NAKAYAMA BUNSHICHI I

Stage names:

Nakayama Bunshichi I In Japanese
Wakayama Bunshichi In Japanese
Nakayama Bunshichi I In Japanese
Nakayama Yosabur˘ I In Japanese

Other name:

J˘k˘ In Japanese

Guilds: Izumiya, Ujiya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry name: Yoshio

Existence: 1732 ~ 22nd day of the 7th lunar month of 1813 [1]

Connections:

Father: Matsuya Raisuke I (playwright)

Master and adoptive father: Nakayama Shinkur˘ I

Brothers: Nakayama Monjűr˘, Nakayama Shinkur˘ II

Son: Nakayama Yosabur˘ II

Disciples: Nakayama Hyakka (Nakayama Bunshichi III), Nakayama Kiraku I (Nakayama Shinkur˘ III), Nakayama Tomisabur˘ I, Nakayama Bungor˘ I, Nakayama Tatsujir˘, Nakayama Otojűr˘

Career:

Summer 1737: first stage appearance; he played at the ďnishi no Shibai under the name of Nakayama Yosabur˘ I in the drama "Hayari Uta Imose no Mai˘gi", which was produced by Yoshizawa Ayame II.

11th lunar month of 1747: Yosabur˘ became wakaonnagata and played at the Naka no Shibai the role of Kureha in the kaomise drama "Kogane-bana Michinoku Jikki", which was produced by Ichikawa Ryűz˘. He was adopted by his master Nakayama Shinkur˘ I around that time.

11th lunar month of 1748: Yosabur˘ went to Ky˘to, became tachiyaku and took the name of Nakayama Bunshichi I, playing the role of Sanada Yoichi in the kaomise drama "Sugomori Hiru-ga-Kojima", which was produced by Arashi San'emon IV.

11th lunar month of 1750: Bunshichi played in Ky˘to the role of Yodogawa Gor˘ji [picture] in Matsuya Raisuke I's kaomise drama "Kaikei Wag˘ Hanayakata", which was produced by Miyako Handayű.

1st lunar month of 1751: first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet theater drama "Tamamo-no-Mae Asahi no Tamoto", which was produced in Ky˘to by Miyako Handayű at his theater; Bunshichi played the role of Yata Dairoku [casting].

11th lunar month of 1751: Bunshichi became zamoto, working for the nadai Hayagumo Ch˘dayű in Ky˘to; he produced the kaomise drama "En no Gy˘ja ďmine Zakura".

Fall 1752: Nakayama Shinkur˘ I and Bunshichi went together to ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1752: Nakayama Shinkur˘ I and Nakayama Bunshichi I respectively took the names of Wakayama Shinkur˘ and Wakayama Bunshichi at the ďnishi no Shibai, performing in the kaomise program "Ky˘ Miyage Matsuri Zoroe", which was produced by Sanj˘ Sadasuke; their stage partners were Yamamoto Ky˘shir˘ I, ďtani Hirohachi I, Iwata Somematsu I, Matsushima Kiyosaki, Ichimura Sanohachi, Kirishima Gizaemon I, Kiriyama Monji I, Matsushima Moheiji, Takenaka Heikichi, Murayama Heijűr˘ IV and Nakamura Shirogor˘ III.

11th lunar month of 1754: Bunshichi became zamoto at the ďnishi no Shibai; he produced the kaomise drama "Uda Genji Asahi no Menbako" in which he played the role of Mikinoj˘ disguised as the farmer Yogor˘.

11th lunar month of 1755: Wakayama Bunshichi took back at the Naka no Shibai the name of Nakayama Bunshichi I, playing the role of Higuchi Jir˘ in the kaomise drama "Jidai Sewa Kogane no Hanazoroe", which was produced by Band˘ Toyosabur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1756: Bunshichi played at the ďnishi no Shibai the role of Okada Mushanosuke in Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's kaomise drama "Daimatsu Kyokusuke Tanzen Ropp˘", which was produced by Daimatsu Kyokusuke.

1st lunar month of 1757: premiere at the ďnishi no Shibai of Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's drama "Tenjiku Tokubŕ Kikigaki ďrai"; Bunshichi played the roles of the Sh˘gun Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the kon'ya Shirokur˘ and Fuchibe Rokur˘ [casting].

1st lunar month of 1758: first Kabuki adaptation of the 5-act maruhonmono drama "Hime Komatsu Ne-no-Hi no Asobi" in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai; Bunshichi played the roles of Taira no Shigemori and Kame˘maru [casting].

