|NIJď-Jď NO KIYOMASA|
|Play title||Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa|
"Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa" is made up of 2 acts, divided into 3 or 4 scenes.
"Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa" was staged in ˘shibai 16 times between since the end of World War II from 1949 to 2016. We've listed below all these performances:
Act I, scene 1: Kiyomasa Yakata
The warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu has demanded that Toyotomi Hideyori, son and heir of the ruler of Japan Toyotomi Hideyoshi, present himself at Ieyasu's Nij˘ Castle in Ky˘to. This act, which would constitute an acknowledgement of Ieyasu as ruler over Hideyori, has caused a furor among the retainers of the Toyotomi clan. Prolonged debates have been going on in ďsaka Castle as to the course to be taken. In the meantime, the faithful retainer Kat˘ Kiyomasa, who is well aware of the danger in the situation, is seriously ill, and unable to attend all the debates. Most of the other retainers, like Ikeda Terumasa or Asano Yoshinaga, are for refusing to comply with Ieyasu's demand. Only Kiyomasa insists that Hideyori should go to Ky˘to, because otherwise, Ieyasu is sure to start a war to bring about Hideyori's subjugation.
The room where Kiyomasa is resting is dark, and retainers hover at the side, whispering anxiously about their master's illness and about the problem facing Hideyori. Presently, an envoy that Kiyomasa had sent to Atagoyama Shrine to ask for an oracle, returns with the message that it will bode evil for Hideyori to travel to Ky˘to. Kiyomasa is momentarily crushed by this message, which goes against his own belief.
Kiyomasa's wife (okugata) comes bearing a message received from the ďsaka Castle. The news is that Yodogimi, Hideyori's mother, has gone into a hysterical fit because of her antagonism to the idea of sending Hideyori to Ky˘to in compliance with Ieyasu's demand. In the face of these circumstances, Kiyomasa decides that he must go to ďsaka Castle in spite of his illness, in order to state his own convictions. Just as he finishes his preparations for departure, a messenger from the ďsaka Castle comes hurrying with word that his master Hideyori has announced that he will go to Ky˘to and that if no one is willing to accompany him, he will brave the danger alone. Kiyomasa is profoundly affected by this message. When he learns that Fukushima Masanori who would normally accompany Hideyori on such a trip has refused to go, Kiyomasa realizes that he himself is the best suited, and perhaps the only man available, for that duty. Kiyomasa is determined to guard Hideyori's life with his own. He orders that all preparations must be made for his coming departure to Ky˘to. He will wear his impressive battle garb. His faithful warriors also prepare to go with him sharing their master's determination to guard Hideyori's life.
Act II, scene 1: Nij˘-j˘ ďhiroma
In the main and large audience room of the Nij˘ Castle, the warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu is holding court. He is attended by a large number of retainers, including his faithful warriors Honda Masanobu, Ii Naotaka and T˘d˘ Takatora. There is also Kita-no-Mandokoro, the first spouse of late Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In compliance with Ieyasu's demand, Toyotomi Hideyori arrives, accompanied by Kat˘ Kiyomasa.
Kiyomasa, who is quite aware of the nature of Ieyasu's ambition, fears for Hideyori's life. In preparation for any emergency that might arise, he has come with a dagger hidden under his clothes. He is determined to kill Ieyasu regardless of the consequences, in the event of any danger to Hideyori.
Ieyasu is no fool. He is ambitious, but would prefer to take full control of the country without incurring Hideyori's enmity as much as possible. Consequently, with Kiyomasa watchfully steering the conversation and smoothing over the difficult meeting between the leaders of the two rival clans, no trouble arises. Outwardly, at least, the meeting is a friendly one, much to Kiyomasa's relief.
Act II, scene 2: Yodogawa Gozabune no Ue
The meeting with Tokugawa Ieyasu safely over, Hideyori and Kiyomasa are on their way back to the ďsaka Castle. The gorgeous boat (gozabune) on which they are travelling is gradually making its way down the Yodo River to the city of ďsaka. In spite of the amicability of the meeting, Kiyomasa is aware that there is still some danger of a plot against Hideyori's life on his return trip, so he is constantly on guard.
Hideyori appears beside Kiyomasa on the deck of the gozabune. In this quiet moment together, Hideyori expresses his gratitude to Kiyomasa for his wise handling of the situation. They take each other's hands in emotion, expressing together the close relationship and warm understanding between a lord and his retainer. The sky, which has been overclouded so far, suddenly clears, and under the fading moon of dawn, they see the massive outline of ďsaka Castle before them waiting for their return.
The actors Nakamura Kichiemon I (1st from right), Sawamura S˘jűr˘ VII (2nd from left), ďtani Tomoemon VI (1st from left) and Nakamura Fukusuke VI (2nd from right) playing the roles of Kat˘ Kiyomasa, Kita-no-Mandokoro, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyori in the "Nij˘-j˘ ďhiroma" scene of the drama "Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa", which was staged in October 1937 at the Kabukiza
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