SAKATA TJR I

Stage name:

Sakata Tjr I In Japanese

Other name:

Sakata Izaemon In Japanese

Guild: Yamashiroya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry names: Sharen, Tj

Existence: 1646 ~ 1st day of the 11th lunar month of 1709 [1]

Connections:

Father: Sakata Ichiemon

Brother: Sakata Ichinoj

Sons: Sakata Tkur, Sakata Hyshichir

Nephew: Sakata Tjr III's father Sakata Hyshir

Disciples: Sakata Tjr II, Sakata Seiemon, Sakata Emon, Sakata Rokusabur, Sakata Jgor

Career:

1646: born in Kyto. His ancestors lived in the northern province of Echigo and his father owned a theater in Kyto.

11th lunar month of 1676: Tjr became zamoto at the Miyako Manday's theater in Kyto, where he produced the drama "Takiguchi no Yokobue", in which he played the role of Sait no Takiguchi.

7th day of the 1st lunar month of 1678 [2]: giya Ygiri, the most famous courtesan in the Shinmachi pleasure quarter in saka, died.

2nd lunar month of 1678: Tjr produced in saka the drama "Ygiri Nagori no Shgatsu", in which he played the role of Ygiri's lover Fujiya Izaemon. This was the beginning of the wagoto style. The drama was very successful and staged with different actors in the 6th, the 10th and the 12th lunar months.

1686: Tjr went back to Kyto.

1688: Tjr played the role of Genzaemon in the drama "kumagawa Genzaemon", which was staged at Miyako Manday's theater.

Fall 1688: Tjr achieved a great success in the same theater by performing in the drama "Keisei Tamatebako"; his stage partner was Iwai Hanshir I.

1690: Tjr played the role of giya Ygiri's lover Fujiya Izaemon in the drama "Ygiri Jsankaiki", which was produced in saka by Araki Yojib I and commemorated the 12th anniversary (13th memorial service) of the passin away of giya Ygiri, who was the most famous courtesan in the Shinmachi pleasure quarter in saka and died the 7th day of the 1st lunar month of 1678 [2]. The role of giya Ygiri was played by Tanishima Mondo.

1691: Tjr performed in saka at the Kado no Shibai in the drama "Sakai no Daiji Kaich".

1692: Tjr performed in Kyto in the keiseigoto drama "Taema Mandara", which was produced by Murayama Heiemon III.

3rd lunar month of 1693: premiere in Kyto at Miyako Manday's theater of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Butsumo Mayasan Kaich"; this was the first drama written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon for Tjr; his stage partners were Yamashita Hanzaemon I, Yoshizawa Ayame, Kirinami Senju I, Kaneko Kichizaemon and Iwai Heijir.

7th lunar month of 1695: Tjr played at Hayagumo Chday's theater (Kyto) the role of Soga Jr in the drama "Soga Tay-zome".

11th lunar month of 1695: Tjr became zamoto in Kyto, producing the drama "Hime Kura Daikoku Bashira" at Miyako Manday's theater.

Spring 1696: Tjr produced in the same theater the play "Kyasan Mand".

11th lunar month of 1696: Tjr produced in Kyoto at Miyako Manday's theater the drama "Thsaku", which was written for him by Chikamatsu Monzaemon.

4th lunar month of 1697: Tjr produced in the same theater Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Uzuki Kokonoka Sono Akatsuki no Myjgachaya", in which he played the role of the tedai Kuemon.

7th lunar month of 1697: Tjr produced in the same theater the play "Daimy Nagusami Soga".

11th lunar month of 1697: Tjr produced in Kyoto at Miyako Manday's theater the drama "Nana Bake", in which he achieved a great success, sharing the stage with Mizuki Tatsunosuke I, who celebrated his comeback in Kamigata.

1698: beginning of a deep friendship with the Edo actor Nakamura Shichisabur I, who was on tour in Kamigata.

1st lunar month of 1698: Tjr produced in the same theater Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Kamigy no Uta Hajime" (he revised the script quite a lot himself). Tjr's rank in the Kamigata hybanki, tachiyaku section, was j-j-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual].

1st lunar month of 1699: Tjr produced in the same theater Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Keisei Hotoke no Hara". This was a huge success.

10th lunar month of 1699: Tjr produced in the same theater Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Amidagaike Shin Teramachi"; he played the role of Niwazukuri Tsuke.

12th lunar month of 1699: Tjr send some water from the Kamo River (the main river flowing in Kyto) to his friend Nakamura Shichisabur I in Edo.

1st lunar month of 1700: Tjr produced in the same theater Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Keisei Guzei no Fune", in which he played the role of Hakozaki Samon.

1st lunar month of 1701: Tjr produced at Hayagumo Chday's theater (Kyto) the drama "Keisei Sagano no Hara", in which he played the role of Izumigawa Hyakusuke.

1st lunar month of 1702: premiere at Miyako Manday's theater (Kyto) of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Keisei Mibu Dainenbutsu", which was produced by Kokon Shinzaemon; the two leading actors were Tjr and Arashi Kiyosabur I.

11th lunar month of 1702: Tjr became zamoto at Miyako Manday's theater and produced the drama "Yomeiri Kosode", in which he played the role of Takiguchi Tawaranosuke.

