FUKUCHI CHI

Playwright name:

Fukuchi chi In Japanese

Real name: Fukuchi Gen'ichir

Existence: 23rd day of the 3rd lunar month of 1841 [1] ~ 4 January 1906

Career:

23rd day of the 3rd lunar month of 1841 [1]: born in Nagasaki. He was the last child of a doctor named Fukuchi Kuan. His ymy was Yasokichi.

21 November 1889: opening of the Kabukiza in the district of Kobiki-ch in Tky. The building of this theater was financed by Chiba Katsugor and the general manager was Fukuchi Gen'ichir. "The greatest theatre in Japan was the plan of Fukuchi, who ranked with Mokuami as a playwright. When the theatre was completed, Fukuchi went to Danjr and Kikugor, to invite them to play in the Kabukiza, but they refused, as they had pledged themselves to Kan'ya. Fukuchi was surprised at the tactics of the Shintomiza manager, but pretended not to be disappointed, joked, and said he would have to paint his face and dance in their stead. But the best theatre and the best actors could not long remain apart. The shrewd Kan'ya, seeing an advantage to himself, at last consented to lend the three stars provided he was given a certain large sum. This was agreed upon, and his actors appeared at the opening performances of the Kabukiza, which were a pronounced success from the start, while Kan'ya was enabled to pay off his pressing debts." (Zo Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

March 1890: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Sma Heiji Nidai Banashi", a revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's 1724 drama "Kanhassh Tsunagi Uma".

July 1890: Fukuchi lost his manager role of the Kabukiza and became a simple sakusha, then the tatesakusha of the Kabukiza.

March 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Buy no Homare Shusse Kagekiyo", a revised revival of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's jidaimono "Shusse Kagekiyo" [casting].

June 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Kasuga no Tsubone".

September 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Zho Onna Narukami" [more details].

March 1892: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Motome-zuka Migaeri Nitta", a revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's 1710 drama "Yoshino no Miyako Onna Kusunoki".

October 1892: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's matsubamemono "Su Otoshi", starring Ichikawa Danjr IX and Nakamura Fukusuke IV in the roles of Tarkaja and the Princess.

March 1893: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's Nagauta-based dance "Shunky Kagami Jishi". The musical accompaniment was written by Kineya Shjir III, the choreography was made by Fujima Kan'emon II and the leading role was danced by Ichikawa Danjr IX.

May 1893: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Jnitoki Kaikei Soga", a revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's 1718 drama "Soga Kaikeizan".

September 1893: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "kubo Hikozaemon" with Ichikawa Danjr IX in the eponymous role of kubo Hikozaemon.

April 1897: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Otokodate Harusame Gasa" [more details].

October 1897: premiere at the Meijiza of Fukuchi chi's dance-drama "mori Hikoshichi" [casting].

November 1897: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi chi's drama "Shihei no Nana Warai", a revision of the second act of Namiki Gohachi's drama "Tenmang Natane no Gok"; the Meiji star Ichikawa Danjr IX played the role of Fujiwara no Shihei.

4 January 1906: Fukuchi chi died in Tky [2].

Comments:

Fukuchi chi worked on more than 40 Kabuki plays. Many of them were katsureki written specifically for the Meiji star Ichikawa Danjr IX. He heavily revised dramas written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon or Kawatake Mokuami, earning the nickname of kaisaku koji (The Adapter), then kaiaku koji (The Worse Maker).

"Fukuchi Gen'ichir, known better under his pen name, ochi kochi, "Here and There", was a man of varied talents. He was in the Government service, and might have risen high in official circles but for his predilection for drama. He distinguished himself during the days of the Restoration and travelled abroad in the suite of the late Prince It. Few men of his time were better versed in English literature. For a time he entered journalism, but it is as a playwright that he will best be remembered. Fukuchi was one of the promoters of the Kabukiza, and wrote almost exclusively for Danjr. [...]. Fukuchi lived through an unprofitable period of the theatre, tried to conform to the demand of the time by writing "living-history" pieces for Danjr, and the interest of the public cooling, he was pushed aside, and passed away forgotten and neglected. Many of his plays are more appreciated to-day than they were in his lifetime, especially "Kasuga no Tsubone", or The Lady Kasuga." (Zo Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

"Statesman, journalist and literary man. Born in Nagasaki. He undertook Dutch studies and English studies in Nagasaki and Edo. In 1859, he started serving for the Tokugawa shogunate. He traveled twice to Europe as a member of the mission sent by the Shogunate. In 1868, he launched the Koko Shinbun newspaper and criticized the new government, for which he was placed under arrest. In 1870, he started serving for Ministry of Finance and attended to both Hirobumi It's visit to the United States and Iwakura Mission. From 1874 to 1888, he worked as chief editor and president of the newspaper Tky Nichinichi Shinbun and had extensive authority in the press world as a government-affiliated newspaper journalist. Later, he was active in various fields, writing political fiction and Kabuki scripts, and joining the movement for modern theater. In 1904, he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives." (ndl.go.jp)

[1] The 23rd day of the 3rd lunar month of the 12th year of the Tenp era was the 13th of May 1841 in the western calendar.

[2] His tombstone is located in the precinct of the Tennji temple in the district of Yanaka (Tky).

Fukuchi chi

 
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