no Ishizue".

11th lunar month of 1812: Hy˘z˘ worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Yukimo Yoshino Kigoto no Kaomise".

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].

11th lunar month of 1813: Nanboku worked at the Moritaza, along with Hon'ya S˘shichi and Ichioka Washichi I, on the kaomise drama "Gohiiki Tsunagi Uma".

3rd lunar month of 1814: premiere of Nanboku's drama "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome", commonly called "Onna Seigen" [more details].

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].

3rd lunar month of 1817: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Nanboku's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘" [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1820: premiere at the Tamagawaza of Nanboku's drama "Sakura Butai Maku no Datezome" [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].

9th lunar month of 1821: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Nanboku's drama "Kiku no En Tsuki no Shiranami"; the main role was played by Onoe Kikugor˘ III (Sadakur˘).

11th lunar month of 1821: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Nanboku's drama "Imoseyama Hitome Senbon", which mixed the "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" and "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" worlds [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1823: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Nanboku's drama "Ukiyozuka Hiyoku no Inazuma" [casting].

6th lunar month of 1823: premiere at the Moritaza of Nanboku's drama "Kesakake Matsu Narita no Riken" [2], starring Onoe Kikugor˘ III and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII in the roles of Kasane and Yoemon.

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.

1st lunar month of 1824: Nanboku worked in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Kanade Soga Nezashi no Fujigane", which mixed the sekai of the Soga Brothers and "Chűshingura".

7th lunar month of 1825: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Nanboku's ghost play "T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan" [casting].

9th lunar month of 1825: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Nanboku's drama "Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu" [casting].

11th lunar month of 1825: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Nanboku's drama "Oniwaka Kongen Butai" [3]; the main roles were played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII, Iwai Shijaku I (Osome) and Iwai Kumesabur˘ II (Hisamatsu).

6th lunar month of 1827: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Nanboku's drama "Hitori Tabi Gojűsan Tsugi" [casting].

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˘ [4].

11th lunar month of 1829: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Nanboku's drama "Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi"; this was his last drama [more details].

27th day of the 11th lunar month of 1829 [1]: Nanboku died in Edo.

Comments:

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."
(Sasaguchi Rei)

"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."
(ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

[1] 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.

[2] The michiyuki, which was commonly called "Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame", is still part of the current Kabuki repertoire.

[3] The michiyuki, which was called "Ukine no Tomodori", is still part of the current Kabuki repertoire.

[4] Tsuruya Nanboku IV was the best Edo playwright and, therefore, received the highest salary for sakusha. Matsumoto K˘shir˘ V, the zagashira at the Nakamuraza, was paid 600 ry˘.

Tsuruya Nanboku IV

 
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