KIRARE YOSA
   
Play title Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi  In Japanese
Author Segawa Jok˘ III
History

The drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi" (commonly called "Kirare Yosa") was the Kabuki adaptation of a k˘dan made by Kenkonb˘ Ry˘sai was premiered in the 3rd lunar month of 1853 at the Nakamuraza [casting]. It was a huge success.

"Jok˘ III's famous play is based on a k˘dan by Kenkonb˘ Ry˘sai that was, in its turn, based on a true story. It concerned the Nagauta master Yoshimura Ichisabur˘ IV, who, in his youth, had become intimate with Osato, the concubine of gang boss Okashi Kinzaemon in Kisarazu. The musician was captured during a tryst and slashed all over, although allowed to live. Sometime later, he returned to Edo, met the woman again at a Fukagawa festival, and married her. They had a daughter, Otomi, who became the dance teacher Band˘ Miyakichi." (Samuel Leiter in "New Kabuki Encyclopedia")

Structure

The original drama was made up of 9 acts. Only 3 acts have survived:

In Japanese In English Nickname
木更津海岸見染 Love at first sight at Kisarazu Beach Misome (love at first sight)
赤間別荘 At Akama villa Aibiki (the date)
源氏店 In Genjidana Genjidana
You need a Japanese Language Kit installed within your system in order to be able to read the characters

The third surviving act is often staged independently of the others. The second one is rarely staged these days.

Key words Kak˘shű
Sewamono
Yusuriba
Summary

Love at first sight at Kisarazu Beach

Yosabur˘ is the adopted son of the wealthy Izuya merchant family. Some years after his adoption, his step-parents got a real son, Yogor˘. Although everyone thought that it was no problem that Yosabur˘ inherits Izuya, Yosabur˘ thought that Yogor˘ should inherit it. Yosabur˘ has been spending a life of debauchery intentionally. As a result, Yosabur˘ is now under the protection of a relative and is waiting for the time to be thrown away by his step-parents.

Today, Yosabur˘ comes to Kisarazu beach with Kingor˘, who is a friend of his step-father. Kingor˘ hands a letter written by Yogor˘ to Yosabur˘. He is worried about his step-brother very much. Kingor˘ also worries about him. Kingor˘ tries to change Yosabur˘'s mind, but he really doesn't intend to inherit of the Izuya. Yosabur˘ thinks that he could have chosen the wrong way, but that he had no method except spending a debauchery life.

The comic storyteller Aish˘ joins Kingor˘ and Yosabur˘. He tells them about the beauty of the mistress of a local gambler who is on the beach today. Then, Aish˘ goes away.

This lady, named Otomi, who was a geisha, is now the mistress of the local gang leader Akama Genzaemon. She has come to Kisarazu beach to gather shellfish with some companions. When Yosabur˘ sees her, she is about to leave from a beach. They fall in love at first sight. Otomi says seeing Yosabur˘ that 'there is a very beautiful sight'.

At Akama villa

One night, Akama Genzaemon goes out of his villa. Aish˘ secretly takes Yosabur˘ to this villa. After Yosabur˘ met Otomi at Kisarazu beach, Aish˘ plays a role of courier, helping the exchange of letters between Yosabur˘ and Otomi. Tonight Yosabur˘ and Otomi directly meet at last. As soon as they arrive to the villa, Aish˘ runs away, because he is afraid of Genzaemon. Yosabur˘ calls Otomi with a small voice, and Otomi makes him come into the villa. They starts drinking sake at the beginning, but they have nothing to talk any more. They hold each other.

After a short time, Akama Genzaemon suddenly comes back with his bunch of henchmen. One of Akama's henchmen, Matsugor˘, was informed of the secret meeting and report it to his boss. Yosabur˘ and Otomi are surprised. Although Otomi managed to get away, Yosabur˘ is caught. Genzaemon is furious and orders his henchmen to slash Yosabur˘, but not to kill him. Genzaemon's men slash Yosabur˘'s body all around. Yosabur˘ feels a terrible pain and asks to be killed but Genzaemon doesn't accept it. He orders to tie Yosabur˘ with a rope and throw him into sea.

Meanwhile, Matsugor˘ chases Otomi and corners her at the top of a cliff. Matsugor˘ loves Otomi, so he asks her to get away with him. Of course Otomi refuses it. Matsugor˘ gets angry with her, and says that Yosabur˘ is killed by now. Otomi is shocked and she suddenly jumps into sea.

