Stage name:

Nakajima Kanzaemon I In Japanese

Guild: Nakajimaya

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry names: Zesh˘, Jűshi

Existence: 1662 ~ 22nd day of the 4th lunar month of 1716 [1]


Father: Abura Kanroku

Brother: Nakajima Saburoshir˘

Son: Nakajima Kanzaemon II

Grandson: Nakajima Kanzaemon III

Disciple: Nakajima Mihoemon I


1662: born in ďsaka; his father was the low-ranking d˘kegata actor Abura Kanroku.

1686: he settled in Edo and performed as a katakiyaku actor.

11th lunar month of 1696: Kanzaemon performed at the Nakamuraza in the drama "Neko no Koneko", commonly called "Onna Narukami"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I, Ogino Sawanoj˘, Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I, Nakamura Denkur˘ I, Sodeoka Masanosuke II and ďtani Hiroemon I.

11th lunar month of 1706: Kanzaemon became tachiyaku and performed at the Ichimuraza in the kaomise drama "Mano no Ch˘ja Kogane no Torii".

3rd lunar month of 1707: Kanzaemon's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual].

11th lunar month of 1707: Kanzaemon performed at the Moritaza in the kaomise drama "Kankatsu Kayoi Komachi".

11th lunar month of 1709: Kanzaemon performed at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Imagawaj˘ Ry˘shun Katoku".

1st lunar month of 1710: Kanzaemon played in the same theater the role of Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in the new year sogamono drama "Senrei Homare Soga" [2]; the role of Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari was played by Katsuyama Matagor˘.

3rd lunar month of 1710: Tsuuchi Jihŕ II worked at the Nakamuraza on the revival of the seigen-sakurahimemono "Isshin Niga Byakud˘", which was staged for the first time in the 7th lunar month of 1695 at the Yamamuraza. The roles of Seigen and Princess Sakura were played by Kanzaemon and Tsutsui Kichijűr˘ I. For the first time, Tsuuchi Jihŕ II mixed jidaimono and sewamono elements in the same drama. This was the first jidai-sewamono in Kabuki history.

11th lunar month of 1711: Kanzaemon played at the Ichimuraza the role of Hata Rokur˘zaemon in the kaomise drama "Shusse Taiheiki".

11th lunar month of 1714: Kanzaemon played at the Moritaza the role of Abe no Sadat˘ in the kaomise drama "Onna Ryűko Futatsu Gashira".

11th lunar month of 1715: Kanzaemon played at the Moritaza the role of Yamana Saemon in Mitsushima Shichir˘zaemon's drama "Hayazaki Onna Shimabara".

2nd lunar month of 1716: Kanzaemon appeared on stage for the last time, performing at the Moritaza in the new year sogamono drama "Wakayagi Shiai Soga".

22nd day of the 4th lunar month of 1716 [1]: Kanzaemon died in Edo.


Nakajima Kanzaemon I, the founder of the Nakajima clan, was a prominent tachiyaku actor, who achieved fame for himself in Edo during the 1700s and the 1710s. He was nicknamed "t˘se no arahitogami", the "God of Wild Men" of modern times, in the 1716 hy˘banki. His field of excellence was jitsugoto.

[1] The 22nd day of the 4th lunar month of the 6th year of the Sh˘toku era was the 11th of June 1716 in the western calendar.

[2] This new year drama was staged to commemorate the 2nd anniversary (3rd memorial service) of the passing away of Nakamura Shichisabur˘ I.

Nakajima Kanzaemon I (seated, left), Hamazaki Isogor˘ (standing) and Nakamura Kichibŕ I (right) playing the roles of Kume-no-Hachir˘, Daikaku Jir˘ and Iwatonosuke in the new year drama "Chűj˘hime", which was staged in the 1st lunar month of 1715 at the Moritaza

The Nakajima Kanzaemon line of actors

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