SAWAMURA SJR VIII

Stage names:

Sawamura Sjr VIII In Japanese
Sawamura Tossh IV In Japanese
Ichikawa Shen In Japanese
Sawamura Tossh IV In Japanese
Sawamura Genpei V In Japanese

Real name: Sawamura Toshio

Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)

Guild: Kinokuniya

Poetry name: Kga

Blazon: the syllabic ideogram "i" in a circle [in Japanese: ]

Existence: 8 January 1908 ~ 25 December 1975

Connections:

Father: Sawamura Sjr VII

Adoptive father: Ichikawa Sadanji II

Brothers: Suketakaya Takasuke V, Sawamura Tanosuke V

Sons: Sawamura Sjr IX, Sawamura Tjr II

Disciples: Sawamura Kasen, Sawamura Kuniyo

Career:

January 1908: born in Tky in the district of Asakusa.

November 1913: he appeared on stage for the first time, in Tky at the Imperial Theater, where he received the name of Sawamura Genpei V and performed in "Onna Tenka" and "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" [1].

April 1926: Sawamura Genpei V took the name of Sawamura Tossh IV at the Imperial Theater, playing the role of Taira no Atsumori in the drama "giya Kumagai".

November 1929: he was adopted by the star Ichikawa Sadanji II, who gave him the name of Ichikawa Shen. Revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kan U" [2]; Shen played the role of Kagekiyo's daughter Hitomaru [casting].

January 1933: Shen played at the Shinjuku Shinkabukiza the role of Sodehagi in the drama "sh Adachi-ga-Hara".

September 1935: Shen played at the Kabukiza (Nagoya) the role of Okaru in the michiyuki "Ochiudo"; his stage partners in the roles of Hayano Kanpei and Bannai were Ichikawa Komaz IX and Suketakaya Takasuke V.

October 1936: dispute with Ichikawa Sadanji II; Ichikawa Shen left the Ichikawa clan and took back his previous name of Sawamura Tossh IV when he played at the Shinjuku Daiichi Gekij the role of the menoto Asaoka in the drama "Jitsuroku Sendai Hagi".

May 1938: Tossh played at the Kabukiza the role of Chiyo in the "Terakoya" scene of the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"; his stage partners were Onoe Kikugor VI (Genz), Nakamura Kichiemon I (Matsumaru) and Onoe Kikujir IV (Tonami).

June 1942: revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kan U" [2]; Tossh played the role of Kagekiyo's daughter Hitomaru [casting].

May 1947: revival at the Tky Gekij of the drama "Jayanagi" [2]; Tossh played the role of Honda's sister Umegae [more details].

2 March 1949: his father Sawamura Sjr VII died.

September 1953: Sawamura Tossh IV and his son Sawamura Genpei VI respectively took the names of Sawamura Sjr VIII and Sawamura Tossh V at the Kabukiza; the new Sjr played the roles of Sakuramaru and Yshide in "Kamo Zutsumi"/"Kurumabiki" and "Imorizake".

January 1955: Sjr played for the first time the role of Mank, the Soga Brothers' mother, in the drama "Sukeroku Kuruwa no Momoyogusa", which was staged at the Kabukiza; the role of Sukeroku was played by Nakamura Kanzabur XVII.

March 1955: Hasegawa Shin's drama "Ori" was staged with a full Kabuki casting for the first time, in Tky at the Meijiza; Sjr played the role of Ychin/Shichib's nyb Otane [more details].

March 1956: Sjr played at the Tyoko Hall (Tky) the role of Fujiya Izaemon in the drama "Kuruwa Bunsh"; the role of the courtesan giya Ygiri was played by his son Sawamura Tossh V.

July 1956: revival at the Kabukiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome", commonly called "Onna Seigen"; Sjr played the role of the watashimori Otsuna [more details].

June 1958: revival at the Tyoko Hall of the drama "Kishi no Himematsu Kutsuwa Kagami"; Sjr played the role of Iihara Hye's wife Fujimaki [more details].

November 1959: revival at the Kabukiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh", which was supervised by Mishima Yukio; Sjr played the role of Katsushika no Oj [casting].

February 1960: premiere at the Kabukiza of Uno Nobuo's drama "Shiranui Kengy"; Sjr played the role of Iwai Tjr [casting].

June 1962: revival at the Kabukiza under the supervision of Takechi Tetsuji of Namiki Gohei I's drama "Keisei Yamato Zshi"; Sjr played the role of Komaki's mother Higaki [more details].

30 August 1962: his brother Suketakaya Takasuke V died.

June 1963: Namiki Shz I's drama "Yadonashi Danshichi Shigure no Karakasa" was produced for the first time at the Kabukiza; Sjr played the role of Jisuke's wife Okaji [casting].

April 1966: Sjr played pour the last time the role of Mank in the drama "Sukeroku Kuruwa no Momoyogusa", which was staged at the Kabukiza; the role of Sukeroku was played by Nakamura Kanzabur XVII.

January 1967: revival at the National Theatre of "Narukami Fud Kitayama Zakura"; Sjr played the role of Ono Saemon Harumichi [casting].

March 1967: revival at the National Theatre of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh", which was supervised by Gunji Masakatsu; Sjr played the role of Katsushika no Oj [casting].

September 1967: Sjr played at the Kabukiza the role of the servant Kichisuke, in reality Rai Tar Kunitoshi, in the drama "Shin Usuyuki Monogatari".

October 1967: Sjr played at the Kabukiza the roles of Hayase and Koman in "Moritsuna Jin'ya" and "Sanemori Monogatari"; he also took part in a special kj which commemorated the 22nd anniversary (23rd memorial service) of the passing away of Ichimura Uzaemon XV and celebrated the shmei of Ichimura Yoshigor II, Ichimura Kakitsu IX and Band Takesabur V.

November 1967: Sjr appeared on stage for the last time, in Tky at the Kabukiza, where he played the role of Tenmaya Sb in the drama "Sonezaki Shinj". He fell ill the 10th and was replaced by Kataoka Ichiz V.

3 December 1968: his brother Sawamura Shozan III died.

25 December 1975: Sjr died.

Comments:

Sawamura Sjr VIII was both onnagata and nimaime. He did not reach the levels of fame of his father Sawamura Sjr VII but he had the reputation to be the best actor for onnagata supporting roles.

Sawamura Sjr VIII's best roles: Fuji-no-Kata ("Kumagai Jin'ya"), Tonami ("Terakoya"), Hayase ("mi Genji Senjin Yakata"), Nureginu ("Honch Nijshik"), Oishi ("Kanadehon Chshingura") and Ohana ("Toribeyama Shinj").

[1] He played the role of the boy Emperor Antoku in "Tokaiya"/"Daimotsu no Ura".

[2] A drama belonging to the Kabuki Jhachiban.

Sawamura Tossh V (left) and Sawamura Sjr VIII (right) performing together in the dance-drama "Ninin Wanky", which was staged in December 1959 at the Tyoko Hall

The Sawamura Genpei line of actors

The Sawamura Tossh line of actors

The Sawamura Sjr line of actors

 
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