|YAMASHITA MATATARď I|
Yamashita Matatar˘ I
Line number: SHODAI (I)
Poetry names: K˘gen, Seika
Existence: 1712 ~ 16th day of the 9th lunar month of 1762
Father: Yoshizawa Ayame I
Uncle: Yamashita Ky˘emon I
Adoptive father: Yamashita Kinsaku I
Disciples: Yamashita Shirogor˘, Yamashita Shungor˘
Family map: the Yoshizawa Clan
18th day of the 1st lunar month of 1717: his uncle Yamashita Ky˘emon I dies.
15th day of the 7th lunar month of 1729: his father Yoshizawa Ayame I dies.
1731: first stage appearance, on Miyajima Island, where he performs under the name of Yamashita Tomijűr˘.
1732: Yamashita Tomijűr˘ takes the name of Yamashita Ky˘emon II while on tour in Ise.
Fall 1734: Ky˘emon settles in ďsaka.
11th lunar month of 1734: Yamashita Ky˘emon II takes the name of Yamashita Matatar˘ I, becomes tachiyaku and plays at the Kado no Shibai the role of Kokonoe Otowanoj˘ in the kaomise drama "Shin Yakata In'y˘ no Ishizue"; his stage partners are Sawamura Otoemon I, Izumikawa Sennosuke, Tamiya Shirogor˘, Kamakura Heikur˘ I, Matsushima Moheiji and the zamoto Nakayama Shinkur˘ I.
11th lunar month of 1735: Matatar˘ plays at the Kado no Shibai the role of Shikijima Unemenosuke in the kaomise drama "ďyamato Kane no Kinzan". He achieves a great success by performing the sh˘j˘ dance.
Fall 1747: Matatar˘ goes back to Ky˘to.
11th lunar month of 1747: Matatar˘ plays at the Kitagawa no Shibai the role of Nakahara Uky˘ in the kaomise drama "Teikin ďrai Manzoku Kagami"; his stage partners are Sakakiyama Koshir˘ II, Sakakiyama Shirotar˘ II (the two actors of the Sakakiyama clan celebrate their shűmei), Asao Motogor˘ I, Fujioka Daikichi, Fujikawa Heikur˘, Sanogawa Hanazuma II, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I, Kasaya Matakur˘ I, Nakamura Matsubei I, Takenaka Heikichi and Nakamura Shirogor˘ III. Matatar˘ achieves a great success by performing a yakko role in a yari odori.
1st lunar month of 1751: first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet theater drama "Tamamo-no-Mae Asahi no Tamoto", which is produced in Ky˘to by Miyako Handayű at his theater; Matatar˘ plays the roles of Miuranosuke Yoshiaki and Abe Unemenosuke [casting].
11th lunar month of 1752: Matatar˘ becomes zamoto in Ky˘to, producing at the Minamigawa no Shibai the kaomise drama "Hatsubaika Asahi no Minato", in which he plays the roles of Wanya Kyűbei and ďtomo Irinoj˘.
1st lunar month of 1753: first Kabuki adaptation of the 5 acts puppet theater drama "Yamatogana Ariwara Keizu", which is produced as a new year drama at the Minamigawa no Shibai by Matatar˘ and in which he plays the roles of Kurozuka Heima's wife Murasame and Yomosaku [casting].
18th day of the 7th lunar month of 1754: his elder brother Yoshizawa Ayame II dies.
11th lunar month of 1754: Matatar˘ plays 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 is produced by Somematsu Matsujir˘. This drama is in fact the first Kabuki adaptation of the puppet drama "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘" [more details] and the role of T˘saku is the same as Gotobei in "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘".
Fall 1755: Matatar˘ goes to Edo.
11th lunar month of 1755: Matatar˘ plays at the Nakamuraza in the kaomise drama "Arigatashi Yunzei Genji"; his stage partners are Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Nakamura Shichisabur˘ II, Tomizawa Tatsujűr˘, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ I, Nakajima Mihoemon I, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ II, Miyazaki Jűshir˘, Matsushima Moheiji, Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I, Osagawa Tsuneyo I, Nakamura Denkur˘ II and Yamashita Kinsaku II.
2nd lunar month of 1756: the Nakamuraza is rebuilt and Matatar˘ plays 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 are Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I and Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I.
8th lunar month of 1756: Matatar˘ plays in the same theater the roles of Takebe Genz˘ and Kakuju in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".
Fall 1758: Matatar˘ goes to ďsaka.
11th lunar month of 1758: Matatar˘ plays at the Naka no Shibai in the kaomise drama "Shitenn˘ Chikara Kurabe"; his stage partners are 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"), is j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent). The 3 others actors, who belong to this "big four" section, are Ichikawa Danz˘ III, Yamamoto Ky˘shir˘ I and Nakayama Shinkur˘ I.
7th lunar month of 1760: Matatar˘ plays in the same theater the role of Kajiwara Genta Kagesue in the drama "Hirakana Seisuiki".
2nd lunar month of 1762: Matatar˘ appears on stage for the last time, in Ky˘to, playing the roles of Tatsuta Unemenosuke and Funabashi Tomonoshin in the drama "Keisei Shiunzan", which is produced by Sanogawa Wakamatsu.
16th day of the 9th lunar month of 1762: Matatar˘ dies in ďsaka.
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 diction 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).
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)
The Yamashita Ky˘emon line of actors
The Yamashita Matatar˘ line of actors
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