SUZUKI HEIZAEMON I

Stage name:

Suzuki Heizaemon I In Japanese

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: ??? ~ 1701

Connection:

Son: Suzuki Heizaemon II

Disciples: Suzuki Heikur˘, Suzuki Heihachi, Suzuki Heikichi, Suzuki Heishichi, Suzuki Matsunosuke

Career:

1660s: he performs in Edo.

Beginning of the 1680s: he settles in ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1682 ~ 10th lunar month of 1683: Heizaemon and Arashi San'emon I produce several plays together in ďsaka. they are the first zamoto in Kabuki history to produce a play narrating a couple of lovers double suicide (shinjűmono), based on a real incident that happened in ďsaka; Heizaemon performs as a wakaonnagata actor.

1st lunar month of 1687: Heizaemon's rank in "Yar˘ Tachiyaku Butai ďkagami", the first hy˘banki in Kabuki history, is (superior). He shares this ranking with Araki Yojibŕ I, Uemura Kichiya II, Takeshima K˘zaemon I, Yamashita Hanzaemon I, Nakamura Kazuma I, Takenaka Kichisabur˘, Fujita Koheiji I and Karamatsu Kasen.

Fall 1698: Heizaemon goes back to Edo after 20 years spent in Kamigata.

11th lunar month of 1698: Heizaemon plays at the Yamamuraza the role of Got˘ Saemon in the kaomise drama "Genji Daikoku Bashira".

11th lunar month of 1699: Heizaemon performs at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Taira no Kiyomori Bijin Zoroi".

11th lunar month of 1700: Heizaemon plays at the Yamamuraza the role of Watanabe Takiguchi in the kaomise drama "Yorimasa Mannen Goyomi".

3rd lunar month of 1701: Heizaemon's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, is j˘-j˘ (superior - superior).

5th lunar month of 1701: Heizaemon plays in the same theater the role of Yamagami Gennai Saemon in the drama "Taishokan Nido no Tamatori". This is most likely one of this last stage appearances. He died in 1701.

Comments:

Suzuki Heizaemon I, the founder of the Suzuki clan of Kabuki actors, played an important role in the transition between the Yar˘ Kabuki (Adult Kabuki) of the Kanbun/Enp˘ eras and the golden age of Kabuki of the Genroku era. He was a great performer in the tanzen style and excelled in nuregoto and yatsushigoto. He was influential with many actors, even after his death. He was also an outstanding shamisen player and some chroniclers went even further by saying that he was the best player that ever lived.

Suzuki Heizaemon I playing the role of Minamoto no Yoshichika in the new year drama "Mannen Goyomi Inariyama", which was staged in the 1st lunar month of 1700 at the Nakamuraza

 
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