Kabuki Review by Sekidobashi Sakura

Osome & Hisamatsu

'Osome Hisamatsu Ukiyo-no Yomiuri'

Bando Tamasaburo plays seven roles

Story

October 2003 in Kabukiza Theater


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Background Information

This play was written by Tsuruya Nanboku, and was first performed in 1813. A popular actor Iwasi Shiro played seven roles with a kabuki technique quick change, and it made a big hit at the time. Tsuruya Nanboku is well known as a playwright who wrote many erotic and grotesque dramas. Tamasaburo played seven roles this time. It means that it goes without saying that it is interesting.

Story

Act-1

Scene-1; At Myoken Shrine in Yanagishima

Cast

Osome, Hisamatsu, Koito, Omitsu, Takekawa

c Tamasaburo

Yamagataya Seibei

c Gonjuro

Kyusaku

c Danshiro

Aburaya Tasaburo

c Ainosuke

Suzuki Yachuta

c Danzo

There are many people at Myoken shrine. Matsukiya Sashiro meets Yamagataya Seibei there accidentally. Sashiro was on the way to Seibei's home in order to talk with him. Sashiro arranged a marriage of Seibei and Osome, but he heard that Osome had a lover. Sashiro was worried about it, and he intended to talk about it to Seibei directly. Seibei thinks that it is likely, so that he isn't worried about it. He knows that people like a beautiful young girl's gossip. Seibei said that he would visit to Osome's home himself later. Sashiro is relieved, and they leave there.

Osome also comes there with Osono and Hisamatsu. Osome is a beautiful daughter of a wealthy pawnshop, Aburaya. Osono is a maid of that shop, and Hisamatsu is an apprentice there. Osome has a fiance Seibei, nevertheless she and Hisamatsu love each other secretly. Osome and Osono go to the shrine, but Hisamatsu leaves there, because he wouldn't like to be watched with Osome together.

Kyusaku who sells vegetables comes there, and drops by the tea shop near the shrine. Kyusaku is an elder brother of Hisamatsu, and he finds Omitsu who comes there. Omitsu is a fiancee of Hisamatsu. She heard a gossip of Hisamatsu and Osome, so that she came there in order to ask Hisamatsu the truth. Kyusaku stops her meeting Hisamatsu, and makes her go home. Actually Kyusaku doesn't accept Omitsu as a fiancee of Hisamatsu.

Then, Takekawa comes to the tea shop from the shrine, and she is very glad to meet Kyusaku accidentally. Takekawa is an lady-in-waiting of the Chiba clan that is a samurai family. Takekawa's father Ishizu Hisanosin was a retainer of the Chiba clan, but he committed ritual suicide, because he lost a treasure sword called Goou-Yoshimitsu and its written statement. After that, Takekawa's younger brother was adopted by a wet nurse who was Kyusaku's mother. That younger brother is Hisamatsu. Takekawa is worried about her real younger brother Hisamatsu, and asks Kyusaku about him. Hisamatsu works for the pawnshop Aburaya as an apprentice in order to search for the sword and its statement, but he hasn't found them yet. Takekawa asked Kyusaku to take care of Hisamatsu well, and left there.

Aburaya Tasaburo comes there. Tasaburo is Osome's elder brother, but he doesn't care of the pawnshop Aburaya. He just cares of his lover a geisha Koisto, but recently the Chiba clan's retainer Suzuki Yachuta tries to buy Koito. Then Koito and Yachuta come there, but Koito seems to be with him unwillingly. Tasaburo hides himself. Yachuta and Koito drops by the tea shop, and Yachuta tries to make Koito in a good mood. Yachuta buys a bundle of vegetable, but Koito isn't care of it of course. And Kyusaku goes to the shrine. Yachuta says to Koito to go to a first-class Japanese restaurant Hashimoto-ya together, and Koito goes with him unwillingly. Yachuta left a bundle of vegetable there. Tasaburo watched everything, and he found Zenroku who was the chief manager of Aburaya there. Tasaburo handed the statement to Zenroku in order to sell it, and went to Hashimoto-ya following Koito.

