Tsuruya Nanboku IV (四代目鶴屋南北) (individual 1755 – 1829)

Katsu Hyōzō I (勝俵蔵)



In Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology 1600-1900, page 844, it says:

"Little is known about Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755-1829) except that he was born in Edo and was the son of a dyer. In 1776 he became an apprentice to Sakurada Jisuke I (d. 1806), one of the leading kabuki playwrights of the day, who specialized in drama depicting contemporary life. In the following year Nanboku began working at the Nakamura Theater under the pen name Sakurada Heizō. In 1780, at the age of twenty-five, he married Oyoshi, the daughter of Tsuruya Nanboku III, the third in a succession of kabuki comic actors. It took another twenty years, however, before he produced the first hit, Indian Tokubei, A Story of a Foreign Country (Tenjiku Tokubei ikokubanashi, 1804), starring at Onoe Matsusuke, an actor with a tremendous range of roles who specialized in the kind of ghost plays and stage tricks that Nanboku was to make his own. Then, after taking the name Tsuruya Nanboku IV in 1811, he wrote more than 120 plays, the most famous today being Scarlet Princess of Edo (Sakurahime azuma no bunshō, 1817) and Ghost Stories at Yotsuya (Yotsuya kaidan, 1825)."