Ebizo Ichikawa has decided to start Danjuro Succession Show in November. Kangen Horikoshi will also assume the name of Ichikawa Shinnosuke, but…Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo has announced that he will assume the name Ichikawa Danjuro, one of the great names in the Kabuki world, this November.
The succession performance will be held in November and December at the Kabuki-za theater in Tokyo. The revival of Ichikawa Danjuro will be the first in nine years and nine months since the death of Ebizo’s father, the 12th generation, in February 2001.
The succession was originally scheduled for May ’20 but was postponed due to the Corona disaster. His eldest son, Horikoshi Kangen, will also assume the name Shinnosuke Ichikawa VIII and make his first appearance on the stage.
Ebizo commented that both he and Kangen are still inexperienced in the art, but they will renew their efforts and devote themselves to it so that they will not disgrace the names of the successive generations of Danjuro and the Ichikawa Soke.
Although this is sure to be a major event in the Kabuki world, the surrounding environment of Ebizo is quite challenging.
Women’s magazines are reporting pickups on SNS, and his sister-in-law Maya Kobayashi, who has changed her name to Maya Kunimitsu, is showing hostility on the Internet. On June 1, the day after the announcement of Danjuro’s succession, Kobayashi wrote on her blog
that she will resume this month, except for announcements, after taking a break since April.
Some of you might think if this is about the money. It isn’t because my fiancé is helping me to make a living even if I have been scammed with a very large amount of money, she wrote.
Kobayashi criticized Ebizo on her blog this spring. She had trouble with Ameblo over the income, so she stopped updating her blog in April and started to report her recent activities on the note.
She returned to Ameblo at the time of the announcement of Danjuro’s succession to the title. She may not be after the money since she can live with her husband, Kunimitsu Akira, from the income from the note but what could be the real reason behind her starting to blog again.
However, there may be another problem that is a real headache for Ebizo.
According to the Shukan Shincho, Shochiku, the Kabuki promoter, will focus on 17-year-old Ichikawa Somegoro VIII instead of Ebizo.
“Ebizo is a man who does what he wants to do,” said Shochiku’s Shokan Shincho, “and he is putting a lot of effort into creative kabuki. That is a wonderful thing, but he often makes decisions on his own, leaving Shochiku out of the picture. It is his arrogance that makes him unlikeable.
A tweet in March distanced Shochiku from his fans.
I don’t want to be slanderous, but I’m going to proceed under civil law. I don’t want to, but as long as there are people like that, I have no choice. I have been putting up with it for fifteen years. I ask for your kind cooperation.
I want to value the honest feelings of my many fans! And please understand that I am trying to create an environment for my mental stability, he added.
In a video he posted on his Instagram, he seems to have run out of patience from the offensive comments he is receiving.
If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. If you see even a little bit of that kind of post, please tell me. Blog comments, Instagram comments, or Twitter comments. If you see it, I’ll look at it, and please keep telling me.
He then called out to the audience
I will be more thorough than I have been in a long time. It is not good to hurt people. Insulting people is also not good.
He said with a firm expression on his face.
Naturally, there should be no mindless posts that hurt others. However, what Ebizo calls slander may include constructive advice and requests from fans.
One female fan pointed out on social media that Ebizo’s voice was not as clear as it used to be. A few days later, he tweeted a legal action. The connection is unclear. Many of his fans have voiced their opinions about his art. His fans might lose interest in him if they feel like being sued for their comments on social media.
In five months the Kabuki world will come together as one for the performance of the successor to the title of Kabuki actor. Fans hope that the Kabuki world will come together as one and blow away the gloomy world.