The birth of Onoe Masahide, the first generation of Onoe’s genius child actors, will bring security to the future of the Kabuki world. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The birth of Onoe Masahide, the first generation of Onoe’s genius child actors, will bring security to the future of the Kabuki world.

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Masahide Onoe’s imposing behavior at the press conference exudes the aura of a big shot.

I laugh more than I get nervous, or I enjoy it more than I get nervous. I don’t get nervous at all.

On May 7, Shinobu Terashima’s eldest son, Shinobu Terashima (50), and actor Mahide Terashima (10), held a press conference at the French Ambassador’s residence to announce that he will make his stage debut as the first Mahoro Onoe in May. In the audience were his mother Shinobu Terajima and his father, art director Laurent Gnassia. Also present were his grandfather Onoe Kikugoro (80) and uncle Onoe Kikunosuke (45), who will perform on the same stage for the first time in May in “Dangiku Matsuri May Grand Kabuki,” the 10th anniversary of the Kabuki-za Theater’s new opening.

Mahide said.

I would like to give a Kabuki performance in France someday, in my and my father’s home country.

I would like to give a Kabuki performance in France someday, in the home country of my father and me. Are you nervous? he showed some composure to answer as he did at the beginning of his speech. When asked about his ideal Kabuki actor, he replied

I want to be an interesting actor like Hima (Onoe Kikugoro’s nickname).

He wowed the audience with his humor, referring to a “living national treasure” as an “interesting actor,” even though he is his grandfather.

His strong heart has been well known since he was a child, and he has a unique, artist-like view of the world; his calmness that is hard to believe at 10 years old and his elegant face with clear noses and eyes of French heritage have plenty of aura that can draw an audience, and he has high expectations as an onnagata actor. He himself seems to be aware that he is one of the future leaders of Otowaya.

He has also been chosen to play the son of Ieyasu, played by Matsumoto Jun (39), in the NHK historical drama “Dousuru Ieyasu,” which is currently airing on NHK.

In fact, in the past few years, successors to the next generation of “genius child actors” have been taking over one after another. Speaking of Otowaya, there is another actor known as a “child prodigy. He is Onoe Ushinosuke VII (9), the eldest son of Kikunosuke, who succeeded to the name at the age of 5 in 2019.

His paternal grandfather was Onoe Kikugoro, and his maternal grandfather was the late Nakamura Kichiemon, whose facial expressions and gestures are an exact duplicate of Kichiemon’s. In 2021, his father Kikunosuke played Moritsuna in Kichiemon’s hit role, Moritsuna Jinya, while Ushinosuke played Koshiro, and discerning Kabuki fans have praised his acting ability, saying, “You would never guess he is seven years old. His performance is highly praised by discerning kabuki fans, who say, ‘I can’t believe he is only 7 years old,’ and ‘His sense is amazing.

Naritaya, led by Ichikawa Danjuro, is the twin of Otowaya. His son, Shinnosuke Ichikawa VIII (9), also known as Kangen, made his debut last December in the “December Grand Kabuki” as the youngest actor ever to perform “Kedatsu”. At first, he was criticized for being “Danjuro’s pushover,” but when he finally took the stage, the audience was impressed.

He is a genius. She worked diligently through the very hard rehearsals, and her behavior on stage was majestic. Above all, his face has changed. He now has a good face that suits his ‘glare'” (a patron who saw the first day of the play).

(A patron who saw the play on opening night). Another actor who has been called a “genius” from the very beginning is Udanji Ichikawa (59). Ichikawa Ukon II (12) is the eldest son of Ichikawa Udanji (59).

He is a perfect actor, with a long, graceful gesture that extends all the way down to his fingertips, an elongated voice, and long lines. Ukon’s reputation as a genius spread quickly,” said another person involved in the pear orchard.

Another source at a Japanese pear orchard said, “When he was nine years old, he played the role of Yo Oizumi’s son in the drama “No Side Game,” but he was not a fan of the role.

He played the role of Hiroshi Oizumi’s son in the drama “No Side Game,” in which he played the role of a 9-year-old. It’s amazing.

Oizumi praised him highly.

We, as well as the fans of the past, are hoping that the successors of the “child prodigy” will boost the stagnant Kabuki world, since they are taking over the role in the same order as before.

Despite these high hopes, there is, in fact, a cause for concern.

The feud between Naritaya and Otowaya came to the surface when a weekly magazine reported that Kikugoro had initially expressed his intention not to appear at the Ichikawa Danjuro Shirasaru name-unveiling last year. It is said to have started when Danjuro cancelled the “Dangiku Festival” in May in order to perform at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. In the end, Kikugoro broke his will and performed at the name-unveiling, but the flamboyant staging of the press conference at the French Embassy this time was clearly a sign of rivalry against Naritaya, according to whispers in the nazon (Japanese pear orchard). This will have no small effect on their children in the future. I hope the children at least get along with each other.”

The four will probably be all together at the “Dangiku Matsuri” in May, when Mahide will make his first appearance on the stage. Will they be able to bring a breath of fresh air to the stagnant Kabuki world?

Shinnosuke Ichikawa VIII, whose “Kedatsu” at last year’s Danjuro succession performance was well received.
  • Photo Sankei Shimbun (1st) Shinji Hasuo (2nd)

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