KARY█ SAWAEMON

Stage names:

Karyű Sawaemon In Japanese
Sodesaki Karyű In Japanese
Sodesaki Karyű In Japanese
Sodesaki Karyű In Japanese
Sodesaki Karyű In Japanese

Other name:

Karyű Jiemon In Japanese

Existence: ??? ~ 1730

Connections:

Brother: Sodesaki Iroha I

Disciples: Sodesaki Miwano I, Sodesaki Iseno I, Sodesaki Wakaura I (Wakaura Kinjűr˘)

Family map: the Sodesaki Clan

Career:

??? ~ 1692: he starts his career in ďsaka, performing under the name of Sodesaki Karyű. He changes the writing of his first name at an unknown date:

Old writing for Karyű new writing for Karyű
香竜 歌流

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1692: Karyű settles in Ky˘to.

11th lunar month of 1693: Karyű plays in Tominaga Heibei's drama "Bud˘ no Tassha", which is produced by Osagawa Jűemon for the nadai Miyako Mandayű.

Winter 1695 ~ 1696: Karyű goes to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1698: Karyű plays at the a Yamamuraza in the kaomise drama "Genji Daikoku Bashira".

1st lunar month of 1699: Karyű's rank in the Edo hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, is j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

10th lunar month of 1699: Karyű his onagori ky˘gen in Edo at the Moritaza, playing the leading role of the drama "Kaeribana Onna Bud˘".

Fall 1699: Karyű goes back to ďsaka.

1st lunar month of 1700: Karyű plays the role of Teruhi-no-Mae in the drama "Onna Ch˘teki Sangoku Denraiki", which is produced at the Kita-Horie Ichi-no-Gawa Shibai (ďsaka) by Araki Yojibŕ I.

3rd lunar month of 1700: Karyű's rank in the ďsaka hy˘banki, wakaonnagata section, is j˘-j˘-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

1st lunar month of 1702: Karyű plays in the new year drama "Heishin'˘ Masakado", which is produced by Kataoka Nizaemon I in Shioya Kur˘emon's theater.

11th lunar month of 1703: Karyű goes to Ky˘to and plays in the kaomise drama "Watamashi Mannengura", which is produced by Takashima Onoe at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater.

11th lunar month of 1704: Karyű plays at Miyako Mandayű's theater the role of Ono no Koharu in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's kaomise drama "Kissh˘ Tennyo Anzan no Tama".

11th lunar month of 1713: Karyű plays in ďsaka the role of Otome in the kaomise drama "Yoyo Meoto Tsuru no Mago", which was staged in the 11th lunar month of 1713 at Shioya Kuroemon's theater.

11th lunar month of 1714: Karyű plays the roles of Okaji and Mochizuki Kurozaemon's wife in the kaomise drama "Yonedawara Mangoku no Minato", which is produced by Shinozuka Sh˘matsu II for the nadai ďsaka Tazaemon; the role of Mochizuki Kurozaemon is played by Osagawa Jűemon.

11th lunar month of 1718: last performance as an onnagata actor.

Winter 1718: he decides to become tachiyaku and takes the name of Karyű Sawaemon.

1st lunar month of 1719: Sawaemon's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, is j˘-j˘-(shiro)kichi (superior - superior - (white) excellent).

11th lunar month of 1726: Sawaemon plays at Kameya Kumenoj˘'s theater (Ky˘to) in the kaomise drama "Karanishiki Imose no Shitone".

1st lunar month of 1727: Sawaemon's rank in the Ky˘to hy˘banki, tachiyaku section, is j˘-j˘-(hanshiro)kichi (superior - superior - almost excellent).

Winter 1727 ~ 1728: he definitively retires, taking the name of Karyű Jiemon and opening an incense shop in Edo in the district of Nihonbashi.

Comments:

Karyű Sawaemon was a talented onnagata actor, endowed with a beautiful face, who achieved fame for himself in the three major cities (Edo, Ky˘to and ďsaka) from the Genroku era to the middle of the Ky˘h˘ 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 bud˘goto female roles. He belonged to a group of four actors nicknamed "wakaonnagata no shitenn˘", literally "the big four wakaonnagata" (this expression comes from the four Deva kings in Buddhism). The three others were Mizuki Tatsunosuke I, Ogino Sawanoj˘ 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 ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan"

Karyű Sawaemon (left), Tamagawa Sennoj˘ IV (center) and Fujikawa Buzaemon I (right) playing the roles of the kar˘ Nanaura Satoemon, the k˘shitsu Hiyoshi and Kagamiyama Kageyu in the kaomise drama "Chiyo no Ume Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in the 11th lunar month of 1719 in Ky˘to

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