Matsumoto Kōshirō I’s Grave (Zenkō-ji Temple)
Kabuki actor Matsumoto Kōshirō I’s grave is located in Zenkō-ji Temple, which is approximately 10 minutes away from JR Omigawa Station. At the entrance of the front approach, which leads to the main temple building, there is an engraved stele that says “Matsumoto Kōshirō I’s Graveyard Entrance.” If you walk for about 100 meters on the front approach, there is an information board in front of the main building that will direct you to the graveyard.
Matsumoto Kōshirō I was born into Omigawa’s Shimada family in 1674. When he was 10, he became an apprentice at a sundries shop in Sawara called “Kōrai-ya.” In the beginning of the Genroku period (1688-1704), he went to Edo (present-day Tokyo), where he studied under Hisamatsu Tashirō and was given the name “Matsumoto Koshirō (小四郎).” In 1710, his name was changed to Kōshirō (幸四郎).
In November 1722, Matsumoto Kōshirō played the role of Musashibō Benkei, a semi-legendary warrior monk of the 12th century, and was showered with applause. Since then, he specialized in playing the leading role of a brave man. He played the role of Benkei a thousand and several hundred times, becoming one of the most famous actor at the time, along with Ichikawa Danjūrō II. On March 25, 1730, Matsumoto Kōshirō passed away at the age of 57.
Note: In Kabuki, actors’ names are passed down to the next generation. For example, there is a Matsumoto Kōshirō I, Matsumoto Kōshirō II, Matsumoto Kōshirō III, etc. The Matsumoto Kōshirō mentioned in this page is the first actor, or first generation, to bear this name.
10 min walk from JR Omigawa Station
20 min from Sawara-Katori IC on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway
Katori City Lifelong Learning Division
〒287-8501 千葉県香取市佐原ロ2127番地 (市役所3階）