1703: annus horribilis for Tjr, who fell ill several times.

3rd lunar month of 1704: Tjr played the role of Fujiya Izaemon in the drama "Ygiri Nagori no Shgatsu", which was staged at Miyako Manday's theater (Kyto).

3rd lunar month of 1705: Tjr played the roles of Hanaikada Hyakujir and enosuke in the drama "Keisei Inaba no Matsu", which was produced by his son Sakata Hyshichir at Hoteiya Umenoj's theater (Kyto).

1706: Tjr played at Miyako Manday's theater the role of Soga Jr in the drama "Futsuka Soga".

1st lunar month of 1707: Tjr played at Hayagumo Chday's theater (Kyto) the role of Yaban Kysuke in Adachi Saburzaemon's drama "Ishiyamadera Chikai no Mizuumi", which was produced by Takeshima Kjr.

10th lunar month of 1707: Tjr played in the same theater in the drama "Sansh-day".

1st lunar month of 1708: Tjr played at Kameya Kumenoj's theater (Kyto) the role of Yahata Gohei in Kurumaya Chemon's drama "Fukubiki Ur no Shgatsu".

3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1708 [3]: his Edo friend Nakamura Shichisabur I died.

10th lunar month of 1708: Tjr appeared on stage for the last time, at Kameya Kumenoj's theater, playing the role of Fujiya Izaemon in the drama "Ygiri Nagori no Shgatsu".

1st day of the 11th lunar month of 1709 [1]: Tjr died.

Comments:

Sakata Tjr was a stage giant in Kamigata during the Genroku era, who created the wagoto style. He was at his best in sewamono dramas, especially the ones dealing with the pleasure quarters. He used to say: "in acting, I think that everyday life should be the model". According to Kaneko Kichizaemon, who wrote dramas for him, "whenever a role was given to Tjr, whether short or long, good or bad, he always studied it carefully".

"Sakata Tjr reflected the taste and elegance of his Kyto environment. He was romantic and natural in his acting. He left no successor, but there have always been actors faithful to his style." (Zo Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

"Le jeu de Tjr se signala par une recherche trs rigoureuse de ralisme, tant pour lui-mme que pour ses partenaires qu'il soumettait en tant que chef de troupe une impitoyable direction d'acteurs : "C'est dans la vie relle, disait-il en effet, que doit rsider le modle", et de ce principe tmoigne l'anecdote fameuse dont Kikuchi Kan tira en 1919 l'argument d'une pice succs, "L'amour de Tjr" : dans un restaurant de Gion ( Kyto), Sakata Tjr poursuivit de ses assiduits l'une des femmes de l'tablissement qui, dsireuse d'en venir au fait, l'entrana dans une chambre du fond et souffla la lampe qui se trouvait l'entre. Tjr s'enfuit sur le champ. Il revint le lendemain et, abordant la femme : "grce vous, lui dit-il, j'ai pu prparer mon prochain rle. Il s'agit de l'amant d'une femme marie, et comme je n'ai jamais commis d'adultre, je me trouvais fort embarrass () et pensais qu' moins de rencontrer un tel homme et de m'imprgner de ses sentiments, je ne pourrais tudier mon rle. Mais dsormais mon souhait a t ralis, et j'ai pu enfin le mettre au point". (propos d'acteurs, d. 1776). Ainsi s'labora sous l'gide de Tjr une thorie du jeu (oserait-on dire : une mthode ?) dans laquelle l'exprience vcue informait troitement l'interprtation jusqu' crer une sorte de continuum entre l'art et la vie." (Michel Wasserman in "Thtre classique du Japon")

"Many anecdotes have been handed down relating to Tjr's extravagance. He received a large salary, but was not at all frugal, and was accustomed to say to those who remonstrated with him about his wastefulness that in order to be a great actor it was necessary to be generous-minded and reckless. He never wore a dress that had been washed; his room was lighted by candles, not by the oil wick which was general in those days. Moreover, he did not subsist on rice and vegetables, the diet of most families, then as now, but lived like a daimy, partaking of fish and fowl. Every day he drank a cup of the rarest tea, while he warmed his sake with costly charcoal, all in the lordly manner of a feudal magnate. When actors repaired to his house for rehearsal, he received them seated on a beautiful silk cushion, with a gorgeous lacquered tobacco-box in front of him, and served his guests a sumptuous repast. Once, when he played in saka, he ordered drinking water from Kyto to be brought to him in casks, and his rice was selected grain by grain. When he was asked the reason for this extravagance, he replied that if his rice were not properly selected the grains might be mixed with grit and his teeth be ruined; and that if he drank saka water he might become ill, and in consequence be obliged to absent himself from the stage, to the great loss of his manager. It is suspected that Tjr loved advertisement more than Kyto water, and knew how to make himself talked about by the people of his day." (Zo Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

[1] The 1st day of the 11th lunar month of the 20th year of the Kyh era was the 1st of December 1709 in the western calendar.

[2] The 7th day of the 1st lunar month of the 6th year of the Enp era was the 27th of February 1678 in the western calendar.

[3] The 3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of the 5th year of the Hei era was the 24th of March 1708 in the western calendar.

Sakata Tjr I (1699)

Prints & Illustrations

The Sakata Tjr line of actors

 
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