|SADOSHIMA CHďGORď I|
Line number: SHODAI (I)
Existence: 1700 ~ 13th day of the 7th lunar month of 1757 
Grandfather: Sadoshima Denbŕ
Father: Sadoshima Denpachi
1700~1712: born in Kamigata. Son of the d˘kegata Sadoshima Denpachi and grandson of Sadoshima Denbŕ,
who headed one of the Onna Kabuki ("Woman Kabuki") troupe in Ky˘to. He started his career at the end of the Sh˘toku era,
performing in ďsaka as a wakashugata.
An interesting story about Ch˘gor˘'s youth:
1st lunar month of 1720: Ch˘gor˘ played in Ky˘to at Miyako Mandayű's theater in the new year drama "Keisei Hachimannichi". He achieved a great success by performing the dance "Nich˘ Tsuzumi". The origin of this dance was quite interesting: while on tour in Ise, Ch˘gor˘ had almost no musician with him and only one instrument, a kotsuzumi (shoulder drum). Ch˘gor˘ cut a piece of bamboo and made an ˘tsuzumi (hip drum) out of it. He decided to call this short dance "Nich˘ Tsuzumi", which literally means "the two drums".
Fall 1731: Ch˘gor˘ went to Edo.
1st lunar month of 1732: Ch˘gor˘ played in the same theater the role of Soga Jűr˘ in the new year sogamono drama "Hatsugoyomi Ainai Soga"; his stage partners in the roles of Soga Gor˘ and Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune were Ogino Izabur˘ I and Sawamura S˘jűr˘ I.
11th lunar month of 1733: Ch˘gor˘ played at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater (Ky˘to) the role of Tanomonosuke in the kaomise drama "Ch˘seiden Kogane no Shikigawara", which was produced by Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ I.
1741: Ch˘gor˘ sent an invitation to Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II (and his adopted son Ichikawa Danjűr˘ III) to perform in ďsaka in his theater. The Edo star "demanded an enormous salary for those days, something quite out of the ordinary in the way of remuneration. And Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘, thinking that Ebiz˘ would never ask such a sum unless he had something startling to offer, did not hesitate to comply with the extraordinary request" (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan"). The sum was 2,000 ry˘!
11th lunar month of 1741: Ch˘gor˘ produced at the ďnishi no Shibai the kaomise drama "Bankoku Taiheiki", which included the "Uir˘ Uri" scene and starred Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ III, Yamamoto Ky˘shir˘ I, Arashi Shichigor˘ I, Onoe Kikugor˘ I, Yamashita Kinsaku I, Nakamura Jir˘sa I, Band˘ Toyosabur˘ I, Shibazaki Taminosuke, Yamanaka Heijűr˘ I and Yamatogawa Akashi.
Fall 1747: Ch˘gor˘ went to Edo.
1748: Ch˘gor˘ went back to Ky˘to, retired from the Kabuki world and took the tonsure. His new name was Renchib˘ and he settled in front of the famous Kenninji Temple. Later on, he settled in ďsaka, where he died.
13th day of the 7th lunar month of 1757 : Ch˘gor˘ died in ďsaka.
"This Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘ was the son of Denpachi, a d˘kegata, or comedian, and a dancer of great skill who was prominent just before Genroku. Ch˘gor˘ was fortunate in having such an experienced stage father, and he was soon apprenticed to dancing. The chroniclers of Kabuki tell how the father taught the boy to dance on the goban, or small table used for playing go, the national chess game. The child was often summoned by persons of high degree to take part in entertainments, and once a prince ordered an artist to make a model of him dancing on the goban. He never seriously competed for a place among the actors, but long remained Kabuki's most famous dancing teacher. When he reached old age he shaved his head and retired from the world, taking up his abode in front of Kenninji, a Buddhist temple of Ky˘to. Sadoshima Ch˘gor˘ left one of Kabuki's literary treasures, the "Sadoshima Nikki", or "Journal of Sadoshima", in which he disclosed the secrets of shosagoto. He criticised the actors of his time as having gone astray from the true path of dramatic art, and reflected in his writing the change that had already set in--the beginning of the decline of Kabuki, for the brilliancy of the Genroku period and the progress of H˘reki were not repeated in the years that followed." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")
 The 13th day of the 7th lunar month of the 7th year of the H˘reki era was the 27th of August 1757 in the western calendar.
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