ASAO KUZAEMON I

Stage names:

Asao Kuzaemon I
Asai Kuzaemon
Nakayama Tashir˘ II
Takeda Nisabur˘

Other name: Ichikawa Kigan I

Guild: Kanedaya

Poetry names: Kigan (1), Kigyoku

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: 1758 ~ 22nd day of the 8th lunar month of 1824

Connection:

Brother: Takeda Tashir˘

Masters: Asao Tamejűr˘ I, Nakayama Tatez˘ I

Son: Asao Kichisabur˘

Disciple: Jitsukawa Gakujűr˘ I

Career:

1758 ~ 1782: he starts his career in a troupe of children-actors performing in ďsaka at the Takeda no Shibai. He and his brother play under the respective names of Takeda Nisabur˘ and Takeda Tashir˘. He joins the actor Nakayama Tatez˘ I at an unknown date, receives the name of Nakayama Tashir˘ II and plays in minor theaters.

9th lunar month of 1782: he plays as a musician in the isse ichidai performance of the actor Nakayama Bunshichi I, which is staged at the Kado no Shibai.

11th lunar month of 1793: Nakayama Tatez˘ I and Nakayama Tashir˘ II respectively take the names of Izumikawa Okez˘ and Asai Kuzaemon.

Fall 1794: Kuzaemon becomes disciple of the actor Asao Tamejűr˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1794: Asai Kuzaemon takes the name of Asao Kuzaemon I in Ky˘to.

9th lunar month of 1801: premiere at the Kitagawa no Shibai of Shiba Shis˘'s drama "Hakone Reigen Izari no Adauchi"; Kuzaemon plays the roles of Sat˘ G˘suke and Takiguchi K˘zuke [casting].

10th lunar month of 1803: Kuzaemon celebrates his coming tour to Edo by playing at the Naka no Shibai 7 roles using some hayagawari techniques in the drama "Keisei Koi no Hikyaku".

11th lunar month of 1803: Kuzaemon goes to Edo and plays at the Ichimuraza in the kaomise drama "Mutsu no Hana Monomi no Matsu".

4th lunar month of 1804: his master Asao Tamejűr˘ I dies.

9th lunar month of 1804: Kuzaemon celebrates his coming departure from Edo, achieving a great success at the Ichimuraza by playing the role of Gotobŕ in the drama "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘".

11th lunar month of 1804: Kuzaemon is back in ďsaka and plays at the Naka no Shibai the role of the boatman Kochiemon in Tatsuoka Mansaku's kaomise drama "Minoriyoshi Kane no Naruki".

8th lunar month of 1807: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the roles of the smuggler Kezori and Gohei in the drama "Yamato Kotoba Suikoden", which is produced by Asao Okujir˘ II.

6th lunar month of 1808: Kuzaemon goes to Edo (for a religious pilgrimage) and plays at the Nakamuraza the role of Senoo Jűr˘ Kaneyasu in the drama "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki".

7th lunar month of 1808: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Segawa Jok˘ II's drama "Z˘ho Izari no Adauchi"; Kuzaemon plays the roles of Sat˘ G˘suke and the sh˘ya Tokuemon [casting].

8th lunar month of 1808: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the roles of Fujiwara no Shihei and Shiratayű in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".

9th lunar month of 1808: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the roles of the yakko Edohei in the drama "Koi Ny˘b˘ Somewake Tazuna".

Fall 1808: Kuzaemon goes back to ďsaka.

9th lunar month of 1809: Kuzaemon plays at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Jinroku and Utaemon in the drama "Oriawase Tsuzure no Nishiki".

11th lunar month of 1809: Kuzaemon plays at the Kado no Shibai the role of Ikegami Shichikur˘ in the kaomise drama "Keishoku Yuki-miru Yama", which is produced by Mimasu Kumesabur˘ and stars Nakayama Hyakka, Yoshizawa Ayame V, Arashi Kichisabur˘ II, Nakayama Shinkur˘ III, Nakamura Daikichi I, Kan˘ Minshi I and Asao Okuyama III.

3rd lunar month of 1810: tour in Ise with Nakayama Raisuke IV.

6th lunar month of 1810: tour in Nagoya with Kataoka Nizaemon VII and Nakayama Hyakka.

9th lunar month of 1810: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the role of Ky˘goku no Takumi in the drama "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi"; the roles of Rokusuke and Osono are played by Arashi Kichisabur˘ II and Nakamura Daikichi I.

1st lunar month of 1811: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the roles of Sawai Matagor˘, Narumi and Heisaku in the drama "Keisei Ekiro no Ume", whose plot and characters belong to the "Igagoe" world.

