Kumoemon Tochuken

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Kumoemon Tochuken

Kumoemon Tochuken (桃中軒 雲右衛門, Tōchūken Kumoemon) (October 25, 1873 – November 7, 1916) was a popular rōkyoku recitalist in Meiji Japan. His immense popularity helped rōkyoku break into the mainstream. At his height, he performed tales of the Forty-seven ronin to sell-out crowds at some of the biggest theatres in Tokyo and Osaka. These performances also roused nationalist sentiment during Russo-Japanese War.[1]

Tōchūken's style of reciting left a lasting impression on rōkyoku, and indirectly also on enka, especially the music of Haruo Minami and Hideo Murata.[2]

Mikio Naruse made a biopic about him in 1936.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hyōdō Hiromi and Henry D. Smith II, “Singing Tales of the Gishi: Naniwabushi and the Forty-seven Rōnin in Late Meiji Japan.” Monumenta Nipponica, 61/4 (Winter 2006), pp. 459-508.
  2. ^ [第6部・演歌巡礼<8>初代桃中軒雲右衛門 受け継がれゆく浪花節] / 九州歌謡地図 / 西日本新聞