Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter, “Behind the Scenes” of the entertainment industry: ……
“Let’s be reborn once again,” said Ennosuke.
In the words of Mr. Ennosuke, his father, Danshiro Ichikawa, and his mother attempted to commit suicide together. This incident could be said to have happened as it was meant to happen since Mr. Ennosuke IV assumed the name–.
Ennosuke Ichikawa (Ennosuke III) married actress Matoko Hama, and they had Teruyuki Kagawa (Kabuki name: Ichikawa Chuguruma), but he ended up running to actress Murasaki Fujima, with whom he had an affair since their high school days. It was also a big topic of conversation in the entertainment world at the time.
Mr. Kagawa was raised by his mother, and as the name of Kabuki actor III grew in stature, he longed to meet his own father.
After graduating from college, Mr. Kagawa went to see him perform, but he was told, “He’s not my son,
He was rejected by his father, who said, “He’s not my son.
He was rejected by his father.
Time passed, and Mr. Kagawa took his eldest son to see Mr. Saroo, but he stubbornly refused to acknowledge him as his own son.
It was Murasaki who made it possible for the two of them to meet.
She said, “Your own son has come to see you, but you can’t refuse him. You should see him properly.
With these words, father and son were reunited. From then on, Mr. Kagawa began to visit Mr. Saroo’s dressing room frequently. Then, to Mr. Kagawa,
I want to learn Kabuki.
Kagawa wanted to learn Kabuki. However, Mr. En’o was very much against it.
I can’t teach my son, who is over 40, how difficult Kabuki is.”
This was the reason. Of course, Murasaki was opposed to the idea.
Kabuki is a traditional art. Murasaki, who knew the difficulties of living in the world of kabuki, explained to Kagawa, who had established himself in the world of drama, how difficult it would be to enter the world of kabuki. However, his desire to enter the world of Kabuki grew stronger once he had seen the world of Kabuki.
Mr. Murasaki said.
Kagawa-san entered the “Sawasaburoya,” he would be in big trouble.
Mr. Murasaki was worried that “if Mr. Kagawa joins ‘Sawasaya,’ it will be a big trouble,” she said.
The fact that Enno became the sole signboard of “Ennosuke III” was due in large part to Murasaki’s skill.
Super Kabuki is something that Mr. Enno-san has built up through his reading of old literature. With the exception of a few guests, the actors of Sawasaya have created these performances.
This was a groundbreaking event in the world of Kabuki, and it is significant that Mr. Murasaki was able to make it happen through discussions with Shochiku, the promoter of the show. This super kabuki was a great success, and Enno-san went on to lead the kabuki world with his overwhelming acting ability and knowledge.
The major change in Sawasaburaya came when Enno-san’s health deteriorated and Murasaki-san passed away. People who wanted to replace Mr. En’o as the head of Sawasaya appeared.
Mr. Kagawa, who had been opposed to joining the Sawasabasaya, teamed up with his cousin Kamejiro Ichikawa in a tack to enter the Kabuki theatre.
Although he cherished the name “Kamejiro,” he took Mr. Kagawa up on his offer and assumed the name Ennosuke IV. At the same time, Mr. Kagawa assumed the name Ichikawa Chuguruma and Mr. Kagawa’s eldest son assumed the name Ichikawa Danko, successfully becoming the kabuki actor he had always wanted to be.
Discussions were held between the fourth generation and Mr. Kagawa at the center, and Shochiku, which saw the box-office potential of the name-assumption play, took them up on the offer. It should have been a safe bet for Sawasaburoya.
However, the “form” of Sawasabaya was destroyed because of this succession.
Udanji Ichikawa (Ukon at that time), who was an indispensable member of the Ichimura family, was one of them. Even when En’o fell ill, he was able to perform the entire play, and his performance was so good that Kabuki fans praised him highly. The way he was performing in the air, he could be mistaken for the third generation,
“He could be mistaken for the third generation.
Kagawa’s entrance into the Sawasabaya theater was a real treat.
When Mr. Kagawa joined the Sawasaya troupe, his position became more delicate. Eventually, he left the family and assumed the name of Ichikawa Udanji, and is active under the trade name of “Takashimaya.
Sawasaya was led by Ennosuke IV, but then an attempted suicide occurred during a performance at the Meijiza Theater in May. Many fans felt sympathy and awed by the great performance of Danko Ichikawa, who took over the role of the understudy after only one day of rehearsal. The tragic scene spurred the audience to turn out. However, she has not yet developed the ability to lead Sawasaburoya.
What will happen to Sawasaburoya? ……
It is a big problem for the members of the family. If the cause of Mr. Ennosuke IV’s heartbreak was “sexual harassment and power harassment” as reported in a weekly magazine, I am sorry but it is a shameful story.
It is too late to say this, but I think that Mr. Enno and Ms. Murasaki really wanted Mr. Udanji to succeed to the “Ennosuke” role. Mr. Enno taught Ugidanji his art one by one from that time, and I think he saw him as his successor.
Historically speaking, there were some families among prestigious families that did not produce an heir. There, gei adopted sons were born. And so, some of the great names have kept their kabuki house names.
In terms of family registry, the fourth generation would naturally have been eligible. However, just as each “family” has its own family art, showing the audience the “eighteenth act” of the “family” is what appeals to the audience. In this sense, Udanji seems to have been the most qualified to carry on the art of Sawasaya.
And Mr. Kagawa, who was not supposed to become a Kabuki actor, joined Sawasaya. I can’t help but think that such “forcing his way” gradually led to distortions that accumulated and resulted in the irreversible incident that occurred in this case. And Shochiku, which encouraged the succession, must also bear some of the responsibility.
Text： Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter
Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for a women's magazine to an entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.
PHOTO： Ippei Hara