MEIJIZA
   
Names Meijiza
Chitoseza
Hisamatsuza
Kish˘za
City T˘ky˘
History

1873: opening of the Kish˘za in the district of Hisamatsu-ch˘.

August 1879: the same theater reopens under the name of Hisamatsuza. The opening program is made up of the dramas "Osana Zakura Masago no Furisode", "Uchide no Tsuchimi Iri no ďkura", "Iromochi Gusa Ukina no Koiguchi" and "Chiyo Yorozu Yosakae no Hisamatsu", starring the actors Suketakaya Takasuke IV, Kataoka Gad˘ III, Onoe Tamiz˘ II, Ichikawa Kuz˘ III, Kataoka Ichiz˘ III, Nakamura Kanjaku III, Onoe Taganoj˘ II, Band˘ Hikojűr˘ I and Onoe Tamitar˘.

January 1883: last programs at the Hisamatsuza; the dramas "Jiraiya G˘ketsu Monogatari", "Gosho Zakura Horikawa no Youchi" and "Suibodai Got˘ no Ky˘kyaku" are staged with Nakamura Nakaz˘ III (zagashira), Ichikawa Kuz˘ III, Band˘ Kakitsu I, Onoe Taganoj˘ II, Band˘ Hikojűr˘ I, Nakamura Kaoru and Ogino Yaegiri IV (who celebrates his shűmei).

January 1885: two dances are staged at this theater, about to reopen in February 1885 with a new name, the Chitoseza. From the 4th to the 7th of January, two auspicious dances and a k˘j˘ with the troupe led by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX are staged. The sanbas˘ is staged with Ichikawa Sadanji I (Okina), Band˘ Kakitsu I (Senzai) and Onoe Kikugor˘ V (Sanbas˘). This is also the premiere of the Nagauta-based dance-drama "Tsuru Kame", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The Crane Band˘ Takematsu
The Tortoise Onoe Eijir˘
The Emperor Ichikawa Kintar˘

February 1885: the same theater reopens under the name of Chitoseza. The opening program is made up of the dramas "Senzai Soga Genji no Ishizue", "Yamabushi Settai", "Suitengű Rish˘ no Fukagawa" and "Kaze Kuruu Kawabe no Meyanagi", starring the actors Onoe Kikugor˘ V, Ichikawa Sadanji I, Band˘ Kakitsu I, Onoe Matsusuke IV, Kataoka Gad˘ III, Sawamura Gennosuke IV, Ichikawa Arajir˘ I, Sawamura Tanosuke IV, Onoe Einosuke, Nakamura Fukusuke IV, Band˘ Shűch˘ II, Ichikawa Shinz˘ V, Onoe Kikunosuke II and Nakamura Tsuruz˘ II.

February 1885: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Suitengű Megumi no Fukagawa", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Funazu K˘bŕ, the thief Kotengű Y˘jir˘ Onoe Kikugor˘ V
Ogiwara Ry˘saku, the rickshaw Sangor˘ Ichikawa Sadanji I
The sahainin Yohei, Ibaraki Denji Onoe Matsusuke IV
Yamaoka Tomisabur˘ Kataoka Gad˘ III
The courtesan Kohina Sawamura Gennosuke IV
Yamaoka's wife Onami Sawamura Tanosuke IV
Ogiwara's wife Omura Band˘ Shűch˘ II
The policeman Tamio Yasumori Band˘ Kakitsu I
K˘bŕ's daughter Oyuki Onoe Kikunosuke II
K˘bŕ's daughter Oshimo Onoe Einosuke I

March 1886: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Mokuami's drama "Mekura Nagaya Ume-ga-Kagatobi", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Umekichi, D˘gen, Shinigami Onoe Kikugor˘ V
Matsuz˘, Kaisuke Ichikawa Kuz˘ III
Oasa Onoe Einosuke I
Minosuke Band˘ Kakitsu I
Osuga Iwai Matsunosuke IV
Okane, Goroji Onoe Matsusuke IV
Otami Onoe Kikunosuke II

