Popular kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo, 41, will become Ichikawa Danjuro XIII in May 2020, Shochiku Co., producer of kabuki performances and operator of Tokyo’s famed Kabukiza theater, said Monday.
Danjuro is a stage name established in the latter part of the 17th century and used by kabuki actors of the Ichikawa family. It is considered the most prestigious among kabuki stage names.
Name-succession celebrations, including a series of performances at Kabukiza that will run for three months, are being planned. The celebration period will coincide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Ebizo’s father, Ichikawa Danjuro XII, died in 2013.
Ebizo’s 5-year-old son, Kangen Horikoshi, will become Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII on the same occasion.
Ebizo first took the stage at age 5 and became Ichikawa Shinnosuke VII in 1985. In 2004, he became Ichikawa Ebizo XI.
In 2017, Ebizo lost his wife, Mao Kobayashi, a TV personality who drew widespread attention after she began posting about her battle with breast cancer on her blog.
Kobayashi was selected for the 2016 edition of the BBC’s 100 Women list of inspirational and influential female figures after writing online about her struggle with the disease.