Other name :
Poetry name: Yoh˘tei
Existence: 1731 ~ 16th day of the 6th lunar month of 1797 
Sons: Kanaizutsuya Hankur˘ II, Tsutsui Sanch˘, Kanai Yűsuke I
Son-in-law: Kanai Sangy˘
Grandson: Kanai Yűsuke III
1731: born in Edo. His father runs the Kanaizutsuya, a chaya in the district of Yoshimachi.
1752: he starts to work at the Nakamuraza.
Fall 1754: he becomes sakusha, calling himself Kanai Sanpei I.
11th lunar month of 1754: Sanpei works at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Miura no ďsuke Bumon no Kotobuki", which celebrates the shűmei of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ III and Tsuuchi Monzabur˘ II.
1755: he takes the name of Kanai Sansh˘. His first name is related to the haimy˘ of Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV. It has the same reading, the first ideogram (san meaning three is the same but the second ideogram is different (sh˘ means "measure of rice" in the haimy˘ and "laughter" in the playwright's name):
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11th lunar month of 1759: he becomes tatesakusha and works at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Okunizome Shusse Butai"; the main actors are Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV, Onoe Kikugor˘ I, Band˘ Sanpachi I, Nakamura Utaemon I, Sanogawa Ichimatsu I, Band˘ Hikosabur˘ II, Ichimura Kamez˘ I and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ III.
11th lunar month of 1762: Sansh˘ works at the Nakamuraza on the kaomise drama "Nagi no Ha Izu no Sugatami", which celebrates the shűmei of ďtani Hiroemon III, Ichikawa Somegor˘ I and Nakajima Kanzaemon III.
11th lunar month of 1765: Sansh˘ works at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Furitsumu Hana Nidai Genji", which welcomes in Edo the Kamigata actor Matsumoto Tomojűr˘ II. Premiere at the Ichimuraza of Sansh˘'s Tokiwazu-based hengemono "Kumo no Ito Azusa no Yumihari" [more details].
11th lunar month of 1766: Sansh˘ works, along with the sakusha Sakurada Jisuke I, Okuno Sasuke, Yamaji Heiz˘ and Okada Ch˘z˘ at the Moritaza on the kaomise drama "Tsuno Moji Izu no Irifune", which celebrates the shűmei of Band˘ Mitsugor˘ I, Ichikawa Somegor˘ and Sawamura Yodogor˘ II.
11th lunar month of 1769: Sansh˘ works, along with the sakusha Masuyama Kinpachi I, Kawai Kinji, Naka Kiichi and Umeda Toshisuke, at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Mutsu no Hana Ume no Kaomise", which welcomes in Edo the actors Onoe Kikugor˘ I, ďtani Tomoemon I, Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I and Onoe Tamiz˘ I.
11th lunar month of 1770: Sansh˘ works at the Ichimuraza on the kaomise drama "Meoto Giku Izu no Kisewata", which welcomes in Edo the Kamigata star Arashi Sangor˘ II and celebrates the shűmei of Band˘ Hikosabur˘ III, Band˘ Sanpachi II and Segawa Kichiji III.
11th lunar month of 1775: premiere at the Nakamuraza of Sansh˘'s Tomimoto-based dance-drama "Shijűhatte Koi no Showake", the first version of "Oshidori", which is staged within the kaomise drama "Hana Zum˘ Genji Biiki" [more details].
5th lunar month of 1776: Sansh˘'s plan to promote his eldest son as the future zamoto of the Nakamuraza in 1775 are revealed; he goes back to the family business (the Kanaizutsuya chaya) but discreetly keeps on helping his disciples from behind the scenes.
11th lunar month of 1786: Sansh˘ is back in the sakusha room of a Kabuki theater, in Edo at the Nakamuraza, where he works, along with Nakamura Jűsuke II and Katsu Hy˘z˘ I, on the kaomise drama "Kumoi no Hana Yoshino no Wakamusha", which welcomes in Edo the Kamigata actor Arashi Murajir˘ and stars Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ III, ďtani Hiroji III, Onoe Matsusuke I, Osagawa Tsuneyo II, Sanogawa Ichimatsu III, Nakajima Kanzaemon III and Band˘ Matatar˘ IV.
1788 ~ 1789: Sansh˘ does not take part in any kaomise drama.
1792: he becomes a bonze.
16th day of the 6th lunar month of 1797 : Sansh˘ dies in Edo.
Kanai Sansh˘ was an important Edo sakusha, who worked on more than 100 original dramas and excelled in sewamono. He worked a lot for the Edo star Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IV for ten years between 1754 and 1763. He was considered as one of the best playwrights in Edo. He also helped some young actors from Kamigata to become stage giants in Edo, like Onoe Kikugor˘ I, Segawa Kikunoj˘ III, Band˘ Mitsugor˘ I or ďtani Tomoemon I. During the second half of the 1780s, he helped a group of promising actors including Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III and Onoe Matsusuke I. "The style he evolved, known as the Sansh˘-fű, helped create logically structured, but complex plots, a technique he fostered in his disciple, Tsuruya Nanboku IV." (Samuel Leiter in "New Kabuki Encyclopedia")
Kanai Sansh˘'s first name included the ideogram for laughter (the sh˘ in Sansh˘) but he had not the reputation of being a comic. Quite the opposite in reality as he was given in his back the yag˘ Warazuya, which meant the "not laughing house". After reading his script to actors, he always put his hand on the on the hilt of his sword and glared the actors up to the payment for his work.
 The 16th day of the 6th lunar month of the 9th year of the Kansei era was the 10th of July 1797 in the western calendar.
The Kanai Sanpei line of playwrights
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