FUJIMOTO TOBUN

Pen names:

Fujimoto Tobun In Japanese
Sawamura Tobun In Japanese
Fujimoto Tobun In Japanese

Stage name:

Sawamura Ch˘saku In Japanese

Existence: ???

Connection:

Master: Sawamura S˘jűr˘ I

Career:

Ky˘h˘ era: as an actor, he performs in Edo under the name of Sawamura Ch˘saku. He is the disciple of Sawamura S˘jűr˘ I. He has a family relationship with the playwright Fujimoto Heizaemon. He also works as a sakusha, using first the name of Fujimoto Tobun then the name of Sawamura Tobun at the end of the Ky˘h˘ era.

11th lunar month of 1735: Tobun works at the Nakamuraza, along with Tsuuchi Kuheiji I, on kaomise drama "Tono Zukuri Shinoda Zuma".

1737: he takes back the name of Fujimoto Tobun.

11th lunar month of 1737: Tobun works at the Kawarazakiza on the kaomise drama "Urűzuki Ninin Kagekiyo". The final act of this play is a spectacular confrontation scene between Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II and Ichikawa Danz˘ I in the roles of the statue of Kan U and the statue of Ch˘ Hi (Kan U and Ch˘ Hi were two legendary Chinese generals). This is the first version of "Kan U", which will become part of the Kabuki Jűhachiban in 1840.

11th lunar month of 1739: Tobun works at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Tokiwagi Taiheiki".

2nd lunar month of 1740: premiere at the Ichimuraza of the play "Sugatami Sumidagawa". The nibanme of this new year drama is "Nanatsu Men" ("Seven Masks"), which now belongs to the Kabuki Jűhachiban. This performance is a triumphant success.

11th lunar month of 1740: Tobun works at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Miya Bashira Taiheiki", which celebrates the shűmei of Ichikawa Danz˘ III and Tomizawa Tatsujűr˘.

1st lunar month of 1741: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Na no Hana Akebono no Soga".

11th lunar month of 1742: Tobun works at the Ichimuraza, along with Tsuuchi Jihŕ II, Tsuuchi Kuheiji I and Tsuuchi Hanjűr˘, on the kaomise drama "Furisode Shinoda no Zuma", which welcomes in Edo the Kamigata actor Onoe Kikugor˘ I and stars Band˘ Hikosabur˘ I, Segawa Kikunoj˘ I, Ichimura Uzaemon VIII, Band˘ Matatar˘ III, Nakajima Mihoemon I, Ichikawa S˘zabur˘ I, Tomizawa Tatsujűr˘, Tamazawa Saijir˘ I, Sawamura Utagiku, Ichimura Manz˘ and Sanogawa Senz˘.

1st lunar month of 1743: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Haru no Akebono Kuruwa Soga".

11th lunar month of 1743: Tobun works at the Nakamuraza, along with Hayakawa Denshir˘, on the kaomise drama "Funayosooi Mitsugi Taiheiki", which celebrates the shűmei of ďtani Oniji I.

11th lunar month of 1749: Tobun works at the Ichimuraza, along with Horikoshi Nis˘ji and supported by Tsuuchi Sanzaemon, Tsuuchi Eisuke and Tsuda Mataichi, on the kaomise drama "Yoritomo Gunbai Kagami".

1st lunar month of 1750: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Kay˘kami Chidori Soga".

11th lunar month of 1750: Tobun works at the Ichimuraza, supported by Sawai Chűz˘, Matsuzawa Bunroku and Tsuda Mataichi, on the kaomise drama "Gaijin Taiheiki", which celebrates the shűmei of Arashi Sanpachi I.

2nd lunar month of 1751: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year drama "Hatsuhana Sumidagawa", which includes the "Uir˘ Uri" scene.

11th lunar month of 1751: Tobun works at the Ichimuraza, supported by Sawai Chűz˘, Matsuzawa Bunroku and Tsuuchi Ky˘shichi, on the kaomise drama "Kamimukae Nigiwai Genji", which celebrates the shűmei of Band˘ Hikosabur˘ II and welcomes in Edo the Kamigata actor Arashi Shichigor˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1752: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Suzuriha Sugatami Soga".

11th lunar month of 1752: Tobun works for the tatesakusha Horikoshi Nis˘ji (who is about to leave Edo to go to Ky˘to) at the Nakamuraza, along with Sawai Chűz˘ and Matsuzawa Bunroku, on the kaomise drama "Akazawayama Sum˘ Nikki".

1st lunar month of 1753: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Otokodate Hatsugai Soga" [1].

1st lunar month of 1753: premiere at the Nakamuraza of the dance-drama "Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji". The leading role of this dance is played by the great star Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I. The performance's success is beyond expectation and the performances are extended for several months.

11th lunar month of 1753: Tobun works at the Nakamuraza, supported by Sawai Chűz˘, Matsuzawa Bunroku and Nakamura Seizabur˘ II, on the kaomise drama "Hyakumanki Tsuwamono Taiheiki", which celebrates the shűmei of Ichikawa Masuz˘ I.

1st lunar month of 1754: Tobun works in the same theater on the new year sogamono "Momo Chidori Kuruwa Soga", which includes the "Ya-no-Ne" scene (presented to the audience as a once-in-a-lifetime performance of Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II) and commemorates the 12th anniversary (13th memorial service) of the death of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ III. This performance is a triumphant success and is extended up to the 6th lunar month.

11th lunar month of 1755: Tobun works at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Kashiwagat˘ge Kichirei Sum˘".

3rd lunar month of 1756: Tobun works in the same theater on the drama "Umewakana Futaba Soga". No record afterwards.

Comments:

Fujimoto Tobun was an important Edo sakusha who was active from the end of the Ky˘h˘ era to the second half of the 1750s. He was the author of the lyrics of "Musume D˘j˘ji", the most famous dance-drama in Kabuki history. He worked on more than 65 original dramas.

[1] This drama was revived in January 1973 at the National Theatre!

The name of Fujimoto Tobun in a 1751 Edo hy˘banki (the zone within the red shape on the left side of the picture)

 
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