Chikamatsu Tokuzo

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  • Born: 1751
  • Died: 1810/8/23
  • Other Names: 徳右衛門 (Tokuemon), 雅亮 (Garyou), 大枡屋 (Oomasuya)
  • Japanese: 近松徳三 (Chikamatsu Tokuzou)

Chikamatsu Tokuzô was a kabuki playwright perhaps best known for the plays Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba (written with Tatsuoka Mansaku and Namiki Shôzô II) and Hade Kurabe Ishikawazome. He was a particular specialist in sewamono, and adapted many of his plays from books and from genuine events.

He was also known as Tokuemon, and went by the haimyô (poetry name) Garyô. His yagô was Ômasuya.

Tokuzô was the grandson of the poet Issuian Shôren. Born and raised in Osaka, and a fan of the ningyô jôruri puppet theatre since childhood, Tokuzô became a disciple of Chimatsu Hanji, and was granted the name Chikamatsu Tokuzô in 1784[1]. He switched to writing kabuki plays and worked for a time as an assistant playwright under Tatsuoka Mansaku and Namiki Gohei I, before being granted the position of full playwright two years later, in 1786.

Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba, or "The Vengeful Sword" as it is sometimes known in English[2], premiered in 1796.

After Namiki Gohei's death in 1808, for a brief time Tokuzô was the top playwright in Kamigata (i.e. Kansai - the Kyoto/Osaka region). He died two years later, in 1810.


  • "Chikamatsu Tokuzô." Asahi Nippon rekishi jinbutsu jiten (朝日日本歴史人物事典, "Asahi Encyclopedia of Japanese Historical Figures"). Asahi Shimbun. Accessed via, 12 November 2010.
  1. At that time, he wrote it as 近松徳叟, though he would later change it to 近松徳三 in 1795.
  2. Kennedy Theatre 2010-2011. University of Hawaii at Manoa. Accessed 12 November 2010.