|NAKAMURA SHICHISABURď I|
Line number: SHODAI (I)
Poetry name: Sh˘ch˘
Existence: 1662 ~ 3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1708 
Father: Amatsu Shichir˘emon
Father-in-law: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ II
Adopted son: Nakamura Shichisabur˘ II
Disciples: Nakamura Sen'ya I (master of Nakamura Genzaemon I, the adoptive father of Nakamura Utaemon I's master Nakamura Genjűr˘), Sengoku Hikosuke I, Nakamura Kichisabur˘ I (?), Nakamura Gentar˘, Nakamura Gennosuke, Nakamura Shirogor˘ I, Nakamura Goroshir˘ II
5th lunar month of 1682: Shichisabur˘ achieves a great success at the Ichimuraza by playing in the wagoto style the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari in the drama "K˘shoku Kamakura Gonin Onna". This performance definitively puts the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari in the repertoire of the wagotoshi.
1st lunar month of 1686: Shichisabur˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of ďtomo Minbu in the new year drama "Wankyű Ukiyo Jikkai"; his stage partners are Nakamura Denkur˘ I (Kumahara Wadanosuke), Tamagawa Sennoj˘ III (Senju), Mikuni Hikosaku II (Wan'ya Kyűbŕ), Dekishima Kichiya (Hatsue-no-Mae), Uemura Kokichiya (Kiriyama), Hanai Saizabur˘ I (S˘hachi), Fujita Minanosuke (S˘hachi's wife), Tamai Gonpachi (Kichibei) and Hanamura Kinue (the courtesan Matsuyama).
11th lunar month of 1689: Shichisabur˘ goes to ďsaka.
Fall 1691: Shichisabur˘ goes back to Edo.
11th lunar month of 1691: Shichisabur˘ achieves a great success at the Yamamuraza by playing the role of Sano Tsuneyo in the drama "Shusse Nishikigi".
1st lunar month of 1696: Shichisabur˘ achieves a great success at the Yamamuraza by playing the role of Nagoya Sanza in the drama "Fuwa Nagoya Uikamuri"; the role of Fuwa Banzaemon, Sanza's rival in love, is played by Murayama Heijűr˘ I.
11th lunar month of 1696: Shichisabur˘ plays at the Nakamuraza in the drama "Neko no Koneko". His stage partners are Ogino Sawanoj˘, Nakamura Denkur˘ I, Sodeoka Masanosuke II, ďtani Hiroemon I and Nakajima Kanzaemon I.
11th lunar month of 1697 ~ Fall 1699: second stay in Kamigata.
1st lunar month of 1698: Shichisabur˘'s rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, is j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual]. He plays in the same theater the role of Koroku in the drama "Kant˘ Koroku Imay˘ Sugata". Premiere at Hayagumo Ch˘dayű's theater of the drama "Keisei Asama-ga-Dake", which is produced by Yamashita Hanzaemon I; Shichisabur˘ plays the role of Asama Tomoenoj˘ [casting]. Shichisabur˘ is the author of this long run play whose main theme, the apparition of a the ghost of a dead courtesan to her unfaithful lover, will be used again and again in countless numbers of drama. This is also the beginning of a deep friendship with the actor Sakata T˘jűr˘ I.
Spring 1699: Shichisabur˘ plays in Ky˘to the roles of Tonomonosuke and Nagoya Sanzaemon in the dramas "Keisei Hana Ikada" and "Nagoya Sanza", which are produced by Yamashita Hanzaemon I.
Fall 1699: Shichisabur˘ and the actor Murayama Jűemon go together to Edo.
2nd lunar month of 1702: Shichisabur˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari in the drama "Akebono Soga Yoichi"; the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune is played by Miyazaki Denkichi. This drama, which mixes elements of the ak˘ r˘shi events with the Soga brothers sekai, is forbidden for "political" reasons by the authorities after 3 days of performances.
1st lunar month of 1708: Shichisabur˘ appears on stage for the last time, playing the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari in the drama "Keisei Arashi Soga", which is staged at the Nakamuraza; the roles of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Kobayashi no Asahina are played by Tomizawa Hanzabur˘ I and Nakamura Denkur˘ I.
3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1708 : Shichisabur˘ dies in Edo.
Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I was one of the most outstanding and popular actors of the Genroku era. He was equally at home in sewamono or jidaimono dramas. His main field of excellence was wagoto, a style originally created in Kamigata but, to Shichisabur˘'s credit, we must point out that he created the Edo wagoto, whose most representative role is Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari in the sogamono plays. His others fields of excellence were nuregoto, yatsushigoto and the tanzen style.
"Nakamura Shichisabur˘ was exactly the opposite to Ichikawa Danjűr˘ in his stage methods. He belonged to Sakata T˘jűr˘'s real school, and was quiet and restrained on the boards. Danjűr˘ was bold and exaggerated, Shichisabur˘ effeminate and mild. They represented the two currents of the popular mind during Genroku. Danjűr˘ was not altogether welcome in Ky˘to and ďsaka, T˘jűr˘'s stronghold, where his style was not wholly appreciated, although he was acknowledged to be a great actor. Shichisabur˘, on the contrary, met with great success on the stages of these towns." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")
 The 3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of the 5th year of the H˘ei era was the 24th of March 1708 in the western calendar.
Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I in a print made by Torii Kiyonobu I (1702)
The Nakamura Shichisabur˘ line of actors
|Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News|