ICHIMURA TAKENOJď I

Stage names:

Ichimura Takenoj˘ I
Sawai Bennosuke

Other name: Ichimura Uzaemon IV

Guild: Tachibanaya

Crest: Tachibana

Line number: SHODAI (I)

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

Connections:

Uncle and adoptive father: Ichimura Uzaemon III

Master: Nakamura Akashi I

Brother: Ichimura Uzaemon V

Career:

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

1661: Bennosuke becomes a disciple of Nakamura Akashi I.

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

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

Fall 1666: Takenoj˘ becomes wakashugata.

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

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

10th lunar month of 1670: the number of Kabuki theaters in the city of Edo is set to 4 by the authorities. The authorized theaters are 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 are invited to perform at the mansion of the daimy˘ Matsudaira Yamato-no-Kami.

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

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

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

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

10th day of the 9th lunar month of 1718: he dies 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 is in fact considered as Ichimura Takenoj˘ II. In that case, Ichimura Takenoj˘ I is Ichimura Uzaemon III.

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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