NAMIKI GOHEI I

Playwright names:

Namiki Gohei I In Japanese
Namiki Goh In Japanese
Namiki Gohachi In Japanese
Namiki Gohachi In Japanese
Namiki Gohachi In Japanese

Pen name: Namikinoya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: 1747 ~ 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1808

Connection:

Master: Namiki Shz I

Disciples: Namiki Gohei II, Namiki Iwaz, Namiki Ksuke, Namiki Takichi, Namiki Hanz, Namiki Fji, Namiki Raiji, Namiki Miyosuke, Namiki Washichi, Namiki Jz

Career:

1747: born in saka in the district of Doshmachi. His father is a theater gatekeeper. He starts his career as a disciple of the playwright Namiki Shz I and his first pen name is Namiki Gohachi (using 3 different writings for Gohachi).

11th lunar month of 1764: Gohachi is part of the sakusha team, led by Namiki Shz I, which writes at the Kitagawa no Shibai the kaomise drama "Genpei Tsrikimaru".

11th lunar month of 1772: Gohachi becomes tatesakusha at the Kado no Shibai, along with Namiki Jsuke; they write together the kaomise drama "Hi-no-Moto Banzei no Hrai".

4th lunar month of 1777: premiere of Gohachi's drama "Tenmang Natane no Gok", co-written with Nakamura Akei and Tatsuoka Mansaku, which is produced by Ogawa Kichitar I at the Kado no Shibai [casting].

11th lunar month of 1777: Namiki Gohachi takes the name of Namiki Goh at the Kado no Shibai, where he works with Nakamura Akei and Tatsuoka Mansaku on the kaomise drama "iri Kabuki no Tsuitachi", which is produced by Ogawa Kichitar I and celebrates the shmei of Shibazaki Rinzaemon II.

1st lunar month of 1778: premiere at the Minamigawa no Shibai of Goh's drama "Keisei Hakataori" [casting].

4th lunar month of 1778: premiere in saka at the Kado no Shibai of Goh's play "Kinmon Gosan no Kiri", which is produced by the zamoto Ogawa Kichitar I with with Arashi Hinasuke I and Onoe Kikugor I playing the roles of Ishikawa Goemon and Mashiba Hisayoshi [casting].

1st lunar month of 1784: premiere at the Naka no Shibai of Goh's drama "Keisei Yamato Zshi" [casting].

5th lunar month of 1784: the play "Katsuragawa Renri no Shigarami", which was originally written in the 10th lunar month of 1776 by Suga Sensuke for the puppet theater, is adapted for Kabuki for the first time by Goh, and staged in saka at the Naka no Shibai [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1787: premiere at the Naka no Shibai of Goh's drama "Taik Shinkenki", a play similar to "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi" [casting].

7th lunar month of 1787: Namiki Goh takes the name of Namiki Gohei.

8th lunar month of 1787: Gohei's drama "Taik Shinkenki", which was premiered in the 3rd lunar month of 1787 at the Naka no Shibai [casting], is staged for the first time in Kyto [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1788: premiere at the Kado no Shibai of Gohei's play "Sewa Ryri Yaoya Kondate" [more details].

2nd lunar month of 1794: premiere at the Naka no Shibai of Gohei's drama "Shima Meguri Uso no Kikigaki"; the last scenes are a sewamono drama, which will be staged independently in the 5th lunar month of 1794 under the title "Godairiki Koi no Fjime" [more details].

5th lunar month of 1794: premiere at the Nishi no Shibai (Kyto) of Gohei's drama "Godairiki Koi no Fjime" [casting].

Fall 1794: Gohei goes to Edo with the actors Kataoka Nizaemon VII and Nakamura Noshio II; Gohei receives a yearly salary of 300 ry.

11th lunar month of 1794: Gohei is tatesakusha at the Miyakoza; he supervises the writing of the kaomise drama "Uru Tosshi Meika no Homare".

1st lunar month of 1795: Gohei's drama "Godairiki Koi no Fjime" is staged for the first time in Edo, at the Miyakoza; it is edited to become an Edo drama [casting].

1st lunar month of 1796: premiere at the Kiriza of Gohei's drama "Suda no Haru Geisha Katagi" [casting].

1st lunar month of 1798: premiere at the Kiriza (Edo) of Gohei's play "Tomioka Koi no Yamabiraki", which is commonly called "Ninin Shinb" [casting].

Fall 1798: Gohei and the actors tani Tomoemon II and Sawamura Sjr III go together to saka.

1800: Gohei goes back to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1807: Gohei is tatesakusha at the Kawarazakiza and supervises the writing of "Bandai Fueki Shibai no Hajimari"; this is his last creation.

2nd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1808: Gohei dies in Edo.

Comments:

"Namiki Gohei, born in saka in 1747, was the chief playwright of his time. His plays were so much in demand in the theatres of the three towns that he travelled back and forth a great deal. He was patronised by Sawamura Sjr, the third, and also wrote for the third Onoe Kikugor. After the death of the third Sjr, Namiki wrote for his son, the fourth Sjr, and for the fifth Matsumoto Kshir. As he had been an actor in his early days, he knew something of the stages of saka and Edo, that had many different characteristics, and he combined the two. In using historical material, Gohei felt the cramping influence of the authorities, and he skilfully combined the true with the false facts of history. Popular rumours of the day, gossip that went on round the hibachi in the dwellings of Edo, were prohibited from finding representation on the stage, and consequently Gohei utilised the talk of the town as false reports, and the audience knowing the true inwardness of things that had been circulated far and wide, could easily understand his references."
(Zo Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

"He started the custom of presenting two separate plays, a historical drama and a domestic drama, on the same program rather than one long play. Namikis works are valued for their logical plot structure and emphasis on rational rather than emotional content." (Encyclopdia Britannica)

That the business of playwriting was not very lucrative seems to be suggested from the fact that Gohei once kept a tobacco shop in saka, later becoming a seller of sake. In Edo he also opened a little medicine shop and sold pills, an old-fashioned Chinese remedy for colds. His excursions into business could not have been to his liking, but due rather to forced circumstances, since he is on record as having said when he sat down before his desk: "All the world is my own. No enemy is near me. All the actors are my own, and I can use them as I like."
(Zo Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

Namiki Gohei I

 
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