NAGAWA SHIMESUKE I

Playwright names:

Nagawa Shimesuke I In Japanese

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Poetry name: Senk˘

Existence: 1754 ~ 20th day of the 10th lunar month of 1814

Connection:

Master: Nagawa Kamesuke I

Disciples: Nagawa Issen I, Nagawa Chikuy˘ I (Nagawa Shimesuke II), Nagawa Kunisuke, Nagawa Tamesuke

Career:

1754~1777: born in ďsaka; his father is the owner of a chaya in the district of the D˘tonbori; he becomes a disciple of Nagawa Kamesuke I, who gives him the name of Nagawa Shimesuke I.

11th lunar month of 1777: Nagawa Kamesuke I and Shimesuke write the kaomise drama "Daijizai Kaminari no Kodakara", which is produced at the Naka no Shibai by the zamoto Ichiyama Tajir˘, celebrates the shűmei of Yamashita Kamenoj˘ IV and welcomes back in ďsaka Arashi Sangor˘ II after 3 and 7 seasons spent in Ky˘to and Edo.

12th lunar month of 1781: Nagawa Kamesuke I's drama "Katakiuchi Tengajaya-mura" is staged for the first time, in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai [casting]. A similar play is staged a few days later under a different title, "Renga Chaya Homare no Bundai", written by Shimesuke, who becomes tatesakusha at the Naka no Shibai [casting], opening a competition between the two theaters for the best performance and the best line-up. The performance at the Kado no Shibai is a huge success and a long run. Unfortunately for Shimesuke, the performance at the Naka no Shibai is a commercial failure.

5th lunar month of 1784: premiere at the Kado no Shibai of Shimesuke's drama "Sumidagawa Gonichi no Omokage" [casting].

2nd lunar month of 1788: premiere at the ďnishi no Shibai of the drama "Gishinden Yomikiri K˘shaku". A drama written by Shimesuke, Namiki Sh˘z˘ II, Tatsuoka Mansaku and Shimada Tsuruz˘. It was supposed to be staged first in Ky˘to at the beginning of the month at the Nishi no Shibai but the theater was destroyed by fire the 29th day of the 1st lunar month. The troupe goes to ďsaka to perform at the ďnishi no Shibai and to celebrate the shűmei of Kataoka Nizaemon VII.

Fall 1800: Shimesuke goes to Edo, along with Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III, Sawamura Gennosuke I, Fujikawa Buzaemon II and Arashi Kankur˘.

1st lunar month ~ 3rd lunar month of 1794: premiere of Tatsuoka Mansaku's drama "Keisei Haru no Tori", which is famous for its "Umagiri" scene and is produced by the zamoto Asao Okujir˘ I in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai [more details]. Chikamatsu Tokus˘ and Shimesuke work with Tatsuoka Mansaku on this drama.

11th lunar month of 1800: Shimesuke becomes tatesakusha at the Ichimuraza, where he writes the kaomise drama "Oishigeru Nami no Une Une", which celebrates the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII and Arashi Kanjűr˘ I.

Fall 1802: Shimesuke goes back to ďsaka, along with the Edo star Segawa Rok˘ III.

11th lunar month of 1802: Shimesuke becomes tatesakusha at the Naka no Shibai, where he writes the kaomise drama "Azuma Giku Naniwa no Kisewata".

Fall 1803: Shimesuke goes to Edo.

11th lunar month of 1803: Shimesuke cowrites, along with the tatesakusha Sakurada Jisuke I and the sakusha Katsu Hy˘z˘ I, at the Kawarazakiza the kaomise drama "Yamato Nishiki Yoshino Dairi".

11th lunar month of 1804: Shimesuke cowrites, along with the tatesakusha Sakurada Jisuke I and the sakusha Fukumori Kyűsuke I and Matsushima Hanji I, at the Nakamuraza the kaomise drama "Kiku Zum˘ Mikurai Sadame", which celebrates the shűmei of Iwai Hanshir˘ V, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ IV and Nakayama Bunshichi III, and welcomes in Edo the actors Segawa Rok˘ III and his adopted son Segawa Kamesabur˘.

11th lunar month of 1805: Shimesuke becomes tatesakusha at the Nakamuraza, where he writes, along with the sakusha Matsushima Hanji I and Katsu Hy˘z˘ I, the kaomise drama "Seiwa Genji Nidai no Yumitori", which welcomes in Edo the actor ďtani Tomoemon II.

13th day of the 11th lunar month of 1806: a fire breaks out from the shop of the hair-dresser Tomokur˘ in the district of Nihonbashi Fukiya-ch˘. It spreads and burns both the Ichimuraza and the Nakamuraza, killing many spectators. It also reduces the house of Shimesuke in the district of Sumiyoshi-ch˘ to ashes.

Winter 1807: Shimesuke goes back to Kamigata.

2nd lunar month of 1807: Shimesuke becomes tatesakusha in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai, where he rewrites Chikamatsu Tokuz˘'s new year drama "Iroha Uta Homare no Meiboku", which is performed by Onoe Koisabur˘ I, Nakamura Utaemon III, Nakayama Bunshichi III, Arashi Sangor˘ III, Asao Kuzaemon I, Nakamura Daikichi I and Mimasu Tokujir˘ I.

4th lunar month of 1807: "Chikagoro Kawara no Tatehiki" is adapted for Kabuki for the first time, in ďsaka at the Horie no Shibai (casting unknown); the script is written by Shimesuke, Tsutsui Hanji and Nagawa S˘suke.

11th lunar month of 1807: Shimesuke becomes tatesakusha in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai, where he rewrites Chikamatsu Tokuz˘'s drama "Yaemusubi Jiraiya Monogatari".

11th lunar month of 1811: Shimesuke becomes tatesakusha in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai, where he rewrites Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's drama "Sanjikkoku Yofune no Hajimari".

9th lunar month of 1814: Shimesuke takes part in the rewriting of Chikamatsu Tokuz˘'s drama "Taiheiki Kikusui no Maki", which is produced in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai.

20th day of the 10th lunar month of 1814: Shimesuke dies in ďsaka.

Comments:

"There was a stage writer called Nagawa Shimesuke, son of the keeper of a theatre tea-house, who did not create, but patched and altered at the bidding of the actors, so that he was nicknamed Sentakumono Shimesuke, or Laundry-Man Shimesuke, which gives a good idea of the playwriters' low estate at this time."
(ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")

The name of Nagawa Shimesuke I in a 1795 ďsaka hy˘banki (the zone within the red shape on the left side of the picture); all the names were the sakusha at the Naka no Shibai

The Nagawa Shimesuke line of playwrights

 
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