Sakata Tōjūrō

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Sakata Tōjūrō (坂田藤十郎?) refers to a family of kabuki actors in Kyoto and Osaka[1] and it is the stage name of a series of Kabuki actors over the course of the history of the form.

The first Sakata Tōjūrō (1646–1709) was the most popular kabuki actor in Kyoto-Osaka during the Genroku era.[2] He played tachiyaku roles.[1] He pioneered the wagoto form of the Kamigata (Kansai) theatre as his counterpart in Edo, Ichikawa Danjūrō I, did the same for the aragoto form.

Sakata Tōjūrō was actor-manager (zagashira) of the Mandayū Theatre in Kyoto; and during this period, the house playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Chikamatsu praised the actor's craft, including careful attention to the dramatic requirements of the script and encouraging other actors to study the actual details of a character's circumstances.[2]

Unlike most other kabuki lineages which can be traced back in a more or less unbroken line, whether by blood or by adoption, the name of Sakata Tōjūrō was not held for over 225 years, from the death of Sakata Tōjūrō III in 1774 until the name was taken up, and the lineage restarted, by Nakamura Ganjirô III, who changed his name to Sakata Tōjūrō IV in 2005.



  1. ^ a b c Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Sakata Tōjūrō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 812, p. 812, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ a b Brandon, James R. (2000). "Sakata Tojuro (1647 - 1709)," in The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, p. 959, p. 959, at Google Books
  3. ^ Note: With the exception of the first in the lineage, the dates given here do not represent the birth/death dates of the actor; rather, they indicate the period during which the actor held the name Tōjūrō.
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Sakata Tōjūrō II" at p. 812, p. 812, at Google Books
  5. ^ Nussbaum, "Sakata Tōjūrō III" at p. 812, p. 812, at Google Books
  6. ^ Kabuki Preservation Society. (2008). Kabuki techō, p. 130.


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