|IWAI HANSHIRď VIII|
Nickname: Shid˘ Hanshir˘
Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)
Poetry names: Shid˘, Baiga, Shijaku, Tojaku, Enji
Existence: 2nd day of the 10th lunar month of 1829 ~ 19 February 1882
Great-great-grandfather: Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II
Father: Iwai Hanshir˘ VII
Father-in-law: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XII
10th lunar month of 1829 ~ 10th lunar month of 1832: born in Edo in the district of Sumiyoshi-ch˘. He makes his first stage appearance at an early age, playing children roles under the name of Iwai Hisajir˘ II.
11th lunar month of 1832: great shűmei for the Iwai clan at the Nakamuraza. Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Iwai Kumesabur˘ II and Iwai Hisajir˘ II respectively take the names of Iwai Tojaku, Iwai Hanshir˘ VI and Iwai Kumesabur˘ III. They play together in Segawa Jok˘ II's drama "Goban Tadanobu Yuki no Kuroshiro" and their stage partners are Matsumoto K˘shir˘ V, Nakamura Shikan II, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ IV and Sawamura Tossh˘ I.
4th lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Nakamuraza of the Tokiwazu-based dance "Kioi Jishi Kabuki no Hanakago", commonly called "Kioi Jishi", starring Ichikawa Kodanji IV, Band˘ Takesabur˘ I, Onoe Kikujir˘ II and Kumesabur˘.
8th lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Segawa Jok˘ III's drama "Higashiyama Sakura S˘shi" (commonly called "Sakura Giminden"); Kumesabur˘ plays the roles of the shiraby˘shi Katsuragi and Ashikaga Mitsuuji [casting].
7th lunar month of 1852: premiere at the Kawarazakiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Jiraiya G˘ketsu Monogatari"; Kumesabur˘ plays the roles of Princess Tagoto, Asazawaya Kishigawa and Princess Teruta [casting].
2nd lunar month of 1859: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kosode Soga Azami no Ironui" (commonly called "Izayoi Seishin"); Kumesabur˘ plays the role of Izayoi (Osayo) [casting].
9th lunar month of 1859: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's Kiyomoto-based dance "Jitsugetsusei Chűya no Oriwake", commonly called "Ryűsei". The leading roles are played by Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘ I, Ichikawa Kodanji IV and Kumesabur˘.
7th lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Hachiman Matsuri Yomiya no Nigiwai" (commonly called "Chijimiya Shinsuke"); Kumesabur˘ plays the role of Miyokichi [casting].
3rd lunar month of 1862: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Aoto Z˘shi Hana no Nishikie" (commonly called "Shiranami Gonin Otoko"), in which Kumesabur˘ plays the role of Akaboshi Jűz˘ [casting].
2nd lunar month of 1864: Iwai Kumesabur˘ III takes the name of Iwai Shijaku II at the Nakamuraza.
10th lunar month of 1870: Shijaku plays at the Moritaza the roles of Otane and Nureginu in the drama "Yosetemitsu Renj˘ Kidan", whose plot and characters are similar to the classic "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘".
11th lunar month of 1870: Shijaku plays at the Moritaza the role of the courtesan Yűgiri in the drama "Kuruwa Bunsh˘" (performed under the title "Koremo Katamimaru Izaemon"). The role of Fujiya Izaemon (Yűgiri's lover) is played by Sawamura Tossh˘ II.
2nd lunar month of 1872: great shűmei for the Iwai clan at the Moritaza. Iwai Shijaku II and Iwai Hisajir˘ III respectively take the names of Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII and Iwai Kumesabur˘ IV (his adopted son Arashi Eizabur˘ takes the name of Iwai Shijaku III at the Nakamuraza). Hanshir˘ plays the roles of Isonami and Omatsu in the drama "Kaikeizan Sakiwake Genji". Hanshir˘ plays also the roles of Yoshitsune and the courtesan Agemaki in the dramas "Kanjinch˘" and "Sukeroku Yukari no Yaezakura". In the first play the roles of Benkei and Togashi are played by Kawarazaki Sansh˘ and Ichikawa Sadanji I. In the second play, the roles of Sukeroku and Ikyű are played by Kawarazaki Sansh˘ and Nakamura Nakaz˘ III. This program is very successful and performed up to the 23rd day of the 4th lunar month.
9th ~ 10th lunar months of 1872: the Moritaza is relocated in the district of Shintomi-ch˘. Hanshir˘ takes part in the opening program in October, which is made up of the drama "Sangoku Mus˘ Hisago no Gunsen". He also plays the role of Kinsh˘jo in Chikamatsu Monzaemon I's masterpiece "Kokusen'ya Gassen".
October 1873: his adopted son Iwai Shijaku III dies.
June 1874: Hanshir˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Umegawa in Segawa J˘k˘ III's shinjűmono "Koi no Tayori Misao no Kanabumi". His stage partner in the role of Umegawa's lover Kameya Chűbei is Nakamura S˘jűr˘.
October 1874: Hanshir˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Koman in the drama "Gochűmon Satsuma J˘fu" (similar to Namiki Gohei I's drama "Godairiki Koi no Fűjime"). The roles of Sangobei and Gengobei are played by Nakamura Shikan IV and Nakamura S˘jűr˘.
1877: Hanshir˘ tours in Nagoya with Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX.
January 1879: Hanshir˘ plays at the Shintomiza the roles of Konami and Oishi in the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura". He also plays the roles of Ono no Komachi, the courtesan Sumizome, the spirit of Komachi's cherry tree and Yoshimine Munesada (role rotation everyday) in the drama "Tsumoru Koi Yuki no seki no To".
January 1882: Hanshir˘ appears on stage for the last time, at the Harukiza. He falls seriously ill and dies the 19th of February. His tombstone is located in the precinct of the J˘shinji Temple in the district of Fukagawa.
Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII, who was both tall and good-looking, was an excellent onnagata, especially in the sewamono roles, and considered as the worthy heir of his grand-father Iwai Tojaku. He costarred the best tachiyaku from the last years of the Edo period to the first years of Meiji: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII, Kataoka Nizaemon VIII, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ V, Ichikawa Kodanji IV, Nakamura Shikan IV, Onoe Kikugor˘ V and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX. He was one of the last true Edo onnagata.
Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII playing the role of Shizuka Gozen in the "Shi-no-Kiri" scene of the classic "Yoshitsune Sembon Zakura", which was performed in January 1881 at the Shintomiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)
The Iwai Hisajir˘ line of actors
The Iwai Kumesabur˘ line of actors
The Iwai Shijaku line of actors
The Iwai Hanshir˘ line of actors
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