|NAKAMURA UTAEMON VI|
Real name: Kawamura Fujio
Line number: ROKUDAIME (VI)
Existence: 20 January 1917 ~ 31 March 2001
Father: Nakamura Utaemon V
Brother: Nakamura Fukusuke V
October 1922: he makes his first stage appearance, at the Shintomiza, where he receives the name of Nakamura Kotar˘ III and plays in the drama "Shinden Sandaiki".
August 1933: his brother Nakamura Fukusuke V dies.
November 1933: Nakamura Kotar˘ III takes the name of Nakamura Fukusuke VI at the Kabukiza.
12 September 1940: his father Nakamura Utaemon V dies.
October 1941: Nakamura Fukusuke VI takes the name of Nakamura Shikan VI at the Kabukiza, playing in "Ehon Taik˘ki", "Rokkasen" (the role of Ono no Komachi), "Kanadehon Chűshingura" and "Suzu-ga-Mori" (the role of Gonpachi).
March 1951: Shikan plays for the first time the difficult role of Masaoka in the drama "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", which is staged at the Meijiza. His stage partner in the role of the cruel Yashio is Morita Kan'ya XIV.
April 1951: Nakamura Shikan VI takes the name of Nakamura Utaemon VI at the Kabukiza, playing the roles of Omiwa and the snake disguised as the dancing girl Hanako in the drama "Mikasayama Goten" and the dance-drama "Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji".
May 1951: Nakamura Utaemon VI celebrates his second month of shűmei at the Kabukiza, playing the roles of Princess Yuki and the snake disguised as the dancing girl Hanako in the drama "Kinkakuji" and the dance-drama "Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji".
October 1951: Nakamura Utaemon VI, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII and Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII celebrate their shűmei in ďsaka at the ďsaka Kabukiza; the new Utaemon plays the roles of the snake disguised as the dancing girl Hanako, Kagaribi, Tokiwa Gozen and Okaru in "Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji", "Moritsuna Jin'ya", "Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari" and "Ochiudo".
December 1951: Nakamura Utaemon VI celebrates his shűmei in Ky˘to at the Minamiza, playing the roles of the spirit of the Lion, Chiyo and the courtesan Yatsuhashi in "Kagami Jishi", "Terakoya" and "Kagotsurube".
June 1953: Utaemon plays at the Kabukiza the role of the keisei Yayoi (in reality the spirit of a shishi) in the dance "Makura Jishi", which is based on a new choreography created by Fujima Kanjűr˘ VI.
July 1953: premiere at the Meijiza of H˘j˘ Hideji's drama "Ukifune"; Utaemon plays the role of Ukifune [casting]. Revival at the Meijiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1878 drama "Tsűzoku Saiyűki"; Utaemon plays the role of the queen of the Sairy˘ Province, in reality the spirit of a giant spider [casting].
March 1954: revival at the Kabukiza of the dance-dramas "Oshidori" and "Imay˘ Suma no Utsushie"; Utaemon plays the roles of the keisei Kisegawa and the spirit of the female mandarin duck in the former dance-drama [more details] and the role of the ama Matsukaze in the latter dance-drama [more details].
July 1954: revival at the Kabukiza of the dance-drama "Oshidori" as part of a regular Kabuki program; Utaemon plays the roles of the keisei Kisegawa and the spirit of the female mandarin duck [more details].
November 1954: premiere at the Kabukiza of Mishima Yukio's comical play "Iwashi Uri Koi no Hikiami"; Utaemon plays the role of the courtesan Hotarubi, in reality the Princess of Tankaku Castle, [casting].
February 1955: Izumi Ky˘ka's drama "Tenshu Monogatari" is staged for the first time with Kabuki actors, at the Kabukiza; Utaemon plays the role of Princess Tomi [casting]. Revival at the Kabukiza of Sakurada Jisuke I's dance-drama "Kumo no Hy˘shimai"; Utaemon plays the role of the shiraby˘shi Tsumagiku, in reality the spirit of a ground spider [casting].
July 1956: revival at the Kabukiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome", commonly called "Onna Seigen"; Utaemon plays the roles of Princess Hanako, the Shinkiyomizu ama Seigen and the ghost of the nun Seigen [more details]. Revival at the Kabukiza of the michiyuki "Ch˘ no Michiyuki", in which Utaemon plays the role of Komaki; the role of Sukekuni is played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII.
March 1959: revival at the Meijiza of the dance-drama "Kumo no Ito Oyozume Banashi"; Utaemon plays the roles of a young girl, the zat˘ Utashichi, the keisei Usugumo and the Spirit of the Spider (kumo no sei) [more details].
November 1959: revival at the Kabukiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's masterpiece "Sakura Hime Azuma Bunsh˘", which is supervised by Mishima Yukio; Utaemon plays the roles of Princess Sakura and Fűrin Ohime [casting].
June ~ July 1960: Utaemon takes part in the first Kabuki tour in the USA; He plays the roles of the courtesan Yatsuhashi, Osato, Kaoyo Gozen, the snake disguised as the dancing girl Hanako in the dramas "Kagotsurube Sato no Eizame", "Tsubosaka Reigenki", "Kanadehon Chűshingura" and the dance "Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji" [casting].
June 1962: revival at the Kabukiza under the supervision of Takechi Tetsuji of Namiki Gohei I's drama "Keisei Yamato Z˘shi"; Utaemon plays the roles of Kanzaemon's sister Komaki and Momonoi's daughter Princess Yayoi [more details].
April 1981: revival at the National Theatre of Nishizawa Ipp˘'s drama "Keisei Hama no Masago"; Utaemon plays the roles of the keisei Ishikawaya Masagoji (in reality Akechi Mitsuhide's daughter Princess Satsuki) and Goemon's widow Gion-no-Okaji [casting].
31 March 2001: Utaemon dies in T˘ky˘.
Nakamura Utaemon VI was the best onnagata of the second half of the twentieth century. "Utaemon was instrumental in passing on the traditional form and style of Kabuki through the postwar years. With his passing, Kabuki has lost a model who could properly pass on the traditional art." (Kawatake Toshio, professor emeritus of arts at T˘ky˘'s Waseda University)
Nakamura Utaemon VI's best roles: Masaoka ("Sendai Meiboku Hagi"), Princess Yaegaki ("Honch˘ Nijűshik˘"), Princess Yuki ("Gion Sairei Shink˘ki"), Princess Toki ("Kamakura Sandaiki"), Ono no Komachi/Sumizome/the spirit of the cherry tree ("Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To"), Akoya ("Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki"), Princess Takiyasha ("Masakado"), Kasane ("Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame").
Nakamura Utaemon VI playing the leading role of the dance "Musume D˘j˘ji" (print made by Natori Shunsen in 1951)
The Nakamura Kotar˘ line of actors
The Nakamura Fukusuke line of actors
The Nakamura Shikan line of actors
The Nakamura Utaemon line of actors
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