ICHIKAWA EN'ď I

Stage names:

Ichikawa En'˘ I In Japanese
Ichikawa Ennosuke II In Japanese
Ichikawa Danko I In Japanese

Real name: Kinoshi Masayasu

Guild: Omodakaya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: 21 May 1888 ~ 12 June 1963

Connection:

Father: Ichikawa Danshir˘ II

Brothers: Ichikawa Juen I, Ichikawa Chűsha VIII, Ichikawa Kodayű II

Son: Ichikawa Danshir˘ III

Grandsons: Ichikawa En'˘ II (Ichikawa Ennosuke III), Ichikawa Danshir˘ IV

Great-grandsons: Ichikawa Ennosuke IV, Ichikawa Chűsha IX

Disciples: Ichikawa Dan'en II, Ichikawa Juen II, Ichikawa Enzabur˘, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ II, Ichikawa Kotonosuke

Career:

May 1888: born in T˘ky˘ in the district of Asakusa Senzoku.

October 1892: first stage appearance, at the Kabukiza, where he receives the name of Ichikawa Danko I and plays a child role in the drama "Sekigahara Homare no Gaika".

1909: Danko joins the Jiyű Gekij˘ troupe ("Free Theatre" in English) led by Ichikawa Sadanji II.

October 1910: Ichikawa Danko I and his father Ichikawa Ennosuke I respectively take the names of Ichikawa Ennosuke II and Ichikawa Danshir˘ II at the Kabukiza. The two actors play together in the drama "Kiri Hitoha" and the long-forgotten bombastic drama "Kamahige".

October 1913: revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Z˘hiki", which belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Ennosuke plays the role of Ikitsu Gazenb˘ [more details].

October 1914: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Soga Monogatari"; Ennosuke plays the role of Soga Gor˘ [casting].

1919: Ennosuke travels to Europe and to the USA to study theatre and dance abroad. This eye-opening trip leads him to become involved in the creation of new productions.

September 1919: premiere at the Kabukiza of the Kiyomoto-based dance "Sumidagawa" (a adapted for Kabuki by Yamazaki Shik˘ with a musical accompaniment made by Kiyomoto Umekichi II), inspired by Russian ballets. Ennosuke plays the role of the wandering woman Hanjo-no-Mae, desesparately looking for her abducted son Umewakamaru along the Sumida River [casting].

1920: creation of the first Shunjűza, a study group, whose main advisors are the playwright Osanai Kaoru and the actor Ichikawa Sadanji II. The first program of the Shunjűza is staged in October at the Shintomiza and is made up of Tanizaki Jun'ichir˘'s "H˘seiji Monogatari", Kikuchi Kan's "Chichi Kaeri" and Okamoto Kid˘'s "Nadate Kuzure". The star of this program is Ennosuke, supported by Band˘ Jusabur˘ III, Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI, Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VIII, Ichikawa K˘jaku IV and Ichikawa Sash˘ II.

November 1920: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Ogurusu no Ch˘bŕ"; Ennosuke plays the role of Ch˘bŕ [casting].

June 1924: premiere at the Ichimuraza of the Nagauta-based ky˘gen "Akutar˘", which is adapted for Kabuki by Okamura Shik˘, with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Kineya Sakichi IV. The leading role of Akutar˘ is played by Ennosuke [more details].

July 1926: premiere at the Kabukiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Gonza to Sukejű"; Ennosuke plays the role of Sukehachi [casting].

November 1927: premiere at the Hong˘za of Kimura Tomiko's dance "K˘ya Monogurui" (a drama adapted for Kabuki), which mixes Nagauta and Gidayű musical accompaniments. The leading role of K˘shi no Shir˘ is played by Ennosuke.

September 1928: premiere at the Kabukiza of Kimura Tomiko's Tokiwazu-based dance "Koma", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Tokiwazu Mojibei III. The leading role is played by Ennosuke.

February 1929: premiere at the Meijiza of Kimura Tomiko's Nagauta-based dance "Nomitori Otoko", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Kineya Sakichi IV. The leading role is played by Ennosuke.