Tasaburo needed money in order to buy Koito earlier than Yachuta. Zenroku sweet-talked to Tasaburo to bring that statement out in order to make money. From the beginning, Zenroku intended to get the statement. Zenroku intends to sell the statement to get money, and to become an owner of Aburaya after he marries Osome. Zenroku told it to himself, and an apprentice Kyuta heard that stupid plot. Zenroku gives some money to Kyuta, and says to go to his hometown as soon as possible. And Kyuta goes away.

Zenroku finds a bundle of vegetable, and he hides the statement in it. Zenroku's co-worker Kyusue comes there, and Zenroku is going to go with him. But Kyusaku stops it, because Zenroku has a bundle of vegetable that he sold to Yachuta already. Zenroku says that he buys it, but Kyusaku doesn't accept it. They argue, and Kyusuke hits Kyusaku with his wooden sandal finally. Kyusaku was injured his forehead, and his kimono was ripped. Then Seibei and Taroshichi come there, and stop them. Seibei gives money to Kyusaku to get medicine, and Taroshichi gives a second-hand kimono instead of his ripped kimono. And everyone leaves there. The statement is carried by Kyusaku with a bundle of vegetable.

Scene-2; At the room of Hashimoto-ya

Cast

Osome, Hisamatsu, Koito, Takekawa

c Tamasaburo

Aburaya Tasaburo

c Ainosuke

Suzuki Yachuta

c Danzo

Koito is waiting for her lover Tasaburo at the room of the first-class Japanese restaurant Hashimoto-ya. Tasaburo comes there, and says that he can make money to buy Koito. Tasaburo leaves there in order to receive money from Zenroku, and Koito also leaves there.

Then Yasaburo comes there searching for Koito, and finds Zenroku and Gonbei who is a henchman of Yachuta. Yachuta demands the statement to Zenroku, but Zenroku can't say enough excuse. And Yachuta demands money that Gonbei could have received from Kihei. Gonbei also can't say enough excuse. Yachuta is a retainer of the Chiba clan, and he made Kihei steal the treasure sword and its statement from Ishizu Hisanosin. Kihei managed to steal them and brought them to the pawnshop Aburaya to get money. Although Kihei got the money 100ryo, he hasn't given that money to Yachuta. They go away to talk about their problem.

Takekawa is also waiting for Hisamatsu at the next room of Hashimoto-ya. Hisamatsu came there to meet his elder sister, and he was watched the scene by Yachuta. Yachuta talks about it to Zenroku, and Zenroku thinks that there must be Osome in that room, because he knows that Osome also came to Hashimoto searching for Hisamatsu. Zenroku goes into the room, but there is Takekawa only. Takekawa is furious with Yachuta and Zenroku.

Scene-3; Koume Tabacco Shop

Cast

Oroku

c Tamasaburo

Kihei

c Dnjuro

Kyusaku

c Danshiro

Oroku who sells tabacco at Koume received a letter from Takekawa. She was a made of Takekawa before. Takekawa asked Oroku to make money 100ryo in order to get the treasure sword and its statement from Aburaya. Oroku would like to do anything for Takekawa, but she has no way to make money.

Kihei who is Oroku's husband is on the way to home, and Gonbei spoke to him. gonbei demands to give the money, but Kihei says that he can't do it. Kihei stole the treasure sword and its statement. He brought them to the pawnshop Aburaya, and got the money 100ryo. Kihei did gamble with that 100ryo, and he had lost all that money. Kihei says that he won't hide himself anywhere. Gonbei was scared of Kihei, and got away. However, Kihei knows that he needs to make the money 100ryo immediately.

Kihei came home, and started drinking sake with Oroku. Then, Kyusaku comes there to buy tabacco, and also a hairdresser comes there. Kyusaku asks a hairdresser to have dressed his hair. He talks about the happenings at the shrine. After that, Kyusaku asks Oroku to repair his ripped kimono, and a second-hand kimono that he received from Taroshichi.

