Kabuji actor Ichimura Uzaemon XV

Contributed by trevorormandi

Kabuji actor Ichimura Uzaemon XV

This is a photograph of the popular Meiji period Kabuki actor Ichimura Uzaemon XV taken at the Kabukiza in 1930 in Tokyo. He is dressed as Togashi, the aristocrat in charge of the road barrier in the play Kanjincho, or the Subscription List. During the 1930s Uzaemon played opposite another popular Meiji period Kabuki actor Matsumoto Koshiro VII who played Musashibo Benkei, the warrior monk and retainer of Minamoto Yoshitsune. Also in the picture is Ito Shinsui and possibly Hasui Kawase, both artists who were part of the revival at the time of the Ukiyo e woodblock print. They are surrounded by other dignitaries both Japanese and Western. The Western woman may possibly be an actress. It was around this time that Kabuki as an art form was being popularized in the West and shortly before Charlie Chaplin visited Japan in 1932 and saw the Kabuki at the Minamiza in Kyoto and the Kabukiza in Tokyo where he met Nakamura Kichiemon I. Chaplin was and is still, extermely popular in japan and his film 'City Lights' was adapted to Kabuki being called Komori no Yasusan, or Batman Yasu

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