NAKAMURA UTAEMON VI

Stage names:

Nakamura Utaemon VI In Japanese
Nakamura Shikan VI In Japanese
Nakamura Fukusuke VI In Japanese
Nakamura Kotar˘ III In Japanese

Real name: Kawamura Fujio

Guild: Narikomaya

Line number: ROKUDAIME (VI)

Existence: 20 January 1917 ~ 31 March 2001

Connections:

Father: Nakamura Utaemon V

Brother: Nakamura Fukusuke V

Adopted sons: Nakamura Baigyoku IV, Nakamura Kaishun II

Career:

October 1922: he made his first stage appearance, at the Shintomiza, where he received the name of Nakamura Kotar˘ III and performed in the drama "Shinden Sandaiki".

November 1927: premiere at the Hong˘za of Kimura Tomiko's dance-drama "K˘ya Monogurui" (a drama adapted for Kabuki), which mixed Nagauta and Gidayű musical accompaniments; Kotar˘ played the role of Hanawakamaru, in reality Hiramatsu Shunmitsu [casting].

1 August 1933: his elder brother Nakamura Fukusuke V died.

November 1933: Nakamura Kotar˘ III took the name of Nakamura Fukusuke VI at the Kabukiza.

May 1936: revival of "Nanatsu Men" at the Kabukiza; Fukusuke played the role of Princess Sakura [casting].

12 September 1940: his father Nakamura Utaemon V died.

October 1941: Nakamura Fukusuke VI took 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 was staged at the Meijiza; the role of the cruel Yashio was played by Morita Kan'ya XIV.

April 1951: Nakamura Shikan VI took 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 celebrated 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".

June 1951: Nakamura Utaemon VI celebrated his shűmei in Nagoya at the Misonoza, playing the roles of Onatsu, Kagaribi and Masaoka in "Onatsu Ky˘ran", "Moritsuna Jin'ya" and "Meiboku Sendai Hagi".

October 1951: Nakamura Utaemon VI, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII and Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII celebrated their shűmei in ďsaka at the ďsaka Kabukiza; the new Utaemon played 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 celebrated 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".

July 1952: premiere at the Kabukiza of H˘j˘ Hideji's drama "Kitsune to Fuefuki"; Utaemon played the role of Tomone [casting].

November 1952: premiere at the Kabukiza of Kema Nanboku's revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Daiky˘ji Mukashi Goyomi"; Utaemon played the role of Osan [casting].

June 1953: Utaemon played at the Kabukiza the role of the keisei Yayoi (in reality the spirit of a shishi) in the dance "Makura Jishi", which was based on a new choreography created by Fujima Kanjűr˘ VI.

July 1953: premiere at the Meijiza of H˘j˘ Hideji's drama "Ukifune"; Utaemon played the role of Ukifune [casting]. Revival at the Meijiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1878 drama "Tsűzoku Saiyűki"; Utaemon played the role of the queen of the Sairy˘ Province, in reality the spirit of a giant spider [casting].

March 1954: first edition at the Kabukiza from the 27th to the 28th of March of the Tsubomikai, a study group led by Utaemon [more details]. It included the revivals of the dance-dramas "Oshidori" and "Imay˘ Suma no Utsushie"; Utaemon played 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 played 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 played the role of the courtesan Hotarubi, in reality the Princess of Tankaku Castle, [casting].

February 1955: second edition at the Kabukiza from the 24th to the 27th of February of the Tsubomikai, a study group led by Utaemon [more details]. It included the revival of Sakurada Jisuke I's dance-drama "Kumo no Hy˘shimai" (entitled "Waga Sekogakoi no Aizuchi") [casting], the premiere of Mishima Yukio's dance-drama "Yuya" [casting] and Izumi Ky˘ka's drama "Tenshu Monogatari" was staged for the first time with Kabuki actors [casting]; Utaemon played the roles of Princess Tomi, Yuya and the shiraby˘shi Tsumagiku (in reality the spirit of a ground spider) in "Tenshu Monogatari", "Yuya" and "Waga Sekogakoi no Aizuchi".

March 1955: Hasegawa Shin's drama "Ori" was staged with a full Kabuki casting for the first time, in T˘ky˘ at the Meijiza; Utaemon played the role of Goroichi's ny˘b˘ Owaka [more details].

July 1955: premiere at the T˘ky˘ Takarazuka Theater of Uno Nobuo's drama "M˘moku Monogatari"; Utaemon played the role of Oichi-no-Kata [more details]. This drama was part of the first T˘h˘ Kabuki postwar performance. The T˘ky˘ Takarazuka Theater was taken over by the American occupation forces in 1945, becoming the Ernie Pyle Theater. It was forbiden to Japanese for 10 years and was finally given back to the T˘h˘ Company in 1955, which renamed it with its original name.

March 1956: premiere in Kabuki at the Meijiza of H˘j˘ Hideji's drama "Ii Tair˘"; Utaemon played the role of Oshizu-no-Kata [more details].

July 1956: revival at the Kabukiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome", commonly called "Onna Seigen"; Utaemon played 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 played the role of Komaki; the role of Sukekuni was played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII.

September 1956: revival at the Kabukiza of the Kiyomoto version of the dance "Takao Zange" in which Utaemon played the role of the ghost of the keisei Takao.

March 1959: revival at the Meijiza of the dance-drama "Kumo no Ito Oyozume Banashi"; Utaemon played 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 was supervised by Mishima Yukio; Utaemon played the roles of Princess Sakura and Fűrin Ohime [casting].

January 1960: premiere (or revival?) at the Kabukiza of the dance "Kuruwa Sanbas˘"; Utaemon played the role of the keisei Chitosedayű [casting].

April 1960: premiere at the Kabukiza of Hagiwara Yukio's dance-drama "Onizoroi Momijigari"; Utaemon played the role of Princess Sarashina, in reality the female demon of Mount Togakushi [casting].

June ~ July 1960: Utaemon took part in the first Kabuki tour in the USA; He played 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 played 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 played the roles of the keisei Ishikawaya Masagoji (in reality Akechi Mitsuhide's daughter Princess Satsuki) and Goemon's widow Gion-no-Okaji [casting].

December 1988: Utaemon plays for the last time the role of Masaoka in the drama "Meiboku Sendai Hagi", which was staged at the National Theatre; the cruel Yashio was played by Kawarasaki Gonjűr˘ III.

April 1996: Utaemon appeared on stage for the last time, in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza, where he played the role of Oshizu-no-Kata in the drama "Ii Tair˘".

31 March 2001: Utaemon died in T˘ky˘.

Comments:

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)

Print made by Hanayama

Print made by ďta Masamitsu 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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