Uemura Kichiya II

From SamuraiWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
  • Other Names: Kamimura Kichiya
  • Japanese: 二代上村吉弥 (Nidai Uemura Kichiya)

Uemura Kichiya II was a Kamigata onnagata kabuki actor of the 1680s. He was the adopted son and successor of the celebrated Uemura Kichiya I. Kichiya II had a very short career, spanning only about 15 years, but was known for his dances and his performances as female ghosts and grieving, tragic woman figures. He came to be called Pintokona Kachiya, a nickname using a word common at the time to refer to strong women.

Kichiya II was a student of Araki Yojibei I[1] before becoming adopted by Kichiya I. He had a brother named Uemura Tatsuya.

It is not clear when Kichiya II made his stage debut, but as of 1681, he was performing in Osaka, alongside Matsumoto Sanshirô, Ichimura Kin'ya, Iwai Morinosuke, Shimomura Katsunojô and Karamatsu Kasen in a troupe led by Kaneko Kichizaemon I.

Two years later, in 1683, Kichiya performed as the courtesan Ichinojô in the first shinjûmono (love suicide play; double-suicide play) ever performed on the kabuki stage. Arashi San'emon I played her lover, Chôemon.

He continued to perform in Osaka and Kyoto into the early 1690s, often alongside Sakata Tôjûrô I.

Some information about the career and life of Kichiya II comes from Ryûtei Ikô, a posthumous compilation of writings by 19th century samurai writer Ryûtei Tanehiko, though this and other sources often confuse Kichiya II for his predecessor.[2] Nothing is known of Kichiya II after 1693, however, when he was listed in a publication entitled Kokon Shibai Irokurabe Hyakunin Isshû.

Kichiya was later succeeded by his disciple, who came to be known as Uemura Kichiya III.


  1. "Uemura Kichiya (2-dai)." Nihon Jinmei Daijiten. Kotobank.com. Accessed 11 May 2010.
  2. Waterhouse, David. "The Hishikawa Mode." Impressions 31 (2010). p45.