May 1888: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's drama "Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Sano Jir˘zaemon Ichikawa Sadanji I
The courtesan Yatsuhashi Nakamura Fukusuke IV
Jiroku, Shigeyama Einoj˘ Ichikawa Kodanji V
Hy˘goya Seibŕ Nakamura Shikan IV
Okitsu Sawamura Gennosuke IV
Gonpachi Kataoka Ichiz˘ III

September 1889: premiŔre at the Chitoseza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Kumo no Ito Oyozume Banashi", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The Spirit of the Spider (kumo no sei), Hirai Yasumasa Nakamura Shikan IV
Minamoto Yorimitsu Band˘ Tsurunosuke II
Sakata Kintoki Band˘ Hikojűr˘ I
Usui Sadamitsu Nakamura Fukusuke IV
Urabe Suetake Nakamura Dengor˘ III
Watanabe Tsuna Ichikawa Sumiz˘ V

1890: the Chitoseza is destroyed in a fire.

November 1893: the same theater reopens under the name of Meijiza. The opening program is made up of the dramas "Ishibashiyama Genji no Hataage", "Oatsurae", "Sono Uwasa Tatsuya Adanami" and "T˘yama Zakura Tenp˘ Nikki", starring the actors Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, Ichikawa Sadanji I, Ichikawa Gonjűr˘, Ichikawa Ennosuke I, Nakamura Fukusuke IV, Ichikawa Somegor˘ IV, Ichikawa Kodanji V, Ichikawa Shinz˘ V and Ichikawa Arajir˘ I.

October 1897: premiŔre at the Meijiza of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "ďmori Hikoshichi". The 2 leading roles are played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX (ďmori) and Ichikawa Metora II (Princess Chihaya). The choreography is made by Hanayagi Jusuke I and the musical accompaniment is made by Kishizawa Nakasuke.

October 1898: premiere at the Meijiza of Takeshiba Kisui's dance-drama "Sannin Katawa", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The crawling cripple Ichikawa Sadanji I
The deaf and mute girl Sawamura Gennosuke IV
The blind man Ichikawa Kodanji V
The daimy˘ Ichikawa Sumiz˘ V

March 1899: premiere at the Meijiza of the drama "Kurotegumi Kuruwa no Tatehiki", which gathers the main scenes from the sukerokumono part of Kawatake Shinshichi II's 1858 drama "Edo Zakura Kiyomizu Seigen". It is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The bant˘ Gonkur˘, Sukeroku Ichikawa Sadanji I
Miuraya Agemaki, Omaki Sawamura Gennosuke IV
Torii Shinzaemon Ichikawa Gonjűr˘
The shinz˘ Shiratama, Denji's wife Otama Sawamura Tossh˘ III
Ushiwaka Denji, Kinokuniya Bunzaemon Ichikawa Kodanji V
The shirozake Shinbŕ Ichikawa Sumiz˘ V

1904: modernization of the Meijiza.

April 1908: the actors Nakamura Tokiz˘ I and Nakamura Kash˘ I take the names of Nakamura Karoku III and Nakamura Tokiz˘ II at the Meijiza.

September 1909: revival at the Meijiza of the drama "Kenuki", a long-forgotten play belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban, which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Kumedera Danj˘ Ichikawa Sadanji II
The koshimoto Makiginu Ichikawa Sakinosuke
Ono no Harukaze Nakamura Matagor˘ I
Ono no Harumichi Ichikawa Dankichi II
Hata no Hidetar˘ Ichikawa Enjaku
Hata no Minbu Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI
Yatsurugi Genba Nakamura Kangor˘ XII
Ohara no Manbŕ Ichikawa Sash˘ II

May 1910: revival at the Meijiza of the drama "Narukami", a long-forgotten play belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban, which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The wicked priest Narukami Ichikawa Sadanji II
Princess Taema Sawamura S˘nosuke I
The priest Hakuunb˘ (the "white cloud bonze") Ichikawa Sash˘ II
The priest Kokuunb˘ (the "black cloud bonze") Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI

May 1911: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Shuzenji Monogatari", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The mask-carver Yasha˘ Ichikawa Sadanji II
Minamoto no Yoriie Ichimura Uzaemon XV
Yasha˘'s daughter Kaede Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II
Yasha˘'s daughter Katsura Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI

