TSUUCHI HAN'EMON

Pen names:

Tsuuchi Han'emon In Japanese
Higuchi Han'emon In Japanese

Stage names:

Suzuki Heizaemon II In Japanese
Suzuki Bennosuke In Japanese

Existence: ???

Connection:

Father: Suzuki Heizaemon I

Master: Tsuuchi Jihŕ II

Son: Suzuki Heizaemon III

Disciples: Tsuuchi Montar˘

Career:

1st lunar month of 1701: son of Suzuki Heizaemon I, he received the name of Suzuki Bennosuke and peformed as a wakaonnagata in ďsaka in the new year ni-no-kawari drama "Keisei Mand˘e", which was produced by Kamogawa Noshio I.

1701 ~ 1706: he switched to tachiyaku, took the name of Suzuki Heizaemon II and became a disciple of Tsuuchi Jihŕ II. His first pen name was Higuchi Han'emon.

1st lunar month of 1706: Han'emon worked at the Yamamuraza on the new year drama XXX.

11th lunar month of 1706: Han'emon worked at the Yamamuraza on the kaomise drama "Kaeribana Buyű Kagami", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata actor Takeshima K˘zaemon I.

11th lunar month of 1707: Han'emon worked at the Yamamuraza on the kaomise drama "Yukihira Obana Gitsune".

7th lunar month of 1708: Han'emon worked at the Yamamuraza on the drama XXX.

1709: he took the name of Tsuuchi Han'emon.

11th lunar month of 1709: Han'emon worked at the Yamamuraza on the kaomise drama "Taihei Okuni Kabuki", which celebrated the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata actors Asao Jűjir˘ I, Arashi Sanjűr˘ I and Fujikawa Buzaemon I.

11th lunar month of 1711: Han'emon became tatesakusha and worked at the Yamamuraza in the kaomise drama "Shida Konjiki no Uroko".

3rd lunar month of 1713: the play "Sukeroku" was staged for the first time in Edo at the Yamamuraza. The script was written by Han'emon under the supervision of Tsuuchi Jihŕ II. The roles of Sukeroku, Agemaki, the shirozake seller Shinbŕ and Ikyű were played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II, Tamazawa Rin'ya, Ikushima Shingor˘ and Yamanaka Heikur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1713: Han'emon worked at the Yamamuraza on the kaomise drama "Sazare Ishi Nasu no Futahashira".

2nd lunar month: Ejima of 1714, a court lady who served the mother of the Sh˘gun, was in love with the star Ikushima Shingor˘. Their affair was discovered in the backstage of the Yamamuraza. This incident, breaking the boundaries between samurai and commoner, was a serious crime for the authorities which decided to deal ruthlessly with the culprits: Ejima and Ikushima Shingor˘ were exiled to different places, some people in the Sh˘gun's household were executed, the Yamamuraza was definitively closed and its management was heavily fined [more details]. As Han'emon was the tatesakusha of this theater, he was also impacted by this incident. He stopped working as a sakusha for a few years.

11th lunar month of 1722: Han'emon was back in business and worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Yoshitomo Fukujukai".

11th lunar month of 1723: Han'emon worked at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Yorimasa Kaikeizan".

11th lunar month of 1729: Han'emon worked at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Ume Goyomi Konrei Nagoya".

1st lunar month of 1733: Han'emon worked, along with Tsuuchi Jihŕ II, Tsuuchi Kuheiji I and Tsuuchi Matazaemon, at the Ichimuraza on the new year sogamono drama "Hanabusa Funjin Soga". He also worked on the drama "Sukeroku", which was staged as nibanme and starred Ichimura Takenoj˘ IV, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ II and Segawa Kikujir˘ I in the roles of Sukeroku, the shirozake seller Shinbŕ and Agemaki.

11th lunar month of 1735: Han'emon worked at the Kawarasakiza on the kaomise drama "Banzei Ikioi Izu Nikki".

11th lunar month of 1737: Han'emon worked at the Kawarasakiza, along with Fujimoto Tobun, on the kaomise drama "Urűzuki Ninin Kagekiyo". The final act of this play was a spectacular confrontation scene between Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II and Ichikawa Danz˘ I in the roles of the statue of Kan U and the statue of Ch˘ Hi (Kan U and Ch˘ Hi were two legendary Chinese generals). This is the first version of "Kan U", which will become part of the Kabuki Jűhachiban in 1840.

11th lunar month of 1739: Han'emon worked at the Kawarasakiza on the kaomise drama "Irifune Taiheiki", which celebrated the shűmei of Sakata T˘jűr˘ III.

11th lunar month of 1743: Han'emon worked at the Kawarasakiza on the kaomise drama "Hana Yosooi Azuma Kagami"; due to the lack of actors, the program was a huge commercial failure. No record afterwards.

Comments:

Tsuuchi Han'emon was an important Edo sakusha who was active from the second half of the 1700s to the first half of the 1740s. He was the first sakusha in Kabuki history to have worked on an Edo sukerokumono.

 
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