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Role: Danshichi Kurobei (団七九郎兵衛)

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Biography:

The fishmonger Danshichi is the archetype of the Ôsaka otokodate. The role was based on a real man, a fishmonger in the city of Sakai, who killed somebody in the middle of winter in 1697. The dead body was hidden in the snow and discovered in Spring, after the melting of the snow. This event was dramatized for the first time in 1698 by the Kamigata star Kataoka Nizaemon I, who played the leading role of Danshichi. Then, half a century later, Danshichi became the hero of the sewamono "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" in 1745, which is still part of the current Kabuki and Bunraku repertoires and one of the most popular plays. It contains the most famous koroshiba in Kabuki (the murder of Mikawaya Giheiji by his son-in-law Danshichi). The second most famous danshichimono is Namiki Shôzô I's drama "Yadonashi Danshichi Shigure no Karakasa", which was premiered in the 9th lunar month of 1767. The name of Danshichi is different in each play