|SAWAMURA SÔJÛRÔ VIII|
Real name: Sawamura Hisatoshi (?)
Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)
Poetry name: Kôga
Crest: the syllabic ideogram "i" in a circle [in Japanese: い]
Existence: 8 January 1908 ~ 25 December 1975
Father: Sawamura Sôjûrô VII
Adoptive father: Ichikawa Sadanji II
January 1908: born in Tôkyô in the district of Asakusa.
November 1913: he appears on stage for the first time, receiving the name of Sawamura Genpei V.
April 1926: Sawamura Genpei V takes the name of Sawamura Tosshô IV.
November 1929: he is adopted by the star Ichikawa Sadanji II, who gives him the name of Ichikawa Shôen. Revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kan U", which belongs to the Kabuki Jûhachiban; Shôen plays the role of Kagekiyo's daughter Hitomaru [casting].
January 1933: Shôen plays at the Shinjuku Shinkabukiza the role of Sodehagi in the drama "Ôshû Adachi-ga-Hara".
September 1935: Shôen plays at the Kabukiza (Nagoya) the role of Okaru in the michiyuki "Ochiudo". His stage partners in the roles of Hayano Kanpei and Bannai are Ichikawa Komazô IX and Suketakaya Takasuke V.
October 1936: dispute with Ichikawa Sadanji II; Ichikawa Shôen leaves the Ichikawa clan and takes back his previous name of Sawamura Tosshô IV.
May 1938: Tosshô plays at the Kabukiza the role of Chiyo in the "Terakoya" scene of the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami". His stage partners are Onoe Kikugorô VI (Genzô), Nakamura Kichiemon I (Matsuômaru) and Onoe Kikujirô IV (Tonami).
September 1953: Sawamura Tosshô IV and his son Sawamura Genpei VI take respectively the names of Sawamura Sôjûrô VIII and Sawamura Tosshô V at the Kabukiza; the new Sôjûrô plays the roles of Sakuramaru and Yûshide in "Kamo Zutsumi"/"Kurumabiki" and "Imorizake".
January 1955: Sôjûrô plays for the first time the role of Mankô, the Soga Brothers' mother, in the play "Sukeroku Kuruwa no Momoyogusa", which is performed at the Kabukiza. The role of Sukeroku is played by Nakamura Kanzaburô XVII.
March 1967: revival at the National Theatre of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunshô", which is supervised by Gunji Masakatsu; Sôjûrô plays the role of Katsushika no Ojû [casting].
October 1967: Sôjûrô plays at the Kabukiza the roles of Hayase and Koman in "Moritsuna Jin'ya" and "Sanemori Monogatari"; he also takes part in a special kôjô which commemorates the 22nd anniversary (23rd memorial service) of the passing away of Ichimura Uzaemon XV and celebrates the shûmei of Ichimura Yoshigorô II, Ichimura Kakitsu IX and Bandô Takesaburô V.
November 1967: Sôjûrô appears on stage for the last time, in Tôkyô at the Kabukiza, where he plays the role of Tenmaya Sôbê in the drama "Sonezaki Shinjû". He falls ill the 10th and is replaced by Kataoka Ichizô V.
25 December 1975: Sôjûrô dies.
Sawamura Sôjûrô VIII's best roles: Fuji-no-Kata ("Kumagai Jin'ya"), Tonami ("Terakoya"), Hayase ("Ômi Genji Senjin Yakata"), Nureginu ("Honchô Nijûshikô"), Oishi ("Kanadehon Chûshingura") and Ohana ("Toribeyama Shinjû").
The Sawamura Genpei line of actors
The Sawamura Tosshô line of actors
The Sawamura Sôjûrô line of actors
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