|ICHIKAWA DANJ█Rď VIII
Line number: HACHIDAIME (VIII)
Poetry name: Sansh˘
Great-great-great-great-grandfather: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ I
Great-great-great-grandfather: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ II (Danjűr˘ II)
Great-great-grandfather: Ichikawa Ebiz˘ III (Danjűr˘ IV)
Great-Grandfather: Ichikawa Hakuen I (Danjűr˘ V)
Father: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII
5th day of the 10th lunar month of 1823 : born in Edo in the district of Kiba in Fukagawa. He was the first son of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII. His mother was Sumi, the daughter of Fukuchi Zenbŕ, the owner of the Ichimuraza shibai jaya Kikuya.
3rd lunar month of 1825: Ichikawa Shinnosuke II took the name of Ichikawa Ebiz˘ VI.
3rd lunar month of 1832: great shűmei at the Ichimuraza for the Naritaya guild. His father Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII took back the name of Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ VI, who was only 9 years old, became Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII. Danjűr˘ played the role of Hidari no Jingor˘ in Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome". He also played the role of the uir˘ peddler Toraya T˘kichi in a "Uir˘ Uri" scene (Kabuki Jűhachiban) which was included in the drama "Sukeroku Yukari no Edo Zakura".
7th lunar month of 1835: Danjűr˘ played at the Ichimuraza the role of Ranmaru in the drama "Konoshita Kage Hazama Gassen".
7th lunar month of 1837: premiere at the Ichimuraza of "Sansh˘-dayű Kogane no Toridoshi", a revised and expanded version of the gidayű ky˘gen "Yura no Minato Sengen Ch˘ja"; Danjűr˘ played the role of Hashidate no Gor˘ [casting].
1st lunar month of 1838: Danjűr˘ became zagashira at the Kawarasakiza. He played 4 roles in the new year drama "Fude Hajime Mazebari Soga", including the roles of Kojir˘ and Atsumori in the classic "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki".
3rd lunar month of 1839: premiere at the Kawarasakiza of the dance program "Shiki no Nagame Maru-ni-I no Toshi", which was made up of four dances dedicated to the four seasons and starred the actor Sawamura Tossh˘ I, supported by Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V and Danjűr˘ [more details].
3rd lunar month of 1840: premiŔre of the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘" at Kawarasakiza; the main role (Benkei) was played by Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V; his stage partners were Ichikawa Kuz˘ II (Togashi) and Danjűr˘ (Yoshitsune).
6th lunar month of 1843: Danjűr˘ played for the first and last time the role of the wicked priest Narukami in the drama "Mayoi no Kumoiro ni Narukami", which was staged at the Kawarasakiza; his stage partner in the role of Princess Taema was Onoe Eizabur˘ III.
3rd lunar month of 1844: Danjűr˘ played at the Nakamuraza the prestigious role of Sukeroku in the drama "Sukeroku Kuruwa no Momosakura"; the roles of the courtesan Agemaki, the villain Ikyű and the shirozake seller Shinbŕ were played by Iwai Hanshir˘ VII, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VI and Onoe Kikugor˘ III. This performance, which celebrated the shűmei of both Iwai Hanshir˘ VII and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VI, was a huge success and a long run
3rd lunar month of 1849: Danjűr˘ plays for the first time the role of Musashib˘ Benkei in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘", which was performed at the Kawarasakiza; his stage partners were Ichikawa Kodanji IV (Togashi) and Band˘ Takesabur˘ I (Yoshitsune).
2nd lunar month of 1851: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Sakurada Jisuke III's Kiyomoto-based dance "Akegarasu Hana no Nureginu", commonly called "Urazato Tokijir˘"; Danjűr˘ played the role of Kasugaya Tokijir˘ [casting].
3rd lunar month of 1853: premiere of Segawa Jok˘ III's drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi" (commonly called "Kirare Yosa"), which was staged at the Nakamuraza and in which Danjűr˘ played the role of Yosabur˘ [casting]. This performance was a huge success.
5th lunar month of 1853: Danjűr˘ played at the Nakamuraza for the second and last time the role of Yosabur˘ in Segawa Jok˘ III's drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi"; the role of Otomi was played by Onoe Baik˘ IV.
8th lunar month of 1854 : a few days after his triumphant arrival in ďsaka, where he was supposed to perform together with his father, Danjűr˘ committed suicide in his inn.
Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII was a popular and talented tachiyaku actor, who was active from the 1st half of the 1820s to the first half of the 1840s. The pressure of popularity and fame was too heavy for this actor, who preferred to terminate himself both his life and a career which was outstanding. "He gave every sign of great promise, but because of family and professional troubles committed suicide in ďsaka." (ZoŰ Kincaid in "Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan")
"Like his father, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII excelled in the aragoto ('rough-stuff') roles for which the Ichikawa lineage was famous. But as well as audacious young heroes, he was also extremely successful in the various roles of young lover (nimaime). Together with his good looks, this made him especially popular with female fans. When he played Sukeroku, in which he had to immerse himself in a barrel of water, the water was subsequently sold at exorbitant cost to avid admirers. Even when he had to appear as Yosabur˘ with a scarred face, pastry shops sold beanpaste buns with cracked outer skins called 'Yosabur˘ buns, which were devoured by the actor's fans. Despite his success, or even because of it, he was plagued by personal problems, perhaps exacerbated by his early achievements and the jealousy this caused among older actors. In 1854, during a tour of performances in ďsaka with his father, he was found in his inn with his wrists slashed. He was suffering from massive debts, caused by his lifestyle, which emulated the excesses of his father." (from the The Fitzwilliam Museum Website)
 The 5th day of the 10th lunar month of the 6th year of the Bunsei era was the 7th of November 1823 in the western calendar.
 The 6th day of the 8th lunar month of the 7th year of the Kaei era was the 27th of September 1854 in the western calendar.
Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII playing the role of Takeda Katsuyori in the drama "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘"
The Ichikawa Hakuen line of actors
The Ichikawa Shinnosuke line of actors
The Ichikawa Ebiz˘ line of actors
The Ichikawa Danjűr˘ line of actors
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