Three generations of the prestigious Edo kabuki family Korai-ya will succeed their predecessors' stage names, production company Shochiku Co. announced on Dec. 8.
Matsumoto Koshiro, 74, will succeed Matsumoto Hakuo II, his son Ichikawa Somegoro will take his father's name to become Matsumoto Koshiro X and Somegoro's 11-year-old son Matsumoto Kintaro will succeed to Ichikawa Somegoro VIII. They will hold performances to announce their succession across Japan, starting with shows at the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo in January and February 2018.
Koshiro told reporters during a news conference on Dec. 8 that he thought of the three-generation succession after seeing performances of his son Somegoro.
"I have been thinking that Somegoro's performance is too good to remain under that name. And I wanted to learn kabuki with a blank slate of mind," Koshiro said.
Somegoro commented, "I have been performing to symbolize the efforts by Korai-ya performers. That won't change even with a different stage name." He added, "I am aiming to become a kabuki craftsman."
Somegoro's son Kintaro told the news conference, "It's unrealistic for me (to take the stage name of Somegoro) but I'm excited."