• Kabuki / Noh / Rakugo

Kabuki Stars Nakamura Tokizo, Nakamura Baishi to Change Names in June

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Back row from left: Nakamura Shido II, Nakamura Tokizo V and Nakamura Baishi IV pose for a photo in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Monday. The boys in the front row are two sons of Shido, Natsuki Ogawa, left, and Haruki Ogawa,center, and the son of Baishi, Hiroharu Ogawa.

Kabuki actors Nakamura Tokizo V, 68, will change his name to Nakamura Manju and his first son, Nakamura Baishi IV, 36, will become Nakamura Tokizo VI in June, according to an announcement on Monday by Shochiku Co.

The family with the Yorozuya guild name, led by Tokizo V, will formalize the name succession and give a special performance commemorating the succession at the Kabukiza Theatre in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, in June. Baishi’s 8-year-old son and two sons of Nakamura Shido II, who are 6 and 3 years old, will also succeed their new names. Shido, 51, is Tokizo V’s cousin.

“I’m thinking of reexamining my art with my new name,” Tokizo said at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. “I have no intention to retire yet.” Tokizo created the Manju name himself.

Baishi said he had initially refused to succeed to the name Tokizo, which is traditionally assumed by top actors who play female roles.

“I will work hard so that I won’t be a shame to successive generations of Tokizo,” he said.