11th lunar month of 1758: Bunshichi played the role of the spirit of a kappa in Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's kaomise drama "Arigatashi Fujiwara Keizu", which he produced at the Kado no Shibai.

12th lunar month of 1758: Bunshichi played in the same theater the roles of Genpachi and Gonkur˘ in the drama "Sanjukkoku Yobune no Hajimari".

4th lunar month of 1761: Bunshichi produced at the Kado no Shibai the drama "Ashiya D˘man ďuchi Kagami", in which he played the role of Yokanbŕ; the role of Kuzu-no-Ha was played by Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I.

5th lunar month of 1762: premiere in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai of Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's drama "Koi Hakke Hashira Goyomi", which was a revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Daiky˘ji Mukashi Goyomi"; Bunshichi played the role of the daiky˘ji Ishun [more details].

7th lunar month of 1763: Bunshichi produced at the Kado no Shibai the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", in which he played the roles of Matsu˘maru and Terukuni; his stage partners were Nakayama Shinkur˘ I (Kakuju, Fujiwara no Shihei), Arashi Hinasuke I (Haru), Anegawa Daikichi I (Tonami, Yae), Asao Tamejűr˘ I (Hy˘e, Shund˘ Genba), Nakayama Raisuke I (Ume˘maru), Band˘ Toyosabur˘ I (Shiratayű), Fujikawa Hachiz˘ I (Genz˘, Sukune Tar˘), Ichinokawa Hikoshir˘ II (Sakuramaru), Yoshizawa Sakinosuke II (Chiyo, Tatsuta) and Nakamura Kichiemon I (Kan Sh˘j˘).

9th lunar month of 1764: premiŔre in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai of "Oriawase Tsuzure no Nishiki", based on the puppet drama "Katakiuchi Tsuzure no Nishiki", which was produced by Bunshichi and celebrated the 16th anniversary (17th memorial service) of the passing away of the star Anegawa Shinshir˘ I. A similar play was staged one day later under a different title, "Hare Kosode Tsuzure no Nishiki", at the Naka no Shibai [casting]. The competition for the best performance and the best line-up was open between the 2 theaters. The performance at the Kado no Shibai was more successful than the one at the Naka no Shibai; Bunshichi played at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Shund˘ Jir˘emon and the wakat˘ Ihŕ [casting].

11th lunar month of 1764: Bunshichi produced at the Kado no Shibai the drama "Momotar˘ Obako Banashi", which celebrated the shűmei of Yoshizawa Ayame III.

4th lunar month of 1766: Bunshichi plays the prestigious role of Danshichi Kurobŕ in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami", which was produced in ďsaka by Anegawa Kikuhachi; his stage partners were Fujikawa Hachiz˘ I (Issun Tokubŕ), Nakayama Shinkur˘ I (Tsuribune Sabu), Sawamura Kunitar˘ I (Otatsu), Yoshizawa Ayame III (Okaji) and Asao Tamejűr˘ I (Mikawaya Giheiji).

Fall 1766: Bunshichi went to Ky˘to.

11th lunar month of 1766: Bunshichi played at the Minamigawa no Shibai the role of Yaoya Ch˘bŕ in the kaomise drama "Yuki no Asa Daimonjitsu Miyako no Fuku", which was produced by Ichiyama Sukegor˘ II and Yamashita Ky˘nosuke.

11th lunar month of 1767: Bunshichi played in Ky˘to the role of Kokaji Muneyasu in the kaomise drama "Shinchoku Fukki no Kanatoko", which was produced by Ichiyama Sukegor˘ III and celebrated the shűmei of Sakakiyama Koshir˘ IV and Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ IV.

12th lunar month of 1768: Bunshichi played the role of the sum˘tori Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ in the drama "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki", which was produced by Mimasu Tanin I at the Naka no Shibai [casting].

7th lunar month of 1769: Bunshichi played in the same theater the role of Hiranoya Tokubŕ in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Sonezaki Shinjű"; the role of Tokubŕ's lover the courtesan Ohatsu was played by Yamashita Kinsaku II.

1771: tour in Ise.

10th lunar month of 1772: Bunshichi played at the Kado no Shibai the role of the yakko Ranpei in the drama "Yamatogana Ariwara Keizu", which was produced by Ogawa Kichitar˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1772: Bunshichi went to Ky˘to; he played the role of Takebe Genz˘ in the kaomise drama "ďsaka Zaiku Araki no Mokuz˘", which was produced by Yoshizawa Iroha I.