At Genjidana

Three years later after the Kisarazu incident. Otomi is still alive. Just after Otomi has jumped into sea, she was rescued by a man named Tazaemon who was boating near the cliff. Tazaemon, the general manager of the Izumiya, a big and prosperous store, realized by checking her small charm bag that the unconscious woman lying in his boat is none other than his own sister. He decided to conceal the truth from her and looked after her in Edo. He lodged her in a comfortable house in the district of Genjidana and provided everything for her.

When Otomi comes back from a public bath on one rainy night, she finds T˘hachi who is a Izumiya clerk waiting out the sudden rain under the fence of her house. Otomi asks T˘hachi to wait in her house until the rain goes by. Otomi starts to make her face up in her living room. T˘hachi observes her and thinks that she is really erotic. T˘hachi makes a play for Otomi, but she refuses him softly. Otomi makes for fun T˘hachi's face up with her cosmetics.

Then, a funny-looking little man called K˘mori Yasu ("Yasu the bat", because he has the tatoo of a bat on his cheek) comes to Otomi's house with his new friend, Kirare Yosa ("scarface Yosa"), who covers his head and cheeks with a towel. K˘mori Yasu used to work for the Izumiya, but he was fired a few years ago, because he wasn't a good worker. K˘mori Yasu is now a blackmailer, and he intends to threaten Otomi tonight. T˘hachi is afraid of K˘mori Yasu, so he gets away from the room. K˘mori Yasu says that his friend was injured in fighting, and that he would like to take him to a hot spring. Kirare Yosa shows his many injuries and K˘mori Yasu asks Otomi to give some money for his friend. Otomi thinks that she has nothing to be threatened because she isn't the mistress of Tazaemon. Otomi lives in Tazaemon's residence like a younger sister of him. However, Otomi feels that it is troublesome to refuse to give money, so she gives some money to K˘mori Yasu.

K˘mori Yasu accepts it, and he says his friend to leave there together. K˘mori Yasu's friend, Kirare Yosa hasn't say anything until then. But he says K˘mori Yasu to leave there alone, and he says that he won't leave there, because everything of Otomi's house is his. Kirare Yosa takes the towel off from his head, and Otomi finds that he is Yosabur˘.

Otomi is very glad that he is alive. However, Yosabur˘ isn't glad to meet Otomi. After the Kisarazu incident, Yosabur˘ was very unhappy and unlucky. Yosabur˘ has known that Otomi was alive even as a mistress of a rich man, and he became to want to complain to her. Otomi says that she lives in Tazaemon's residence just like a younger sister of him. Otomi has never had a sexual relationship with Tazaemon, and she says that she still loves Yosabur˘. Yosabur˘ doesn't believe it.

Tazaemon suddenly comes back to the house. He asks Otomi who Yosabur˘ is. Otomi introduces Yosabur˘ to Tazaemon as a brother. Tazaemon understands what happened. Tazaemon knows K˘mori Yasu as a son of an old acquaintance and scolds him. Nevertheless Tazaemon gives money to K˘mori Yasu, and says to leave the place immediately. K˘mori Yasu and Yosabur˘ accept the money and go out. Otomi tries to chase Yosabur˘, but Tazaemon stops her. A messenger boy comes, asking Tazaemon to go back to the Izumiya. Before Tazaemon leaves the house, he hands a charm bag to Otomi.

Otomi opens the charm bag and finds a letter in it. The letter explains her who Tazaemon is really. She is very surprised. Then, Yosabur˘ comes back into the main room of the house. Otomi tells him that Tazaemon is in fact her brother. Yosabur˘ and Otomi are moved very much by Tazaemon's kindness, and they promise to love each other forever.

This summary has been written by Sekidobashi Sakura (March 2003) and edited by Sh˘riya Aragor˘

Trivia

The third surviving act of "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi", nicknamed "Genjidana", is set in the fictional district of Genjidana in Edo. The real district was Genyadana but it was forbidden by the authorities to use any real Edo district name in Kabuki plays. Genyadana current location in T˘ky˘ is Nihonbashi Ningy˘-ch˘ Sanch˘me.

Genyadana Genjidana
玄冶店 源氏店

The actors Onoe Matsusuke IV, Onoe Kikugor˘ V, Onoe Eizabur˘ V and Kataoka Ichiz˘ III playing the roles of K˘mori Yasu, Yosabur˘, Otomi and Izutsuya Tazaemon in the drama "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi", which was staged in September 1892 at the Kabukiza (print made by Utagawa Kunisada II)

 
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