TSUKUDA NO YOARASHI
   
Play title Ansei Kibun Tsukuda no Yoarashi  In Japanese
Common title Tsukuda no Yoarashi  In Japanese
Author Furukawa Shinsui
History

The drama "Ansei Kibun Tsukuda no Yoarashi" was premiered in September 1914 [1] at the Ichimuraza [more details].

Structure

The original drama was in 6 acts. The part about the love affair between the tedai K˘shichi and the keisei Hagoromo has not survived. The current version is in 3 acts.

"Ansei Kibun Tsukuda no Yoarashi" was staged only 3 times during the second half of the 20th century:

Date Theater Aoki Teijir˘ Kamiya Genz˘
1948/05 T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ Onoe Kikugor˘ VI Nakamura Kichiemon I
1973/04 Kabukiza Onoe Sh˘roku II Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII
1987/05 Kabukiza Onoe Kikugor˘ VII Nakamura Kichiemon II
Key words Ansei
D˘ketsu
Fuefukigawa
Fukagawa
Kagoya
K˘shű
Meshitakidokoro
Meshiya
Ninsoku Yoseba
Ofunaguramae-ch˘
Sewamono
Shinkabuki
Sh˘senky˘
Takeda Shingen
Torite
T˘zoku
Tsukudajima
Yoseba
Summary

Act I, scene 1: Tsukuda Yoseba Meshitakidokoro
At the Kitchen of the Tsukuda Labor Camp

This is the fifth year of the Ansei era. Aoki Teijir˘ [2] has been involved in a conspiracy against the government and has plotted breaking into a large establishment with a robber (t˘zoku) named Kamiya Genz˘ in order to obtain money to fund the conspiracy. They have both been caught for minor offenses and are now jailed at the Rehabilitation Camp (ninsoku yoseba) on Tsukuda Island where they have been set up as overseers over the other prisoners and as supervisers at the kitchen of the camp (meshitakidokoro).

It seems that the conspiracy itself has finally been revealed and the prisoners are gossiping that Teijir˘ and Genz˘ are to be detained there for life because they are conspirators. Teijir˘ overhears them and is dismayed. He tells Genz˘ about it, and Genz˘ remarks that the situation must be particularly hard on Teijir˘, who still has on his hands the difficult task of avenging his father's death. Teijir˘'s father had in his possession a map showing the location of a cave in K˘shű where the fabled treasure of the warlord Takeda Shingen was said to be hidden. He has gone to K˘shű in search of the treasure but he has finally been killed there. Teijir˘, who has been disowned by his father earlier because of his love affair with a geisha, has learned of the death later, but has no idea who the killer might be. He is entirely unaware that the murderer is none other than his fellow prisoner Genz˘.

Genz˘ eggs Teijir˘ on, and Teijir˘, falling into the trap, suggests that they make their escape together. They lay plans to steal the garments of prisoners who have been sent in that day so that they will have something to wear instead of their prison garb.

Act I, scene 2: Tsukudajima Yoseba Soto
Outside the Labor Camp on Tsukuda Island

The scene is set outside the prison walls on Tsukuda Island. Aoki Teijir˘ climbs down the wall and sneak out of the labor camp, with a suit of ordinary clothes in his hand. Kamiya Genz˘ follows him. Teijir˘, who is a good swimmer, takes Genz˘ on his back to make the swim across the bay.

Act I, scene 3: Fukagawa Nanbu Kawagishi
Near the Riverbank of Southern Fukagawa

Still later that same night the pair reach the opposite shore at Fukagawa and change into the stolen garments. Then they set off after a lone passerby, the young heir of the J˘shűya shop in Fukagawa Saga-ch˘ named J˘shűya Hanjir˘, and rob him of his money, unaware that they are being watched by a pair of kagoya resting by the roadside.

Now the kagoya Kanji comes out and tries to force Teijir˘ to hand over the stolen money. A fight ensues. Genz˘ watches from the side, waiting not for an opportunity to aid but to kill Teijir˘ if the chance should offer itself. After a hard fight Kanji is subdued by Teijir˘. The other kagoya Heisuke runs away.

Act I, scene 4: Fukagawa Ofunaguramae Meshiya
At an Eatery in Fukagawa Ofunaguramae

Later, Aoki Teijir˘ and Kamiya Genz˘ are eating in a small and cheap restaurant (meshiya) by the riverboat landing in the district of Fukagawa Ofunaguramae-ch˘. The restaurant is managed by Oyone and the area is full of Fuji pilgrims or Narita pilgrims. Teijir˘ says he plans to go to K˘shű to seek the hidden treasure his father was after. Their conversation is overheard by an unsavory acquaintance of Genz˘, a scoundrel named Kinezumi Seiji [3], who has been Genz˘'s accomplice in the murder of Teijir˘'s father. The two have learned of the map in the elder Teijir˘'s possession and have followed him in his search, hoping to steal the treasure. Genz˘ whispers to Seiji that Teijir˘ is none other than the son of the man whom they have killed in K˘shű.

