|ICHIKAWA SADANJI II|
Ichikawa Sadanji II
Nickname: Dait˘ry˘ (president)
Line number: NIDAIME (II)
Poetry name: Ky˘ka
Existence: 19 October 1880 ~ 23 February 1940
Father: Ichikawa Sadanji I
Adopted son: Ichikawa Sh˘en
Disciples: Ichikawa Samonji, Ichikawa Sakiz˘, Ichikawa Sh˘haku, Ichikawa Tsutanosuke
April 1884: first stage appearance; he receives the name of Ichikawa Botan.
July 1896: Ichikawa Botan takes the name of Ichikawa Koyone I.
September 1900: Ichikawa Koyone I takes the name of Ichikawa Ensh˘ II.
7 August 1904: his father Ichikawa Sadanji I dies.
September 1906: Ichikawa Ensh˘ II takes the name of Ichikawa Sadanji II. He inherits from his father the management of the Meijiza ... and its heavy debt. He can't manage it well and quickly gets rid of it to join the Sh˘chiku Company.
December 1906 ~ August 1907: Sadanji travels in Europe to study theatre and dance abroad. He meets in Paris the famous actresses Sarah Bernhardt and RÚjane and becomes student in London at the Theatre school run by Sir Beerbohm Tree (his elocution teacher tells him that he has absolutely no chance to become an actor!). He goes back to Japan through the USA.
November 1909: foundation with Osanai Kaoru of the Jiyű Gekij˘ study group (the "Free Theatre"). The first program, the premiere in Japan of Henrick Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman", is staged at the Yűrakuza
January 1914: revival at the Hong˘za of the drama "Gedatsu", a long-forgotten play belonging to the kabuki jűhachiban. The roles of the warrior Taira no Kagekiyo and Akoya are played by Sadanji and Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II.
February 1925: Tsuruya Namboku IV's drama "Kachi Zum˘ Ukina no Hanabure", commonly called "Shirafuji Genta", is revived at the Hong˘za, under the supervision of the writer Nagai Kafű; Sadanji plays the role of Gonsuke [casting].
Summer 1928: Sadanji organizes the first tour of a Kabuki troupe outside Japan. The destination is the USSR and the troupe performs in Moscow and Leningrad [more details].
February 1934: premiere at the Kabukiza of "ďishi Saigo no Ichinichi", the tenth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Sadanji is responsible for the production and plays the role of ďishi Kuranosuke.
1936: Sadanji plans to revive the Jiyű Gekij˘ but it does not materialize.
November 1938: premiere at the Kabukiza of "Nambuzaka no Yuki Wakare", the sixth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Sadanji plays the role of ďishi Kuranosuke [casting]. He also plays the role of Togashi in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘"; the roles of Benkei and Yoshitsune are played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII and Ichimura Uzaemon XV.
23 February 1940: Sadanji dies.
Ichikawa Sadanji II was one of the most popular actors in Japan in the first half of the twentieth century. He was an open-minded reformist, working hard to promote new plays, and an adept of revivals of long-forgotten classical dramas. His close collaborations with Okamoto Kid˘, Osanai Kaoru and Mayama Seika were very fruitful and many Shinkabuki dramas, which they created together, are still in the current Kabuki repertoire. Ichikawa Sadanji II gathered them in a special collection of ten plays called Ky˘ka Gikyoku Jűshu, which included "Toribeyama Shinjű", "Banch˘ Sarayashiki" and "Shuzenji Monogatari".
Ichikawa Sadanji II playing the role of the wicked priest Narukami of the eponymous drama "Narukami" (print made by Natori Shunsen)
The Ichikawa Sadanji line of actors
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