Stage names:

Morita Yasosuke
Morita Kan'ya VI
Sawamura Kodenji II
Sawamura Shigenoi
Takinaka Shigenoi
Takenaka Shigenoi

Guild: Kinojiya

Line number: ROKUDAIME (VI)

Existence: 1724 ~ 19th day of the 5th lunar month of 1780


Father: Nakamura Jűsuke I

Masters: Sawamura S˘jűr˘ I, Takinaka Utagawa

Father-in-law: Morita Kan'ya V

Son: Morita Kan'ya VII

Son-in-laws: Band˘ Mitsugor˘ I, Nakamura Jűsuke II

Disciple: Sawamura Kodenji III


1724: born in Edo. He is the son of the playwright Nakamura Jűsuke I.

11th lunar month of 1732: he makes his first appearance on stage at the Ichimuraza, where he receives the name of Takenaka Shigenoi.

11th lunar month of 1739: he becomes disciple of Takinaka Utagawa, who gives him the name of Takinaka Shigenoi; he plays at Ichimuraza in the kaomise drama "Tokiwagi Taiheiki".

Fall 1740: he becomes disciple of the star Sawamura S˘jűr˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1740: Takinaka Shigenoi takes the name of Sawamura Shigenoi at the Ichimuraza, playing the role of Sanza's sister Kurenai in the kaomise drama "Kichirei Imagawaj˘".

11th lunar month of 1746: Sawamura Shigenoi takes the name of Sawamura Kodenji II at the Nakamuraza, playing in the kaomise drama "Ametsuchi Taiheiki".

5th lunar month of 1747: the play "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" is produced at the Nakamuraza for the first time; Kodenji plays the role of Yae [casting].

1st lunar month of 1748: Kodenji plays at the Nakamuraza the role of the courtesan Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ in the new year drama "Kazari Ebi Yoroi Soga".

5th lunar month of 1748: the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" is performed for the first time in Edo, at the Nakamuraza; Kodenji plays the role of Shizuka Gozen [casting].

6th lunar month of 1749: the play "Kanadehon Chűshingura" is produced at the Nakamuraza for the first time; Kodenji plays the role of Kakogawa Honz˘'s wife Tonase [casting].

1st lunar month of 1750: Kodenji's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, is j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

1751: Kodenji gets married with the daughter of the zamoto Morita Kan'ya V.

11th lunar month of 1751: his father-in-law Morita Kan'ya V retires, taking the name of Band˘ Matazaemon; Sawamura Kodenji II takes the name of Morita Kan'ya VI, becoming the new zamoto of the Moritaza. He produces his first kaomise program entitled "Aizuchi Jűnidan".

23rd day of the 11th lunar month of 1756: a fire breaks out in the district of K˘jimachi, which burns down the Moritaza.

2nd lunar month of 1763: first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet theater drama "ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara", which is staged at the Moritaza; Kan'ya plays the role of Kenj˘'s wife Hamayű [casting|illustrations].

11th lunar month of 1774: Morita Kan'ya VI retires, taking the name of Morita Yasosuke. He entrusts the management of the Moritaza to his son Morita Tarobŕ II, who takes the name of Morita Kan'ya VII.


Morita Kan'ya VI's career was divided in two parts: he was a talented actor from the 11th lunar month of 1732 to the 10th lunar month of 1751, who played wakashugata, wakaonnagata or tachiyaku roles. Then, he managed the Moritaza from the 11th lunar month of 1751 to the 10th lunar month of 1774, still acting for some occasions. It is worth noting that, during his 23-seasons career, his theater did not shut down, did not transfer its license to the Kawarasakiza and was destroyed by fire only once.

Morita Kan'ya VI in a print made by Ippitsusai Bunch˘ in 1770

Prints & Illustrations

The Sawamura Kodenji line of actors

The Morita Kan'ya line of actors and theater managers

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