Play title Edo Sodachi Omatsuri Sashichi  In Japanese
Edo-raised Festival Sashichi
Author Kawatake Shinshichi III

Kawatake Shinshichi III was premiered in May 1898 at the Kabukiza [casting]. It was a kakikae ky˘gen of the koito-sashichimono within Tsuruya Nanboku IV's 1810 drama "Itoya no Musume". In the 1810 drama the role of Omatsuri Sashichi (literally Festival Sashichi) was played by Onoe Kikugor˘ III; in the 1898 drama, it was played by his grandson Onoe Kikugor˘ V.


The current version of "Edo Sodachi Omatsuri Sashichi" is made up of 2 acts, 5 scenes:

Act Scene In Japanese In English
I 1 鎌倉河岸祭礼 Kamakuragashi Sairei
The Religious Festival in Kamakuragashi
I 2 待合茶屋菊本裏手 Machiai Jaya Kikumoto Urate
The Backyard of the Kikumoto "Rendezvous" Teahouse
I 3 連雀町佐七内 Renjaku-ch˘ Sashichi Uchi
At Sashichi's Home in Renjaku-ch˘
I 4 柳橋小糸内 Yanagibashi Koito Uchi
At Koito's Home in Yanagibashi
I 5 柳原土手殺し Yanagihara Dote Koroshi
Murder at the Yanagihara Embankment
You need a Japanese Language Kit installed within your system in order to be able to read the characters
Key words Dote
Kakikae Ky˘gen
Kanda Matsuri
Machiai Jaya

Act I, Scene 1: Kamakuragashi Sairei
The Religious Festival in Kamakuragashi

Otama and Koito, two courtesans, come on and join a group waiting to watch the Kanda Matsuri parade. They are accompanied by Kurata Bampei and the hakomawashi Kyűsuke, two of their customers.

The fireman Sashichi and his companions come in bearing a lion's head and place it on the altar of the mikisho in Kamakuragashi. Dancers and musicians arrive and perform for the gathering. Once the performance is over, the crowd disperses.

Yoshinoya Tomijir˘, the son of a wealthy merchant, comes in with the courtesans Oyuki and Onaka. The good for nothing Odedeko Denji, Onaka's older brother, comes blustering in with a bunch of bad guys. He tries to blackmail the weak Tomijir˘. The tobi Sudare no Yoshimatsu, Tomijir˘'s friend, appears on stage. He is a member of a powerful Edo gang. Yoshimatsu threatens the powerless Denji, who knows he can't fight Yoshimatsu and has to quickly retreat in anger.

Act I, Scene 2: Machiai Jaya Kikumoto Urate
The Backyard of the Kikumoto "Rendezvous" Teahouse

The tobi Mi no Sankichi comes in at the backyard of the Kikumoto machiai jaya carrying a lantern, followed by Omatsuri Sashichi. They've heard about the fight between Tomijir˘ and Denji. Koito suddenly comes running out of the Kikumoto with Kyűsuke in close pursuit. Sankichi hides his lantern and strikes Kyűsuke who believes he has been hit by a thief. Koito begs Sashichi and Sankichi to give her a place to stay for the night as she has been betrayed by everyone she knows and has no place safe to go. Sashichi agrees to shelter her at his home. They start to leave when Kurata Bampei and Kyűsuke, who came here to force Koito to come back with them to her house of assignation, come dashing out of the Kikumoto and try to stop them. They fight and both Bampei and Kyűsuke are defeated and have to run away. Sashichi and Sankichi gently lead Koito off to safety.

Act II, Scene 1: Renjaku-ch˘ Sashichi Uchi
At Sashichi's Home in Renjaku-ch˘

Koito, Sashichi's sister Otane and Sankichi are preparing a meal at Sashichi's Home in the district of Kanda Renjaku-ch˘. Sashichi comes home with raw fish and sake. In the excitement, they forget about the cooking and the rice burns. Otane goes off to bring some rice from her house and Sankichi goes to the bathhouse. Koito thanks Sashichi for defeating her enemies and sending them away empty-handed. Sashichi assures Koito that he will make sure that she stays safely with him in his home as long as she likes. Koito thanks him again, and they begin talking about their past lives. Koito was adopted by Otetsu, a woman managing a courtesan house, when she was only 5 years old and has no idea who her real parents are. Sashichi promises to help her finding them and explains how his parents were killed by the Kaga family and how he is determined to take his revenge.

