one of the leading actors’ dynasties in the Japanese Kabuki theater. In Japan there is a tradition by which an actor bequeaths his stage name to his son or his adopted pupil. The dynasties of Onoe Baiko and Onoe Kikugoro have each had seven generations. The best known were the following three actors.

Onoe Baiko VII. Born Aug. 31, 1915, in Tokyo. One of the best performers of female roles as well as the roles of youthful heroes. Baiko VII has performed with particular success in love scenes and dance plays.

Onoe Kikugoro V. Born June 4, 1844, in Edo; died Feb. 18, 1903, in Tokyo. One of the outstanding actors of his time, Kikugoro V had a highly expressive stage presence. He was also a skillful dancer. Kikugoro V appeared in historical and genre plays of the classical Kabuki repertoire and in the new realistic plays (kizewa-mono). He had a great influence on the following generation of Kabuki actors.

Onoe Kikugoro VI. Born June 6, 1885, in Tokyo; died there Aug. 10, 1949. Son of Kikugoro V. A versatile actor and an outstanding performer of male and female roles in Kabuki classical plays and the new historical, genre, and dance plays of Kabuki. From 1931 to 1937, Kikugoro VI directed his own school for Kabuki actors. He was elected to the Japanese Academy of Arts in 1948.


Kawatake Shigetoshi. Nihon engeki zenshi (Universal History of Japanese Theater). Tokyo, 1966.
Gunji Masakatsu. Iaponskii teatr kabuki. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from Japanese.)


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Pictured: The Actor Onoe Kikugoro V as the Englishman Spencer from the series One Hundred Roles of Baiko, 1893, Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), colour woodcut, 37x25.
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