'The Last Day of Oishi' From 'Genroku
This play is based to a real incident that was one of the most famous incidents in Japanese history. That incident happened in 1702. The vendetta that was caused by the 47 ex-retainers of the Lord Asano was made into many novels, plays, movies, and TV-dramas. They are called 'Chushingura'. This play is a drama of the day when they committed the ritual suicide. If you would like to know about its detail, please click 'story' in this page.
After the Lord Asano committed the ritual suicide, his retainers became the lord-less retainers. Some of them did the vendetta of their lord, and they committed the ritual suicide finally. And when the ex-retainers were plotting the vendetta, some of their family or lovers were cornered to die. The ex-retainers died for his lord, and some of their family died for fathers or sons, and some of the women died for lovers. It isn't wrong to say that the vendetta made a spiral-link to die. People were excited about the vendetta at that time, but it was a terrible tragedy.
As I mentioned, the ex-retainers made some women be sacrificed, and Omino was one of them. It isn't difficult to guess that Isogai had some reason to disguise the marriage between Omino in order to do the vendetta. And it was natural that Omino would have liked to know Isogai's true mind. However, Omino was different from the other heroines. The other heroines would like to know if they were loved really, but Omino seemed that she was sure that Isogai loved her. Omino needed to meet Isogai, because she would have liked to notify what she intends to do.
From the beginning Omino intended to die. Omino couldn't accept that Isogai must die by his loyalty. And she thought that she would like to die rather than to lose Isogai. Omino decided to replace his death to double suicide. So Omino needed to meet Isogai. Most audiences would have thought that Omino was an honorable woman who died for love. However, it was an objection against the authority. Nobody can know how the playwright Mayama Seika thought. But it's very interesting, isn't it?
Well, this play's hero is Oishi Kuranosuke who was a chief retainer of the Lord Asano. Oishi led planning the vendetta, and after that he is still a chief of the 47 ex-retainers in this drama. He said that it was the most important not to forget the first mind. If a person thought too much, or considered too much, sometimes it would lead things a wrong way. And Oishi showed that he didn't think so much in this play.
At the scene of the drawing room of Hosokawa's residence, Oishi heard that the shogunate government decided that the Kira family should be wiped out. Oishi was very glad then, and he didn't think that it meant that the Kira family's retainers would fall into the same situation as the Asano family's retainers. At least, I would like to hear his words 'it was sorry for the Kira family's retainers'. I think that not to forget the first mind means that not to forget to care of the other's mind. However, this play, especially Omino, was interesting enough to move me. (2003,4,5)