|ONOE EIZABURď VII|
Onoe Eizabur˘ VII
Line number: SHICHIDAIME (VII)
Existence: 1899 ~ 7 May 1926
Grandfather: Onoe Ch˘jir˘
Father: Onoe Baik˘ VI
Brother: Onoe Taijir˘
Son: Onoe Eizabur˘ VIII
June 1920: Onoe Ushinosuke III takes the name of Onoe Eizabur˘ VII at the Imperial Theater, playing the role of Princesse Yuki in the drama "Gion Sairei Shink˘ki"; his stage partners are Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII (Daizen) and Ichimura Uzaemon XV (T˘kichi).
March 1921: Eizabur˘ plays at the Suehiroza (Nagoya) the role of Oj˘ Kichisa in Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Sannin Kichisa"; his stage partners are Onoe K˘z˘ II (Osh˘ Kichisa) and Kawarasaki Ch˘jűr˘ IV (Ob˘ Kichisa).
November 1922: creation of the T˘eikai, a Kabuki dance study group led by Eizabur˘ and Ichikawa Omez˘ IV. The first program is staged at the Ichimuraza at the end of the month and is made up of one old dance and 2 new creations.
7 May 1926: Eizabur˘ dies in Kanazawa.
"Something of the close relation between father and son in Kabuki was shown in a k˘j˘ given at the Imperial Theatre in connection with the succession to a new name by the son of Onoe Baik˘, the chief actor of this theatre. Baik˘'s son, who is being carefully trained in the art of the onnagata, became Eizabur˘, the seventh, denoting a certain state of progress in the attainment of the Onoe stage standards. The k˘j˘ on this occasion was performed with more than customary dignity, seven stars of the Onoe family, including Onoe Kikugor˘, the sixth, attending, and each saying a few words of congratulation, strewing flowers, as it were, in the pathway of the young actor. Similar to the solicitude of a mother in her care and consideration given the dÚbut of a daughter into society was that of Baik˘ for the son who is to follow in his footsteps and inherit the traditions of his art. As is the custom upon the occasion of a change of name and consequent advancement in rank, a play was given in which Eizabur˘ took an important r˘le, and although he was very young and immature, still in his teens, he had the responsibility of acting in a character, given to perfection by his father, that of Yukihime, or the Snow-Princess, the beautiful young heroine who is made a prisoner in Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion of Ky˘to. She is at last bound with ropes and tied to a cherry tree. Then the doll-stage, from which the play was taken, asserted itself. Eizabur˘ became a marionette, and was moved by two doll-handlers, who were none other than his father and another member of the Onoe family. Yukihime, true to the doll-actors, went through a complicated pantomime to the accompaniment of minstrel and shamisen player, descriptive postures that revealed her determination to escape. Drawing the outline of a rat in the fallen petals about her feet by means of her big toe, the real rodents appear by magic, or rather on the ends of pliant black rods held by two property men on each side of her; using their teeth upon the rope, Yukihime is soon free. Onoe Matsusuke, the veteran member of this family, was the announcer, following the custom of the Doll theatre; the young actor, Morita Kan'ya, the thirteenth, became rhythm marker, stamping his feet to emphasise the changing beats, while Onoe Baik˘ and Onoe K˘z˘ were the doll-handlers, who stood behind the erstwhile marionette and moved it according to the requirements of the play. Dressed in the black costumes of the doll-stage the handlers came to the front of the stage before the piece began, lifted the face flaps of their black hoods and introduced themselves to the audience in their new disguise, then assumed again the black obscurity, and the strange but highly fascinating movements of Yukihime began." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")
Onoe Eizabur˘ VII playing the role of Okaru in the drama "Kanadehon Chűshingura" (print made by Natori Shunsen in 1925)
The Onoe Eizabur˘ line of actors
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