D01 Ichikawa Danjyuro the First
"Kokin Yakusha Nigao-taizen" "Fuwa Ganzo Danjyuro"
Artist: Toyokuni the third Oban, color print
Published: August 1862(Bunkyu 2), in Edo
Ritsumeikan Art Research Center(arcHS03-0007-3_10)
To know the history of the significant family name "Ichikawa Danjyuro" is to know the history of Kabuki itself. The first Danjyuro appeared 350 years ago, at the time Danjyuro was not a big name like today. While there are various Kabuki families, the title of "Soke" (the head family) is given to only "Ichikawa Danjyuro" family. The name Danjyuro was treated so specially that every generations of Danjyuro were called "Ujigami (tutelary deity) of theatrical performance" in Edo period. This special treatment is based on an accumulation of succeeded achievements.
This section will provide the explanations for the progress of the current Danjyuro's popularity, with some actor prints depicted Danjyuro the first, the second, the forth, the fifth, and the seventh to the ninth.
Danjyuro the first was born in 1660(Manji 3) and died on 19 February in 1704(Genroku 17). His first stage name was Ichikawa Ebizo the first on his 14th age and he was promoted to Ichikawa Danjyuro the first on 16th age. His first stage was "Shitenno Osanadachi" in September 1673(Enpo 1) at Nakamura-za theatre in Edo. He acted as a powerful hero Sakata Kintoki in a special Kabuki makeup Kumadori on his face with crimson and black ink, and painted his body in crimson color to represent the hero's tremendousness. It is regarded as the origin of Aragoto (dynamic and rough style). Then he played various characters were to be sources of the specialty play of Ichikawa family one after another and gained huge popularity in Edo and finally he acted his Aragoto at Murayama-za theatre in Kyoto in 1693(Genroku 6).
He becomame disciple of Shiinomoto Saimaro to start learn Haikai poetry, taking the opportunity to visit Kyoto. The Haikai master gave him a Haimyo (name as a Haikai poet) "Saigyu", and it is regarded as the origin of Haimyo as actor's offstage name.
On the other hand, Danjyuro the first succeeded as a playwright as his pen name "Mimasu-ya Hyogo". He started using "Narita-ya" as Yago (stage house name) named after his successful program about a legend of Narita fudo temple which he wrote and played as the Buddhist deity Narita fudo. "Narita-ya" is still the stage house name of Ichikawa family and this is the origin of using Yago.
He was murdered by his co-performer Ikushima Hanroku on the stage at Ichimura-za theatre in Edo in 1704(Genroku 17) when he was still in his 44th age.
The picture displayed here describes Danjyuro's acting "Fuwa", one of 18 Kabuki repertoires, in addition to this, he played other 5 famous programs "Narukami", "Shibaraku", "Uwanari", "Zobiki", and "Kanjincho" for the first time. Almost all of 18 repertoires (it became a word origin of "jyuhachi-ban" meaning repertoire) were established by Danjyu the first and the second. (,)