KIMURA NAGATO-NO-KAMI
   
Play title Ume Ky˘dai Naniwa Senki  In Japanese
Common titles Keppandori  In Japanese
Keppanj˘  In Japanese
Kimura Nagato-no-Kami  In Japanese
Authors Namiki Gohei III, Kawatake Shinshichi II, Sakurada Sak˘, Shimizu Sh˘shichi [1]
History

The drama "Ume Ky˘dai Naniwa Senki", focusing on the Siege of ďsaka, was premiered in the 1st lunar month of 1872 in T˘ky˘ at the Nakamuraza [casting]. The scene "Chausuyama Jinsho" ("At the Camp on Mt. Chausu") became an independent drama, which was entitled "Kimura Nagato-no-Kami". The eponymous role was added by Kataoka Nizaemon XI in his Kataoka Jűnishű collection of plays.

Structure

1 act, 1 scene

Key words Chausuyama
Daimy˘
Fukushi
Jinsho
Kataoka Jűnishű
Keich˘
Keppan
Kimura Shigenari
Nagato
ďsaka no Eki
ďsaka no Jin
ďsaka-j˘
Shinkabuki
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Toyotomi Hideyori
Yodogimi
Summary

This is the 22nd day of the 12th lunar month of the 19th year of the Keich˘ era and the Winter campaign of ďsaka, the war of the Toyotomi Clan against the Tokugawa Clan, the Siege of ďsaka Castle, is about to stop. The Toyotomi forces who have shut up themselves in and near ďsaka Castle are divided into two groups, one insisting on fighting it out and the other advocating peace. The antagonism between the two groups is getting aggravated day after day and there is no hope of finding a compromise.

Those advocating peace include Yodogimi, the mother of Toyotomi Hideyori, the head of the Toyotomi Clan, while those advocating war were mostly "outside" daimy˘ who are not directly related by historical family links to the Toyotomi Clan. An imperial order for peace has just been delivered from Ky˘to, which says now that it is getting cold, fighting will cause many hardships not only to the fighting men but also to civilians at large.

As there is no valid reason to reject the imperial order, the two fighting clans, the Toyotomis and the Tokugawas, have finally agreed to make peace (at least temporarily). Kimura Nagato-no-Kami Shigenari [2] has volunteered to become a messenger on behalf of the Toyotomi forces in ďsaka. Accompanied by a vice envoy (fukushi), K˘ri Shumenosuke, Kimura Shigenari sets out for Mount Chausu, quite close to ďsaka Castle, where the main war camp (jinsho) of Tokugawa Ieyasu is located.

Some daimy˘ at the service of Tokugawa leyasu, like Sakakibara Ecchű-no-Kami [3] and And˘ Tatewaki, are all rejoicing at the peace just concluded thanks to the imperial order from Ky˘to. At the same time, they are talking that because Kimura Shigenari and K˘ri Shumenosuke who are coming to receive the sacred peace treaty have been given such an important mission despite their young age, they must be careful about them. Ii Hy˘bu and Naruse Hayato have come out and wait in line to welcome the messengers from ďsaka.

As soon as Toyotomi Hideyori's envoys, Kimura Shigenari and K˘ri Shumenosuke, in the formal attire of wearing hakama, are ushered in by Honda Tadakatsu while Tokugawa dignitaries are in line to welcome them and have taken seats in proper places, Sakai Saemon comes out from the inner chamber and greets the messengers. When Sakai says that it is against the etiquette to wear swords when meeting Tokugawa Ieyasu, and then proposes to keep their swords in custody, Kimura Shigenari gets infuriated and scolds Sakai, telling him that it is highly impolite to take up swords from the envoys of Toyotomi Hideyori. When tension mounts between Ii Hy˘bu, who tells Kimura and K˘ri to move their seats far down towards the end of the room, and Kimura Shigenari, who refuses to obey his order, the great warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu appears, accompanied by his close attendants. Ieyasu restrains Ii, saying that it is proper for the envoys of Toyotomi Hideyori not to obey Ii's Orders. When Ieyasu inquires after Shigenari's father, Shigenari refuses to reply, saying that it is a private matter and that it is essential for him to fulfil the important role of confirming that the sacred peace treaty has been blood-sealed (keppan).

Kimura Shigenari who has read the sacred peace treaty taken out of a letter box by Ieyasu is infuriated at the one-sided wording of the treaty, and he presses upon Ieyasu with his hand on the sword so that he can strike Ieyasu any time. By restraining the angry Shigenari who says that he will not be able to take back to ďsaka Castle such a fake treaty, cunning Ieyasu tells him that the treaty he has shown him is a draft and suddenly takes out another one which he claims to be the genuine peace treaty while making an excuse that when one gets old, one becomes forgetful.

After closely examining the sacred peace treaty clause by clause, Shigenari urges leyasu to affix a blood seal on the treaty. Shigenari closely watches leyasu while he cuts the tip of one of his fingers in the mouth to let the blood come out, and, once leyasu has affixed his seal of blood on the document, Shigenari safely puts it in a bag which he has brought with him. Then, Shigenari goes to a place far down from leyasu and formally bows and says that, since he has now safely accomplished his role of envoy, he is indeed the son of Kimura Hitachinosuke. When Shigenari apologises his earlier impoliteness, leyasu assumes nonchalance and praises his brave act of coming into the enemy war camp, even though by the order of his master.

All feudal lords there, too, praise the bravery of Kimura Shigenari who humbles himself further. He is indeed a warrior of both intelligence and courage. Before long, Shigenari proposes to take his leave. Having successfully fulfilled their important mission, Kimura Shigenari and K˘ri Shumenosuke head for the ďsaka Castle as Tokugawa retainers bid them farewell. The air is filled with blessings and a voice chanting a song sounds blissful to all the warriors.

Notes

[1] Others assisting sakusha were Takeshiba Kisanji, Matsushima Tsuruji, Takeshiba Jusaku and Matsushima Sh˘saku.

[2] Kimura Shigenari, kami of the province of Nagato.

[3] Sakakibara, kami of the province of Ecchű.

Illustration from a tsuji banzuke for the July 1910 production of "Kimura Nagato-no-Kami" at the Miyatoza with Arashi Yoshisabur˘ IV and Ichikawa Kigan IV in the roles of Kimura Shigenari and Tokugawa Ieyasu

 
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