|Play title||Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura
Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees
|Authors||Takeda Izumo II
Namiki Senryű I
The play "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 11th lunar month of 1747 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki the following year and staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1748 in Ise with Kataoka Nizaemon IV (Tokaiya Ginpei, Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan) and Yamamoto Koheiji (Tadanobu). It was performed for the first time in a city licensed theater in the 5th lunar month of 1748, in Edo at the Nakamuraza [casting].
In modern times, this scene was revived a few times, as an opening scene for the 3rd act ("Ko-no-Mi/Kokingo Uchijini" and "Sushiya") of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". Here is the list of all performances from the end of WWII to the end of the 20th century:
The "Kitasaga Anshitsu" scene is the second scene of the 1st act of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura". It is staged on rare occasions, as the opening scene of a t˘shi ky˘gen production of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".
Previous scene: "ďuchi"
Wakaba-no-Naishi, the widow of the defeated Heike general Koremori, has taken refuge at a nunnery in Kitasaga in Ky˘to, along with her son Rokudai. They are being sheltered by the nun J˘shin, who formerly served at Koremori's mansion. They are in great danger, not only because the Genji forces are trying to exterminate the remaining Heike, but also because Tomokata wishes to make Wakaba-no-Naishi his concubine. It is not certain as to whether Koremori is indeed dead, but they have taken the day that he left the capital as the anniversary of his death. Today, they are to hold Buddhist memorial services for Koremori's father Shigemori. As they are praying before an image of Shigemori, Kokingo, retainer of Koremori, appears in the guise of a seller of straw hats. Kokingo reports that rumor has it that Koremori is still alive and staying at the monastery on Mount K˘ya. They start to make preparations to go to join him, but when they hear someone approaching, the nun J˘shin hides Wakaba-no-Naishi and Rokudai in the Buddhist altar. Inokuma Dainoshin, Tomokata's retainer, appears with his men in search of Wakaba-no-Naishi and Rokudai, but Kokingo is able to smuggle them out in his baskets.
Source: Valerie L. Durham
Next scene: "Kawagoe J˘shi"
Arashi Shinpei III (left) and Asao Sennosuke (right) playing the roles of Kokingo and Wakaba-no-Naishi in the "Kitasaga Anshitsu" scene of the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", which was staged in the 8th lunar month of 1792 at the Kado no Shibai
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