Nakamura Utaemon VI

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Nakamura Utaemon in 1951
Utaemon VI in costume, preparing to play a female kabuki role (onnagata), 1951.

Nakamura Utaemon VI (中村歌右衛門 (6代目), January 20, 1917 — March 31, 2001) was a Japanese kabuki performer and an artistic director of the Kabuki-za in Tokyo.[1] He was a prominent member of a family of kabuki actors from the Keihanshin region.[2]

Nakamura Utaemon was a stage name with significant cultural and historical connotations.[3] The name Utaemon indicates personal status as an actor. Such a title can only be assumed after the death of a previous holder, under restrictive succession conventions.[4]

Utaemon VI was the son of Nakamura Utaemon V.[5] The actor's name was Fujio Kawamura when he was born in the sixth generation of a line of famous Kabuki actors.[1] In the conservative Kabuki world, stage names are passed from father to son in formal system which converts the kabuki stage name into a mark of accomplishment.[4] The name Utaemon VI was formally proclaimed in a 1951 ceremony at the Kabuki theater in Tokyo.[6]

Lineage of Utaemon stage names

In a long career, he acted in many kabuki plays; but he was best known for his oyama roles.[1]

Living National Treasure[edit]

In 1968, the government of Japan designated him a Living National Treasure, which was a title acknowledging him as a "bearer of important intangible cultural assets."[1]

Selected works[edit]

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Nakamura Utaemon VI, OCLC/WorldCat encompasses roughly 6 works in 6 publications in 2 languages and 9 library holdings[10]

  • 2006 —  - (伽羅先代萩: 三幕五場, Meiboku sendai hagi: sanmaku goba) ISBN 9784835615981; OCLC 70233503
  • 1993 —  - (鏡山旧錦絵: 通し狂言四幕六場, Kagamiyama kokyō no nishikie: tōshi kyōgen yonmaku rokuba) OCLC 054923943
  • 1989 —  - (番町皿屋敷: 一幕二場, Banchō sarayashiki: hitomaku niba) OCLC 029849646
  • 1984 —  - (大経師昔暦: おさん茂兵衛二幕三場, Daikyōji mukashigoyomi: osan mohee nimaku sanba) OCLC 054925804


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Strom, Stephanie. Nakamura Utaemon VI, 84, International Star of Kabuki", New York Times. April 4, 2001.
  2. ^ a b c Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia, p. 691., p. 691, at Google Books
  3. ^ Kurkup, James. "Nakamura Utaemon VI," The Independent (London). April 6, 2001.
  4. ^ a b Scott, Adolphe C. (1999). The Kabuki Theatre of Japan, p. 159., p. 159, at Google Books
  5. ^ While the stage names of all kabuki actors have retained traditional order (Surname-Givenname) on Wikipedia, birth names of those born after the Meiji Restoration are in Western order (Givenname-Surname).
  6. ^ Trumbull, Robert. "Kabuki Theatre Elevates Actor In Traditional Japanese Rites," New York Times. April 12, 1960.
  7. ^ Leiter, Samuel L. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre, pp. 263-264., p. 263, at Google Books
  8. ^ Leiter, Samuel L. (2002). A Kabuki Reader: History and Performance, p. 78, p. 78, at Google Books
  9. ^ Utaemon Nakamura", New York Times. September 11, 1940.
  10. ^ WorldCat Identities: 中村歌右衛門 6世 1917-2001; 中村歌右衛門 1917- .
  11. ^ Leiter, p. 264., p. 264, at Google Books
  12. ^ "Lloyd Webber Wins Prize," New York Times. June 16, 1995.


External links[edit]