|NAGAWA ISSEN I|
Line number: SHODAI (I)
Poetry name: Issen
Existence: 1764 ~ 3rd day of the 2nd lunar month of 1842
Master: Nagawa Shimesuke I
Disciples: Nagawa Tokusuke II, Nagawa Tsurusuke, Nagawa Tokisuke, Nagawa Harusuke I, Nagawa Honsuke, Nagawa Kansuke, Nagawa Rikisuke, Nagawa Kumakichi
1786: he becomes disciple of Nagawa Shimesuke I in ďsaka and receives the name of Nagawa Tokusuke.
1st lunar month of 1796: he changes some of the ideograms of his first name:
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11th lunar month of 1796: Tokusuke works in Ky˘to at Hoteiya Umenoj˘'s theater, along with Chikamatsu Tokuz˘, to create the kaomise drama "Yama Katsura Asahi no Menbako", which celebrates the shűmei of Onoe Koisabur˘ I; the same kaomise program with the same casting is staged from the 18th day of the 11th lunar month in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai.
11th lunar month of 1797: Tokusuke works in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai, along with Chikamatsu Tokuz˘, to create the kaomise drama "Mote Hayasu Manry˘ no Tachibana", which is produced by Nakayama Yosabur˘ II and welcomes back in ďsaka the actor Kataoka Nizaemon VII.
11th lunar month of 1800: first Kabuki adaptation of Chikamatsu Yanagi's puppet theater drama "Ehon Taik˘ki", which was written in the 7th lunar month of 1799. The play is adapted for Kabuki by Tokusuke (who became tatesakusha) and produced by Nakayama Tokujir˘ in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai [casting].
11th lunar month of 1803: Tokusuke works in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai, along with Chikamatsu Tokuz˘, Namiki Sh˘z˘ II and Segawa Jok˘ II, to create the kaomise drama "Hatsu Yagura Kogane no Manmaku", which is produced by Nakamura Noshio III. The troupe moves to the Kita no Shinchi Shibai in December to perform the same program for 10 days.
3rd lunar month of 1808: the drama "Hachijin Shugo no Honj˘", which was originally written for the puppet theater and premiered in the 9th lunar month of 1807 in ďsaka, is adapted for Kabuki by the sakusha Nagawa Kunisuke, Ichioka Washichi I and Tokusuke and staged in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai [casting].
Summer 1810: Tokusuke goes to Edo.
Fall 1812: Tokusuke goes back to ďsaka.
11th lunar month of 1812: he takes the name of Nagawa Issen and works at the Naka no Shibai, along with Namiki Miyosuke, to create the kaomise drama "Hirugaesu Nishiki no Tamoto", which welcomes in ďsaka the Edo star Band˘ Hikosabur˘ III.
Fall 1813: Issen goes to Edo.
11th lunar month of 1813: Issen works as a tatesakusha at the Nakamuraza, with the assistance of Fukumori Kyűsuke I and Segawa Jok˘ II, on the kaomise drama "Okud˘sha Band˘ Junrei", which welcomes in Edo the Kamigata actor Nakamura Matsue III and in which Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III is zagashira for the first time.
Winter 1815: he takes the name of Nagawa Kamesuke I.
Fall 1820: Issen goes to Edo.
11th lunar month of 1820: Issen works at the Nakamuraza, along with Segawa Jok˘ II and Sakurada Jisuke II, for the creation of the drama "Saruwaka Hisago no Gunbai", which welcomes in Edo the Kamigata actors Arashi Tokusabur˘ II, Nakamura Gennosuke I and Arashi Ryűgor˘.
"Nagawa Tokusuke gave up the priesthood to become a playwright. He had been connected with a country temple,
and went to ďsaka to learn how to write. There were so few sakusha at
this time, that the third Nakamura Utaemon invited him up to Edo, and was so anxious to
encourage him, hoping that he would prove to be a goose to lay golden eggs in the way of popular plays for the
actors, that he bestowed upon Tokusuke the precious family pen-name of Issen, used by the first Utaemon
when he signed his poetry. One of his plays was a failure, which disconcerted the actors to a considerable degree.
He returned the literary nom de plume with which his patron Utaemon had honoured him,
and departed whence he had come. Thereafter he wrote pieces for side-shows, set up along the banks of rivers,
on temporary sites in the compounds of shrines, or at cross-roads. At last he shaved his head and retired as the
keeper of a tea-house in Ky˘to, dying at 79."
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