Shikan NAKAMURA (the seventh) (中村芝翫 (7代目))

The seventh Shikan NAKAMURA (March 11, 1928 -) is a Kabuki actor.

Personal Profile

His real name is Eijiro NAKAMURA. His previous name was Makio NAKAMURA.

His Haimyo (nickname) is Baigan, his family's theatrical name is Narikoma-ya, his Jomon (family crest) is gionmori (the emblem of the family), and his Kaemon (alternate personal crest) is ura-ume (reversed plum flower). He was honored with a shiju hosho (medal of honor with purple ribbon), he is a member of The Japan Art Academy, and a holder of the title of 'Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure)'.

Since 2008 he has served as Chairman of the Japan Actors' Association.

He is a son of Fukusuke NAKAMURA V, who died young. After his father's death he became a protégé of his grandfather, Utaemon NAKAMURA V, and debuted as Kotaro NAKAMURA IV in "Kiri Hitoha" (a single paulownia leaf) in Kabuki-za Theater in November 1933.

After his grandfather's death he studied under Kikugoro ONOE VI and adopted the name of Fukusuke NAKAMURA (VII) for performances of "Modorikago (A Returning Palanquin)" and "Kudanme (9th act) of Kanadehon Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers)" in Kabuki-za Theater in October 1941.

He put on great performances as a mid-level female impersonator after the war. He received the Theatrical Performance Award of Mainichi Newspapers, and the Art Encouragement Prize from Osaka prefecture in 1959. He received the Art Festival Encouragement Prize in 1963. He adopted the name of Shikan NAKAMURA (VII) in the play of Omitsu in "Nozaki-mura Village" and Agemaki in "Sukeroku Yukari no Edo Zakura" (Sukeroku in Edo during cherry blossom) in 1967. As Shikan NAKAMURA he received many awards, and after Utaemon NAKAMURA VI and Baiko ONOE VII he was recognized as the third best female impersonator. After their deaths he performed in various Kabuki plays together with Jakuemon NANAMURA IV and Tojuro SAKATA IV as a mogul female impersonator.

He has an elegant look, with a long face and upturned chin, and he performs in a characteristically graceful style. He is highly rated in the plays of Shirabyoshi dancer, Hanako in "Kyoganoko Musume Dojoji" (Maiden at Dojo-ji Temple), Nureginu and Princess Yaegaki in "Jusshuko, Honcho Nijushi Ko" (Incense Burning, from 24 Episodes of Great Children in the Country), Tokiwa Gozen in "Ichijo Okura Monogatari" (The Mad Aristocrat), Princess Toki in "Kamakura Sandaiki, Kinugawa-mura Kankyo" (Living in seclusion in Kinugawa Village, Three Generations of the Kamakura Shogunate), Princess Yuki of "Gion Sairei Shinkoki" (Kinkaku-ji Temple, The Gion Festival Chronicle of Faith), Onaka in "Irezumi Chohan" (Tattooed Hantaro) and Otsuta in "Ippongatana Dohyoiri" (Into the Sumo Ring with a Sword). He is also skilled at Tachiyaku (a leading male role) and his most successful characters are MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune in "Kanjincho" (List of Contributors) and TAIRA no Atsumori in "Ichinotani Futabagunki, Atsumori" (Atsumori, Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani).

Awards received

1989: honored with Shijuhosho, and as a member of the Japan Art Academy

1993: awarded the grand prize in the Seika MAYAMA awards

1996: designated as a holder of the title 'Important Intangible Cultural Property'

2006: designated as a cultural contributor

From Omuko (originally it meant the furthest seat from the stage) the audience call out his family's theatrical name, 'Narikoma-ya', or sometimes 'Kamiya-cho' as his house is located in Kamiya-cho Town, Minato Ward, Tokyo Prefecture.

He was blessed with a large family. His eldest son is Fukusuke NAKAMURA IX, his second son is Hashinosuke NAKAMURA III, and Kanzaburo NAKAMURA XVIII is married to his second daughter, Yoshie. Nakamura-ryu school, the style of dance of his family, was passed down to his eldest daughter Mitsue. She performs dance on the stages of the Jakusei-kai group amongst others.

His hobby is horse racing
In an interview in the January 2007 issue of Kabuki magazine "Engeki-kai" he explained that he had been visiting race tracks for a long time and that his first experience was at Negishi racetrack when he was taken there by his father, Fukusuke V, as a child. He also mentioned that one of his most memorable races was the 1951 Tokyo Great Horses race ("Tokyo Yushun" in Japanese), won by Tokinominoru.

[Original Japanese]