After both of Kyusaku and a hairdresser left there, Kihei and Oroku thought up the same thing. There was an unidentified young man who died suddenly. His dead body was taken into a coffin, and it was near the tabacco shop now. Kihei and Oroku dressed his dead body with Kyusaku's ripped kimono, and shaved his forelock. And Kihei made a scar on his forehead.

Act-2

Scene-1; At Aburaya pawnshop in Kawaramachi

Cast

Oroku

c Tamasaburo

Yamagataya Seibei

c Gonjuro

Kyusaku

c Danshiro

Kihei

c Danjuro

Oroku visited to the pawnshop Aburaya, and showed a second-hand kimono to clerks. She said that her younger brother brought it to her home last night. Oroku worried if he had stolen it, so she asked if his talking was true. The chief manager Zenroku said that Oroku's younger brother's talking was true. There was a squabble, and the second-hand kimono was an apology to have hit his forehead. Oroku changed her attitude, after she heard it. Oroku called her husband's name, Kihei, and he came there with a palanquin.

The unidentified young man's dead body was in the palanquin. Oroku says that her younger brother died suddenly after he came home. Its reason must have been that a clerk hit him. Oroku and Kihei demand the consolation money. Although Zenroku gives some money to them, they refuse to receive it. They demand 100ryo, and that is the money that they need.

Yamagataya Seibei appeared on the scene, and watched that dead body. The young man had a scar on his forehead really, but Seibei finds that he didn't die completely. Seibei says to cauterize the skin with moxa on that man's body. As a result, that dead man came back to life. That young man was an apprentice Kyuta. After he received some money from Zenroku, he ate a globefish and became its poisoning. Kyuta had lost consciousness until then. There is no reason for Kihei and Oroku to threaten money now. Moreover, Kyusaku visits to Abutaya. Kyusaku says that he found something document paper in his vegetables after he came home last night. And he brought it there. It was a statement of the sword Goou-Yoshimitsu, and Seibei received it. Then, Kihei and Oroku leave from Aburaya carrying a palanquin themselves.

Scene-2; At the room of Aburaya

Cast

Osome, Hisamatsu, Teisho

c Tamasaburo

Osome is locked herself up in the room of Aburaya, because she is worried that she is pregnant. Hisamatsu comes there worrying about Osome. They both become sad with their tragic fate. Then, Teisho who is a widow of Aburaya visited to Osome's room. Teisho is stepmother of Tasaburo and Osome. After her husband died, she has treated them well. However she feels that it might not have been enough, because Tasaburo fell in love selfishly and Osome is pregnant. Actually, Aburaya is in a serious business slump now. So Teisho intends to make Osome marry with Yamagataya Seibei in order to make Aburaya survive. Teisho knows that Osome and Hisamatsu love each other, and that Osome is even pregnant. Nevertheless, Teisho asks Osome to get marry with Seibei. After Teisho left there, Osome and Hisamatsu promised to do double suicide.

Scene-3; At the godown behind Aburaya pawnshop

Cast

Osome, Hisamatsu

c Tamasaburo

Kihei

c Danjuro

Osome leaves from Aburaya to Sumida river secretly in order to meet Hisamatsu. After that, Kihei appeared breaking the wall of the godown with the sword Goo-Yoshimitsu. Kihei stole the sword again. Hisamatsu followed Kihei, and they started fighting. Hisamatsu killed Kihei finally. And Hisamatsu goes to Sumida river to meet Osome.

Act-3

Scene; Michiyuki dance at Mukojima

Cast

Osome, Hisamatsu, Oroku, Omitsu

c Tamasaburo

A palanquin that Osome is in appeared on the scene. Palanquin bearers tied their palanquin with a rope in order that Osome couldn't go out. They were asked to take Osome to somewhere by Zenroku. Hisamatsu tried to stop the palanquin, but he couldn't. Hisamatsu chased the palanquin. Then, Omitsu comes there. She is mentally deranged, and follows to Hisamatsu. Suddenly Oroku appeared on the scene. She helped Osome from the palanquin bearers. And she stopped Osome and Hisamatsu doing double suicide. Kabuki didn't show its detail this time, though.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

(2003,10,4)


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