His mother doted on him,” an insider from a pear orchard testifies, “and what happened to the Ennosuke Ichikawa family?”
Shortly after 10:00 a.m. on January 18, kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke (47) was found collapsed at a residence in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, along with his parents. Ennosuke was conscious when he was taken to the hospital, but his mother was pronounced dead on the spot. His father, Danshiro Ichikawa IV, was taken to the hospital in an unconscious state and was later confirmed dead.
Ennosuke was the only son and a bachelor, so there were three members in the family. Many details are still unknown, but what in the world happened to this family? A source who was close to the mother said, “The family was really close.
The family was really close. In particular, the mother loved Kame-chan (the nickname she had given to Kamejiro Ichikawa before he assumed the name Ennosuke) very much, and she always made a polite round of greetings when Kame-chan was on stage. Dan Shiro had been bedridden for a long time. It was like Kame-chan was supporting her mother who was nursing her husband.
It was in 2012 that Ennosuke succeeded to the role of Ennosuke Ichikawa IV. Originally, Teruyuki Kagawa, 57, the eldest son of Ennosuke III, was in the position to succeed to the fourth generation, but when Kagawa did not pursue a career in kabuki, it was thought that Ukon Ichikawa (now Udanji Ichikawa III, 59), who had trained as a chambermaid of the third generation for many years, would take over as the fourth generation. The fact that Kamejiro succeeded to the name of the fourth generation came as a bolt out of the blue for those involved at the time.
Kamejiro III had suffered a stroke in 2003 and had been confined to a wheelchair ever since. Kame-chan’s mother had been taking care of him. She wanted Kame-chan to succeed to the name of Ennosuke, and that was her sole intention. I saw her repeatedly asking the third generation, ‘Please do something for my son. That’s how much she loved her son. This time, people are saying that there is a possibility of a forced suicide, but I don’t think it’s possible that Kame-chan would have taken such a mother by the hand.
There is widespread speculation that the incident may have been triggered by an article in the same morning’s “Josei Seven” about alleged sexual assault by Ennosuke Ichikawa. Another person involved in the pears garden said of the incident, “They used to live together, but recently they have been having a lot of trouble.
They used to live together, but recently, Ennosuke and his parents have been living separately. It is possible that his mother found out about the article and called Mr. Ennosuke at home to ask him about the situation. This may have been the result of her pessimism about the future there…”
The facts will be revealed in the future, but there is no doubt that he has cast a large shadow over the Kabuki world.
PHOTO： Ippei Hara