|Hama Hikosuke (?)
The drama "Z˘ho Chűshingura" was staged for the first time in the 3rd lunar month of 1872 in ďsaka in kodomo shibai at the Inari Shibai. According to Nojima Jusabur˘'s "Kabuki J˘ruri Gedai Yomikata Jiten", the author was Hama Hikosuke (the future Katsu Genz˘ III).
The young and hot-tempered daimy˘ Momonoi Wakasanosuke Yasuchika is about to visit the Momonoi shimoyashiki at Asakusa in Edo, where his kar˘ Kakogawa Honz˘ is kept. The ostensible purpose of his sudden visit is to execute Honz˘, who secretly bribed the arrogant Governor of Kamakura, K˘ no Moron˘, in Wakasanosuke's name but without his knowledge. As a result of Honz˘'s behind-the-scene maneuver, Honz˘ saved the life of his lord. Moron˘ became so humble to Wakasanosuke that Wakasanosuke could not carry out his intended attack on Moron˘, for which he would certainly have been punished with death. Wakasanosuke has learned of the bribing and considered it to be an unforgivable stain on his name. Moreover, the well-intentioned bribing, which has saved Momonoi Wakasanosuke, indirectly led to the attack of Moron˘ by the daimy˘ En'ya Hangan. He was later condemned to commit seppuku and all his faithful retainers became r˘nin.
When the curtain is drawn, Kakogawa Honz˘ and Wakasanosuke's sister Michitose, who is temporarily staying at the shimoyashiki, are discussing. Michitose was engaged to Hangan's younger brother. As a result of the scandal involving En'ya Hangan, their relationship was abruptly broken off. Michitose is very sad and Honz˘ does his best to comfort her. Inami Banzaemon, a personal attendant to Wakasanosuke, comes to the shimoyashiki with his men and tells them to prepare a boat to carry Michitose. Then, he stealthily puts poison into Honz˘'s sake pot in order to murder Wakasanosuke and make it free for him to abduct Michitose. Unnoticed by Banzaemon, however, his sinister act is observed by Honz˘. At this moment a servant enters to announce that Wakasanosuke is coming to execute Honz˘. By Wakasanosuke's order Banzaemon binds Honz˘ with a rope and takes him into the garden. Wakasanosuke appears and, taking a sword from Banzaemon, kills Banzaemon instead of Honz˘ and cuts the rope binding Honz˘. As Honz˘ pours the contents of the sake pot on a potted plant, the plant immediately withers, showing the effect of the poison contained in it.
Wakasanosuke thanks Honz˘ for saving his life again and, releasing him from his service, gives him a shakuhachi, a komus˘ surplice and a plan of Moron˘'s mansion as his parting gifts. The idea is to make Honz˘ disguise himself as a komus˘ and go to the house of ďboshi Yuranosuke to deliver to him the plan of Moron˘'s mansion. Yuranosuke is the leader of the group of loyalists trying to avenge the death of En'ya Hangan who was executed for attacking Moron˘ in the Shogunate palace.
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