Sashichi's boss Kan'emon's wife Otatsu appears outside the house accompanied by Kyűsuke and Koito's foster mother Otetsu. Kyűsuke and Otetsu hide in the shadows, while Otatsu is welcomed by Sashichi in his home. After a long discussion, she convinces Sashichi and Koito that Koito must return to her okiya. Otetsu and Kyűsuke come into the house. Apologies are made all around and Otetsu promises to treat Koito better in future She promises that she will refrain from forcing upon her customers she does not like. Koito goes to another room accompanied by Kyűsuke to change her clothes and get ready to leave. Otetsu invites Sashichi to come and visit Koito as often as he likes.

After they have gone, Sashichi muses about how strong his feelings for Koito have become after only two days together. Sankichi comes back from the bathhouse. The two tobi discuss the situation and finally it is decided that Sashichi and Sankichi will have a drink together, and then Sashichi will go to visit Koito.

Act II, Scene 2: Yanagibashi Koito Uchi
At Koito's Home in Yanagibashi

The scene opens with Oyuki and Denji at the Yanagibashi okiya, where Koito lives with her foster mother and the others courtesans. Onaka's older brother is still looking for Yoshinoya Tomijir˘ and Onaka who are together in another room. Oyuki would like Denji to stay with her. The discussion is quite noisy and Kurata Bampei comes out, complaining that they are disturbing him. The two good for nothing men finally leave Oyuki alone and go off to look in on Tomijir˘ and Onaka. Oyuki goes into another room to try to listen in on the conversation of the two men, but she is almost immediately summoned by Otetsu who arrives home. Bampei comes back into the room and Otetsu says she wants to talk to him privately as she has found a way that they can make Koito and Sashichi break up. They retire to another room while Oyuki heads for home.

Kyűsuke arrives on stage with Koito. Bampei, Denji, and Otetsu come out to welcome them. Bampei expresses relief that Koito is back and reveals that Koito is really the daughter of his uncle who is of the Kaga Clan, and that he has been sent to bring her to her father's home. Bampei, Denji and Otetsu go off to have a drink in celebration of the discovery that Koito is of high birth. Koito is worrying that since she is a daughter of the Kaga Clan, she and Sashichi are enemies. She decides to write him a letter of parting. This is a sad decision to take but she can't escape her fate.

Sashichi approaches the house and calls to Koito through a window. Koito hides the parting letter and rushes out to see Sashichi. She harshly and scornfully explains Sashichi that she refuses to continue their relationship (enkiri). The fireman is extremely shocked. He has lost his temper and becomes angrier. Because of all the noise and commotion, Otetsu, Kyűsuke and Denji come out to calm Sashichi down but he only gets much angrier. A fight ensues. Bampei comes to the rescue of Otetsu's group and to settle the matter with Sashichi. 3 men against one, Kyűsuke, Denji, and Bampei succeed in throwing the fireman out of the house. Sashichi goes away while cursing Koito.

Denji, Kyűsuke, Bampei and Otetsu gloat over the success of their trumped-up identification of Koito and the good riddance of Sashichi. Kyűsuke goes into Koito's room to bring her out but he comes back immediately to report that she has run away one more time.

Act II, Scene 3: Yanagihara Dote Koroshi
Murder at the Yanagihara Embankment

Sashichi runs and catches up with the palanquin bearing Koito at the Yanagihara Embankment. He chases the kagokaki away and brutally stabs Koito with a kitchen. She has time to give him the letter she had been writing earlier. He reads it and is finally convinced that she was true to him, but it is too late. He has killed Koito. Bampei appears and challenges Sashichi to a fight to settle their matter. The curtain is drawn as they fight.

This summary would have not been possible without the help of Sekidobashi Sakura!

The actors Onoe Fujaku VIII (bottom/left) and Onoe Kikugor˘ VI (top/right) playing the roles of the courtesan Koito and Omatsuri Sashichi in the drama "Edo Sodachi Omatsuri Sashichi", which was staged in June 1914 [1] at the Ichimuraza

Prints & Illustrations

[1] "this is a pure coincidence ... but I worked on this summary in June 2014, 100 years after that this picture was taken at the Ichimuraza" (Sh˘riya Aragor˘)

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