October 1911: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Minowa no Shinjű", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Fujieda Geki Ichikawa Sadanji II
Ayaginu Sawamura Gennosuke IV

January: revival at the Meijiza of the drama "Fud˘", which belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; its is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Fud˘ My˘˘ Ichikawa Sadanji II
Chitoseya Miyoshino Sawamura Gennosuke IV
Kumedera Danj˘'s sister Matsugae Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II
Abe no Kiyotsura Nakamura Matagor˘ I
Sakuramachi Kiyofusa Ichikawa Ichijűr˘ IV

October 1914: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Soga Monogatari", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Ky˘ no Kojir˘ Ichikawa Sadanji II
Soga Gor˘ Ichikawa Ennosuke II
Soga Jűr˘ Morita Kan'ya XIII
ďiso no Tora Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II
Echigo no Zenjib˘ Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI

September 1918: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Onoe Idahachi", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Harada Idahachi Ichikawa Sadanji II
The courtesan Onoe, Osayo Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II

November 1920: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Ogurusu no Ch˘bŕ", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Ch˘bŕ Ichikawa Ennosuke II
Kosuzu Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II
Horio Mosuke Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI

September 1922: revival at the Meijiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Nazo no Obi Chotto Tokubŕ", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
ďshima Danshichi Ichikawa Sadanji II
Issun Tokubŕ Kataoka Ichiz˘ IV
Okaji, Otatsu Band˘ Shűch˘ III
The okujochű Kotoura Kataoka Gad˘ IV
Tsuribune Sankichi Ichimura Kamez˘ III
Mikawaya Giheiji Nakamura Tsuruz˘ III
The wakat˘ Yaichi Ichikawa Ensh˘ III

1 September 1923 (11:58 AM): T˘ky˘ is destroyed by a powerful earthquake called Kant˘ Daijishin, which kills more than 200,000 people; the Meijiza is burnt to ashes.

1924: the Suehiroza, a little theater in the district of Azabu Jűban, becomes a temporary Meijiza.

1928: reopening of the Meijiza in the district of Hama-ch˘.

February 1929: premiere at the Meijiza of Kimura Tomiko's Nagauta-based dance "Nomitori Otoko", with a choreography and a musical accompaniment made by Hanayagi Jusuke II and Kineya Sakichi IV. The leading role is played by Ichikawa Ennosuke II.

September 1930: revival at the Meijiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘". The new script is written by Iwaya Shin'ichi and the play is produced under the title "T˘ryű Azuma Bunsh˘" with the following casting:

Roles Actors
The priest Seigen, the ghost of Seigen Sawamura Tosshi VIII
Princess Sakura, Fűrin Ohime Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II
Tsurigane no Gonsuke, Shinobu no S˘ta Ichikawa Ennosuke II
Matsui Gengo, Tsunaemon Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘ II
The priest Zangetsu Nakamura Kan'emon III
Awazu Shichir˘, Sentar˘ Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VIII
Iruma Akugor˘ Ichikawa Kodayű II
Katsushika no Ojű Nakamura Shikaku II
Nagaura, Kinbŕ Sawamura Genjűr˘ III

March 1931: premiere at the Meijiza of Hasegawa Shin's drama "Mabuta no Haha", starring Morita Kan'ya XIII and Onoe Taganoj˘ III in the roles of Chűtar˘ and Ohama.

April 1938: premiere at the Meijiza of "Kira Yashiki Uramon" and the first act of "Sengoku Yashiki", the seventh and ninth plays of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura".

September 1939: premiere at the Meijiza of Kimura Tomiko's dance "Kokaji" (a drama adapted for Kabuki), which mixes Nagauta and Gidayű musical accompaniments. The leading role of the God Inari is played by Ichikawa Ennosuke II.

10 March 1945 (00:08 AM): 344 US Army B29 bombers drops 2,000 tons of bombs on T˘ky˘, killing more than 120,000 people and destroying almost everything; the Meijiza is burnt to ashes.

December 1950: reopening of the Meijiza.

