TSUUCHI EISHI I

Pen names:

Tsuuchi Eishi I In Japanese
Tsuuchi Jihŕ II In Japanese

Stage names:

Tsuuchi Michir˘ In Japanese
Tsuuchi Jisabur˘ In Japanese

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry name: Eishi

Existence: 1679 ~ 20th day of the 1st lunar month of 1760 [1]

Connection:

Father: Tsuuchi Jihŕ I

Adopted son: Tsuyama Yűz˘ I

Disciples: Tsuuchi Jisuke, Tsuuchi Han'emon, Tsuuchi Jihŕ III, Tsuuchi Eishi II, Tsuuchi Denjűr˘ II, Tsuuchi Hanshir˘, Tsuuchi Hanjűr˘, Tsuuchi Kuheiji II, Tsuuchi Sonoji, Tsuuchi Kanki, Tsuuchi Sabur˘ji, Tsuuchi Seisuke, Tsuuchi Takasuke, Tsuuchi Tar˘ji, Tsuuchi Teisuke, Tsuuchi Matazaemon

Career:

1679: born in ďsaka. He was the son of Tsuuchi Jihŕ I. His first two stage names were Tsuuchi Jisabur˘ and Tsuuchi Michir˘.

1703: he settled in Edo with his father.

1704: he became sakusha and took the name of Tsuuchi Jihŕ II.

3rd lunar month of 1705: Jihŕ worked at the Yamamuraza on the drama "Keisei Yoshinagazome".

3rd lunar month of 1710: Jihŕ worked at the Nakamuraza on the revival of the seigen-sakurahimemono "Isshin Niga Byakud˘", which was staged for the first time in the 7th lunar month of 1695 at the Yamamuraza. The roles of Seigen and Princess Sakura were played by Nakajima Kanzaemon I and Tsutsui Kichijűr˘ I. For the first time, Jihŕ mixed jidaimono and sewamono elements in the same drama. This was the first jidai-sewamono in Kabuki history.

2nd lunar month of 1716: Jihŕ worked at the Nakamuraza, along with Tsuuchi Han'emon, on the new year drama "Shikirei Yawaragi Soga"; the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, Soga Gor˘ Tokimune, the courtesan Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ (Gor˘'s lover) and Kobayashi no Asahina were played by Hayakawa Dengor˘, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II, Nakamura Takesabur˘ I and ďtani Hiroji I. The play included a new version of "Sukeroku" with the actors Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II, Nakamura Takesabur˘ I and ďtani Hiroemon I playing the roles of Sukeroku, Agemaki and Ikyű.

11th lunar month of 1720: Jihŕ worked at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Kodakara Imagawaj˘".

1st lunar month of 1738: Jihŕ worked at the Nakamuraza on the new year sogamono "Takara Soga Nyogo no Shimadai".

Fall 1738: Jihŕ went to Kamigata, along with Band˘ Hikosabur˘ I and his adopted son Tsuuchi Monzabur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1738: Jihŕ worked at the ďnishi no Shibai with the sakusha Nakata Mansuke on the kaomise drama "Kusunoki Yakata Sennen Gitsune", which was produced in ďsaka by Yoshizawa Ayame II.

6th lunar month of 1740: Jihŕ went back to Edo and worked at the Ichimuraza on the sogamono "Amida-ga-Ike Imose Kagami".

11th lunar month of 1745: Jihŕ worked at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Onna Kusunoki Yosooi Kagami", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata onnagata Yoshizawa Ayame II.

1st lunar month of 1746: Jihŕ worked in the same theater the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari on the new year drama "Kikeba Mukashi Soga Monogatari"; the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were played by Band˘ Hikosabur˘ I, Ichimura Kamez˘ I and Ogino Izabur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1748: Jihŕ worked at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "H˘kas˘ Yunzei Hachinoki", which celebrated the shűmei of ďtani Hiroji II.

11th lunar month of 1749: Jihŕ worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Bijo Kurabe Kiso no Kakehashi", which celebrated the shűmei of Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II.

11th lunar month of 1750: Jihŕ worked at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Wakaki no Ume Taira no Kiyomori".

2nd lunar month of 1751: Jihŕ worked in the same theater on the new year drama "Izu Kosode Sh˘bai Kagami".

