SUMA NO URA
   
Play titles Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi  In Japanese
Taik˘ Shinkenki  In Japanese
Suma no Ura  In Japanese
Authors Umeno Shitakaze, Chikamatsu Yasuz˘ ("Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi")
Namiki Gohŕ ("Taik˘ Shinkenki")
History

The play "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 10th lunar month of 1786 in ďsaka at the Higashi no Shibai. It was not immediately adapted for Kabuki and Namiki Gohei I wrote a similar play, which was entitled "Taik˘ Shinkenki" and produced by Band˘ Iwagor˘ in the 3rd lunar month of 1787 at the Naka no Shibai [casting]. This drama was staged for the first time in Ky˘to the same year in August [casting]. "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi" was finally adapted for Kabuki for the first time the following year, in the 5th lunar month of 1788 in Ise at the Furuichi no Shibai [casting]. It was produced in a major theater for the first time in the 7th lunar month of 1790, in ďsaka at the Nakaza (casting unknown). It was staged for the first time in Edo in the 9th lunar month of 1796, simultaneously at the Kiriza [casting] and the Miyakoza [casting].

Structure

"Suma no Ura", or "Suma no Ura Kaeriuchi" ("The killing of a would-be avenger at the Bay of Suma"), is the 6th act of the 11-act drama "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi". It is occasionally staged as part of a t˘shi ky˘gen production.

Key words Adauchi
Gidayű Ky˘gen
Sewamono
Suma no Ura
Summary

Ichimisai, a fencing master in the employ of Lord K˘ri Otonari, who was subsequently assassinated by a wicked samurai named Ky˘goku no Takumi. Osono and Okiku, Ichimisai's daughters, tried to revenge themselves on Takumi.

Okiku, the younger of two daughters, travels around the country with Yasomatsu and servant Tomohei to search for Takumi. One day toward evening they arrive at Suma Beach. Okiku and Yasomatsu rest and Tomohei goes away to hire a palanquin for them as they are very tired.

As it happens to be the day of the Obon Festival for departed souls, Okiku hangs an improvised lantern from a branch of a pine tree as a token of prayer.

Presently she is visited by a samurai whom she soon recognizes as Takumi. Taking advantage of this chance meeting, Takumi tries to seduce her. Okiku blows out the light and, pretending to comply with his wish, suddenly attacks him with a drawn sword but is killed by him.

Tomohei comes back to find Okiku already dead. To his relief, however, he sees Yasomatsu unhurt because Okiku had hidden him in her trunk before attacking Takumi.

Source: Hironaga Shűzabur˘

The actors Arashi Izabur˘ I (bottom/left), Asao Kuzaemon I (middle) and Nakamura Karoku I (top/right) playing the roles of the yakko Tomahei (Tomohei in the standard version), Ky˘goku no Takumi and Oiku (Okiku in the standard version) in the "Suma no Ura" scene of the drama "Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi", which was staged in the 9th lunar month of 1810 in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai

 
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