Stage names:

Iwai Matsunosuke IV In Japanese
Iwai Seiji In Japanese
Iwai Matsunosuke IV In Japanese
Iwai Ch˘ji In Japanese

Real name: Arai Hisajir˘

Guild: Yamatoya

Line number: YODAIME (IV)

Existence: 1857 ~ 11 March 1906


Master: Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII

Disciple: Iwai Tokumatsu


1857: born in Edo in the district of Ky˘bashi.

1871: he became disciple of the actor Iwai Shijaku II and received the name of Iwai Ch˘ji.

October 1878: premiere at the Shintomiza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Jitsugetsusei Ky˘wa Seidan"; Ch˘ji played the role of the okujochű Kumemura [casting].

October 1879: Iwai Ch˘ji took the name of Iwai Matsunosuke IV at the Saruwakaza.

23 May 1880: premiere at the Saruwakaza of Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Arimatsuzome Sum˘ Yukata"; Matsunosuke played the role of the mekake Oshiga [more details].

January 1882: quarrel with his master; he was expelled from the Iwai clan. He performed under the name of Iwai Seiji.

19 February 1882: his master Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII died; Matsunosuke joined back the Iwai clan and took back the name of Iwai Matsunosuke IV in April 1882.

November 1883: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Z˘ho Tenjiku Tokubŕ", a revision of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's "Tenjiku Tokubŕ Ikoku Banashi"; Matsunosuke played the role of Matsugae [casting].

November 1885: premiere at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Shisen Ry˘ Koban no Ume-no-Ha"; Matsunosuke played the roles of Tatsumiya Otatsu, T˘jűr˘'s wife Omisa and Funayado no Omatsu (a member of the Chitose k˘jű) [more details].

March 1886: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Mekura Nagaya Ume-ga-Kagatobi"; Matsunosuke played the role of Osuga [casting].

November 1890: tour in Sendai with a troupe led by Ichikawa Metora II.

September 1893: Matsunosuke played at the Harukiza the role of Otomi in the drama "Yo no Mukashi Shima no Shinwa"; the role of Yosabur˘ was played by Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII.

January 1894: Matsunosuke played at the Harukiza the role of Princess Toki in the drama "Kamakura Sandaiki"; the roles of Sasaki Takatsuna and Miuranosuke were played by Nakamura Jakuemon II and Nakamura Fukusuke IV.

January 1898: premiere at the Miyatoza of Segawa Jok˘ IV's drama "Shinsaku Yakko no Koman"; Matsunosuke played the role of the keisei Usugumo, later Oura [more details].

March 1901: Matsunosuke played at the Miyatoza the role of Yűgiri in the drama "Kuruwa Bunsh˘"; the role of Fujiya Izaemon was played by Ichimura Kakitsu VI.

November 1905: Matsunosuke appeared on stage for the last time, at the Miyatoza, playing 4 roles in the dance-drama "Miyazaki Danmari".

11 March 1906: Matsunosuke died in T˘ky˘.


Iwai Matsunosuke IV was a promising onnagata actor, who was able to perform a wide range of female roles in sewamono dramas, like courtesans, spouses or maiden. He replaced actors like Band˘ Mitsugor˘ VI and was a stage partner of Onoe Kikugor˘ V but he unfortunately wasted his talents, became alcoholic and debt-ridden, was definitively expelled from the Iwai clan around 1901 and fell at the end of his career from ˘shibai to koshibai.

Iwai Matsunosuke IV playing the role of a courtesan in the drama "Ume no Haru Tateshu no Goshozome", which was staged in February 1887 at the Chitoseza

The Iwai Matsunosuke line of actors

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