ROKUDANME - KANPEI HARAKIRI
   
Play title Kanadehon Chűshingura  In Japanese
Common title Kanpei Harakiri  In Japanese
Authors Takeda Izumo II
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Namiki Senryű I
History

The play "Kanadehon Chűshingura" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 8th lunar month of 1748 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki the same year and staged for the first time in the 12th lunar month of 1748 in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai [casting]. The fifth and sixth acts acts were performed with the actors Arashi Sanjűr˘ II and Yoshida Manshir˘ in the roles of Hayano Kanpei and Okaru.

Structure

The "Tepp˘ Watashi", "Futatsudama" and "Kanpei Harakiri" scenes, which are nowadays frequently performed (independently or as part of a t˘shi ky˘gen), are the fifth ("Tepp˘ Watashi", "Futatsudama") and sixth ("Kanpei Harakiri") act of "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

Key words Adauchi
Gidayű Ky˘gen
Kak˘shű
Senzaki Yagor˘
Seppuku
Tepp˘
Summary

Previous scene: "Futatsudama"

Act VI: Kanpei Harakiri
Kanpei's Suicide

The next morning, Osai, who is the proprietress of the geisha house, pays a visit to Yoichibŕ's cottage in order to take Okaru to Gion. She hands to Okaru's mother Okaya 50 ry˘, half the price of Okaru's service. They all are waiting for Yoichibŕ and Kanpei.

Kanpei comes home, and he finds that Yoichibŕ hasn't come home yet. Osai shows her purse, and says that she gave the same purse to Yoichibŕ last night. Kanpei founds the same purse last night, so he thinks that he killed Yoichibŕ. Kanpei realizes that Okaru sold herself in order to make money for him. Although Okaru and Okaya would like to wait for Yoichibŕ, Kanpei says that he met Yoichibŕ last night, and that they don't need to worry about him. Osai takes Okaru to Gion, and Kanpei can do nothing then.

After that, three hunters carry Yoichibŕ's dead body to the cottage. Okaya is very surprised, and she wonders why Kanpei doesn't see it. Okaya finds that Kanpei has the same purse that Osai showed before, and it has a blood stain. She thinks that Yoichibŕ was killed by Kanpei.

When Okaya asks why Kanpei has killed Yoichibŕ, Senzaki Yagor˘ and Hara G˘emon arrive at the cottage. After Kanpei killed Sadakur˘, he ran after Yagor˘ and gave him the 50 ry˘. However, they say that the chief retainer Yuranosuke didn't allow Kanpei to join them, and they came here to return the 50 ry˘ to him. Yuranosuke thought that Kanpei must have done an unreasonable thing to make the money. So he didn't accept his wish. Okaya tells them everything about the murder of her husband and the two men join her in abusing Kanpei.

Yagor˘ and G˘emon are about to leave but Kanpei stops them. He suddenly commits seppuku and says that everything was caused by his mistake. Yagor˘ examines Yoichibŕ's dead body, and finds that he was killed by a sword. There is no bullet wound. Yagor˘ and G˘emon saw Sadakur˘'s dead body on the way to Yoichibŕ's cottage. Yagor˘ says that Kanpei killed Sadakur˘ after Sadakur˘ killed Yoichibŕ. It means that Kanpei took revenge on Sadakur˘ for the killing of his father-in-law. Okaya, full of remorses, clings to Kanpei and weeps.

G˘emon takes a scroll, the secret covenant with the signatures of the vendetta members. He writes Kanpei's name and asks him to put his blood fingerprint on it. Kanpei becomes a member of the vendetta of lord En'ya. Senzaki Yagor˘ and Hara G˘emon leave the cottage while Kanpei dies in the arms of his mother-in-law.

This summary has been written by Sekidobashi Sakura (October 2002) and edited by Sh˘riya Aragor˘

Next scene: "Gion Ichiriki Jaya"

The actors Nakamura S˘jűr˘ (left scene; 1st from left), Nakamura Shikan IV (left scene; center), Onoe Sh˘roku (left scene; 1st from right), Ichikawa Kuz˘ III (right scene; 1st from left), Nakamura Tsuruz˘ I (right scene; 2nd from left), Jitsukawa Yűjir˘ I (right scene; center), Iwai Shijaku II (right scene; 2nd from right) and Ichimura Kakitsu IV (right scene; 1st from right) playing the roles of Senzaki Yagor˘, Hayano Kanpei, Hara G˘emon, Saibŕ, the zegen Genroku, Okaya, Okaru and Hayano Kanpei in the sixth act of the drama "Kanadehon Chűshingura" (mitate-e made by Nakai Yoshitaki in 1865)

 
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