|Play title||Hana Fubuki Koi no Tekagami|
Kanazawa Ryûgoku I
"Chichi Morai" was staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1833 in Ôsaka at the Kado no Shibai, as the second part of the new year drama "Keisei Chigo-ga-Fuchi" [casting]. The first act was written by Kanazawa Ryûgoku I and the second by Nishizawa Ippô. It was staged independently for the first time in the 3rd lunar month of 1833, at the Kitagawa no Shibai with the same casting. The title was "Hana no Yuki Koi no Tekagami", which was also read "Hana Fubuki Koi no Tekagami" [casting].
Originally performed in Ôsaka, "Chichi Morai" was originally a light scene that was meant to feature the talents of the great Kamigata actor Nakamura Utaemon III (1778~1838) and was even written by the actor himself. It is a light play with almost no plot that allows the actor to show off a no-good, but irresistibly attractive character in solo scenes that are showpieces for virtuoso acting.
"Chichi Morai" is made up of 2 acts and 5 scenes.
The handsome young Kanô Shirojirô who prefers playing with courtesans to spending time with his wife Koyuki. In fact, he’s never slept with her. And he isn’t even ashamed to beg for money from her to pay his mountain of debts. But after she selflessly gives him money, unknown to him, she is abducted. Some months later, Shirojirô is given a baby to care for, because it will bring him some money. But in the Edo period, it was very difficult for a man to raise a baby, because the only way to feed the baby was to find a woman with extra milk willing to feed the child. Shirojirô finds a woman who will feed the baby and discovers that it is Koyuki and that the baby is hers. This is an opportunity for Shirojirô to be very elaborately jealous before the riddle of the baby’s father and the identity of the man keeping Koyuki. The father is none other than Shirojirô himself, who raped Koyuki one night in a field in the dark, on his way back from the pleasure quarter. Fukumatsuya Tokusaburô*, the owner of the house of assignation of Koyuki, settles everything in the end and the couple can reunify.
Source for the first paragraph: Earphone Guide website
(*) in the original play, the brothel owner was named Iwakiya Tôzaburô.
The role of Kanô Shirojirô was closely associated to the Jitsukawa clan for it became a major role for Jitsukawa Gakujûrô II, Jitsukawa Enjaku I, Jitsukawa Enjaku II and Jitsukawa Enjaku III.
The actors Nakamura Utaemon III and Nakamura Tomijûrô II playing the roles of Kanô Shirojirô and Koyuki in the drama "Keisei Chigo-ga-Fuchi", which was staged in the 1st lunar month of 1833 at the Kado no Shibai (print made by Shumbaisai Hokuei)
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