Kawakami Otojiro, a pioneer of modern Japanese theatre and drama, is supposed to have started his career as an “Enzetsu tsukai”, a public speaker. However, it still remains unknown when and where he started his speaking profession.
The author recently had a chance to access several newspaper articles from the Nagoya Shinbun and the Aichi Shinbun reporting on the earliest of Kawakami's activities as a public speaker. Analyzing these articles, it was revealed that Kawakami started his career in Nagoya in November of 1882, and that he was said to be a member of Rikken Seito Party, to which in fact he actually did not belong.
Kawakami was not so authoritative nor popular at the beginning of his career as previous researchers have claimed. He had to come a long way before he established his status as a successful speaker. This paper aims to examine previous studies and to dispute their findings.
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