Bandō Tamasaburō V

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Bandō Tamasaburō V
BandoTamasaburoV Nihonbashi Dec2012.jpg
Bandō Tamasaburō V (center) in
kabuki play Nihonbashi (December 2012)
Born Shin'ichi Morita[1]
(1950-04-25) 25 April 1950 (age 68)
Tokyo, Japan
Other names Bandō Kinoji, Yamatoya

Bandō Tamasaburō V (五代目 坂東 玉三郎 Godaime Bandō Tamasaburō?) (b. 1950) is a Kabuki actor, and the most popular and celebrated onnagata (an actor specializing in female roles) currently on stage. He has also acted in a handful of films.

Born in 1950, Shin'ichi Morita was adopted by Morita Kan'ya XIV, and made his first appearance on stage at the age of seven, under the name Bandō Kinoji. At a shūmei (naming ceremony) in 1964 he became the fifth to take the name Bandō Tamasaburō; his adopted father had been the fourth.

Like all kabuki actors, Tamasaburō has devoted his life to the theater from a very young age. By 1975, when Morita Kan'ya XIV died, Tamasaburō had already performed in countless plays, many of them alongside his adopted father and other noteworthy actors such as Ichikawa Danjūrō XII. Since then, he has continued to perform, not only in numerous plays at the Kabuki-za in Tokyo, but in many other venues. He took part in an American tour in 1985, performing at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and in Los Angeles as well; he would perform in Paris the following year.

In 1993, he directed the film Yearning, which was entered into the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival.[2]

Baku Yumemakura wrote the lyrics of his dance production "Yokihi" which is based on the Chinese historical figure Princess Yang Kwei-Fei. In 1993, Baku Yumemakura wrote specially for Kabuki Sangoku denrai genjyou banashi. Both of “Yokihi” and Sangoku denrai genjyou banashi were performed at The Kabuki-za Theater.

Tamasaburō has also appeared in a number of films and special dance performances such as BESETO in 2001, which celebrated the entertainment traditions of China, Korea, and Japan. In 1996, he collaborated with Yo-yo Ma and performed at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, dancing dramatically to Johann Sebastian Bach's "Suite No. 5 for Unaccompanied Cello." He directed the Kodo One Earth Tour Special in 2003 as well as performed alongside the taiko drummers in 2006, as part of Kodo's 25th anniversary celebration.


  1. While the stage names of all kabuki actors have retained traditional order (Surname-Givenname) on Wikipedia, birth names of those born after the Meiji Restoration are in Western order (Givenname-Surname).
  2. "Berlinale: 1993 Programme". Retrieved 2011-06-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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