Stage names:

Seki Sanjűr˘ II
Seki Utasuke I
Nakamura Utasuke
Arashi S˘tar˘

Nicknames: Meijin Seki (the expert Seki), Sekisan

Guilds: Owariya, Harimaya

Line number: NIDAIME (II)

Poetry name: Kazan

Existence: 1786 ~ 28th day of the 9th lunar month of 1839


Masters: Nakamura Utaemon III, Arashi Kichisabur˘ II

Adoptive father: Seki San'emon

Son: Seki S˘tar˘


1786 ~ 1802: born in ďsaka. He starts his career as a disciple of Arashi Kichisabur˘ II, who gives him the name of Arashi S˘tar˘. He spends most of his early years performing in hama shibai.

11th lunar month of 1802: he becomes disciple of Nakamura Utaemon III and takes the name of Nakamura Utasuke in ďsaka. A few month later, he is adopted by Seki Sanjűr˘ I and takes the name of Seki Utasuke I.

11th lunar month of 1807: Seki Sanjűr˘ I and Seki Utasuke I respectively take the names of Seki San'emon and Seki Sanjűr˘ II at the Naka no Shibai.

3rd lunar month of 1808: Nakamura Utaemon III, Seki San'emon and Sanjűr˘ go together to Edo; they play together at the Nakamuraza in the drama "Koromo Yayoi Hanago no Keizu".

10th day of the 6th lunar month of 1808: his adoptive father Seki San'emon dies.

7th lunar month of 1808: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Segawa Jok˘ II's drama "Z˘ho Izari no Adauchi"; Sanjűr˘ plays the role of Iinuma Sanpei [casting].

9th lunar month of 1810: Chikamatsu Monzaemon's drama "Komochi Yamanba" is staged for the first time in Edo, at the Nakamuraza; Sanjűr˘ plays the roles of Tabakoya Genshichi (in reality Sakata Kurando Tokiyuki) and Kaid˘maru [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1814: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Sumidagawa Hana no Goshozome", commonly called "Onna Seigen"; Sanjűr˘ plays the roles of H˘j˘ Yoshitoki and the yakko Midahei [more details].

5th lunar month of 1815: premiere at the Kawarasakiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Kakitsubata Iro mo Edozome" (commonly called "Oroku to Gantetsu" or "Dote no Oroku"); Sanjűr˘ plays the role of Kanaya Kingor˘ [casting].

Summer 1815: tour in Sendai; Sanjűr˘ performs in the precinct of the Shakad˘ Temple.

9th lunar month of 1815: Sanjűr˘ goes back to Edo and plays at the Kawarasakiza the roles of En'ya Hangan, Igo, Yagor˘ and Teraoka Heiemon in the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

7th lunar month of 1821: premiere at the Kawarasakiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Tamamo-no-Mae Kumoi no Hareginu", which mixes the sekai of Gion no Ny˘go, the Two Shinbŕ ("Ninin Shinbŕ") and Tamamo-no-Mae; Sanjűr˘ plays the roles of Nasu Hachir˘, Ukai Kujűr˘ and Demura Shinbŕ [more details].

11th lunar month of 1821 (end of the month): premiere at the Kawarasakiza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Imoseyama Hitome Senbon", which mixes the "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" and "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" worlds; Sanjűr˘ plays the roles of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Yazaemon and Irie Tanz˘ [casting].

3rd lunar month of 1823: premiere at the Ichimuraza of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Ukiyogara Hiyoku no Inazuma"; Sanjűr˘ plays the roles of Hachinai and Shirai Magoichir˘ [casting].

9th lunar month of 1826: Sanjűr˘, who is about to travel back to his native Kamigata after 19 seasons spent in Edo, performs his onagori ky˘gen at the Nakamuraza. He achieves a great success by playing the role of Matahei in the drama "Keisei Hangonk˘". The program includes a 5-role hengemono entitled "Kaesu Gaesu Onagori no ďtsue". The 5 roles are the Wisteria Maiden, a blind masseur, the God Tenjin, a footman (yakko) and a boatman. These roles are created based on ˘tsue, popular paintings made in the city of ďtsu (close to Ky˘to). Three of these roles are still part of the current Kabuki repertoire: the Wisteria Maiden (the first version of the famous dance "Fuji Musume"), the blind masseur (performed under the title "Zat˘") and the footman, which is performed in the independent dance "Sekisan Yakko" ("Sekisan's footman" - Sekisan is Sanjűr˘'s nickname).

12th lunar month of 1826: Sanjűr˘ plays at the Kado no Shibai the roles of Yoshikata and Sanemori in the drama "Genpei Nunobiki no Taki". He also plays the role of the fox Tadanobu in the classic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". His stage partners are Nakamura Utaemon III, Nakamura Shikan II, Sawamura Kunitar˘ II and Nakamura Matsue III.

1st lunar month of 1828: Sanjűr˘ goes to Edo; he plays at the Kawarasakiza 3 roles in the drama "Iriyamagata Soga no Saiken".

5th lunar month of 1835: tour in Ise; Sanjűr˘ performs at the Furuichi Shibai.

9th lunar month of 1835: Sanjűr˘ plays at the Naka no Shibai in the drama "Konoshita Kage Hazama Gassen".

11th lunar month of 1835: Sanjűr˘ achieves a great success in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai by playing in the drama "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki".

1st lunar month of 1836: premiere at the Naka no Shibai of Nishizawa Ipp˘'s drama "Hana no Ani Tsubomi no Yatsufusa"; Sanjűr˘ plays the roles of ďtsuka Bansaku Kazunari, Horiuchi Kurando Sadayuki and Inugawa Gakuz˘ [casting]. He suddenly falls ill and has to be replaced by Ichikawa Ebijűr˘ III.

2nd lunar month of 1837: Sanjűr˘ goes to Edo; he plays at the Moritaza in the drama "Momo Chidori Naruto no Shiranami".

1837 ~ 1839: Sanjűr˘ is often ill and has to leave his residence in Edo in the district of Izumi-cho to settle in the village of Kameido to recover when he is off stage.

2nd lunar month of 1839: Sanjűr˘ appears on stage for the last time, at the Nakamuraza. He retires and dies a few month later in the 9th lunar month. His tombstone is located in the Honganji Temple in the district of Tsukiji.


Seki Sanjűr˘ II was an amazing tachiyaku actor, who achieved fame for himself in both Edo and Kamigata during the Bunka, Bunsei and Tenp˘ eras. He was short-sized but he had great presence on stage. His field of excellence was wajitsu.

Seki Sanjűr˘ II portraying Kusunoki Masatsura in a print made by Utagawa Kunisada I (1830~1840)

Prints & Illustrations

Print made by Utagawa Kunisada in 1819

Print made by Utagawa Toyokuni in 1820

Print made by Utagawa Kuniyasu in 1825

Print made by Utagawa Kunisada in 1826

Print made by Shumbaisai Hokuei in 1835

The Seki Sanjűr˘ line of actors

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