YAMASHITA MATATARď I

Stage names:

Yamashita Matatar˘ I In Japanese
Yamashita Ky˘emon II In Japanese
Yamashita Tomijűr˘ In Japanese
Yamashita Sennosuke In Japanese

Other name:

Yoshizawa Kikumatsu In Japanese

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry names: K˘gen, Seika

Existence: 1712 ~ 16th day of the 9th lunar month of 1762 [1]

Connection:

Father: Yoshizawa Ayame I

Uncle: Yamashita Ky˘emon I

Adoptive father: Yamashita Kinsaku I

Brothers: Yoshizawa Ayame II, Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I, Yoshizawa Ayame III

Son: Yamashita Matatar˘ II

Disciples: Yamashita Ichigor˘, Yamashita Shirogor˘, Yamashita Shungor˘

Family map: the Yoshizawa Clan

Career:

1712 ~ 1730: born in Ky˘to. Son of Yoshizawa Ayame I, his first name was Yoshizawa Kikumatsu. He was adopted by Yamashita Kinsaku I and received the name of Yamashita Sennosuke at a young age.

18th day of the 1st lunar month of 1717 [2]: his uncle Yamashita Ky˘emon I died.

15th day of the 7th lunar month of 1729 [3]: his father Yoshizawa Ayame I died.

1731: first stage appearance, on Miyajima Island, where he performed under the name of Yamashita Tomijűr˘.

1732: he took the name of Yamashita Ky˘emon II while on tour in Ise.

Fall 1734: Ky˘emon settled in ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1734: Yamashita Ky˘emon II took the name of Yamashita Matatar˘ I, became tachiyaku and played at the Kado no Shibai the role of Kokonoe Otowanoj˘ in the kaomise drama "Shin Yakata In'y˘ no Ishizue"; his stage partners were Sawamura Otoemon I, Izumikawa Sennosuke, Tamiya Shirogor˘, Kamakura Heikur˘ I, Matsushima Moheiji and the zamoto Nakayama Shinkur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1735: Matatar˘ played at the Kado no Shibai the role of Shikijima Unemenosuke in the kaomise drama "ďyamato Kane no Kinzan". He achieved a great success by performing the sh˘j˘ dance.

Fall 1747: Matatar˘ went back to Ky˘to.

11th lunar month of 1747: Matatar˘ played at the Kitagawa no Shibai the role of Nakahara Uky˘ in the kaomise drama "Teikin ďrai Manzoku Kagami"; his stage partners were Sakakiyama Koshir˘ II, Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ II (the two actors of the Sakakiyama clan celebrated their shűmei), Asao Motogor˘ I, Fujioka Daikichi, Fujikawa Heikur˘, Sanogawa Hanazuma II, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I, Kasaya Matakur˘ I, Nakamura Matsubŕ I, Takenaka Heikichi and Nakamura Shirogor˘ III. Matatar˘ achieved a great success by performing a yakko role in a yari odori.

1st lunar month of 1748: Matatar˘'s rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

1st lunar month of 1751: first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet theater drama "Tamamo-no-Mae Asahi no Tamoto", which was produced in Ky˘to by Miyako Handayű at his theater; Matatar˘ played the roles of Miuranosuke Yoshiaki and Abe Unemenosuke [casting].

11th lunar month of 1752: Matatar˘ became zamoto in Ky˘to, producing at the Minamigawa no Shibai the kaomise drama "Hatsubaika Asahi no Minato", in which he played the roles of Wanya Kyűbŕ and ďtomo Irinoj˘.

1st lunar month of 1753: first Kabuki adaptation of the 5 acts puppet theater drama "Yamatogana Ariwara Keizu", which was produced as a new year drama at the Minamigawa no Shibai by Matatar˘ and in which he played the roles of Kurozuka Heima's wife Murasame and Yomosaku [casting].

2nd lunar month of 1753: Matatar˘ produced in the same theater the ni-no-kawari drama "Keisei Naruo no Umi", in which he played the roles of Yaban Nitasuke and Nagaharaya Ibei.

18th day of the 7th lunar month of 1754: his elder brother Yoshizawa Ayame II died.

11th lunar month of 1754: Matatar˘ played at Hoteiya Umenoj˘'s theater in Ky˘to the role of Tsubashi T˘saku (in reality Imai Tar˘) in the kaomise drama "Fűkigusa Aioi Genji", which was produced by Somematsu Matsujir˘. This drama was in fact the first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet drama "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘" [more details] and the role of T˘saku was the same as Gotobŕ in "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘".

