Existence: ??? ~ 1730
Brother: Sodesaki Iroha I
Family map: the Sodesaki Clan
??? ~ 1692: he starts his career in ‘saka, performing under the name of Sodesaki KaryŻ. He changes the writing of his first name at an unknown date:
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1692: KaryŻ settles in KyŰto.
Winter 1695 ~ 1696: KaryŻ goes to Edo.
Fall 1699: KaryŻ goes back to ‘saka.
1st lunar month of 1702: KaryŻ plays in the new year drama "Heishin'Ű Masakado", which is produced by Kataoka Nizaemon I in Shioya KurŰemon's theater.
11th lunar month of 1714: KaryŻ plays the roles of Okaji and Mochizuki Kurozaemon's wife in the kaomise drama "Yonedawara Mangoku no Minato", which is produced by Shinozuka ShŰmatsu II for the nadai ‘saka Tazaemon; the role of Mochizuki Kurozaemon is played by Osagawa JŻemon.
11th lunar month of 1718: last performance as an onnagata actor.
Winter 1718: he decides to become tachiyaku and takes the name of KaryŻ Sawaemon.
Winter 1727 ~ 1728: he definitively retires, taking the name of KaryŻ Jiemon and opening an incense shop in Edo in the district of Nihonbashi.
KaryŻ Sawaemon was a talented onnagata actor, endowed with a beautiful face, who achieved fame for himself in the three major cities (Edo, KyŰto and ‘saka) from the Genroku era to the middle of the KyŰhŰ era. "His talent was versatile, and he could act the greatest variety of women, from a princess to the wife of a coolie". He was at his best in budŰgoto female roles. He belonged to a group of four actors nicknamed "wakaonnagata no shitennŰ", literally "the big four wakaonnagata" (this expression comes from the four Deva kings in Buddhism). The three others were Mizuki Tatsunosuke I, Ogino SawanojŰ and Yoshizawa Ayame I. He decided to switch to tachiyaku roles when he was at the peak of his career as an onnagata: "his audiences took kindly to the change, and he did not lose his stage reputation in consequence". As a tachiyaku, jitsugotoshi roles were his forte.
(*) The 2 sentences within double quotes are from ZoŽ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan"
KaryŻ Sawaemon (left), Tamagawa SennojŰ IV (center) and Fujikawa Buzaemon I (right) playing the roles of the karŰ Nanaura Satoemon, the kŰshitsu Hiyoshi and Kagamiyama Kageyu in the kaomise drama "Chiyo no Ume Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in the 11th lunar month of 1719 in KyŰto
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