SUWA MYďJIN
   
Play title Honch˘ Nijűshik˘  In Japanese
Authors Chikamatsu Hanji
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Takeda Inaba
Takeda Heishichi
Takemoto Saburobei II
History

The play "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1766 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki a few months later and was produced by both Nakamura Utaemon I and Mimasu Daigor˘ I in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai [casting].

Structure

"Suwa My˘jin" is the common nickname for the first scene of the 2nd act of "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘". The regular title is "Suwa My˘jin Hyakudo Ishi" ("the 100 Times Stone in the Suwa My˘jin Shrine" in English). This scene is occasionally revived within a t˘shi ky˘gen production of "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘".

Key words Gidayű Ky˘gen
Giri/Ninj˘
Hyakudo Ishi
Jinja
Suwa My˘jin
Suwa Taisha
Summary

Minosaku, a carter, takes a rest on a stone (hyakudo ishi) in the compound of the Suwa My˘jin Shrine when several other carters surround him, saying that the stone is sacred and that anyone who sits on it has to raise it or offer some money to the shrine. Itagaki Hy˘bu, a leading retainer of Takeda Shingen, arrives with his retainers and makes the carters stop bullying Minosaku. Hy˘bu takes Minosaku to the inn where he is staying.

Nureginu, a maid in the service of the Takeda household, pays homage at the shrine to pray for the safety of Shingen's son Katsuyori, with whom she is in love. She is worried because the Sh˘gun's assassin is still at large though three years have passed since Katsuyori's father promised to kill him if the assassin is not apprehended. As Nureginu rings the bell at the sanctuary by shaking the ribbon attached to it, the ribbon comes off. She shudders, considering it a bad omen. A man named Yokoz˘ approaches her and, reading the inscription on the ribbon, tells her that it represents a prayer for the health of a 17 -year-old youth. When she says that her lover is 17 years old, Yokoz˘ assures her that the broken ribbon signifies a good luck instead of a bad one. Thanking him for the information, Nureginu hurries away with the ribbon. Yokoz˘ then steals money from the offertory box and a sword from the sanctuary. When Ochiai T˘ma, a retainer of Nagao Kenshin, comes to accuse Yokoz˘ of his crime, Yokoz˘ cuts off his head. Kagekatsu, Kenshin's son, arrives with his retainers but connives at Yokoz˘'s crime.

Source: Hironaga Shűzabur˘

"Suwa My˘jin" of "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘" in the 5th lunar month of 1799 at the Ichimuraza, with Nakamura Denkur˘ IV (Minosaku), Ichikawa Yaoz˘ III (Yokoz˘), Arashi Sanpachi I (Itagaki Hy˘bu) or Onoe Matsusuke I (Sait˘ Nyűd˘ D˘san)

 
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