JIISAN BAASAN
   
Play title Jiisan Baasan  In Japanese
Authors Mori gai (original story)
Uno Nobuo (play script)
History

"Jiisan Baasan" was a short story written by Mori gai and published in October 1915. The playwright Uno Nobuo adapted for Kabuki and it was simultaneously premiered in July 1951 in Tky at the Kabukiza [casting] and in saka at the saka Kabukiza [casting].

Key words Shinkabuki
Sewamono
Summary

It is a simple but heartwarming story about Iori, a samurai, and his wife Run. Run's younger brother is due to spend one year in guard service at the Tokugawa court, but gets injured in a brawl. Iori agrees to replace him and makes a fond farewell to his loving wife and their new baby. Several months later Iori is pushed beyond his limits by the obnoxious needling of another samurai and strikes him dead with the new sword he had just purchased. Iori is exiled to another region. Thirty seven years pass and Iori is released from exile just as Run, his wife, is retiring after 31 years in service as lady-in-waiting at a lord's house. They both return to their former home on the same day, and at first don't recognize each other. But soon they are reunited, and Iori learns that their baby had died when he was five. As the play ends they pledge to start life anew from that day.

Courtesy of Jean Wilson (1999)

Comments

The actor playing the role of Iori has to show his kind and loving nature, his struggle to restrain his anger, his remorse at his crime, and his depiction of old age-unsteady steps, tripping, needing glasses to see properly and a boyish joy at his long-awaited freedom.

Courtesy of Jean Wilson (1999)

Iori's homecoming (a digital painting made by Shriya Araemon in 2005)

 
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