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Actor: Ichimura Uzaemon XV (十五代目市村羽左衛門)

Alternate names:
Ichimura Kakitsu VI (六代目市村家橘)
Bandō Takematsu (坂東竹松)

Lifetime: 1874 - 1945

Related links: Kabuki21; [Kabuki theater terms};

Biography:

This actor took this name in October 1903 and held this name until his death in 1945. He was adopted by Ichimura Uzaemon XIV aka Bandō Kakitsu I (1847-93).

Ichimura Uzaemon XV was one of the best tachiyaku of the first half of the twentieth century. He had a great physical appearance, a strong presence on stage and an amazing voice. He was the nimaime or the sabakiyaku par excellence. He kept on playing young lover roles even in his latter years and never performed any old man role. His duo with Onoe Baikô VI was one of the most famous goruden kombi in Kabuki history. When his best stage partner died in 1934, he successfully performed in duo with Kataoka Nizaemon XII.

Uzaemon's father was Charles LeGendre, a Colonel of French-American origin who served with Ulysses S Grant in the American Civil War. Later, whilst employed as an advisor to the Japanese Government, LeGendre married Ito Ikeda the illegitimate daughter of Matsudaira Yoshinaga, one of the Four Wise Lords of the Tokugawa Shogunate and a descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu, making Uzaemon a 16th generation descendant of the 1st of the Tokugawa Shoguns.

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In 1945, with air raids on Tokyo a daily occurrence, Uzaemon was evacuated to Yada, a hot springs resort, in Nagano Prefecture. Uzaemon would never stand on the Kabuki stage again. He passed away in May of that year whilst at Yada and is buried in Zoshigaya cemetery in Tokyo , next to Onoe Baiko VI, his much-loved onngata (female role specialist) stage partner who had passed away in 1934. His funeral was made a day of National mourning and the police had to be employed to control the crowds.

This last part was taken directly from diversejapan.com.