Act II, scene 1: Fuekikawa no Watashi Gihŕ no Ie
At the Home of Fueki River Ferryman Gihŕ

Gihŕ is an old boatman running a ferry service across Fuefuki River in K˘shű. He lives with his daughter Osayo and his granddaughter Otami. Because of the family's impoverishment, Osayo had been forced to serve as geisha in Edo, where she has met Aoki Teijir˘ and has become his wife. But having been abandoned by Teijir˘ who has gone off on his conspiracy plot against the government, she has come back home to her father with her child, the daughter of Teijir˘.

Otami is sick with a fever, and Osayo is about to go off through the snow to call a doctor when the village headman comes to say that a group of torite has come from Edo in chase of a man who has escaped from prison, and that therefore Gihŕ is not to ferry anyone across the river that night.

After Osayo has left on her errand, a stranger comes to the house asking to be ferried across the river. Gihŕ refuses and explains the situation. The stranger is none other than Aoki Teijir˘. When Gihŕ explains the circumstances that led to his living here now with his daughter and child, Teijir˘ realizes that the woman must be his own wife Osayo. When the girl Otami begins to be delirious due to the fever, Teijir˘ comforts her and tells her that he is her father.

Now Kinezumi Seiji comes. Genz˘ and he have conspired with each other to betray Teijir˘ to the authorities, and Seiji has been put on Teijir˘'s tracks on his journey from Edo to K˘shű. Teijir˘ and Seiji fight, and Teijir˘ is about to be killed when Gihŕ steps in to lend a helping hand to his son-in-law. As a result, it is Seiji who is downed. Gihŕ has believed that Seiji was the criminal being sought instead of Teijir˘, and is shocked to learn that the reverse was the truth.

Now Seiji who is about to die begins to talk and reveals that Genz˘ was indeed the real culprit. He tells how Genz˘ has desired Takeda Shingen's treasure sought by Teijir˘'s father, and how Genz˘ and he have killed Teijir˘'s father just as he has located the secret treasure cave.

Osayo returns soon after Seiji's death. Teijir˘ explains the full situation to Osayo and Gihŕ and then requests that Gihŕ take him across the river on his ferry. Gihŕ refuses, saying that he has been told by the headman not to do so. However, Osayo asks her father to help Teijir˘. Teijir˘ is reluctant to leave behind his wife and daughter with whom he has been reunited for the first time in many years, but he nevertheless leaves the boatman's house.

Act III, scene 1: Sh˘senky˘ no Okuyama D˘ketsu no Mae
In front of a Cave in a Remote Mountain within the Sh˘sen Gorges

Kamiya Genz˘ has come with an accomplice to retrieve the gold from a cave (d˘ketsu) in a remote area of the Sh˘sen Gorges. When the treasure has been entirely brought out, Genz˘ coldly kills his accomplice Mokuz˘.

Two pilgrims start to pass by, frightening Genz˘ for a moment. He is not aware that they are in reality torite in disguise. After they pass on, Aoki Teijir˘ makes his appearance. Genz˘ is again frightened for a moment, but remembering that Teijir˘ has not known who his father's murderer was, he regains his composure. He starts to tell Teijir˘ that his father's murderer is a swordman named Yamada Sanjűr˘ and that Genz˘ will be happy to help Teijir˘ in seeking revenge against him.

Teijir˘ however, now knows that Genz˘ is lying, and they start to fight each other. However, they are surrounded by a group of torite led by Miyoshino Kamejir˘ and they are finally captured. Bound in ropes, they glare at each other and say they will continue their fight in Hell.

Notes

[1] The drama was premiered in September 1914, 17 years after the passing away of the author Furukawa Shinsui (Morita Kan'ya XII). It is worthy to note that the author's son Morita Kan'ya XIII and the author's grandson Band˘ Tamasabur˘ IV performed in this premiere.

[2] The normal reading for Teijir˘ would have been Sadajir˘.

[3] Literally Seiji the squirrel.

The actors Onoe Kikugor˘ VI and Nakamura Kichiemon I playing the roles of Aoki Teijir˘ and Kamiya Genz˘ in the drama "Ansei Kibun Tsukuda no Yoarashi", which was staged in June 1926 at the Kabukiza

Prints & Illustrations

 
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