Joko SEGAWA the first (瀬川如皐 (初代))

Joko SEGAWA the first (1739 - February 22, 1794) was a Kabuki playwright during the middle of the Edo period. His Haimyo (kabuki actor's offstage name which can be used officially and privately) was 如考 or 如皐 (both pronounced 'Joko'), and his Gago (pen name) was Toen.

He was a son of Nasoro ICHIYAMA the first, a dancer of the Ichiyama school of classical Japanese dance in Osaka. He was an older brother of Kikunojo SEGAWA the third. Originally he called himself Shichizo ICHIYAMA as a Kabuki actor. In 1767, he went to Edo to become a disciple of Kikunojo SEGAWA (the second) and changed his name to Shichizo SEGAWA. Then he renamed himself to Shichizo ICHIYAMA, and to Otome SEGAWA. In 1783, he changed his career to writing; Joko SEGAWA. In December 1784, he became Tatesakusha (the head of the playwrights' room in a Kabuki theater during the Edo and the Meiji period), and gained the second highest popularity after Jisuke SAKURADA the first. He worked on the lyrics of Kabuki Buyo (Kabuki dance, a traditional form of Japanese theater), while writing many programs for his younger brother, Kikunojo the third. He wrote Nagauta (long epic song with shamisen accompaniment) "Kyoran Kumoi no sode" and Tokiwazu (Japanese theatrical music) "Shitenno Oeyamari".

[Original Japanese]