OGURUSU NO CHBEI
   
Play title Ogurusu no Chb  In Japanese
Author Okamoto Kid
History

Okamoto Kid's drama "Ogurusu no Chb" was published in August 1920 in the magazine Gendai and was premiered in November 1920 at the Meijiza [casting].

Structure

"Ogurusu no Chb" is a 1-act (1 scene) drama.

Key words Akechi Mitsuhide
Hashiba Hideyoshi
Ogurusu
Osh
Sengoku Jidai
Shinkabuki
Shya
Takeyari
Tepp
Umakata
Yamazaki no Tatakai
Yarisaki
Summary

At the village of Ogurusu's tea house, a group of farmers are talking excitedly about the battle of Yamazaki, which happened not too far away the previous day. The general Akechi Mitsuhide was defeated by his rival Hashiba Hideyoshi. The farmers are joined in their discussion by old Chkur. He is accompanied by his daughter Oine and his son-in-law Shichinosuke. The old man is congratulated for this fine couple. But they all agree that they can't say the same thing for Chkur's son Chb, who is Ogurusu's black sheep.

The umakata Yatahachi comes by in a very bad mood. He tells them that good-for-nothing Chb stole his horse the previous day. Chkur should compensate Yatahachi for his loss as he can't work without his horse. Chkur is forced into agreeing to compensate but he will have first to sell his small land plot to gather the money.

At his point the village shya Yomosaku comes to the scene with the village temple's osh Hzen. Yomosaku informs the farmers that the victorious general Hashiba Hideyoshi has posted a notice ordering villagers not to take advantage of the post-battle chaos. Just as the others are exclaiming in fear at the injunction, the hunter Denz comes with his tepp. He confesses to the shya that he had seen a straggler of the defeated army. The escaping warrior was wearing a fine armor and Denz has shot at him to steal it. Fortunately, he had missed the warrior and then fled in terror. When he hears about Hideyoshi's official order, he begs the shya to save him. Yomosaku, noting that Denz has not inflicted any harm and that there was no witness at the scene of the crime, enjoins everyone to keep quiet about the story.

Now Chb comes on the scene, roughly pulling along Kosuzu, the Ogurusu shrine maiden. He is in a bad mood, saying he had taken his bamboo spear (takeyari) and gone to loot the dead or attack the wounded. He tried all night at it, but none of his victims had anything of value with them. While going home, he has got hold of the shrine maiden and is now demanding that the tea house proprietor bring out drinks. He plans to force the maiden to serve him some sake. Both Yomosaku and Hzen remonstrate with Chb but he continues to make himself even more obnoxious. Yatahachi accuses Chb of having stolen his horse the day before. He has located his horse at a neighboring village where Chb had sold it. He can therefore produce a witness to prove Chb's bad deeds. Chb refuses to admit that he is guilty. When the farmers start to admonish him too, he grabs Denz's tepp and threatens them with it. Chkur can't stand it anymore. He decides to disown his unruly son with the shya as witness.

A huge ramble starts and Chb shoots at random a couple of time. Unfortunately for him, one of the shots wounds his father. The villagers all jump on Chb, tie him up in a straw mat, and decide to dump him in the river. Horio Mosuke Yoshiharu, one of Hashiba Hideyoshi's retainers, arrives on stage. He has brought with him the bloodstained tip (yarisaki) of a bamboo spear. He asks the villagers whether they know of one of them who went off to loot with a bamboo spear the previous night. The villagers, mindful of Hideyoshi's official order, reply that they don't know anything at all. Horio Mosuke then explains the circumstances. He says that Akechi Mitsuhide was stabbed with a bamboo spear, the weapon of a farmer, not of a warrior. Mitsuhide succeeded in cutting off the tip of the spear, but being mortally wounded, subsequently committed suicide. Hashiba Hideyoshi is now seeking the man responsible for the death of Mitsuhide to offer a generous reward.

A muffled voice coming from the bundled-up Chb is heard. He tells Horio Mosuke that he is the man in question, and that the now tipless bamboo spear discarded somewhere nearby should prove his story. The villagers search and find the bamboo stick which fits the sliced-off tip perfectly. Chb is released from his bonds, and is promised a handsome reward. After Horio Mosuke has departed, the villagers surround Chb admiringly, saying that he is indeed the number one man in this village (mura no ichiban otoko in Japanese). The old Chkur is now proud of his son.

The actors Ichikawa Ennosuke II (left) and Band Jusabur III (right) playing the roles of Chb and the umakata Yatahachi in the drama "Ogurusu no Chb"

The actor Ichikawa Ennosuke II playing the role of Chb in the drama "Ogurusu no Chb"

 
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