ICHIKAWA SADANJI II

Stage names:

Ichikawa Sadanji II
Ichikawa Ensh˘ II
Ichikawa Koyone I
Ichikawa Botan

Nickname: Dait˘ry˘ (president)

Guild: Takashimaya

Line number: NIDAIME (II)

Poetry name: Ky˘ka

Existence: 19 October 1880 ~ 23 February 1940

Connections:

Father: Ichikawa Sadanji I

Adopted son: Ichikawa Sh˘en

Disciples: Ichikawa Arajir˘ II, Ichikawa Sash˘ II, Ichikawa Kudanji III, Ichikawa Tsutanosuke II, Ichikawa Sabunji II, Ichikawa Sakiz˘, Ichikawa Sh˘haku

Career:

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.

September 1909: revival at the Meijiza of the drama "Kenuki", a long-forgotten play belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Sadanji plays the role of Kumedera Danj˘ [casting].

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

May 1910: revival at the Meijiza of the drama "Narukami", a long-forgotten play belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Sadanji plays the role of the wicked priest Narukami [casting].

May 1911: premiere at the Meijiza of the Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Shuzenji Monogatari"; Sadanji plays the role of the mask-carver Yasha˘ [casting].

October 1911: premiere at the Meijiza of the Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Minowa no Shinjű"; Sadanji plays the role of Fujieda Geki [casting].

January 1912: revival at the Meijiza of the drama "Fud˘", which belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Sadanji plays the role of Fud˘ My˘˘ [more details].

October 1913: revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Z˘hiki", which belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Sadanji plays the role of ďtomo Kachimaru [more details].

January 1914: revival at the Hong˘za of the drama "Gedatsu", a long-forgotten play belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Sadanji plays the role of Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo [more details].

October 1914: premiere at the Shintomiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Sasaki Takatsuna"; Sadanji plays the role of Sasaki Takatsuna.

October 1914: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Soga Monogatari"; Sadanji plays the role of Ky˘ no Kojir˘ [casting].

September 1915: premiere at the Hong˘za of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Toribeyama Shinjű"; Sadanji plays the role of Kikuchi Hankur˘ [casting].

February 1916: premiere at the Hong˘za of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Banch˘ Sarayashiki"; Sadanji plays the role of Lord Aoyama Harima [casting].

August 1917: the play "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" is produced at the Kabukiza for the first time; Sadanji plays the role of Issun Tokubŕ [casting].

September 1918: premiere at the Meijiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Onoe Idahachi"; Sadanji plays the role of Harada Idahachi [casting].

September 1919: ninth and final program for the Jiyű Gekij˘, which is staged at the Imperial Theater. It is the premiere in Japan of EugŔne Brieux's "La Foi".

September 1922: revival at the Meijiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Nazo no Obi Chotto Tokubŕ"; Sadanji plays the role of ďshima Danshichi [more details].

February 1925: Tsuruya Nanboku 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].

January 1926: Sadanji plays at the Kabukiza the role of the wicked priest Narukami in the drama "Narukami"; the role of Princess Taema is played by Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II.

July 1926: premiere at the Kabukiza of Okamoto Kid˘'s drama "Gonza to Sukejű"; Sadanji plays the role of Sukejű [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].

November 1929: revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kan U", which belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Sadanji plays the role of Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo, later the Chinese general Kan U [casting].

April 1932: premiere at the Kabukiza of Mayama Seika's "Yoritomo no Shi"; Sadanji plays the role of Minamoto no Yoriie [casting].

February 1934: premiere at the Kabukiza of "ďishi Saigo no Ichinichi", the tenth and last play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Sadanji plays the role of ďishi Kuranosuke [casting].

January 1935: Sadanji produces "Edoj˘ no Ninj˘" and "Daini no Shisha", the first and second plays of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura" at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘.

January 1935: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of Uno Nobuo's drama "Fubuki T˘ge"; Sadanji plays the role of Naokichi [casting].

April 1935: Sadanji produces at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ "Saigo no Daihy˘j˘", the third play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura".

1936: Sadanji plans to revive the Jiyű Gekij˘ but it does not materialize.

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

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.

December 1938: Sadanji plays at the Minamiza 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.

February 1939: Sadanji produces at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ the second act of "Sengoku Yashiki", the ninth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura".

April 1939: Sadanji produces at the Kabukiza "Fushimi Shumokumachi", the fourth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura".

January 1940: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ of "Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘", the fifth play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura"; Sadanji plays the role of Tokugawa Tsunatoyo [casting].

23 February 1940: Sadanji dies.

Comments:

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)

Print made by Hanayama

Print made by Natori Shunsen

The Ichikawa Sadanji line of actors

 
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