3rd day of the 4th lunar month of 1775 [2]: his adoptive father Nakayama Shinkur˘ I died.

8th lunar month of 1775: the play "Sekitori Senry˘ Nobori" was staged for the first time in ďsaka, at the Kado no Shibai; Bunshichi played the role of Senbagawa Kichibŕ [more details].

12th lunar month of 1776: premiere at the Naka no Shibai of Nagawa Kamesuke I's drama "Igagoe Norikake Gappa"; Bunshichi played the role of Karaki Masaemon [casting].

4th lunar month of 1777: premiere in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai of Nagawa Kamesuke I's drama "Meiboku Sendai Hagi"; Bunshichi played the roles of Matsugae Fushinosuke, Chichibu no Sh˘ji Shigetada and Izumi no Kojir˘ Sadakura [casting].

1st lunar month of 1778: premiere of Namiki Gohŕ's drama "Keisei Hakata Ori", which was produced at the Minamigawa no Shibai by Mimasu Jir˘kichi; Bunshichi played the role of Shima no Koheiji [picture] [casting | picture and details].

11th lunar month of 1779: Bunshichi played at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Ishid˘ Umanoj˘, Kakogawa Honz˘ and Amagawaya Gihei in the drama "Kanadehon Chűshingura", which was produced by Yoshizawa Iroha I.

2nd lunar month of 1781: Bunshichi played in the same theater the role of Matahei in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘"; the role of Matahei's wife Otoku was played by Yamashita Kamenoj˘ IV.

9th lunar month of 1782: Bunshichi appeared on stage for the last time (isse ichidai peformance), playing the roles of Monogusa Tar˘ and Ranpei in the dramas "Monogusa Tar˘" and "Saiwai Ariwara Keizu", which were produced at the Kado no Shibai by Fujikawa Sango. This great program also celebrated the shűmei of his brother Nakayama Shinkur˘ II. Bunshichi shaved his head and retired from the Kabuki world in Ky˘to, in the district of Kurodani. As a monk, he took the name of J˘k˘. He spent his time studying calligraphy and music.

19th day of the 3rd lunar month of 1783 [3]: his brother Nakayama Shinkur˘ II died.

11th lunar month of 1793: Nakayama Raisuke II, the adopted son of J˘k˘'s late brother Nakayama Shinkur˘ II, took the name of Nakayama Bunshichi II at the Naka no Shibai, performing in the kaomise drama "Kogane Masu Yonetar˘ Gitsune", which was produced by J˘k˘'s son Nakayama Yosabur˘ II and celebrated the arrival in ďsaka of the Edo star Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III.

19th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1798 [4]: Nakayama Bunshichi II died.

11th lunar month of 1802: his disciple Nakayama Raisuke III took the name of Nakayama Shinkur˘ III in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai.

11th lunar month of 1804: his disciple Nakayama Hy˘tar˘ I took the name of Nakayama Bunshichi III in Edo at the Nakamuraza, performing in the kaomise drama "Kiku Zum˘ Mikurai Sadame", which also celebrated the shűmei of Iwai Hanshir˘ V and Ichikawa Yaoz˘ IV.

5th lunar month of 1809: Nakayama Bunshichi III took the name of Nakayama Hyakka in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai.

22nd day of the 7th lunar month of 1813 [1]: J˘k˘ died.

Comments:

Nakayama Bunshichi I was the worthy heir of Nakayama Shinkur˘ I and became one of the best tachiyaku actors of the second half of the eighteenth century. He spend most of his career in Kamigata major theaters, excelling in jitsugotoshi roles. He was also an excellent shosagoto performer.

[1] The 22nd day of the 7th lunar month of the 10th year of the Bunka era was the 17th of August 1813 in the western calendar.

[2] The 3rd day of the 4th lunar month of the4th year of the An'ei era was the 2nd of May 1775 in the western calendar.

[3] The 19th day of the 3rd lunar month of the 3rd year of the Tenmei era was the 20th of April 1783 in the western calendar.

[4] The 19th day of the 2nd lunar month of the 10th year of the Kansei era was the 4th of April 1798 in the western calendar.

Nakayama Bunshichi I as depicted in an illustration from the book "Santo Yakusha Omokage Zukushi" (1784)

Prints & Illustrations

The Nakayama Bunshichi line of actors

 
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