ONOE EIZABURď VII

Stage names:

Onoe Eizabur˘ VII
Onoe Ushinosuke III

Guild: Otowaya

Line number: SHICHIDAIME (VII)

Existence: 1899 ~ 7 May 1926

Connections:

Grandfather: Onoe Ch˘jir˘

Father: Onoe Baik˘ VI

Brother: Onoe Taijir˘

Son: Onoe Eizabur˘ VIII

Career:

April 1908: first stage appearance at the T˘ky˘za, where he receives the name of Onoe Ushinosuke III and plays a kamuro role in the drama "Go Taiheiki Shiraishi Banashi".

January 1910: Ushinosuke plays at the Kabukiza the role of Tarokichi in the "Sanemori Monogatari" scene of the drama "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki".

March 1918: Ushinosuke plays at the Suehiroza (Nagoya) the role of the courtesan Azuma in the "Sum˘ba" scene of the drama "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki".

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 Kawarazaki Ch˘jűr˘ IV (Ob˘ Kichisa).

May 1922: Eizabur˘ plays at the Ichimuraza the role of Princess Takiyasha in the drama "Masakado"; the role of Mitsukuni is played by Ichikawa Omez˘ IV.

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.

March 1923: second dance program of the T˘eikai, staged at the Imperial Theater.

April 1924: Eizabur˘ plays at the K˘be Sh˘chiku Gekij˘ the role of Princess Takiyasha in the drama "Masakado"; the role of Mitsukuni is played by Ichimura Takematsu IV.

May 1924: Eizabur˘ plays at the Ichimuraza the role of Osato in the "Sushiya" scene of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

December 1924: Eizabur˘ plays at the H˘rakuza the role of Ohisa in the drama "Ninj˘ Banashi Bunshichi Mottoi"; his stage partners are Onoe Kikugor˘ VI (Ch˘bŕ) and Ichikawa Kigan V (Okane).

February 1925: Eizabur˘ plays at the Ichimuraza the role of Princess Yuki in the drama "Gion Sairei Shink˘ki"; his stage partners are Band˘ Hikosabur˘ VI (Daizen) and ďtani Tomoemon VI (T˘kichi).

May 1925: Eizabur˘ plays at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ the role of Hasue in the drama "Tengajaya-mura".

November 1925: Eizabur˘ plays at the Imperial Theater the role of Wakaba-no-Naishi in the "Sushiya" scene of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

7 May 1926: Eizabur˘ dies in Kanazawa.

Comments:

Onoe Eizabur˘ VII was a promising onnagata actor, who could have been Onoe Baik˘ VII and the stage partner of Onoe Kikugor˘ VI, but he met with a tragic and early end.

"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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