Play title Imoseyama Onna Teikin  In Japanese
Mt Imo and Mt Se: A Tale of Womanly Virtue
Authors Chikamatsu Hanji
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Matsuda Boku
Chikamatsu T˘nan

The play "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1771 in ďsaka at Takeda Shinmatsu's theater (ex-Takemotoza). It was quickly adapted for Kabuki and staged in Ky˘to in the 3rd lunar month of 1771 at the Kitagawa no Shibai [casting]. It was a long run, produced from the 25th day of the 3rd lunar month to the 10th of the 5th lunar month of 1771. For this premiere, the roles of Soga no Emiji, Daihanji no Kiyosumi/Soga no Iruka, Yukinushi and Medo-no-Kata were played by Asao Tamejűr˘ I, Nakayama Raisuke I, Ogino Kichisabur˘ and Arashi Shigenoi.

The staging of "Emiji Yakata" is a rare event. It is sometimes revived within a t˘shi ky˘gen production. The Omodakaya had the great idea to stage it as a spectacular independent act, in July 2003 at the Kabukiza, starring Nakamura Karoku, Ichikawa Ukon, Ichikawa Emisabur˘ and Ichikawa En'ya in the roles of Soga no Emiji, Soga no Iruka, Medo-no-Kata and Yukinushi.


"Emiji Yakata" is the third scene (kiri) of the first act of "Imoseyama Onna Teikin".

Key words Asuka Jidai
Gidayű Ky˘gen
Sarusawa no Ike
Soga Emiji
Soga Iruka
Taika no Kaishin

Emiji, who has just moved into his new mansion, which is as magnificent as the Imperial Palace, calls Koganosuke to the mansion and asks him whether the report is true that Uneme has drowned herself in Sarusawa Pond. Koganosuke falsely replies that the suicide has in fact happened. Koganosuke then says he wishes to serve Emiji, Emiji demands that not only Koganosuke but also his father Daihanji serve him. Koganosuke, however, says that his father, who is loyal to the Emperor, will not agree to serve him. Emiji makes his retainers Miyakoshi Genba and Aramaki Yat˘ji attack Koganosuke with their swords. Koganosuke evades their attack and takes his leave.

Emiji then meets Medo, wife of his son Iruka, who is accusing him of his attempt to dethrone the Emperor. As Medo has a document carrying the signatures of those who have pledged to support Emiji in his attempt for rebellion, Emiji asks her to return it to him. Medo refuses and burns the documents, so an angered Emiji slashes her to death.

Medo's father Yukinushi, accompanied by Daihanji, arrives as an Imperial messenger and, accusing Emiji of his plan for rebellion, forces him to kill himself. Then Yukinushi is shot to death with an arrow. The murderer, who is none other that Iruka, appears and, declaring that he is more rebellious than Emiji, demands that Daihanji support him in his attempt to overthrow the Imperial government. As Daihanji complies with his demand, Iruka puts on a splendid ceremonial dress and proceeds to the Imperial Palace to deprive the Emperor of his sacred treasures.

Text written by Hironaga Shűzabur˘

The actors Nakayama Raisuke&nbp;I (top/left and middle left), Asao Tamejűr˘ I (middle/center, the actor committing seppuku) and Ogino Kichisabur˘ (the actor killed by an arrow) playing the roles of Soga no Iruka (the warrior with the bow)/Daihanji no Kiyosumi, Soga no Emiji and Yukinushi in the "Emiji Yakata" scene of "Imoseyama Onna Teikin", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1771 at the Kitagawa no Shibai

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