MATSUSHIMA CHďFU I

Pen names:

Matsushima Ch˘fu I In Japanese
Sakurada Jisuke II In Japanese
Tagawa Sh˘saku In Japanese
Matsushima Hanji I In Japanese
Matsushima Y˘suke I In Japanese
Shimizu Hanji In Japanese
Sakae Hanji In Japanese

Other name :

Gokai Yűjin In Japanese

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry names: Sak˘, Ch˘fu

Existence: 1768 ~ 14th day of the 4th lunar month of 1829

Connection:

Masters: Tsuruya Nanboku IV, Sakurada Jisuke I, Kasanui Sensuke I

Disciples: Sakurada Jisuke III, Matsushima Hanji II, Matsushima Hanji IV

Career:

1768: born in Edo. His first name is T˘jir˘. His father T˘suke manages a float of garbage boats.

1790s: he become a disciple of Kasanui Sensuke I. Then he joins Sakurada Jisuke I. His first names are Sakae Hanji, Shimizu Hanji, Matsushima Y˘suke I and Matsushima Hanji I.

1796: Hanji works at the Kawarazakiza.

11th lunar month of 1797: Hanji works at the Nakamuraza to assist his master Sakurada Jisuke I on the kaomise drama "Kaikei Koky˘ no Nishikigi", which celebrates the shűmei of Arashi Shichigor˘ III.

11th lunar month of 1799: Hanji works at the Ichimuraza to assist Matsui K˘z˘ I on the kaomise drama "Utsukushiki Yuki no Sekai", which celebrates the shűmei of Ogino Izabur˘ II.

11th lunar month of 1802: Hanji works at the Nakamuraza to assist his master Sakurada Jisuke I on the kaomise drama "Koshiji no Hana Oedo no Torideki".

11th lunar month of 1804: Hanji works at the Nakamuraza to assist his master Sakurada Jisuke I, along with the sakusha Nagawa Shimesuke I and Fukumori Kyűsuke I, on the kaomise drama "Kiku Zum˘ Mikurai Sadame", which celebrates the shűmei of Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ IV and Nakayama Bunshichi III, and welcomes in Edo the actors Segawa Rok˘ III and his adopted son Segawa Kamesabur˘.

11th lunar month of 1805: Hanji works at the Nakamuraza to assist Nagawa Shimesuke I and Tsuruya Nanboku IV on the kaomise drama "Seiwa Genji Nidai no Yumitori", which welcomes in Edo the actor ďtani Tomoemon II.

1807: he takes the name of Tagawa Sh˘saku.

11th lunar month of 1808: he takes the name of Sakurada Jisuke II and becomes tatesakusha at the Moritaza, working with Fukumori Kyűsuke I on the kaomise drama "Hana to Mitsu Yuki no Kusunoki". Premiere at the Moritaza of the 7-role hengemono "Yamato Gana Iro no Nana Moji"; all the lyrics are written by the new Jisuke and all the roles are performed by Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III. The seven dances are "Kanjo" (the court lady), "Saru Mawashi" (le dresseur of singes), "Inaka Musume" (a country girl), "Sotoba Komachi", "Genta" (still in the current Kabuki repertoire), "Momotar˘" and "Sanbas˘".

1st lunar month of 1810: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Kokoro no Nazo Toketa Iroito"; Jisuke is one of the main collaborators in the sakusha team [casting].

5th lunar month of 1810: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Ehon Gapp˘-ga-Tsuji"; Jisuke is one of the main collaborators in the sakusha team [casting].

9th lunar month of 1810: premiere at the Ichimuraza of a 3-role hengemono, which is entitled "Mata Atarashiku Mitsu no Sakazuki"; the roles are all played by Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III and all the lyrics are written by Jisuke. One of these roles, the street performer, is still part of the current Kabuki repertoire ("Kairaishi").

3rd lunar month of 1811: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Jisuke's 7-role Tokiwazu-based hengemono "Shichimai Tsuzuki Hana no Sugatae", a dance program made up of seven dances: "Nyo San no Miya", "Kajiwara Genta", "Shiokumi" (the salt-making girl), "Sarumawashi" (a monkey showman), "Gannin B˘zu" (a bonze), "R˘jo" (an old woman) and "Kan U" (a Chinese warlord). All the roles are played by Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III. The dances "Gannin B˘zu" and "Shiokumi" are still part of the current repertoire; the former is staged under the title "Ukare B˘zu".

9th lunar month of 1812: the actor Nakamura Utaemon III, who is about to travel back to his native Kamigata after more than 4 years spent in Edo, performs his onagori ky˘gen at the Nakamuraza, which includes the premiere of a sanbas˘, which is written by Jisuke and entitled "Mata Kuru Haru Suzuna no Tanemaki". The roles of Sanbas˘, Senzai and Okina are played by Nakamura Utaemon III, Nakamura Akashi IV and Nakamura Shichisabur˘ IV.

