OCHIUDO
   
Dance title Ochiudo  In Japanese
Michiyuki Tabiji no Hanamuko
Authors Mimasuya Nis˘ji (lyrics)
Kiyomoto Eijir˘ (music)
History

The michiyuki "Michiyuki Tabiji no Hanamuko", commonly called "Ochiudo", was staged for the first time in the 3rd lunar month of 1833 at the Kawarazakiza, starring Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V and Onoe Kikugor˘ III in the roles of Kanpei and Okaru.

Structure

The michiyuki "Ochiudo", was not in the original version of "Kanadehon Chűshingura". It was so popular that it became a custom to stage it for a t˘shi ky˘gen performance of this drama, between the 4th and 5th acts. It is also regularly staged independently as a Shosagoto.

Key words Michiyuki
Kiyomoto
Shosagoto
Summary

Previous scene: "Shiro Akewatashi"

The dance introduces two new characters, the lovers Kanpei and Okaru, who both play more important parts in the 6th and 7th acts. Kanpei was another retainer of Hangan's and went with him to the Ashikaga mansion on that fateful day when Moron˘ taunted him into striking. However, Kanpei did not stay close enough to his lord and was therefore unable to assist him when Moron˘ began his insults. For this Kanpei is deeply sorry. In fact, Kanpei was meeting his sweetheart, one of Kaoyo's ladies-in-waiting, and he is therefore guilty not only of negligence but also of mixing with female members of the same household, a practice that was not officially tolerated. Kanpei is downcast and is prepared to give up his life in atonement but Okaru stops him. It is she who insists that they wait for a good opportunity to apologise to Yuranosuke. Meanwhile, they are to travel together to Okaru's family home near Ky˘to where her parents are sure to look after them and where they'll be able to live as man and wife... at least for a while. This story lends a bitter-sweet quality to the dance which is beautiful to look at for its bright and colourful scenery as well as for the handsome pair of young lovers, but which also has a melancholy flavour from the lovers' unfortunate circumstances and from our knowledge of what happens to them in the rest of the play.

Courtesy of Paul M. Griffith

Next scene: "Tepp˘ Watashi"

Trivia

There is a comical tachimawari in this dance: Kanpei fights and beats a group of soldiers led by Moron˘'s henchman Sagisaka Bannai (a hand˘gataki character). It is a custom for the actor playing the role of Bannai to pull the stage curtain at the end of the dance.

Ichikawa Ebiz˘ V and Onoe Kikugor˘ III playing the roles of Kanpei and Okaru in the dance "Michiyuki Tabiji no Hanamuko", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1833 at the Kawarazakiza (print made by Utagawa Kunisada I)

 
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