July 1953: premiere at the Meijiza of H˘j˘ Hideji's drama "Ukifune", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Ukifune Nakamura Utaemon VI
Niou-no-Miya Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII
Kaoru Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII

July 1953: revival at the Meijiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1878 drama "Tsűzoku Saiyűki", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Songokű Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII
The Priest Sanz˘ Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII
Chohakkai Morita Kan'ya XIV
Sagoj˘ Nakamura Fukusuke V
The queen of the Sairy˘ Province, in reality the spirit of a giant spider Nakamura Utaemon VI
The kanjo Sakan Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ III
The kanjo Ukan Nakamura Shibajaku VI
Mikan Ichikawa Somegor˘ VI
Kinkan Nakamura Mannosuke

December 1954: premiere at the Meijiza of Kawaguchi Matsutar˘'s revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Daiky˘ji Mukashi Goyomi"; it is entitled "Osan Mohei" and it is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Mohei Ichikawa Ebiz˘ IX
Osan Onoe Baik˘ VII
The daiky˘ji Ishun Band˘ Hikosabur˘ VII
Otama Nakamura Fukusuke VII
The bant˘ Sukeemon Kataoka Ichiz˘ V
Akamatsu Bairyű Onoe Sh˘roku II
Osan's mother Oshige Onoe Taganoj˘ III

March 1956: premiere in Kabuki at the Meijiza of H˘j˘ Hideji's drama "Ii Tair˘", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Ii Naosuke Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII
Oshizu-no-Kata Nakamura Utaemon VI
Sen'ei Zenshi Ichikawa Danz˘ VIII
Nagano Shuzen Ichikawa Chűsha VIII
Nakaizumi Uky˘ Nakamura Fukusuke V
Minabe Nakamura Shikaku II
Masako-no-Kata Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ III
Utsuki Rokunoj˘ Nakamura Kichijűr˘ II
Takebe Saburoemon Matsumoto Somenosuke

1957: the Meijiza is destroyed by fire.

1958: reopening of the Meijiza.

March 1959: revival at the Meijiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Kumo no Ito Oyozume Banashi", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
A young girl, the zat˘ Utashichi, the keisei Usugumo, the Spirit of the Spider (kumo no sei) Nakamura Utaemon VI
Minamoto Yorimitsu Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII
Sakata Kintoki Nakamura Matagor˘ II
Usui Sadamitsu Morita Kan'ya XIV

April 1976: revival at the Meijiza of Katsu Genz˘ III's drama "Ogasawara S˘d˘", which is staged with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Okada Ry˘suke, the yakko Kikuhei (in reality the fox of Mt. My˘jin), Ogasawara T˘t˘mi-no-Kami Ichikawa Ennosuke III
Inugami Hy˘bu, Koheiji Kataoka Takao
Ogasawara Haito Ichikawa Danshir˘ IV
Odai-no-Kata, Ohaya Ichikawa Monnosuke VII
Ogasawara Buzen-no-Kami Nakamura Yonekichi IV

April 1977: revival at the Meijiza of Katsu Genz˘ II's drama "Kimi-wa-Fune Nami no Uwajima". The play is produced by Ichikawa Ennosuke with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Date T˘t˘mi-no-Kami, Yanbe Seibŕ, the yakko D˘suke, Takino Ichikawa Ennosuke
Ochi Buemon, Gengor˘ Kataoka Takao
Kariya Nakamura Baishi III
Ochi Isonoj˘ Nakamura T˘z˘
Wake Sanzaemon Kataoka Roen
Hatsune, Otatsu Ichikawa Monnosuke VII
ďhashi Uzen Ichikawa Danshir˘
Senju Sawamura Gennosuke V

April 1979: historic revival at the Meijiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV long-forgotten play "Haji Momiji Ase no Kaomise" (commonly called "Date no Jűyaku", in English "the ten roles of Date"), whose plot and characters belong to the "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" and "Kasane" worlds. The play is produced by Ichikawa Ennosuke with the following casting:

