Stage name:

It˘ Kodayű II In Japanese

Line number: NIDAIME (II)

Existence: ??? ~ 1689


Master: It˘ Kodayű I

Disciples: It˘ Kodayű III, It˘ Sh˘dayű, It˘ Kohachir˘, It˘ Rokusabur˘ (?)


6th lunar month of 1674: Kodayű performed as an onnagata in Ky˘to at Ebisuya's theater; his stage partners were Fujita Koheiji, Komai Sh˘zaemon, Imamura Kumenosuke, Fujita Minanoj˘, Nanboku Sabu I, Nakajima Yaheita, Kaneko Rokuemon, Tamagawa San'ya, Dekijima Tanomo and Kumamoto Bun'emon.

Spring 1678: Kodayű played the role of the courtesan Yoshinodayű in the drama "Yoshino Miuke", which was staged in Ky˘to at the Shij˘ Kitagawa no Shibai; his partner in the role of Kokuraya Genbŕ was Arashi San'emon I.

7th day of the 1st lunar month of 1678 [1]: ďgiya Yűgiri, the most famous courtesan in the Shinmachi pleasure quarter in ďsaka, died.

2nd lunar month of 1678: Kodayű played in ďsaka the role of the courtesan Yűgiri in the drama "Yűgiri Nagori no Sh˘gatsu"; the role of Yűgiri's lover Fujiya Izaemon was played by Sakata T˘jűr˘ I. This was the beginning of the wagoto style.

Spring 1680: Kodayű went to Edo.

3rd lunar month of 1680: the very first sayaate scene in Kabuki history was staged at the Ichimuraza; Kodayű played the role of the courtesan Katsuragi [more details].

1st lunar month of 1681: publication in Ky˘to of a special hy˘banki, mixing actors and courtesans in couples: Kodayű was associated to a courtesan named Kindayű.

Fall 1682: Kodayű went to ďsaka for a short period of time. Then, he went back to Edo to perform at the Ichimuraza.

1st lunar month of 1684: Kodayű's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual].

3rd lunar month of 1684: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I played for the first time the role of the wicked priest Narukami in the drama "Kadomatsu Shitenn˘" ("Narukami"), which was staged at the Nakamuraza. Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I was the author of the play and his stage partner in the role of Princess Taema was Kodayű.

1st lunar month of 1687: Kodayű's rank in "Yar˘ Tachiyaku Butai ďkagami" was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent) [visual]. He shared this ranking with Arashi San'emon I. He was the only actor performing in Edo to be listed in this book.

21st day of the 9th lunar month of 1687 [2]: his master It˘ Kodayű I died.

1689: Kodayű died in Edo.


Born and raised in Ky˘to, the onnagata It˘ Kodayű II achieved fame for himself not only in the Imperial City or in the Merchants City of ďsaka, but also in Edo where he settled at the Ichimuraza at the beginning of the 1680s. He excelled in keisei roles and gave his name to a purple textile, which was called the It˘ Ganoko. The name of this textile became the title of a novel, which was published after the death of It˘ Kodayű II and featured this actor as the hero of this fictional book. He was nicknamed Shij˘ no Oyama (the onnagata of the district of Shij˘, an important avenue in Ky˘to) or Oyama Kodayű.

It˘ Kodayű is mentioned in the old books as a noted onnagata. Saikaku commenting upon him wrote: "He is an onnagata by nature, his character being quiet and gentle".
(ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

It˘ Kodayű was active from 1674 to 1689 and was known as Oyama no Kaisan (the founding father of the onnagata).
(Takei Ky˘z˘ in his article "An Acting in Early Kabuki")

[1] The 7th day of the 1st lunar month of the 6th year of the Enp˘ era was the 27th of February 1678 in the western calendar.

[2] The 21st day of the 9th lunar month of the 4th year of the J˘ky˘ era was the 26th of October 1687 in the western calendar.

It˘ Kodayű II (right), in the company of Arashi San'emon I (left), as depicted in the illustrated book "Yar˘ Tachiyaku Butai ďkagami"

Prints & Illustrations

The It˘ Kodayű line of actors

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