Nomura Mansai (野村萬斎)

Mansai NOMURA is a successional family name of the Manzo (万蔵)NOMURA family of Izumi-ryu (Izumi-school) Kyogen (Japanese traditional farce) and the present head of the family is the second generation.

Mansai NOMURA, the first
Mansai NOMURA, the first (August 16, 1862 – January 14, 1938) was the fifth generation of the Manzo NOMURA family who had served as Kyogen actors of the Kaga Domain. His former name was Manzo (万造).

In 1883 Mansai moved to Tokyo. In 1922 he handed over the reigns of the family to his oldest son Mansaku (Manzo NOMURA, the sixth), and called himself Mansai, a name after his retirement. His second son Mansuke succeeded to Shike (Training Master's credentials) and became Tokuro MIYAKE, the ninth.

Mansai NOMURA, the second


Mansai NOMURA, the second (April 5, 1966 -) was born in Tokyo.
The oldest son between Mansaku NOMURA, a Kyogen performer, and Wakabako SAKAMOTO, a poet
His real name is Takeshi NOMURA. He graduated from the High School attached to Tsukuba University, and the course of Noh play, Department of Traditional Japanese Music, Faculty of Music, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music. His oldest son is Yuki NOMURA.

The brothers of Man NOMURA (his real name is Taro) and Mansaku NOMURA (his real name is Jiro) are sons of Manzo (万蔵)NOMURA, or Manzo NOMURA, the sixth (his former names were Manzo万造 and Mansaku万作); after the sixth's death, they decided to divide their family name, that is, Man, the older brother, would succeed to a professional name of Manzo NOMURA, the seventh, and Mansaku, the younger brother, would inherit Mansai, the name after retirement of Manzo, the fifth (the father of Manzo, the sixth). However, Mansaku did not use 'Mansai' himself because he was attached to the name 'Mansaku' and gave Mansai to his oldest son who wished to use it.

Other than Man, his father's brothers include Shiro NOMURA (Kanze-ryu shite kata (main roles of the Kanze school) and Mannosuke NOMURA (kyogen kata (comic actors)). His cousins include Manzo NOMURA (the ninth) and Manroku NOMURA (his real name: Fumitaka YOSHIZUMI) who lives in Fukuoka Prefecture and revived the Manroku family, a branch family of the Manzo family, for the first time in 50 years.

Apart from Kyogen, Mansai is engaged in many activities such as dramas, movies and stages as an ordinary actor, and shows his presence with features such as nice looks, graceful manners and unique vocalization. His name became widely known for his excellent performances in the Taiga Drama (NHK TV Historical Drama) "Hana no Ran" (Turmoil of Flowers) in 1994 and in the TV serial story "Aguri" (a woman's name) in 1997.

Along with promotion of Kyogen in his books and stage events, he directed "Yabu no naka" (In the Bush), "RASHOMON" (Rasho-mon Gate), "Atsushi Sangetsuki Meijinden" (The life of a master of the memoirs of the moon over the mountain) and so on, aiming at fusion of Japanese traditional arts and contemporary dramas, and has gained high evaluation for that. He is designated as the general holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property.

Brief history

In 1970 made his debut in "Utsubozaru" (The Monkey-skin Quiver). In 1981 performed "Senzai" (Thousand Years).
In 1984 performed "Sanbaso" (a dance dedicated to the shrine and performed as a Japanese-styled three dolls, Chitose, Okina and Sanbaso, operated by three doll handlers)
In 1985 appeared as Tsurumaru (performed under the name of Takeshi) in the movie of "Ran" (Revolt) directed by Akira KUROSAWA. In 1986 performed "Nasu no Yoichi no Katari" (The Tale of NASU no Yoichi). In 1987 presided "Gozaru no Za" (the Gozaru Troupe) (twice a year after this). In 1988 performed "Tsuri kitsune" (Fox Trapping).
In 1990 starred in "Hamlet"
In 1994 succeeded to the professional name of Mansai, the name after retirement of his great-grandfather, Manzo NOMURA, the fifth. Appeared as Katsumoto HOSOKAWA in the NHK Taiga Drama "Hana no Ran." Visited the United Kingdom according to the artist overseas training system promoted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

In 1996 performed "Hanako". In 1997 appeared as Eisuke MOCHIZUKI in "Aguri", the NHK morning TV serial story. In 1999 appeared as Shin-Chunagon (New Vice Counselor of State) Tomomori (TAIRA no Tomomori) in "Shigosen no Matsuri" (The Rite of the Meridian). In 2000 appeared as Shinsaku TAKASUGI in the NHK drama "Soten no Yume" (Dream of a Blue Sky). In 2001 directed and starred in "Machigai no Kyogen" (The Kyogen of Errors). Appeared as ABE no Seimei (or Haruaki ABE) in the movie of "Onmyoji" (The Yin Yang Master) directed by Yojiro TAKITA.
(Starred in a movie for the first time.)

In 2002 starred in "Oedipus Rex". Assumed the Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theater.

In 2003 began to appear in "Nihongo de Asobo" (Let's Play in Japanese), NHK children's program. His oldest son, Yuki NOMURA, made his debut in "Utsubozaru" (The Monkey-skin Quiver). Starred in "Hemlet" directed by Jonathan Kent and performed as 'Hamlet played by only men' not only in Japan but also in London. Appeared as ABE no Seimei in the movie "Onmyoji II" (The Yin Yang Master II) directed by Yojiro TAKITA.

In 2004 performed "Oedipus Rex", one of the Greek tragedies, in an ancient theater in Athens, Greece. Appeared as Shin-Chunagon Tomomori in "Shigosen no Matsuri".

In 2005 directed and starred in "Atsushi Sangetsuki Meijinden" (The life of a master of the memoirs of the moon over the mountain). In 2007 assumed the Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theater (the second term). Directed and starred in "Kuni Nusubito" (Thief of a Nation).

In 2008 starred in the NHK drama "Kurama Tengu" (an imaginary hero in Japanese period dramas and novels. He wore a mask of tengu, a long-nosed goblin, which was believed to live in Mt. Kurama) (novel), appearing as Kurama Tengu. Starred in "Waga Tamashii ha Kagayaku Mizu Nari" (My Spirit is Shining Water), appearing as Sanemori SAITO. A part-time lecturer at Faculty of Liberal Arts, University of Tokyo.

In 2008 appeared as Emperor Showa (Hirohito) in the TBS TV "Ano Senso wa Nan Datta no ka, Nichibei Kaisen to Tojo Hideki" (What was that war? Outbreak of the war between Japan and the United States, and Hideki TOJO).