|JITSUROKU SENDAI HAGI|
|Play title||Jitsuroku Sendai Hagi
Hototogisu Date no Kikigaki
|Author||Kawatake Shinshichi II|
Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Hototogisu Date no Kikigaki" was premiered in June 1876 at the Shintomiza [casting]. Some roles names were changed later on: Katagiri Kojűr˘, Masaoka, Serada Kai, Asahino Yagor˘ and Matsugae Tetsunosuke became Katakura Kojűr˘, Asaoka, Harada Kai, Asahina Yatar˘ and Matsumae Tetsunosuke. The title "Jitsuroku Sendai Hagi" was used for the first time in May 1893 in T˘ky˘ at the Fukanoza.
The drama "Hototogisu Date no Kikigaki" was originally in 6 acts. Only two acts have survived, "Mito Kaid˘" (On the Mito Highway), which is rarely-staged nowadays, and "Dateke Okuden" (The Inner Pavilion in the Date Family Palace), which is staged alone most of the times.
Harada Kai, a Date vassal, and his confederates are plotting to usurp the power and position of the young leader of the clan, Kamechiyo. They have attempted to poison him, but their efforts have so far been thwarted by those loyal to the boy, particularly his menoto, Asaoka. She is keeping a close watch over him in the inner, women's quarters of the Date mansion. A senior retainer in the Date household, Katakura Kojűr˘, warns Asaoka that the day of a retaliatory strike against Harada and the other conspirators is near. Asaoka is relieved to hear it, but she continues to keep a close watch over her charge.
Asaoka also has a small son of her own, Chiyomatsu, whom she deliberately left behind in Sendai, the better to protect the little lord of the Date clan. But Kojűr˘ has brought Chiyomatsu with him. Asaoka's devotion to Kamechiyo and her determination to protect him are so strong that she refuses to recognize her own son. Fearing that any relaxation of her guard will expose Kamechiyo to danger, she orders her son to be taken back to Sendai. Kamechiyo has been lonely, however, and welcomes Chiyomatsu as a playmate. This makes it all the more difficult for Asaoka to send her son away.
Katakura has been watching all this from a neighboring room. He enters and commends both Asaoka and her son for their loyalty towards Kamechiyo. He then leaves, taking Chiyomatsu with him. Left alone, Asaoka gives way to her feelings and expresses her grief at the departure of her beloved son. At that moment, however, the alarm is raised following the death by poisoning of one of those required to taste Kamechiyo's food. Asaoka takes a grip on herself and resumes her watch over the boy.
The actors Onoe Kikugor˘ V (left print), Sawamura Genpei III (middle print:bottom/left), Sawamura Tossh˘ II (middle print:top/right) and Nakamura Shikan IV (right print) playing the roles of Katagiri Kojűr˘, Chiyomatsu, the menoto Masaoka and Matsugae Tetsunosuke in the drama "Hototogisu Date no Kikigaki", which was staged in june 1876 at the Shintomiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)
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