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Section 65 of the story of Ichimura Uzaemon XV 十五代 羽左衛門

Section 65 of the story of Ichimura Uzaemon XV 十五代 羽左衛門

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Published by trevorskingle
An English translation of the on line biography of Ichimura Uzaemon XV covering the story of the rivlary between Shikan V and Uzaemon XV during the period leading up to Uzaemon's shumei to that name and the period shortly afterwards
An English translation of the on line biography of Ichimura Uzaemon XV covering the story of the rivlary between Shikan V and Uzaemon XV during the period leading up to Uzaemon's shumei to that name and the period shortly afterwards

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Published by: trevorskingle on Oct 27, 2011
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04/29/2012

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Section 65
四人同盟
 
その弐
 
Yonin dōmei sono ni
 An alliance of four people then twoTranslated fromhttp://9326.teacup.com/tachibanaya/bbs/t2/65 by Trevor SkingleShikan V (
五代目芝翫
), later Utaemon V (
五代目歌右衛門
) was the foremost senior actor whose riskyand difficult style came down from an earlier age. In the Kabuki world of the late Meiji (
明治末
) to theearly Showa period (
昭和初期
) he was the most prominent influential figure to the degree that he wasreferred to as Emperor
「天皇」
. Needless to say
Danjūrō (
團十郎
-
九代目
IX) was still going strongand was in excellent physical condition. Posthumously it was agreed amongst his friends (especiallythe members of Naritaya -
特に成田屋とは近い者達
) amongst whom it was felt that he was a forthrightintellectual who planned and upheld an intention of almost unlimited risk which, it was felt, heaccomplished after some disagreement with Inoue (
井上
 
 –
 
竹次郎
 
Takejirō, Director of the Kabukiza).
 It was uncertain from where outside this guild the influence came from though it was revealed that theintention to interfere was coming from a group of four people. At the public notary
’s
office a bond wassigned and then a young popular star actor succeeded to the stage, appearing along with four others.People talked about this affair though were unable to guess the details about the circumstancessurrounding the birth. According to the book by Tamura Nariyoshi (
田村成義
 
 –
Kabuki Theatremanager)
‘A Sequel’s S
equel of Kabuki Chronology, Volume One
「続々歌舞伎年代記
 
 
 –
 Zokuzoku Kabuki Nendaiki Ken
and the book by Kimura Kinka (
木村錦花
) a
‘History of the ModernTheatre’
「近世劇壇史
 
 –
Kinsei Gekidan Shi
, Kōmazō (
高麗蔵
-
八代目
VIII) knew
Danjūrō
was partof this alliance and reprimanded him after which he (
Danjūrō
) changed sides. Shikan was angryabout that and summoned
Baikō (Baikō
) and Kakitsu (
家橘
). Tamura Nariyoshi tried to mediate and
headed towards Ōsaka
where the affair which he was concerned about was underway. Inoue,pretending to be strongly one sided said,
‘It’s OK if you don’t want to go
. It would be alright and
practicable instead to go about your own business’
「行きたければ勝手に行けば宜しいでせう
 
.
Baikō
, frequently influenced, joined up with the troupe managed by
Yaozō (
八百蔵
) and went on aprovincial tour to
Hokkaidō
(
北海道
). Two people who were part of this alliance dropped out
. Inoue’s
Shikan was clearly and thankfully isolated.
‘At an event that autumn Uzaemon’s
 
shūmei (
襲名
-
to succeed to another’s
professional name. At thetime Uzaemon was Kakitsu VI) seemed mysteriously intriguing
, disconcerting then if it’s true, isn’t it?
His praiseworthy stage debut was in prearranged performances as Gompachi (
権八
) in ‘Suzugamori (
鈴ヶ森
)’, and as Chōbei (
長兵衛
) in an on stage announcement (Kōjō
-
口上
) it would seem that hespoke about his thoughts
concerning the achievement’
 
「秋になったら羽左衛門を襲名させてやろうという事になっているのに、妙な策動をしたら為にならねえ。お目見えには『鈴ヶ森』の権八をやらせ、俺を長兵衛で口上を述べてやろうと思っていた」
 
Note: Ichimura Uzaemon XV took that name in October 1903 at the Kabukizahttp://www.kabuki21.com/uzaemon15.php 
Danjūrō was alleged to have incited Kakitsu and was certainly supposed to have persuaded him,speaking about how it wasn’t necessary waiting ‘to consider going to Ōsaka’
「大阪には行くな」
.Kakitsu was compelled to respect his uncle
(Onoe Kikugorō V) whilst the stubborn Danjūrō persistedin standing up against the issue. Defensive, following Baikō’s example the close friend consequently
found himself
disengaging from the affair. Shikan’s overstated planned resistance had beenresourcefully stubborn until the ‘four people alliance’
「四人同盟」
turned into two people.
 
 Not to mention the only natural re-evaluation placed upon the situation by the enhanced influence of
the shūmei, founding the dynasty’s ‘Uzaemon’
「羽左衛門」
, a course of events which had alreadytransformed the stage.In the end Shikan ended up completely isolated and indignant.
‘With the intention to oppose the arrangement, the fellowship that was
hidden from the profession is
broken, leaving for the theatre many potentially unpredictable proposals’
 
「約束に反き、友情を缺くやうな同業者と、将来倶に舞台へ立つ事は出来ない」
 Besides with no support from the other conspirators it (the arrangement) was dead and buried, killedwith speeches
with Inoue being appeased by Tamura’s intervention. That being the case if Kakitsuwas only waiting for the one show business shūmei he’d go to Ōsaka because it didn’t matter about
his recognition.The others from the broken alliance who were in opposition kept their own counsel about theirviewpoint and together with Tamura the stage manager felt confident of the need to re-emerge.Too much was read into the circumstances. It was recently recalled that aside from Inoue and theothers, the talented and so called entertainment industry legend and theatre director Morita Kanya XII(
十二代目守田勘彌
), who until just a short time before had a strong influence on the stage, remainedaloof to the situation and what's more he perceived in Shikan the earlier prevailing fashion for beingdemanding on stage of the late Dankiku (
団菊
 
 –
 
Ichikawa Danjurō IX and Onoe Kikugorō V)…
 At the time Shikan was an actor who was similar to those of the previous generation. As such he wasgreatly determined to take risks on stage and about which he wrote many essays, though it wasunlikely that it would be feasible to be able to work like that.
Yaozō (
八百蔵
) and Gatō (
我當
) (
十一代目仁左衛門
 
 –
Nizaemon XI) were two men between whom there was a little rivalry, for actorssomething that was naturally expected and a matter of course.
Rokusaburō (
録三郎
) san said that in the context of the stage, some argumentativeness was verynatural and not intellectually inferior or
a reflection of a man’s ability. Besides tough behaviour was
inherited and part and parcel of life show business because it made one think and question. To thatextent Shikan was an actor whose life was simply exceedingly influential, perhaps because it reflectedthe life of the stage.On about the 8
th
August Shikan, Matsusuke (
松助
), Kakitsu and others were due to appear on stage inperformances at
Ōsaka’s
Kadoza (
角座
). Each of the others who’d pulled out of the
alliance leftShikan feeling enraged. Uniting with Shikan over the course of the earlier matter, and to honour hisdignity, the troupe, for those reasons, left the theatre.
Isolated over the matter he gave up his actor’s
permit giving as his reason
‘cessation of business’
「廃業」
which seems to have been an intentionwhich stemmed from his growing withdrawal. His junior (Uzaemon), who was probably about eightyears younger than Kakitsu, ranted at those of lower rank and thought that he ought to be on stagebecause it would be strange for him to not have been.Shikan held local practice events at his home. Whether or not he was prepared to appear to have lostKakitsu
’s dignity remained intact and he responded by saying, ‘You, brother, seppuku seppuku’
「やア、兄さん、切腹切腹」
 
Though Shikan was incensed he couldn’t help but finally, and reluctantly, smile,
his angry voice beinginflicted in turn on others and although resigned to the situation
he left for Ōsaka
. Though becomingexceedingly angry his surprise departure was seen as malign revenge over the issue. Consideredconceited the
‘Emperor’
「天皇」
’Excellency’
「閣下」
who was also called Utaemon (
歌右衛門
) left,withdrawing from the situation.
What was said can’t entirely discounted
, also an oppo
nent with allies Uzaemon’s unique
appeal wasalso exhausted ending with an anecdote about his furious attitude towards the company which wasunderstood to be as a result of
(‘Chūjōhime’
「中将姫」
’Kirare Yosa (Scarface Yosa)’
「切られ与三」
and others being staged at the
Ōsaka Kadoza
, when Kakitsu simply returned
to Tōkyō)
 

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