|SAWAMURA CHÔJÛRÔ I|
Line number: SHODAI (I)
Poetry names: Sôkei, Kion
Existence: 1675 ~ 24th day of the 1st lunar month of 1734 
Father-in-law: Yamashita Kyôemon I
Adopted brother: Sawamura Kodenji I
Sons: Kasane Izutsu Tôjûrô, Sawamura Chôjûrô II
Disciples: Sawamura Sôjûrô I, Sawamura Bunji, Sawamura Minegorô I (?) , Sawamura Minegorô II (?) , Sawamura Masagorô, Sawamura Kodayû
1675 ~ 1701: born in Kyôto in the district of Miyagawa-chô. His father Bicchûya Rokuroemon was a renowned dance teacher in the Imperial Capital and his adopted brother Sawamura Kodenji I was a promising wakaonnagata actor. He received the name of Sawamura Rokunosuke and became a reputed musician (drums).
1st lunar month of 1701: Sawamura Rokunosuke decided to shift to acting and took the name of Sawamura Chôjûrô I. He made his first appearance on stage in Kyôto at Ebisuya Kichirôbê's theater, playing the role of Yamagata Oribe in the drama "Shin Yome Kagami", which was produced by Yamashita Hanzaemon I.
11th lunar month of 1701 ~ 10th lunar month of 1703: Chôjûrô settled in Ôsaka and performed in the productions of Kataoka Nizaemon I, notably the drama "Ransetsu Oredake", which was staged in the 1st lunar month of 1702 to commemorate the passing away of Arashi San'emon II.
Fall 1703: Chôjûrô returned to Kyôto.
11th lunar month of 1703 ~ 10th lunar month of 1712: Chôjûrô performed in Kameya Kumenojô's and Ebisuya Kichirôbê's theaters.
11th lunar month of 1709: Chôjûrô played the role of Fujiya Izaemon, the most important role of the great Genroku actor Sakata Tôjûrô I who passed away a few days before the performance. This was a great challenge for Chôjûrô, who spent all his time and energy perfecting his acting skills in order to please Sakata Tôjûrô I's fans. His stage partner in the role of the courtesan Yûgiri, Izaemon's lover, was Yoshizawa Ayame I. The performance was successful and contributed a lot to the rising fame of Chôjûrô.
7th lunar month of 1711: Chôjûrô played the role of Asama Tomoenojô  in the drama "Keisei Asama-ga-Dake", which was staged in the same theater; his stage partners were Yoshizawa Ayame I (the courtesan Miura) and Yamashita Kyôemon I (Wadaemon). The performance was a big success and was extended up to october 1711.
11th lunar month of 1712: second stay in Ôsaka. Chôjûrô played the role of Inarinosuke in the drama "Inari Daimyô Shintaku no Kawado", which was produced by Mitsuyama Shichisaburô.
11th lunar month of 1713: Chôjûrô achieved a great success by playing the role of Naniwanojô in the drama "Ôminato Kogane no Izumi", which was produced by Yamamoto Hikogorô.
Summer 1715: Chôjûrô became zamoto.
1st lunar month of 1716: Chôjûrô produced in Ôsaka the drama "Ôkazari Monomi Guruma", starring the great wakaonnagata actor Ogino Yaegiri I in the role of Ono no Komachi.
1716: Chôjûrô gave to his young disciple Someyama Kijûrô the name of Sawamura Zengorô.
11th lunar month of 1716: Sawamura Chôjûrô temporarily took the name of Sawamura Sôjûrô and produced in Ôsaka the kaomise drama "Kogane no Ichigura" in which he performed with Sawamura Zengorô and Anegawa Shinshirô I. He held his new name only during this performance.
2nd lunar month of 1717: Chôjûrô produced in Ôsaka the dramas "Keisei Chibiki no Ishi" and Chikamatsu Monzaemon's "Keisei Kokusen'ya" in which Sawamura Zengorô was well received by the public, notably for his performance in the second play as he had to replace the star Anegawa Shinshirô I for the main role of Watônai.
