Jukai ICHIKAWA (Sandaime (third)) (市川壽海 (3代目))
December 1951, Osaka Kabukiza kaomisekogyo (the season's first performance with the new company) "Shosho Shigemoto no haha" (Mother of shosho Shigemoto)
Jukai (壽海) ICHIKAWA III ('寿海' in new simplified Chinese characters; July 12, 1886 - April 3, 1971) was a kabuki actor, who was active from the Taisho to the beginning of Showa period. His acting house name was Naritaya. His real name was Shozo OTA. Although, he was called 'Sandaime' (third), only Shozo OTA used the name 'Jukai ICHIKAWA,' and he was sometimes simply called "Jukai ICHIKAWA."
He mainly performed in Kansai Kabuki and, after the death of Ganjiro NAKAMURA (I), Kaisha NAKAMURA and Baigyoku NAKAMURA (III), he established an epoch called 'Soju Jidai' (era of two Ju) together with Jusaburo BANDO (III).
He was born as a child of Rikizo NAKAMURA, who was a tailor, in Nihonbashi Kakigara-cho, Nihonbashi Ward, Tokyo City, Tokyo Prefecture. In May 1894, he became a pupil of Kodanji ICHIKAWA (V) and took the name of Takamaru ICHIKAWA and performed for the first time at the Meijiza theater. In January 1903, he changed his name to Komanosuke ICHIKAWA.
In May 1905, he was adopted by Sumizo ICHIKAWA and inherited the name of Tomasu ICHIKAWA (市川登升). This led up to his promotion and he was promoted to chief actor the following year. In March 1907, he succeeded Sumizo ICHIKAWA (VI) at the Meijiza theater.
In Tokyo Oo Kabuki, however, he was unable to obtain satisfactory roles and, in the Taisho period, he joined the theater reform movement of Sadanji ICHIKAWA (II). After Sadanji's death, he joined Eno ICHIKAWA's company from 1935, then he joined Kansai Kabuki from 1948.
In February 1949, he succeeded Jukai ICHIKAWA (III) in "Sukeroku" and "Omori Hikoshichi" at the Osaka Kabukiza theater. In Kansai Kabuki, which did not have a sufficient number of middle class actors because of the successive deaths by famous actors during and after the War, Jukai played a central role together with Jusaburo BANDO and, after Jusaburo's death, kept watching it as the leader.
In contrast with Jusaburo who was the 'Kansai Kabuki actor from the start,' Jukai was dogged with the prejudice that 'he is an actor transferred from Tokyo.'
It was only natural that the performance having Jukai at the center of it elicited an angry response from actors of Kansai Kabuki. Although Jukai himself held the position of chairman of the Kansai Kabuki Haiyu Kyokai (the Kansai Kabuki Actors' Association), he could not stop waves of confusion, and the decline of Kansai Kabuki started with the death of Jusaburo. In short, the biggest cause was due to simple incompatibility. Eventually, Jukai himself had difficulty in securing opportunities to perform, which was one of the reasons his adopted son, Raizo ICHIKAWA (VIII) left the kabuki world to enter the world of cinema.
He was a gentleman with a warm personality on and off the stage. He loved Kyoto and lived in Fushimi in his later years. He died on April 3, 1971. He was eighty-four years old.
His last performance was the role of Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA in Kyoto Minamiza theater's kaomise kogyo "Shogun Edo wo saru" (Shogun leaving Edo) in December 1970. By this time, he had lost much of his physical strength, and it was a great effort for him to stand, much less walk. While he mainly sat while on stage, on the day of senshuraku (closing day), he stood up as if possessed during the final scene of the 'Senju Ohashi no B'" (scene of Senju Ohashi Bridge) just before the fall of the curtain. The audience was surprised and made a stir. Surrounded by enthusiastic shouts from the regular audience 'Tatta!' (he stood up!) and thunderous applause in the hall, the johikimaku (curtain) was closed to hide Jukai into the back of the stage. It was a legendary last scene which caused a sense of foreboding for everyone.
Style of performance
His main features lay in his young and silvery way of speaking his lines together which exuded youthfulness that surrounded him until his later years.
Jukai's merits lay in his taking new works by Seika MAYAMA and Kido OKAMOTO to the realm of 'masterpieces.'
He learned well from Sadanji ICHIKAWA (II) and was the top player in new plays such as MINAMOTO no Yoriie in "Yoritomo no shi" (Yoritomo's death), Shigenari KIMURA in "Kiri hitoha" (a single paulownia leaf), Hankuro KIKUCHI in "Toribe yama shinju" (Love-suicides at Mt. Toribe), Harima AOYAMA in "Ban-cho sarayashiki," Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA in "Shogun Edo wo saru," and Tokihira in "Shosho Shigemoto no haha." His well known roles from classic works include, "Kumonimago Ueno no hatsuhana" (Kochiyama), Moritsuna in "Omi-Genji senjinyakata," KI no Aritsune in "Hadekurabe Ise monogatari," etc.
Awards and honors
In 1950, he received the Theatrical Performance Award of Mainichi Newspapers and the Award of Restored Cultural Festival of Osaka City
In 1954, he received Naniwa Art Award
In 1958, he received Kan KIKUCHI Award and Osaka Citizen Cultural Award
In his late years, refinement of his performance was highly appreciated and he assumed a position as a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1959. The next year, he was individually designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure).