Ichikawa Danjūrō II

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Ichikawa Danjūrō II as Kio, and Sadojima Chojoro as Soga no Juro in a scene from the New Year's kabuki play, Hatsu-goyomi akinai Soga at Nakamura-za theatre.

Ichikawa Danjūrō II (二代目 市川 團十郎, Nidaime Ichikawa Danjūrō, 1688-1758) was a Japanese kabuki performer in the lineage of a celebrated family of actors from the Edo region.[1] Ichikawa Danjūrō is a stage name.


The earnestly prayed-for son of Ichikawa Danjūrō I, Danjūrō II acted under the name Ichikawa Kuzō I from 1697 to 1704, the year his father was killed in a backstage quarrel with another actor. Danjūrō II assumed his father's stage name five months after this incident and held it until 1735, when he took the name Ichikawa Ebizō II.[1] Thereafter, the name was handed down in a direct line through the generations, e.g., Danjūrō III and Danjuro IV were the adopted sons of Danjūrō II; Danjūrō VI was the adopted son of Danjūrō V, and Danjūrō VII was the adopted son of Danjūrō VI.[2]

In the conservative Kabuki world, stage names are conveyed in formal system which converts the kabuki stage name into a mark of accomplishment.[3] In 1840, Danjūrō IV created Kabuki Jūhachiban to remind the theater world of his family's pre-eminence in Kabuki, especially in the creation and development of aragoto roles. This collection of 18 plays is a compilation of his and his predecessors representative roles. The work features the character Benkei, who was played by Danjūrō I and Danjūrō II.[4] This is the ie no gei (family art) of the Danjuro line.[5]

Lineage of Danjūrō stage names[edit]

See also[edit]

The Ichikawa family crest (mon)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). "Ichikawa Danjūrō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 369., p. 369, at Google Books
  2. ^ Edelson, Loren. (2009). Danjūrō's Girls: Women on the Kabuki Stage, p. 200., p. 200, at Google Books
  3. ^ Scott, Adolphe C. (1999). The Kabuki Theatre of Japan, p. 159., p. 159, at Google Books
  4. ^ Leiter, Samuel. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre, p. 145., p. 145, at Google Books
  5. ^ a b c d e Leiter, Samuel. (2002). A Kabuki Reader: History and Performance, p. 255, p. 255, at Google Books
  6. ^ Toronto Public Library, Utagawa Kunisada, also known as Toyokuni III (1786-1865); Obituary portrait of actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, 1854