11th lunar month of 1717: Chôjûrô produced in Ôsaka at the Naka no Shibai the kaomise drama "Inari Yashiki Daikoku Bashira" in which he played the role of Inamatsu Genjûrô; his stage partner for the role of Oshige, Genjûrô's spouse, was the young wakaonnagata Sanogawa Mangiku.
12th lunar month of 1717: Chôjûrô produced in the same theater the kiri kyôgen "Ôsaka Shinjû Hajimari" , in which he played the role of Masuya Kanbê.
12th lunar month of 1719: Chôjûrô produced in Kyôto Adachi Saburôzaemon's kaomise drama "Yamato Ôji Meoto Izumi", starring Ogino Yaegiri in the role of Oshige.
11th/12th lunar months of 1720: Chôjûrô produced in Kyôto at Miyako Mandayû's theater the kaomise drama "Gosha no Yonegura Fukki no Aimuko" and the kiri kyôgen "Hamadaya Shirozuki no Yone", in which he played the roles of Tamamatsu Inabanosuke and Eguchi Tazaemon.
11th lunar month of 1721: Chôjûrô produced in Kyôto at Miyako Mandayû's theater the kaomise drama "Inari Fuku In'yô no Kanegura", in which he played the role of Inamura Tomojûrô.
Fall 1722: Chôjûrô went to Ôsaka.
11th lunar month of 1722: Chôjûrô played at the Naka no Shibai the role of Takamatsu Gennai in the drama "Odori Hotei", which was produced by Takeshima Kôzaemon II.
11th lunar month of 1724: Chôjûrô played the role of Tamamatsu Inabanosuke in the kaomise drama "Senbon Matsu Hi-no-De no Maizuru", which was produced in Ôsaka by Sakakiyama Shirotarô I and Sawamura Kiyojûrô.
11th lunar month of 1730: Chôjûrô played in Kyôto at Hayagumo Chôdayû's theater the role of Umematsu Takaemon in Sawamura Bunji's kaomise drama "Inari Yakata Manpô no Kura", which was produced by Arashi Koroku I.
9th lunar month of 1732: first Kabuki adaptation of Matsuda Bunkôdô and Hasegawa Senshi puppet theater drama "Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki", which was produced in Kyôto by Sakakiyama Shirotarô I at Miyako Mandayû's theater; Chôjûrô played the role of Shigetada [casting].
12th lunar month of 1733: Chôjûrô appeared on stage for the last time, in Kyôto, playing the role of Kanki in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's masterpiece "Kokusen'ya Gassen", which was produced by Anegawa Chiyosaburô I.
24th day of the 1st lunar month of 1734 : Chôjûrô died.
Sawamura Chôjûrô I was an outstanding actor, without doubt the most representative tachiyaku for the Shôtoku and Kyôhô eras, and a successful zamoto. He spent all his career in the the Kamigata area and there was no record of any stay in Edo.
Sawamura Chôjûrô I was the founder of the Sawamura clan, whose main line, the Sawamura Sôjûrô line, was famous for his Edo wagoto style, which takes its roots in Chôjûrô's acting.
 The 24th day of the 1st lunar month of the 19th year of the Kyôhô era was the 27th of February 1734 in the western calendar.
 The role of Tomoenojô was played for the first time by the Edo actor Nakamura Shichisaburô I in the 1st lunar month of 1698 and became one of the most famous wagoto roles.
 This drama was a shinjûmono based on the story of Chôemon and his lover Ichinojô. The 17th day of the 5th lunar month of the 3rd year of the Tenna era (the 11th of June 1683 in the western calendar), the courtesan Yamatoya Ichinojô and her lover Goze no Chôemon committed suicide together in Ôsaka. This event caused quite a stir and three Ôsaka theaters decided to capitalize on the situation by simultaneously producing the same month the first shinjûmono of Kabuki history.
 Sawamura Chôjûrô I was most likely the master of both Sawamura Minegorô I and Sawamura Minegorô II. Not recorded in Nojima Jusaburô's book "Kabuki Jinmei Jiten".
Sawamura Chôjûrô I playing the role of Yuge Dôkyô in the drama "Washû Futatsuishi", which was performed in Kyôto in Spring 1727
The Sawamura Sôjûrô line of actors
The Sawamura Chôjûrô line of actors
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