6th lunar month of 1813: premiere at the Moritaza of the 8-role hengemono "Mata Koko-ni Sugata Hakkei"; the 8 roles are performed by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII. All the lyrics are written by Jisuke. One of them, the one for the view "wild goose swooping down upon Katata in Autumn" ("Katata no Rakugan" in Japanese), has survived and became an independent popular dance item in the Kabuki repertoire, known under the titles of "ďmi no Okane", "Danjűr˘ Musume" (the Danjűr˘ Girl) or "Sarashima" (the Cloth-bleaching Girl).

9th lunar month of 1819: the actor Nakamura Shikan I, who is about to travel back to his native Kamigata, performs his onagori ky˘gen at the Nakamuraza, which includes a spectacular 9-role hengemono which is written by Jisuke and entitled "Onagori Oshie no Mazebari". One of these roles is still in the current Kabuki repertoire ("Tobae").

9th lunar month of 1820: premiere at the Nakamuraza of a 7-role hengemono, which is entitled "Setsugekka Nagori no Bundai"; the roles are all played by Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III and all the lyrics are written by Jisuke. This is the onagori ky˘gen, who is about to depart from Edo to perform in ďsaka. Three of these seven roles are still part of the current Kabuki repertoire: "Asazuma Bune", "Makasho" and "Tama Usagi".

6th lunar month of 1826: premiere at the Ichimuraza of a 3-role Kiyomoto-based hengemono, which is entitled "Mata Koko-ni Kabuki no Hanadashi" and stars Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III; all the lyrics are written by Jisuke. The 3 roles are Take-no-Uchi no Sukeneya (a legendary character famous for his extraordinary long life), a fisherman fighting a giant octopus and a tekomai festival dancer. The fisherman and the dancer are nowadays independent dances, which are staged under the respective titles of "Amiuchi" and "Omatsuri" (Band˘ Mitsugor˘ X revived the 3-role dance "Mata Koko-ni Kabuki no Hanadashi" in October 2003 at the Minamiza).

11th lunar month of 1826: Jisuke works at the Ichimuraza to assist the tatesakusha Nakamura Jűsuke IV, along with Nagawa Honsuke and Mimasuya Nis˘ji, on the kaomise drama "Ise Heiji Sh˘ no Kaomise".

End of 1826 or beginning of 1827: he takes the name of Matsushima Ch˘fu I.

11th lunar month of 1827: the kaomise drama "Kawaranu Hana Genji no Kaomise", which was written by Ch˘fu, Mimasuya Nis˘ji and Kanai Sangy˘, is staged at the Ichimuraza; it stars Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII, Ichimura Uzaemon XII, Band˘ Minosuke II, Ichikawa Ichiz˘ II, Iwai Kumesabur˘ II, Iwai Shijaku I, Osagawa Tsuneyo IV, Nakayama Bungor˘ II, Sawamura Shabaku, Ogino Izabur˘ III, Naritaya S˘bŕ and Band˘ Tamasabur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1828: Ch˘fu worked at the Ichimuraza, along with Nakamura Jűsuke IV, Matsukawa H˘saku and Nagawa Motosuke, on the kaomise drama "Mitsugi no Yuki Genji Hiiki".

21st day of the 3rd lunar month of 1829: a fire breaks out from the shop of Owariya Tokuemon, in the district of Kanda Sakuma-ch˘. It spreads and destroys the Edo theaters district; Ch˘fu is deeply wounded. He tries to recover at his disciple Matsushima Y˘suke II's home in the district of Ichigaya Motomura-ch˘ where he dies the 14th day of the 4th lunar month of 1829 (the 16th of May 1829 in the western calendar).

Comments:

Matsushima Ch˘fu I was an important Edo sakusha, who worked on more than 150 original dramas (including at least 30 dance-dramas). He wrote a lot for the Edo star (and outstanding dancer) Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III. Some of his dances are still in the current Kabuki repertoire: "Amiuchi", "Asazuma Bune", "Genta", "Kairaishi", "Makasho", "Omatsuri", "ďmi no Okane", "Shiokumi", "Shitadashi Sanbas˘", "Tama Usagi", "Tobae" and "Ukare B˘zu". He had two important masters, Sakurada Jisuke I and Tsuruya Nanboku IV. His shosagoto were influenced by the former and his dramas by the latter. At the beginning of his career, he was nicknamed Gomihan, han for Hanji and gomi which means garbage as he was the son of a businessman specialized in garbage collection.

The name of Matsushima Ch˘fu I in a 1828 Edo hy˘banki (the zone within the red shape on the right side of the picture); all the names were the sakusha at the Ichimuraza; the most others important ones are Mimasuya Nis˘ji, Kanai Sangy˘, Nakamura Jűsuke IV and Nagawa Honsuke

 
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