Famous People in Japan

Shigeyama Sennojo

Real Name Shigeyama Masatsugu
Date of Birth 14 October 1923
Place of Birth Kyoto
Blood Type A

Shigeyama Sennojo is a "Kyogen-shi" which means Noh Farce actor. There are two schools of Kyogen, "Izumi" and "Ohkura", he belongs to the latter. His career is as follows.

He was born as the second son of Shigeyama Sensaku III. "Shigeyama" is a famous Kyogen group which belongs to "Ohkura". When he was only two years old, he appeared on the stage for the first time, and its program was "Iroha". In his childhood, he practiced to repeat his teacher's words every day, and he often appeared on the stage during the vacation. He and his older brother, Sengoro, were very popular in child roles. Then, he entered Osaka Shoka University which is called "Osaka Municipal University" now, but he had to leave there because he was conscripted into the army.

After a World War II, his family made a living by selling clothes and masks for Kyogen. While they worked as brokers, they started to appear on the stage again, and then he succeeded to the name of "Sennojo" which was the name of his grandfather's brothers' in 1946.

Some years later, when they had somehow secured a decent living, he played "Tsurigitsune", and then he decided to make his living as a Kyogen-shi. Then, they often held the Kyogen meeting at schools, so it was gradually popularized among the public.

When "Takechi Kabuki" was popular, at first, he was rarely interested in the new type of it. However, he was very influenced by Takechi Tetsuji who is known as a director of pornographic films now, so he sometimes appeared on a stage with him and the people who were not . Then, he often spoke on the radio play since 1948, but it was very rare for Kyogen-shi not to speak old words.

In 1967, "Shigeyama group" started their work formally, since then, they appeared on stage mainly at "Kyoto Kanzekaikan" and "Minamiza".

In his private life, when he became 60, his funeral service was carried out before his death in accordance with his wishes.

Now, Kyogen is more and more popular with the public, and he teaches it to many people.

References: "Kyogenyakusha" written by Shigeyama Sennojo, Iwashitashinsho, 1987

Reported by: Mochizuki Hiroko
Data verified by: Takagi Rie
Date of Report: November 1996

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