Ichikawa Danjuro

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  • Japanese: 市川團十郎 (Ichikawa Danjuurou)
Woodblock print triptych, c. 1850, by Utagawa Toyokuni, depicting eight generations of the Ichikawa Danjûrô lineage. From right: Danjûrô I as Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa, Danjûrô II as Kumedera Danjô, Danjûrô III as Sukeroku, Danjûrô IV as Taira no Kagekiyo, Danjûrô V as Ya no Ne Gorô, Danjûrô VI as Nagasaki Jirô, Danjûrô VII as Fuwa Banzaemon, and Danjûrô VIII as Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa in Shibaraku. Sackler Gallery of Art, S2004.3.142

Ichikawa Danjûrô is a stage name taken on by a series of kabuki actors of the Ichikawa family. Most of these were blood relatives, though some were adopted into the family. It is a famous and important name, wielded by the top actor of Edo/Tokyo, and receiving it is an honor. There are a number of roles that the line of Danjûrô specialize in, as well as a series of plays, the Kabuki Jûhachiban (The Kabuki Eighteen), which showcase the specialties of the Ichikawa family.

Danjûrô, like other actors' names, is bestowed (or given up) at grand naming ceremonies called shûmei in which a number of actors formally change their names. The name Danjûrô is generally taken at the peak of an actor's career; another name may be taken after retirement. Prior to taking the name Danjûrô, an actor frequently had the names Matsumoto Kôshirô, Ichikawa Shinnosuke, or Ichikawa Ebizô.

The design of the Ichikawa family mon, three squares nested inside one another, is called mimasu (三升). Some of the actors in this line used "Mimasu" or "Sanshô" (an alternate reading of the same characters) as their haimyô, a nickname or alias used in poetry circles.


  • Ichikawa Danjûrô I (May 1675 - February 1704)[1] - originally Sanshôya Hyôgo (三升屋兵庫); known as Ichikawa Ebizô I prior to taking the name Danjûrô. Originated the aragoto form.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô II (July 1704 - November 1735) - Eldest son of Danjûrô I; previously known as Ichikawa Ebizô II and Ichikawa Kuzô.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô III (November 1735 - February 1742) - Adopted son of Danjûrô II, previously known as Ichikawa Masugorô. Died young.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô IV (November 1754 - October 1770) - Adopted son of Danjûrô II, possibly biological son. Previously known as Matsumoto Kôshirô II and Ichikawa Ebizô III.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô V (November 1770 - October 1791) - Son of Danjûrô IV. Previously known as Matsumoto Kôshirô III and Ichikawa Ebizô. One of the most famous of all kabuki actors.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô VI (November 1791 - May 1799) - Son of Danjûrô V, previously known as Ichikawa Ebizô VI. Died young.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô VII (1807 - February 1832) - Grandson of Danjûrô V, previously known as Ichikawa Shinnosuke I, Ichikawa Yebizô[2], and later as Ichikawa Ebizô V. Established the Kabuki Jûhachiban.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII (March 1832 - August 1854) - Eldest son of Danjûrô VII, previously known as Ichikawa Shinnosuke II and Ichikawa Ebizô VI. Committed suicide in Osaka.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô IX (1874 - September 1903) - Fifth son of Danjûrô VII. Previously known as Kawarazaki Kennosuke VII, Kawarazaki Chôjûrô, Kawarazaki Gonjûrô, and Kawarazaki Sanshô. Star of the Meiji period's Golden age of Kabuki.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô X (posthumous 1962) - Son-in-law of Danjûrô IX; previously known as Horikoshi Fukusaburô and Ichikawa Sanshô V. Played only minor roles, but revived many plays of the Kabuki Jûhachiban.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô XI (April 1962 - November 1965) - Adopted son of Danjûrô X, his biological father was Matsumoto Kôshirô VII. Previously known as Ichikawa Komazô V and Ichikawa Ebizô IX.
  • Ichikawa Danjûrô XII (April 1985 - February 2013) - Eldest son of Danjûrô XI. Previously known as Ichikawa Shinnosuke VI and Ichikawa Ebizô X.


  1. Note: 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 Danjûrô.
  2. Note: though this would be "Ebizô" in modern revised Japanese, it was written with different characters, as ゑび蔵, and thus is considered a separate name.