NAKAMURA KANZABURď VIII

Stage names:

Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VIII
Nakamura Denkur˘ II
Nakamura Katsujűr˘ I

Guild: Kashiwaya

Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)

Existence: 1719 ~ 15th day of the 11th lunar month of 1777

Connections:

Great-grandfather: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ I

Grandfather: Nakamura Kankur˘ I

Father: Nakamura Kankur˘ II (Kanzabur˘ VI)

Brother: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VII

Adopted son: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ IX

Son-in-laws: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ X, Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XI

Grandsons: Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XII, Nakamura Katsujűr˘ II

Disciple: Nakamura Daitar˘

Career:

1719: born in Edo (according to some documents, his birthyear may be 1723). Younger son of the zamoto Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VI.

11th lunar month of 1733: first stage appearance, at the Nakamuraza, where he receives the name of Nakamura Katsujűr˘ I and plays a child role in the drama "Nagi no Ha Asahi Genji".

11th lunar month of 1745: Nakamura Katsujűr˘ takes the name of Nakamura Denkur˘ II at the Nakamuraza, playing in the drama "Suehiro Izu Nikki", which celebrates the arrival in Edo of the Kamigata actor Fujikawa Heikur˘ and the shűmei of ďtani Hiroemon II.

Spring 1746: Denkur˘ achieves a great success at the Nakamuraza, playing the role of Kobayashi no Asahina in the drama "Fuji no Yuki Mitsugi Soga". This role is closely associated to the great actor Nakamura Denkur˘ I.

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

1st lunar month of 1748: Denkur˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of Kobayashi no Asahina in the 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; Denkur˘ plays the roles of Tokiaya Gimpei and Taira no Tomomori [casting].

6th lunar month of 1749: the play "Kanadehon Chűshingura" is produced at the Nakamuraza for the first time; Denkur˘ plays the role of Teraoka Heiemon [casting].

8th lunar month of 1750: his father retires, taking the name of Nakamura Kankur˘ II and giving the management of the Nakamuraza to his elder son Nakamura Akashi III, who becomes Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VII.

7th lunar month of 1751: first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet theater drama "Koi Ny˘b˘ Somewake Tazuna", which was originally written by Miyoshi Sh˘raku and Yoshida Kanshi in the 2nd lunar month of 1751. The play is staged in Edo at the Nakamuraza; Denkur˘ plays the role of Yurugi no Saemon [casting].

4th lunar month of 1752: first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet theater drama "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki", which is staged in Edo at the Moritaza; Denkur˘ plays the roles of the warrior Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane and the yakko Tagohei [casting].

11th lunar month of 1754: Denkur˘ plays at the Nakamuraza the role of Kud˘ Kanaishimaru in the kaomise drama "Miura no ďsuke Bumon no Kotobuki", which celebrates the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ III and Tsuuchi Monzabur˘ II.

1st lunar month of 1755: Denkur˘ plays in the same theater the roles of Suruga no Jir˘ and Kobayashi no Asahina in the new year sogamono "Waka Midori Nishiki Soga".

11th lunar month of 1757: his father Nakamura Kankur˘ II dies.

11th lunar month of 1764: Denkur˘ achieves a great success at the Moritaza by playing in the drama "Gyosei Kanatami no Megumi".

2nd lunar month of 1773: the Nakamuraza celebrates its 150th anniversary.

2nd lunar month of 1775: his brother Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VII dies.

9th lunar month of 1775: Nakamura Denkur˘ II takes the name of Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VIII and becomes the new zamoto of the Nakamuraza.

11th lunar month of 1777: Kanzabur˘ suddenly falls ill and dies.

Comments:

Nakamura Kanzabur˘ VIII spent most of his career acting at the Nakamuraza. He was a good jitsugotoshi and an excellent dancer. He ended his career as zamoto of the Nakamuraza for two seasons (he died at the beginning of the third one). He was well-versed in Tea Ceremony and poetry. He was also the manager of a cosmetics shop in the district of Nihonbashi, selling a successful dye named "Denkur˘ Some" (Denkur˘'s dye in Japanese).

Nakamura Denkur˘ II playing the role of Taira no Tomomori in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", which was staged at the Nakamuraza in the 5th lunar month of 1748 (print made by Torii Kiyomasu II)

Print made by Torii Kiyomasu in 1747

Print made by Torii Kiyomasu in 1748

The Nakamura Kanzabur˘ line of actors and theater managers

 
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