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Actor: Nakamura Shikan IV (四代目中村芝翫)

Alternate names:
Nakamura Fukusuke I (初代中村福助)
Nakamura Komasaburō (中村駒三郎)
Nakamura Masanosuke I (初代中村政之助)
Nakamura Tamatarō I (初代中村玉太郎)

Lifetime: 1831 - 1899

Related links: Kabuki21; [Kabuki theater terms};

Biography:

This actor took the name Shikan IV in 7/1860 and held it until his death. He was the adopted son of Nakamura Utaemon IV (四代目中村歌右衛門: 1796-1852) who is represented in the Lyon Collection by more than 20 prints.

Shikan IV was born on the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month of 1831 and died on January 16, 1899.

Nakamura Shikan IV was a great Meiji actor, who achieved fame for himself all over Japan (he toured a lot). He was equally at home in sewamono and jidaimono dramas, able to play almost any kind of role as tachiyaku, katakiyaku or even onnagata. He created many kata and some of them are still sometimes revived, like the ones for the role of Kumagai Jirō Naozane in the "Kumagai Jin'ya" scene of the classic "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki".

His rivalry with Bandō Hikosaburō V was one of the hottest in Kabuki history: "So nearly matched in ability were Shikan and Hikosaburō, with but two years' difference in their ages, that they were pitted against each other, and their patrons often indulged in fights over them. During a performance, when these actors were playing together, they came through the audience by way of the two hanamichi, the one to the right of the stage a mere footpath, that to the left a platform that was in reality a continuation of the stage proper. They quarreled as to who should take the main hanamichi, and the dispute waxed so hot that they finally drew lots to settle the matter." (Zoë Kincaid in Kabuki, the Popular Stage of Japan)