1st lunar month of 1813: Kuzaemon's rank in the Kamigata hy˘banki, jitsuaku section, is j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent). He plays 3 roles at the Kado no Shibai in the drama "Ane Im˘to Date no ďkido", which is produced by Ichikawa Zentar˘.

4th lunar month of 1813: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater in the drama "Ono no T˘fű Aoyagi Suzuri".

7th lunar month of 1813: Kuzaemon plays in Sakai the role of Senoo Jűr˘ Kaneyasu in the drama "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki", which is staged at the Shukuin no Shibai.

11th lunar month of 1813: Kuzaemon plays at the Minamigawa no Shibai in the drama "Ono no T˘fű Aoyagi Suzuri". He also plays the role of Tatara Shind˘zaemon in the drama "Karukaya D˘shin Tsukushi no Iezuto".

1st lunar month of 1814: Kuzaemon's rank in the Kamigata hy˘banki, s˘kanjiku sampukutsui section ("a trio of global kanjiku") section, is shi-j˘-j˘-kichi (unique - superior - superior - excellent). The two others actors in this trio are Kataoka Nizaemon VII and Nakayama Shinkur˘ III. Kuzaemon plays the roles of the old woman Otama, Yuminosuke and Tokuemon in the drama "Keisei Tsukushi no Tsumagoto", which is staged in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai. This is the first performance in Kabuki history of a play based on the "Asagao Nikki" world [casting].

4th lunar month of 1814: "Keisei Tsukushi no Tsumagoto" is staged with the same casting in Ky˘to at the Minamigawa no Shibai.

11th lunar month of 1814: Kuzaemon plays at the Kitagawa no Shibai the roles of Sawai Matagor˘ and Narumi in the drama "Tsugi Awase Ekiji no Ume", whose plot and characters belong to the "Igagoe" world.

1st lunar month of 1815: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the role of Gohei in the drama "Akiba Gongen Kaisen Banashi", which is produced by Kataoka Ichimatsu.

3rd lunar month of 1815: Kuzaemon moves to the Kado no Shibai and plays the roles of Tatara Shind˘zaemon, Kurofune and Gy˘buzaemon in the dramas "Karukaya D˘shin Tsukushi no Iezuto", "Kurofune Deiri Minato" and "Komochi Yamanba".

4th lunar month of 1815: Kuzaemon moves back to the Naka no Shibai and plays the roles of Tachibana Kazue and the sh˘ya Sh˘bei in the drama "Furiwakegami Matori Jikki", which is produced by Kataoka Ichimatsu.

8th lunar month of 1815: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the roles of Kakuju, Takebe Genz˘ and Shiratayű in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".

9th lunar month of 1815: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the roles of Sasaya Hanbei and the gatekeeper Sh˘bei in the drama "Katakiuchi Ura no Asagiri".

8th lunar month of 1816: Kuzaemon goes to Edo and plays at the Kiriza in the drama "Katakiuchi Tengajaya-mura".

9th lunar month of 1816: Kuzaemon celebrates his coming departure from Edo by playing at the Kiriza 7 roles using some hayagawari techniques in the drama "Michiyuki Koi no Hikyaku".

7th lunar month of 1817: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai in the dramas "Meisaku Kiri no Akebono" and "Senjin Fujito no Homare".

1st lunar month of 1818: Kuzaemon plays at the Kitagawa no Shibai the roles of Sukune Tar˘, Shund˘ Genba and Shiratayű in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami". He also plays the roles of Jinroku and Utaemon in the drama "Oriawase Tsuzure no Nishiki".

5th lunar month of 1818: Kuzaemon plays at the Takeda no Shibai (ďsaka) the role of Sait˘ Tarozaemon Toshiyuki in the drama "ďt˘-no-Miya Asahi no Yoroi".

8th lunar month of 1818: Kuzaemon plays the roles of Mataroku and Sajidayű in the drama "Musume Kagekiyo Yashima Nikki", which is produced at the Naka no Shibai by Asao Tokusabur˘. His stage partners are Arashi Koroku IV (Oito) and Arashi Kichisabur˘ II (Yoshitoki, Kagekiyo).

Fall 1818: Kuzaemon plays at the Kitagawa no Shibai the role of Midaroku in the drama "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki".

11th lunar month of 1818: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the roles of Usami Goemon, Heisaku and K˘hei in the drama "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku". The roles of Oyone and Jűbŕ are played by Arashi Koroku IV and Arashi Kichisabur˘ II.

1st lunar month of 1819: Kuzaemon plays at the Kado no Shibai the role of Iwanaga Saemon in the drama "Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki". His stage partners in the roles of Akoya and Shigetada are Nakamura Matsue III and Ichikawa Ebijűr˘ I.