11th lunar month of 1751: Jihŕ worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Aizuchi Jűnidan", which celebrated the shűmei of Morita Kan'ya VI and his adopted son Tsuyama Yűz˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1752: Jihŕ worked in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Kotobuki Maizuru Soga"; the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were played by Ichikawa S˘zabur˘ I, Morita Kan'ya VI and Nakamura Shichisabur˘ II.

11th lunar month of 1752: Jihŕ worked at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Ume Sakura Ninin Semimaru".

1st lunar month of 1753: Jihŕ worked in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Haru Fukami Iroha Soga" [3]; the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ II, Onoe Kikugor˘ I and Ichimura Kamez˘ I.

2nd day of the 9th lunar month of 1753 [2]: his adopted son Tsuyama Yűz˘ I died in Edo.

11th lunar month of 1753: he took the name of Tsuuchi Eishi I and worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Masakado Koky˘ no Nishiki", which celebratesd the shűmei of Suketakaya Takasuke I and Ichikawa S˘zabur˘ II.

11th lunar month of 1754: Eishi worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Kiichi H˘gen Shinan-guruma", which welcomed in Edo the actor Matsuyama Sanjűr˘.

1st lunar month of 1755: Eishi worked in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Sono Sugata Ariake Soga"; the roles of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari were played by Suketakaya Takasuke I, Matsuyama Sanjűr˘ and Ichikawa Masuz˘ I.

1755: without stopping his sakusha career, he became the disciple of the monk Ry˘kai and settled in Kameido in order to learn Zen.

1st lunar month of 1756: Eishi worked [4] at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Masakado Sh˘zoku no Enoki", which celebrated the arrival of Arashi Tominosuke I in Edo.

11th lunar month of 1757: Eishi worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Ikioi Wada Gassen".

11th lunar month of 1759: Eishi worked [5] at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Toki Tsukaze Heike Monogatari".

20th day of the 1st lunar month of 1760 [1]: Eishi died in Edo. His posthumous buddhist name was Yűken'in Eishi Nichiyű

Comments:

Tsuuchi Eishi I was an important Edo sakusha who was active for 57 years! He was one of the first professional playwright in Edo. He worked on more than 100 (200?) original dramas [6].

"He created the standard Edo "four-act play," and wrote dramas that mixed jidaimono and sewamono." (Samuel Leiter in "New Kabuki Encyclopedia")

"There's a Story about him that he and a certain lead actor were at odds with each other. Jihei's play was rejected by the actor six times as he continued to rewrite it, even changing the plot and background story. The seventh time, he took his original play, and changing only the title, he read it aloud. The actor, who had also run out of patience, accepted it, and this gave Jihei a laugh. Those who were unaware of the true situation believed that they had come together in their thinking and had been reconciled. What admirable character! He should be known as a great man among lead playwrights. At that time, painted on a votive picture plaque offered at Edo's Z˘shigayatsu no Kishibojin, were the scales of hell. Tsuuchi Jihei was placed on one side and all the actors of his theatre on the other. Tsuuchi's side was shown to be heavier." (Katherine Saltzman-Li in "Creating Kabuki Plays: Context for Kezairoku")

[1] The 20th day of the 1st lunar month of the 10th year of the H˘reki era was the 7th of March 1760 in the western calendar.

[2] The 2nd day of the 9th lunar month of the 3rd year of the H˘reki era was the 28th of September 1753 in the western calendar.

[3] "Haru Fukami Iroha Soga" mixed two sekai: the world of the Soga brothers and the world of "Chűshingura". It was a commercial failure.

[4] Along with Horikoshi Nis˘ji I, Nakamura Seinoj˘, Okuno Sasuke, Tsuuchi Seisuke and Shimazu Goichi.

[5] Along with Tsuuchi Sabur˘ji, Tsuuchi Sonoji and Fujii Katsusabur˘.

[6] More than 100 dramas according to Nojima Jusabur˘'s book "Kabuki Jinmei Jiten". More than 200 dramas in Samuel Leiter in "New Kabuki Encyclopedia". Due to the exceptional longevity of Tsuuchi Eishi I, 200 is very likely to be closer to the real number than 100.

The name of Tsuuchi Eishi I in a 1754 Edo hy˘banki (the zone within the red shape on the left side of the picture)

 
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