Three Generations of Fujima

Kanjuro VI was born October 1900, the son of Matsumoto, a Hikide-jaya (teahouse) in Suzaki. At the age of six, he entered the Kabuki world, performing as a child actor. Kanjuro VI was adopted into the Fujima family at the age of fifteen, and started his life as a dance master while working for his step-mother.

In the first year of the Showa era, upon the recommendation of Kikugoro VI, he began his career as a choreographer. Many dances that Kikugoro VI performed – such as Funa Benkei, Hane no Kamuro and Ukare bozu – were all newly choreographed by Kanjuro VI. In 1937, for Fujimusume, he replaced the section called Itako dejima with Fuji ondo, giving the dance a brand new feeling. This was epoch-making.

Kikugoro VI felt that a truly talented dancer of pure, classical Nihon buyo should be able to convey feeling through dance alone, whereupon Kanjuro VI created the delicate, sophisticated artistic genre for which he is so highly regarded, called su-odori (uncostumed dance). Performing thereafter only in su-odori style, Kanjuro VI kept the promise made between them for the rest of his life.

Fujima Kanjuro VI was awarded many honors and titles. He was selected for the Japan Academy of Art Award (Nippon Geijutsuin-sho), honored with The Order of Culture (Bunka Kunsho), and in 1960 was named an Important Intangible Cultural Heritage (Human National Treasure; Ningen Kokuho).

Fujima Kanjuro VI

Born in 1945, she grew up in Atami. While being nurtured by her father, Kanjuro VI, she received a rigorous training preparing her to become a dance master. In 1966, she made a dramatic debut at the age of 20, dancing Shunkyo Kagami Jishi in Fujima-kai, and in 1969, made an enourmous leap forward as a virtuoso artist when she danced Kyoganoko Musume Dojoji, for which she received the Minister of Education's Award in the Arts (Geijutsu Sensho Monbu Daijin-sho).

She studied choreography for Kabuki dance under the Kanjuro VI, and in 1986, assumed the name Kanjuro VII. While choreographing countless Kabuki dances, she puts an enormous amount of effort into training young actors in dance. In 2002, she received the name Fujima Kanso III.

Fujima Kanjuro VII
Fujima Kanjuro VIII

Born in Tokyo in 1980, he studied with both his grandfather, Kanjuro VI, and his mother, Kanjuro VII (currently Kanso III) in order to become a dance master and artist. He made his debut in Ame no Goro in 1983, and also showed great effort as a child actor.

 

In 2002, he assumed the name Fujima Kanjuro VIII. Currently, he puts much effort into training young actors, while choreographing Kabuki dances along with his mother. He also goes by the name, “Tomabune” as both an author and composer, and has produced many new works in addition to being involved in many fields as an artistic director/stage director. In 2007, he joined the Kabuki performance at the Opera House in France as choreographer.