7th lunar month of 1819: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the role of Gonshir˘ in the drama "Hirakana Seisuiki".

9th lunar month of 1819: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the roles of Tamashima Itt˘ and Akaganeya K˘bŕ [print] in the drama "T˘t˘migata Koi no Shiranami".

11th lunar month of 1819: Kuzaemon plays at the Minamigawa no Shibai the roles of Tamashima Itt˘ and Akaganeya K˘bŕ in the drama "Z˘ho Koi no Shiranami" (an extension of the drama "T˘t˘migata Koi no Shiranami").

1st lunar month of 1820: Kuzaemon's rank in the Kamigata hy˘banki, s˘kanjiku section ("global kanjiku") section, is k˘-j˘-j˘-kichi (meritorious - superior - superior - excellent).

3rd lunar month of 1820: Kuzaemon plays at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Kawagoe Shigeyori and Yazaemon ("Sushiya" scene) in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

5th lunar month of 1820: Kuzaemon plays at the Ichinogawa Shibai (ďsaka) the role of Tatara Shind˘zaemon in the drama "Karukaya D˘shin Tsukushi no Iezuto".

11th lunar month of 1820: tour in Nagoya; Kuzaemon plays the role of Yazaemon ("Sushiya" scene) in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", which is staged in the precinct of the Seijuin Temple.

1st lunar month of 1821: Kuzaemon plays at the Minamigawa no Shibai the role of Magoemon in the drama "Shinjű Ten no Amijima".

3rd lunar month of 1821: premiere at the Kado no Shibai of the drama "Kajiwara Heiz˘ K˘bai Tazuna", a new version of the third act of "Miura no ďsuke ďbai Tazuna", revised by Kanazawa Ryűgoku I; Kuzaemon plays the role of Rokur˘dayű [casting].

5th lunar month of 1821: Kuzaemon plays at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Kat˘ G˘suke and Iwaki Chűtayű in the drama "Taiheiki Chűshin K˘shaku", which is produced by Nakamura Matsuyo.

7th lunar month of 1821: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the role of Watanabe Minbu in the drama "Hagi ha Sendai Na ha Matsumoto", whose plot and characters belong to the "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" world.

11th lunar month of 1821: Kuzaemon plays at the Kitagawa no Shibai the roles of Ono no Kudayű, Yazama Kinai and Shikama no Takubei in the drama "Taiheiki Chűshin K˘shaku".

1st lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai 3 roles in the drama "Keisei Somewake no Tazuna".

2nd lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the roles of Daibutsumochi S˘emon and Konomura ďinosuke in the drama "Kinmon Gosan no Kiri". He also plays the role of Kaminari Sh˘kur˘ in the drama "Otokodate Itsutsu Karigane".

3rd lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon plays in the same theater the role of Sakaya Giemon in the drama "ďishizuri Sakura Tanzaku", a play based on the Chűshingura world.

24th of the 4th lunar month of 1822: his son Asao Kichisabur˘ dies.

5th lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon plays the role of Tsuge Shinzaemon in the drama "Keisei Sano no Funabashi", which is staged within the precinct of the Gory˘ Shrine in the district of Semba (ďsaka). He also plays the roles of Heizaemon and Yaoya Oshichi'mother in the drama "Yaoya no Kondate".

8th lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon plays at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Date no Yosabei and Hachiz˘ in the drama "Koi Ny˘b˘ Somewake Tazuna", which is produced by Onoe Umanosuke.

9th lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon plays at the Naka no Shibai the role of Iwaki Hy˘bu in the drama "Kama-ga-Fuchi Futatsu Domoe".

11th lunar month of 1822: Kuzaemon appears on stage for the last time, playing the roles of the old man Rokur˘dayű and Date no Yosabei in the dramas "Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kidai no Ishikiri" [casting] and "Iroage Somewake Tazuna", which are staged in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai.

1823 ~ 1824: he falls ill and doesn't appear on stage anymore until his death in Ky˘to in the 8th lunar month of 1824.

Comments:

Asao Kuzaemon I was a talented and popular actor specialized in katakiyaku, jitsuaku and oyajigata roles, excelling in thieves roles in sewamono dramas and mastering some hayagawari techniques, who made a fame for himself in Kamigata during the Bunka and Bunsei eras. He did also a few successful stays in Edo.

Asao Kuzaemon I playing the role of Sawai Matagor˘ in the drama "Keisei Ekiro no Ume", which was performed in the 1st lunar month of 1811 in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai (print made by Rank˘sai)

Prints & Illustrations

Print made by Shunk˘sai Hokushű in 1815

Print made by Shunk˘sai Hokushű in 1819

The Asao Kuzaemon line of actors

The Ichikawa Kigan line of actors

 
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