D07 Ichikawa Danjyuro the Ninth
"Fudomyohoh Monkakushonin Ichikawadanjyuro"
Artist: Kunichika Oban, Color print Triptych
Performance: 13 July 1889(Meiji 22), Nakamura-za theatre, in Tokyo
Ritsumeikan Art Research Center (shiUYa0100～0102)
Ichikawa Danjyuro the ninth was born in 1838(Tenpo 9) and died on 13 Sptember 1903 (Meiji 36) at his 66th age. His stage name was changed four times as his promotion, the first stage name was Kawarazaki Chojyuro the third until 1852(Kaei 5), the second name was Kawarazaki Genjyuro the first until 1873(Meiji 6), and then became Kawarazaki Mimasu the first to the next year, finally he succeeded the great predecessor's name Ichikawa Danjyuro the ninth in 1874 (Meiji 7).
He was a fifth son of Ichikawa Danjyuro the seventh and adopted to the theatre owner Kawarazaki Gonjyuro who was murdered by burglars before him. Overcoming such a shocking incident, he came back to Ichikawa family in 1874(Meiji 7) and given his stage name as Ichikawa Danjyuro the ninth. While he had acted as a young star Kawarazaki Gonjyuro, he was not so prominent actor and his reputation as an actor was also bad.
After his returning to Ichikawa family which is the head family of Kabuki, he realized himself as a representative of Kabuki actors. For example, he participated in the theatrical play reformation which was aimed to make Kabuki more elegant so that it could be ranked among the Western theatrical arts under the direction of Meiji government. He advocated "Katsureki" which was the new dramaturgy emphasizing historical fact, but it ended up with failing to gain popularity.
On the other hand, he successfully improved his own acting technique which was called "Haragei" which was a static acting style focusing on the psychology of the characters without over facial expressions or acting. While he was not so blessed with his appearance, he was rather small, and had a long, equine face and goggle eyes, he was evaluated as an splendid female role specialist because of his acting ability and he was also good at Shosagoto (dance program).
In his later years, he was called "Gekisei" (holy actor). His authority is still no doubt even among the sparkling actors in Ichikawa lineage. (,)