September 1930: revival at the Meijiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘", produced under the title "T˘ryű Azuma Bunsh˘"; Ennosuke plays the roles of Tsurigane no Gonsuke and Shinobu no S˘ta [casting].

January 1931 ~ April 1932: second Shunjűza, led by Ennosuke.

April 1934: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Kimura Tomiko's Tokiwazu-based dance "Hanami Yakko", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Tokiwazu Mojibei III. The leading role of the yakko is played by Ennosuke.

January 1935: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Uno Nobuo's drama "Fubuki T˘ge"; Ennosuke plays the role of Sukez˘ [casting].

April 1936: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Ninin Sanbas˘", a 2-dancer version of the Sanbas˘ dance, starring Ennosuke and his son Ichikawa Danshir˘ III.

September 1939: premiere at the Meijiza of Kimura Tomiko's dance "Kokaji" (a drama adapted for Kabuki), which mixes Nagauta and Gidayű musical accompaniments. The leading role of the God Inari is played by Ennosuke.

November 1939: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Kimura Tomiko's dance-drama "Kurozuka"; Ennosuke plays the role of the old woman Iwate, in reality an ogress [casting].

January 1940: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘", the fifth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Ennosuke plays the role of Tominomori Sukeemon [casting].

April 1941: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Kimura Tomiko's Gidayű-based dance "Yoi Yakko". The leading role of the yakko Bekunai is played by Ennosuke.

November 1941: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Sengakuji", the eighth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; the leading role of ďishi Kuranosuke is played by Ennosuke.

January 1944: the Ennosuke - Nakamura Tokiz˘ III performs for the first time, at the Meijiza, the roles of Matahei and Otoku in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘".

May 1949: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of the dance-drama "Higaki"; Ennosuke plays the role of the old woman Higaki (in reality the ghost of Higaki) [casting].

July 1951: premiere at the Kabukiza of Uno Nobuo's drama "Jiisan Baasan"; Ennosuke plays the role of Minobe Iori [casting].

July 1954: Ennosuke plays the role of Mitsukuni at the Meijiza in the dance-drama "Masakado"; the role of Princess Takiyasha is played by Nakamura Tokiz˘ III.

October 1955: first Kabuki tour in the Popular Republic of China, in Beijing (2~13 october), Shanghai (17~18 october) and Guangzhou (24~25 october); Ennosuke plays the roles of Benkei and Matahei in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘" and Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Keisei Hangonk˘" [casting]. Ennosuke has the opportunity to meet the stars of the Chinese Traditional Opera like the famous Mei Lan-Fang.

February 1956: the Ennosuke - Tokiz˘ duo plays for the fourth and last time the roles of Matahei and Otoku in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘", which is staged at the Kabukiza.

April 1960: premiere at the Kabukiza of Hagiwara Yukio's dance-drama "Onizoroi Momijigari"; Ennosuke plays the role of Taira no Koremochi [casting].

May 1963: great shűmei at the Kabukiza for the Omodakaya guild; Ichikawa Ennosuke II, Ichikawa Danko III and Ichikawa Kamejir˘ I respectively take the names of Ichikawa En'˘ I, Ichikawa Ennosuke III and Ichikawa Danko IV.

12 June 1963: En'˘ dies.

Comments:

Ichikawa En'˘ I was a revolutionary and dynamic actor, who created many new dances.

Ichikawa En'˘ I's best dance-dramas were gathered in 1964 by his grandson Ichikawa Ennosuke III in a special collection named En'˘ Jűshu: "Akutar˘", "Kurozuka", "K˘ya Monogurui", "Kokaji", "Koma", "Ninin Sanbas˘", "Nomitori Otoko", "Hanami Yakko", "Yoi Yakko" and "Yoshinoyama".

Ichikawa En'˘ I playing the role of the ogress in the dance-drama "Kurozuka" (oil painting made by Hasegawa Noboru in 1958)

Prints & Illustrations

The Ichikawa Danko line of actors

The Ichikawa Ennosuke line of actors

The Ichikawa En'˘ line of actors

 
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