DANSHICHI KUROBEI

The fishmonger Danshichi is the archetype of the Ôsaka otokodate. The role was based on a real man, a fishmonger in the city of Sakai, who killed somebody in the middle of winter in 1697. The dead body was hidden in the snow and discovered in Spring, after the melting of the snow. This event was dramatized for the first time in 1698 by the Kamigata star Kataoka Nizaemon I, who played the leading role of Danshichi. Then, half a century later, Danshichi became the hero of the sewamono "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" in 1745, which is still part of the current Kabuki and Bunraku repertoires and one of the most popular plays. It contains the most famous koroshiba in Kabuki (the murder of Mikawaya Giheiji by his son-in-law Danshichi). The second most famous danshichimono is Namiki Shôzô I's drama "Yadonashi Danshichi Shigure no Karakasa", which was premiered in the 9th lunar month of 1767. The name of Danshichi is different in each play:

Play Hero
Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami Danshichi Kurobę
Yadonashi Danshichi Shigure no Karakasa Danshichi Mohei

Jitsukawa Enjaku II playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" (print made by Natori Shunsen in 1926)

Ichikawa Kodanji IV playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Hana Shôbű Otoko Kagami", which was staged in the 5th lunar month of 1855 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)

Nakamura Shikan III playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in the 5th lunar month of 1847 at the Chikugo no Shibai

Nakamura Fukusuke I playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami"

Arashi Rikan II playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" (print made by Hokuei 1832)

Nakamura Sukegorô II playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in the 7th lunar month of 1768 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Katsukawa Shunshô)

Onoe Shôroku II playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" (print made by Ôta Masamitsu in 1955)

Ichikawa Danjűrô IX playing the role of Danshichi Kurobę in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in July 1883 at the Shintomiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)

 
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