|MICHIYUKI KOTOBA NO AMAIKAI
|Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami
Michiyuki Kotoba no Amaikai
The Travel Dance of the Sweet Talking Candy Peddler of Love
|Takeda Izumo I
Namiki Senryű I
Takeda Koizumo I (Takeda Izumo II)
The play "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 8th lunar month of 1746 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki the following month and staged for the first time in Ky˘to at the Kitagawa no Shibai, produced by Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I [casting]. It was also performed for the first time in Edo, at the Ichimuraza, in the 3rd lunar month of 1747 [casting].
This great play is based on the life of Sugawara no Michizane (845~903), a renowned scholar who was promoted up to the prestigious rank of udaijin ("Right Minister", one of the 2 close advisors of the Emperor). Falsely accused by Fujiwara no Shihei, the "Left Minister" (sadaijin), of trying to hatch a plot with Prince Tokiyo to seize the power, Sugawara no Michizane was exiled to Kyűshű. He dedicated his last years in writing poems, expressing both his homesickness and his innocence. After his death, the Emperor's residence was often struck by lightning and people thought it was done by the vengeful spirit of Sugawara no Michizane. A shrine was built in Ky˘to to appease the spirit, the Kitano Tenmangű, and Sugawara no Michizane was revered as a the God of calligraphy. In the play Sugawara no Michizane is called Kan Sh˘j˘.
The "Michiyuki Kotoba no Amaikai" scene is rarely-staged nowadays. Only one record after WWII:
This michiyuki shows the fugitive lovers, Prince Tokiyo and Princess Kariya on their way to seek refuge in the province of Kawachi at the village of Haji where Princess Kariya's mother lives. They are accompanied by the faithful retainer Sakuramaru, who is disguised as a peddler of candies (ame), carrying on his back a huge wooden box. The box ostensibly holds the candies of his trade but also the two lovers, who are hidden inside the box under the candies.
In the countryside, near Yasui in the province of Settsu, Sakuramaru stops to rest, and Tokiyo and Princess Kariya come out of the box to relax in the open. Their feelings are expressed in the form of a dance, with Sakuramaru joining in. Princess Kariya expresses anxiety about her father Kan Sh˘j˘, as she has heard rumours on the road about his exile to the remote island of Kyűshű. Sakuramaru confirms the rumour. Kan Sh˘j˘ has already left the capital and he is on his way to his place of exile. Princess Kariya bursts out weeping, saying she wishes to meet him. They rush to the port of Yasui where the ship carrying Kan Sh˘j˘ to Kyűshű is at anchor.
The michiyuki "Michiyuki Kotoba no Amaikai" of the drama "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" with Nakamura Denkur˘ IV, Nakamura Shichisabur˘ IV and Nakamura Sennosuke I in the roles of Sakuramaru, Prince Tokiyo and Princess Kariya which was staged in the 9th lunar month of 1797 at the Kiriza
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