Stage names:

Ichikawa Monnosuke VI In Japanese
Ichikawa Metora II In Japanese
Ichikawa Fukunoj˘ In Japanese
Arashi Rinshi In Japanese
Band˘ Hidenosuke In Japanese

Real name: Arakawa Seitar˘

Guild: Takinoya

Line number: ROKUDAIME (VI)

Existence: 1862 ~ 20 August 1914


Masters: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, Ichikawa Udanji I, Arashi Kichisabur˘ IV, Band˘ Kach˘

Son: Ichikawa Sadanji III

Grandson: Ichikawa Sadanji IV

Great-grandson: Ichikawa Omez˘ VI

Great-great-grandson: Ichikawa Otora VII

Disciple: Ichikawa Teruz˘ II


1862: born in Matsue.

1867~1879: he started his career at an early age, playing in his village's countryside Kabuki troupe. He was spotted by the travelling actor Band˘ Kach˘, became his disciple in 1875 and received the name of Band˘ Hidenosuke. The following year, he became disciple of Arashi Kichisabur˘ IV and received the name of Arashi Rinshi.

1879: while on tour in the Ishikawa province, he had the chance to meet the star Ichikawa Udanji I and joined him. He settled in ďsaka and performed under the name of Ichikawa Fukunoj˘.

May 1885: Fukunoj˘ went to T˘ky˘ with the Torikuma Shibai troupe; he played at the Harukiza the role of Chiyo in the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".

1885 ~ 1888: Fukunoj˘ was the tateonnagata at the Harukiza. He was spotted by the Edo star Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and became his disciple.

November 1888: Ichikawa Fukunoj˘ took the name of Ichikawa Metora II at the Ichimuraza, performing in the drama "Musashi no Yoroi Homare no ďkubo".

March 1891: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "Buyű no Homare Shusse Kagekiyo", a revised revival of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's jidaimono "Shusse Kagekiyo"; Metora played the roles of the daughter of the daigűji of the Atsuta Shrine, Kagekiyo's daughter Princess Hitomaru and Shigemori's sister Koch˘ [casting].

April 1897: premiere at the Kabukiza of Fukuchi Ochi's drama "Otokodate Harusame Gasa"; Metora played the role of Gennoshin's daughter Otsuru, later the keisei Usugumo [more details].

October 1897: premiere at the Meijiza of Fukuchi ďchi's drama "ďmori Hikoshichi"; Metora played the role of Princess Chihaya [casting].

May 1898: Metora played at the Kotobukiza the role of Otoku in the drama "Domo Mata"; the role of Otoku's husband Matahei was played by Nakamura Tokiz˘ I.

April 1899: Metora played at the Kabukiza the role of Yoshitsune in the dance-drama "Kanjinch˘"; the roles of Benkei and Togashi were played by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Onoe Kikugor˘ V.

July 1901: Metora played at the Engiza. the role of Shizuka Gozen in the michiyuki "Yoshinoyama"; the roles of Tadanobu and Hayami no T˘ta were played by Sawamura Tossh˘ III and Sawamura Tosshi VII.

March 1903: premiere at the Kabukiza of the drama "Kichirei Soga no Ishizue", which was produced to celebrate the shűmei of Onoe Kikugor˘ VI, Onoe Baik˘ VI and Onoe Eizabur˘ VI; Metora played the role of Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ [casting].

February/March 1904: successful premiere at the T˘ky˘za of Tsubouchi Sh˘y˘'s drama "Kiri Hitoha"; Metora played the roles of Hitoha-no-Mae and Kager˘ [more details].

June 1904: Metora played at the T˘ky˘za the roles of Shizuka Gozen and Osato in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".

March 1906: Tsubouchi Sh˘y˘'s drama "Hototogisu Koj˘ no Rakugetsu" was produced for the first time in T˘ky˘, at the T˘ky˘za; Metora played the roles of Omatsu and Tokiwagi [casting].

January 1909: Metora played at the Meijiza the role of Shigenoi in the drama "Shigenoi Kowakare"; the role of Shigenoi's son Sankichi was played by Metora's son Ichikawa Otora IV.

June 1910: Ichikawa Metora II took the name of Ichikawa Monnosuke VI at the Kabukiza, playing the role of Okuni in "Izumo no Okuni".

1912: tour in Chűbu with Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII and Arashi Kichisabur˘ VI; Monnosuke played the role of Otoku in the drama "Domo Mata", which was notably staged in February in Nagoya (Suehiroza) and in July in Hamamatsu (Kabukiza); the role of Otoku's husband Matahei was played by Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VII.

April 1913: Monnosuke played at the T˘ky˘za the role of Shizuka Gozen in the "Shi-no-Kiri" scene of the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura"; the roles of Tadanobu, Minamoto Yoshitsune and Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan were played by Onoe Kikugor˘ VI, Ichimura Kamez˘ III and Kataoka Ichiz˘ IV.

October 1913: revival at the Kabukiza of the drama "Z˘hiki", a spectacular drama belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban; Monnosuke played the role of Princess Yayoi [more details].

August 1914: Monnosuke appeared on stage for the last time, at the Kabukiza, playing the role of S˘gor˘'s wife in the drama "Shin Sarayashiki Tsuki no Amagasa". He suddenly fell ill and died the 20th of August 1914.


Ichikawa Monnosuke VI was a pure onnagata actor (jun'onnagata), excelling in the roles of merchant daughters or princesses. He was not born in the Kabuki world but he worked hard and succeeded in becoming a great actor, thanks to the support of Ichikawa Udanji I in ďsaka or Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX in T˘ky˘. He was said to be very dissatisfied to be an onnagata and his son was trained to become a tachiyaku. When he was still named Metora, he gave his son the name of Otora, the O in Otora meaning male and the Me in Metora meaning female. It was made clear that his son would never become an onnagata. Without calling it a twist of fate or a crossing of the lines, the heirs of Ichikawa Monnosuke VI were Ichikawa Sadanji III and Ichikawa Sadanji IV whereas the heirs of Ichikawa Sadanji I were Ichikawa Monnosuke VII and Ichikawa Monnosuke VIII.

Ichikawa Monnosuke VI playing the role of Kagaribi in the drama "ďmi Genji Senjin Yakata", which was staged in November 1911 at the Kabukiza

Print made by Toyohara Kunichika in 1897

Print made by K˘ch˘r˘ H˘sai in 1903

The Ichikawa Metora line of actors

The Ichikawa Monnosuke line of actors

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