Stage names:

KaryŻ Sawaemon In Japanese
Sodesaki KaryŻ In Japanese
Sodesaki KaryŻ In Japanese
Sodesaki KaryŻ In Japanese
Sodesaki KaryŻ In Japanese

Other name:

KaryŻ Jiemon In Japanese

Existence: ??? ~ 1730


Brother: Sodesaki Iroha I

Disciples: Sodesaki Miwano I, Sodesaki Iseno 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:

Old writing for KaryŻ new writing for KaryŻ
香竜 歌流

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1692: KaryŻ settles in KyŰto.

11th lunar month of 1693: KaryŻ plays in Tominaga Heibei's drama "BudŰ no Tassha", which is produced by Osagawa JŻemon for the nadai Miyako MandayŻ.

Winter 1695 ~ 1696: KaryŻ goes to Edo.

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

1st lunar month of 1699: KaryŻ's rank in the Edo hyŰbanki, wakaonnagata section, is jŰ-jŰ-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

10th lunar month of 1699: KaryŻ his onagori kyŰgen in Edo at the Moritaza, playing the leading role of the drama "Kaeribana Onna BudŰ".

Fall 1699: KaryŻ goes back to ‘saka.

1st lunar month of 1700: KaryŻ plays the role of Teruhi-no-Mae in the drama "Onna ChŰteki Sangoku Denraiki", which is produced at the Kita-Horie Ichi-no-Gawa Shibai (‘saka) by Araki YojibÍ I.

3rd lunar month of 1700: KaryŻ's rank in the ‘saka hyŰbanki, wakaonnagata section, is jŰ-jŰ-kichi (superior - superior - excellent).

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 1703: KaryŻ goes to KyŰto and plays in the kaomise drama "Watamashi Mannengura", which is produced by Takashima Onoe at Kameya KumenojŰ's theater.

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

11th lunar month of 1713: KaryŻ plays in ‘saka 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: 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.

1st lunar month of 1719: Sawaemon's rank in the KyŰto hyŰbanki, tachiyaku section, is jŰ-jŰ-(shiro)kichi (superior - superior - (white) excellent).

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

1st lunar month of 1727: Sawaemon's rank in the KyŰto hyŰbanki, tachiyaku section, is jŰ-jŰ-(hanshiro)kichi (superior - superior - almost excellent).

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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