Fall 1755: Matatar˘ went to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1755: Matatar˘ played at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Arigatashi Yunzei Genji"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Nakamura Shichisabur˘ II, Tomizawa Tatsujűr˘, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ I, Nakajima Mihoemon I, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II, Miyazaki Jűshir˘ II, Matsushima Moheiji, Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I, Osagawa Tsuneyo I, Nakamura Denkur˘ II and Yamashita Kinsaku II.

1st lunar month of 1756: Matatar˘'s rank in the Edo hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

14th day of the 1st lunar month of 1756: the Nakamuraza and the Ichimuraza were destroyed in a fire.

2nd lunar month of 1756: the Nakamuraza was rebuilt and Matatar˘ played the role of Nagoya Sanza in the new year drama "Kotobuki Mimasu Soga"; his stage partners in the roles of Fuwa Banzaemon, Katsuragi (Sanza's lover) and Banzaemon's wife were Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I and Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I.

8th lunar month of 1756: Matatar˘ played in the same theater the roles of Takebe Genz˘ and Kakuju in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".

11th lunar month of 1756: Matatar˘ played at the Nakamuraza the role of Toyoshima Saemon in the kaomise drama "Masakado Sh˘zoku no Enoki", which celebrated the arrival of Arashi Tominosuke I in Edo.

11th lunar month of 1757: Matatar˘ moved to the Moritaza and performed in the kaomise drama "Ikioi Wada Gassen".

Fall 1758: Matatar˘ went to ďsaka.

11th lunar month of 1758: Matatar˘ played at the Naka no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Shitenn˘ Chikara Kurabe"; his stage partners were Ichikawa Danz˘ III, Yamamoto Ky˘shir˘ I, Ichinokawa Hikoshir˘ II, Yoshizawa Sakinosuke II, Nakamura Kumetar˘ I and the zamoto Arashi Kichisabur˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1759: Matatar˘'s rank in the ďsaka hy˘banki, "Kurokichi Shitenn˘" section ("the big four with the excellent character written in black"), was j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent). The 3 others actors, who belonged to this "Big Four" section, were Ichikawa Danz˘ III, Yamamoto Ky˘shir˘ I and Nakayama Shinkur˘ I.

11th lunar month of 1759: Matatar˘ performed at the Naka no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Mibae Soga Azuma Tanzen".

7th lunar month of 1760: Matatar˘ played in the same theater the role of Kajiwara Genta Kagesue in the drama "Hirakana Seisuiki".

11th lunar month of 1761: Matatar˘ performed at the Naka no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Miyo no Hana Yunzei Kagami".

2nd lunar month of 1762: Matatar˘ appeared on stage for the last time, in Ky˘to, playing the roles of Tatsuta Unemenosuke and Funabashi Tomonoshin in the drama "Keisei Shiunzan", which was produced by Sanogawa Wakamatsu.

16th day of the 9th lunar month of 1762 [1]: Matatar˘ died in ďsaka.

Comments:

Yamashita Matatar˘ I was a talented actor, who was born in an onnagata family but became a popular tachiyaku, achieving fame for himself from the middle of the 1730s to the beginning of the 1760s, not only in Ky˘to or ďsaka but also in Edo where he spent 3 successful seasons. His physical appearance and his k˘seki were both great and he was an outstanding dancer. He was equally at ease in both sewamono and jidaimono, and excelled as a wagotoshi (yatsushi).

[1] The 16th day of the 9th lunar month of the 12th year of the H˘reki era was the 1st of November 1762 in the western calendar.

[2] The 18th day of the 1st lunar month of the 2nd year of the Ky˘h˘ era was the 28th of February 1717 in the western calendar.

[3] The 15th day of the 7th lunar month of the 14th year of the Ky˘h˘ era was the 9th of August 1729 in the western calendar.

The actors Yamashita Matatar˘ I (bottom/left) and Tomizawa Tatsujűr˘ (top/right) playing the roles of Taira no Koremochi and Watanabe Ki˘ in the drama "Arigatashi Yunzei Genji", which was staged in the 11th lunar month of 1755 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Torii Kiyonobu II)

Print made by Torii Kiyonobu II in 1755

Print made by Torii Kiyohiro in 1756

The Yamashita Ky˘emon line of actors

The Yamashita Matatar˘ line of actors

 
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