Ichikawa Ebizō

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The Ichikawa family crest (mon) 3ireko masu.svg
The Ichikawa family crest ( mon )

Ichikawa Ebizō(市川 海老蔵) is a stage name taken on by a series of Kabuki actors of the Ichikawa family. Most of these were blood relatives, though some were adopted into the family. It is a famous and important name, and receiving it is an honor.

<i>Kabuki</i> Classical Japanese dance-drama

Kabuki (歌舞伎) is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.


Ebizō, like other actors' names, is bestowed (or given up) at grand naming ceremonies called shūmei in which a number of actors formally change their names. A number of actors have followed a particular sequence in their stage names, preceding "Ebizō" by being called Ichikawa Shinnosuke or Matsumoto Kōshirō, and following it by achieving the name Ichikawa Danjūrō.


Shūmei are grand naming ceremonies held in kabuki theatre. Most often, a number of actors will participate in a single ceremony, taking on new stage-names.

Ichikawa Shinnosuke

Ichikawa Shinnosuke is a stage name taken on by a series of Kabuki actors of the Ichikawa family. Most of these were blood relatives, though some were adopted into the family.

Matsumoto Kōshirō stage name of a line of kabuki actors in Japan

Matsumoto Kōshirō (松本幸四郎) is the stage name of a line of kabuki actors in Japan. Most of these were blood relatives, though some were adopted into the family.

The design of the Ichikawa family mon , three squares nested inside one another, is called mimasu (三升).


Ichikawa Danjūrō I kabuki actor

Ichikawa Danjūrō I was an early kabuki actor in Japan. He remains today one of the most famous of all kabuki actors and is considered one of the most influential. His many influences include the pioneering of the aragoto style of acting which came to be largely associated with Edo kabuki and with Danjūrō and his successors in the Ichikawa Danjūrō line.

<i>Aragoto</i> style of kabuki acting

Aragoto (荒事), or rough style, is a style of kabuki acting that uses exaggerated, dynamic kata and speech. Often, aragoto actors wear bold red or blue makeup (kumadori), and have costumes that are padded and enlarged. The term aragoto is an abbreviation of the term aramushagoto, which literally means reckless warrior matter.

Ichikawa Danjūrō II Kabuki performer

Ichikawa Danjūrō II was a Japanese kabuki performer in the lineage of a celebrated family of actors from the Edo region. Ichikawa Danjūrō is a stage name.


  1. Note: the dates given here do not represent the birth/death dates of the actor; rather, they indicate the period during which the actor held the name Danjūrō.
  2. Note: though this would be "Ebizō" in modern revised Japanese, it was written with different characters, as (ゑび蔵), and thus is considered a separate name. See Historical kana usage.
  3. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2019/01/14/entertainment-news/popular-kabuki-actor-ichikawa-ebizo-become-13th-holder-danjuro-stage-name/#.XSS4-etKjIU
Ichikawa Danjūrō V Japanese actor

Ichikawa Danjūrō V also known as Ichikawa Ebizō, was one of the most famous and popular Japanese Kabuki actors of all time. Throughout his career, Danjūrō would hold some of the highest ranks in the hyōbanki, an annual Edo publications which evaluated actors and performances. At one point in 1782, he was even granted the rank of tōji-muri-hiiki.

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See also

<i>Two Actors in Samurai Roles</i> (Gosotei Hirosada)

Two Actors in Samurai Roles from the series "Tales of Brave Warriors of Renown" is an ukiyo-e woodblock print diptych by Osaka-based late Edo period print designer Gosōtei Hirosada (五粽亭廣貞). Each sheet depicts a kabuki actor as a samurai, and belongs to a series of prints celebrating illustrious figures in Japan's martial tradition. The print belongs to the permanent collection of the Prince Takamado Gallery of Japanese Art in the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada.