IWAI HANSHIRď VIII

Stage names:

Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII In Japanese
Iwai Shijaku II In Japanese
Iwai Kumesabur˘ III In Japanese
Iwai Hisajir˘ II In Japanese

Nickname: Shid˘ Hanshir˘

Guild: Yamatoya

Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)

Poetry names: Shid˘, Baiga, Shijaku, Tojaku, Enji

Existence: 2nd day of the 10th lunar month of 1829 ~ 19 February 1882

Connections:

Great-great-grandfather: Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II

Great-grandfathers: Iwai Hanshir˘ IV, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III

Grandfathers: Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Segawa Rok˘ IV

Father: Iwai Hanshir˘ VII

Father-in-law: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XII

Adopted sons: Iwai Kumesabur˘ IV, Iwai Shijaku III, Iwai Shijaku IV

Disciples: Iwai Matsunosuke III (?), Iwai Matsunosuke IV, Iwai Komurasaki III, Iwai Kiyosa, Iwai Shigematsu, Iwai Kiyotar˘ V (?)

Career:

10th lunar month of 1829: born in Edo in the district of Sumiyoshi-ch˘.

11th lunar month of 1829: he makes his first stage appearance at a very early age, receiving the name of Iwai Hisajir˘ II at the Nakamuraza.

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.

1851: Kumesabur˘ becomes tateonnagata at the Kawarazakiza and he is the stage partner of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII.

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].

3rd lunar month of 1854: Kumesabur˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Yűgiri in the drama "Kuruwa Bunsh˘". The role of Fujiya Izaemon (Yűgiri's lover) is played by Kataoka Gad˘ II.

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˘.

1st lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Sannin Kichisa Kuruwa no Hatsugai", in which Kumesabur˘ plays the roles of Oj˘ Kichisa and Hitoe [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1860: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kagamiyama Gonichi no Iwafuji"; Kumesabur˘ plays the roles of Ohatsu, Onoe II and Oryű [casting].

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.

5th lunar month of 1872: Hanshir˘ plays at the Moritaza the role of Okaru in the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

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's masterpiece "Kokusen'ya Gassen".

10th lunar month of 1872: premiere at the Moritaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's zangirimono "Tsuki no En Masu no Igaguri"; Hanshir˘ plays the role of Otomi [casting].

March 1873: Hanshir˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of Osan in the shinjűmono "Hanabiraki Kasa no Rokuro". His stage partner in the role of Osan's lover Mohei is Onoe Kikugor˘ V.

June 1873: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Tsuyu Kosode Mukashi Hachij˘", commonly called "Kamiyui Shinza", in which Hanshir˘ plays the role of Okuma [casting].

October 1873: his adopted son Iwai Shijaku III dies.

1874: Hanshir˘ becomes zagashira at the Nakamuraza.

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 Chűbŕ 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 Gengobŕ are played by Nakamura Shikan IV and Nakamura S˘jűr˘.

March 1875: Hanshir˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of Shizuka Gozen in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

1877: Hanshir˘ tours in Nagoya with Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX.

October 1878: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Jitsugetsusei Ky˘wa Seidan"; Hanshir˘ plays the roles of Rokubŕ's daughter Okoro, Aoi Gozen and Kihachi's ny˘b˘ Omaki [casting].

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".

16 July 1879: Hanshir˘ takes part in the gala night at the Shintomiza in the honor of the General Ulysses S. Grant [more details].

23 May 1880: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Arimatsuzome Sum˘ Yukata"; Hanshir˘ plays the roles of Omichi's daughter Omaki and Takao's spouse Owaka [more details].

January 1881: Hanshir˘ plays at the Shintomiza the roles of Shizuka Gozen, Kosen and Osato ("Sushiya") in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

March 1881: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Mokuami's masterpiece "Kumo ni Magou Ueno no Hatsuhana"; Hanshir˘ plays the roles of Namiji and Michitose [casting].

July 1881: Hanshir˘ plays at the Shintomiza the role of Fukushimaya Osono in the drama "Kodaigata Shinzome Yukata" [print].

November 1881: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Mokuami's zangirimono drama "Shima Chidori Tsuki no Shiranami"; Hanshir˘ plays the role of Oteru [casting].

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.

Comments:

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 Senbon Zakura", which was performed in January 1881 at the Shintomiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)

Prints & Illustrations

Print made by Utagawa Kuniyoshi in 1852

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1852

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1855 (courtesy of V.)

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1859

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1860

Print made by Utagawa Yoshitsuya in 1862

Print made by Toyohara Kunichika in 1869

Print made by Toyohara Kunichika in 1871

Print made by Sh˘sai Gink˘ in 1874

Print made by Y˘shű Chikanobu in 1881

Print made by Morikawa Chikashige in 1881

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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