Roles Actors
Akamatsu Manyű, Nikki Danj˘, Dote no D˘tetsu, Ashikaga Yorikane, Takao, Yoemon, Kasane, Masaoka, Arajishi Otokonosuke, Hosokawa Katsumoto Ichikawa Ennosuke
Yashio Nakamura Ganjir˘ II
Watanabe Minbunosuke Sawamura S˘jűr˘ IX
Sakae Gozen Arashi Hinasuke X
Matsushima Nakamura Shibajaku
Yamanaka Shikanosuke, Okinoi Nakamura Yonekichi IV
Princess Miyagata Ichikawa Koyone II
ďe Onitsura Ichikawa Danshir˘

April 1987: revival of the drama "Jűni Hitoe Komachi Zakura", which includes the famous Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Tsumoru Koi Yuki no seki no To". The line-up is made up of the actors Ichikawa Ennosuke (Sekibŕ, ďtomo no Kuronushi), Jitsukawa Enjaku III, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ IX, Ichikawa Monnosuke VII (Yoshimine Munesada), Arashi Tokusabur˘ VII, Nakamura Shinjir˘, Band˘ Yajűr˘, Ichikawa Danshir˘, Kataoka Roen, Nakamura Kotar˘ V (the courtesan Sumizome, the spirit of Komachi's cherry tree), Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emiya (Ono no Komachi) and Ichikawa Koyone II. A new script is written by Tobe Ginsaku.

1990 ~ 1993: renovation of the Meijiza.

March 1993: first grand Kabuki program celebrating the reopening of the Meijiza:

Plays Roles Actors
Shitadashi Sanbas˘ Sanbas˘ Nakamura Tomijűr˘
  Sensai Nakamura Tomotar˘
Honch˘ Nijűshik˘ (Jusshuk˘) Yaegaki Nakamura Shikan
  Katsuyori Nakamura Ganjir˘
  Kenshin Nakamura Tomijűr˘
Kanjinch˘ Benkei Ichikawa Danjűr˘
  Yoshitsune Nakamura Fukusuke
  Togashi Nakamura Kichiemon
R˘ben Sugi no Yurai R˘ben Nakamura Baigyoku
  Nagisa Nakamura Utaemon VI
Kotobuki Soga no Taimen Soga Gor˘ Nakamura Tomijűr˘
  Soga Jűr˘ Nakamura Ganjir˘
  Kud˘ Suketsune Kataoka Nizaemon XIII
  Asahina Kataoka Gat˘
  ďiso no Tora Nakamura Shikan
  Sh˘sh˘ Nakamura Matsue
Ochiudo Hayano Kanpei Nakamura Baigyoku
  Okaru Nakamura Ganjir˘
Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame Jirozaemon Nakamura Kichiemon
  Yatsuhashi Nakamura Fukusuke
  Einoj˘ Ichikawa Danjűr˘

April 1993: second grand Kabuki program celebrating the reopening of the Meijiza:

Plays Roles Actors
Ayatsuri Sanbas˘ Sanbas˘ Band˘ Yasosuke
  Okina Band˘ Mitsugor˘ IX
Shibaraku Gongor˘ Ichimura Uzaemon XVII
  Nyűd˘ Band˘ Mitsugor˘ IX
  Narita Gor˘ Ichikawa Sadanji
  Teruha Sawamura S˘jűr˘ IX
Kagami Jishi Shishi Onoe Kikugor˘
Kuruwa Bunsh˘ Yűgiri Nakamura Jakuemon
  Izaemon Kataoka Takao
  Kizaemon Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘ III
  Okisa Kataoka Hidetar˘
Kumagai Jin'ya Kumagai Kataoka Takao
  Sagami Nakamura Jakuemon
  Fuji-no-Kata Sawamura S˘jűr˘ IX
  Yoshitsune Onoe Kikugor˘
  Midaroku Ichimura Uzaemon XVII
Michiyuki Tabiji no Yomeiri Tonase Onoe Baik˘ VII
  Konami Onoe Ushinosuke
  Bekunai Band˘ Mitsugor˘ IX
Shiranami Gonin Otoko Benten Koz˘ Onoe Kikugor˘
  Rikimaru Ichikawa Sadanji
  Tadanobu Rihei Band˘ Yasosuke
  Jűzabur˘ Sawamura S˘jűr˘ IX
  Nippon Daemon Kataoka Takao
  K˘bŕ Kawarazaki Gonjűr˘ III

The Meijiza in December 1902

 
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