ICHIMURA TAKENOJď I

Stage names:

Ichimura Takenoj˘ I In Japanese
Sawai Bennosuke In Japanese

Other name:

Ichimura Uzaemon IV In Japanese

Guild: Tachibanaya

Crest: Tachibana

Line number: SHODAI (I)

Existence: 1654 ~ 10th day of the 9th lunar month of 1718 [1]

Connections:

Uncle and adoptive father: Ichimura Uzaemon III

Master: Nakamura Akashi I

Brother: Ichimura Uzaemon V

Disciple: ďkuma Utaemon

Career:

1654: born in Edo. His first name was Sawai Bennosuke.

1661: Bennosuke became a disciple of Nakamura Akashi I.

1663: he was adopted by his uncle Ichimura Uzaemon III and took the name of Ichimura Takenoj˘ I.

1664: Ichimura Uzaemon III retired to become a priest; Takenoj˘ became at 10-year old the zamoto of the Ichimuraza, managing it in collaboration with Tamagawa Shuzen I.

Fall 1666: Takenoj˘ became wakashugata.

2nd lunar month of 1667: Takenoj˘ and his adoptive father Ichimura Uzaemon III were invited to perform at the mansion of the daimy˘ Matsudaira Yamato-no-Kami [2].

1st lunar month of 1670: the Ichimuraza was renamed Ichimura-Takenoj˘za; this new name lasted up to 1684.

10th lunar month of 1670: the number of Kabuki theaters in the city of Edo was set to 4 by the authorities. The authorized theaters were the Nakamuraza (in the district of Sakai-ch˘), the Ichimura-Takenoj˘za (Fukiya-ch˘), Moritaza (Kobiki-ch˘) and the Yamamuraza (Kobiki-ch˘).

6th lunar month of 1672: Takenoj˘ and his nephew Ichimura Sh˘nosuke were invited to perform at the mansion of the daimy˘ Matsudaira Yamato-no-Kami [2].

7th lunar month of 1673: Takenoj˘ and his troupe were invited to perform at the mansion of the daimy˘ Matsudaira Yamato-no-Kami [2].

Fall 1674: Takenoj˘ and his troupe were invited to perform at the mansion of the daimy˘ Matsudaira Yamato-no-Kami [2].

26th day of the 12th lunar month of 1676: a fire broke out in the district of Hama-ch˘ and burns to ashes the Ichimura-Takenoj˘za.

4th lunar month of 1679: Takenoj˘ did his isse ichidai performance, a drama which was entitled "Saigy˘ H˘shi Ky˘gen". He took the tonsure during the last day, announced on stage his retirement and entrusted his brother Ichimura Uzaemon V with the management of the Ichimura-Takenoj˘za. Then he went to Nikk˘ to become a priest there. He was back in Edo later on, settling in the Jiseiin Temple in the district of Honjo.

10th day of the 9th lunar month of 1718 [1]: he died in Edo.

Comments:

Ichimura Takenoj˘ I was an actor and the zamoto of the Ichimuraza (or Ichimura-Takenoj˘za) from 1664 to 1679. He created the mon of the Ichimura clan (Tachibana) and the guild name Tachibanaya. He was the first wakashugata in Kabuki history to speak on stage (before him, the wakashugata were only dancers).

In some Kabuki books like "Kabuki Jinmei Jiten", he was in fact considered as Ichimura Takenoj˘ II. In that case, Ichimura Takenoj˘ I was Ichimura Uzaemon III.

[1] The 10th day of the 9th lunar month of the 3rd year of the Ky˘h˘ era was the 3rd of October 1718 in the western calendar.

[2] The kami of the Yamato province.

Ichimura Takenoj˘ I (left panel/bottom-right) in an illustration from the 1674 hy˘banki "Shin Yar˘ Hanagaki"

The Ichimura Takenoj˘ line of actors

 
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