Japanese narrator of ningyō jōruri (see Bunraku). Toyotake Wakadayū opened his own house, the Toyotake-za, in the theatre district of Osaka in 1703 and used scripts of Kinokaion (1663-1742). The company rivalled the popularity of the Takemoto-za of Gidayū (see Takemoto Gidayū). He represented the “eastern” style of chanting which was more flamboyant and bravura. This contrasted with the more contained, austere, and intense “western” style. After many decades of success, the two theatres’ influence waned due to growing popularity of kabuki. They closed their doors, and restructured in the 1760s.
Wakadayū is the founder of the Toyotake lineage to which many great chanters of the modern era belong such as Toyotake Kōtsubodayū (1878-1967), the great master between World War I and II and immediately after the war. He was celebrated for his expressivity and profound comprehension of the psychology of the dramas he interpreted.