Rokuro UMEWAKA (the 56th) (梅若六郎 (56世))
Rokuro UMEWAKA, the 56th (February 16, 1948 -), is a Nohgakushi (Noh actor) playing shite (a principal role) of the Kanze-ryu school. The present head of the Rokuro UMEWAKA family, a member of the Japan Art Academy. In 2009, he succeeded to Gensho UMEWAKA, the second. For staging, and so on, he takes Rokuro as before.
He is known as one of the leading shite-kata (actor playing shite) of today and has received a number of awards. He is also known for his enthusiastic engagement in new Noh dramas and has ever premiered 'Yume no Ukihashi' (The Floating Bridge of Dreams) originally written by Jakucho SETOUCHI, 'Kurenai Tennyo' (Crimson Goddess) by Suzue MIUCHI, 'Kukai' (founder of Shingon sect) by Masaki DOMOTO, 'Garasha' (Garasha HOSOKAWA) and 'Osakajo' (Osaka-jo Castle) by Tojiro YAMAMOTO, 'Nukata no Okimi' (an empress of the seventh century) by Akiko BABA, and so on.
Brief Personal History
1948: Born as the second son of Rokuro UMEWAKA (55th). His real name is Yoshimasa UMEWAKA. His grandfather was Rokuro UMEWAKA (54th). His great-grandfather was Rokuro UMEWAKA (52nd), one of the three masters of the Meiji period. Studied under his father and his grandfather.
Debuted at the age of three as kokata (a child's role in a Noh drama) in 'Kurama Tengu' (an imaginary hero in Japanese period dramas and novels, literally, a long-nosed goblin that was believed to live in Mt. Kurama.)
Playing shite in 'Shojo' (a kind of Japanese sea spirit with a red face and hair and a fondness for alcohol) at the age of six for the first time.
1979: Inherited the head of the Rokuro UMEWAKA family of the Kanze-ryu school.
1988: Succeeded to Rokuro UMEWAKA, the 56th. An administrative director of incorporated foundation Umewaka-kai (Umewaka group), a managing director of the Nohgaku Performers' Association.
1980: Received the Arts Festival (Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs) Excellence Award. 1987: Received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts. 1996: Received the Hosei University Noh Drama Prize in Memory of Hisao KANZE. 1999: Received the Yomiuri Engeki Taisho (Yomiuri Play Awards) and the Award of the Japan Art Academy. 2006: Received the Medal with Purple Ribbon.
2007: Became a member of Japan Art Academy.
January 8, 2009: Succeeded to Gensho UMEWAKA, the second.