Play titles Godairiki Koi no FŻjime  In Japanese
Gozonji Godairiki  In Japanese
Author Namiki Gohei I

Namiki Gohei I's drama "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime" was premiered in the 5th lunar month of 1794 in KyŰto at the Nishi no Shibai [casting]. Historically-speaking, it can be considered as the premiere of "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime" but Namiki Gohei I's drama "Shima Meguri Uso no Kikigaki", which was staged in the 2nd lunar month of 1794 at the Naka no Shibai, contained most of "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime" scenes in its second part [casting]. "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime" was staged for the first time in Edo, at the Miyakoza in the 1st lunar month of 1795 [casting]. It was changed to an Edo drama: Katsuma GengobÍ became Satsuma GengobÍ, Kikuno was renamed Koman and the pleasures district of Kita-Shinchi in ‘saka was replaced by the kuruwa of Susaki in Edo. It was a successful 120-day long run.


"Godairiki Koi no FŻjime" is made up of 6 or 7 scenes (depending on the production). Kamigata actors always perform the Kamigata version of "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime", which has a slightly different structure.

Key words Enkiriba

The hero of the play, Satsuma GengobÍ, a samurai to the core, is deeply in love with Koman, a geisha so swept off her feet by his manly spirit that she cuts off her little finger as a pledge of her affections. Resentful of their relationship, the evil samurai, Sasano SangobÍ, who at one time had made advances of his own to Koman, tricks her into writing a letter pretending to sever her relationship with GengobÍ. Although GengobÍ trusts Koman, he becomes convinced she is unfaithful when he notices that the word godairiki which, out of deep feeling for him, she once had written on her shamisen has been rewritten to look like a similar pledge to SangobÍ. (The three characters godairiki were a pledge of fidelity when written by a geisha on her shamisen or on sealed edge of a letter sent to a person she loved). Knowing nothing of the trick played on Koman, GengobÍ kills her. later, learning of her innocence from a note she has left behind, he kills SangobÍ and also recovers the heirloom SangobÍ had stolen from their master's household, thus avenging not only the woman he loved but his master's family as well.

Source: Kawatake Toshio in "Kabuki: Baroque Fusion of the Arts"


One possible translation of "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime" in English is "Five Great Powers That Secure Love".
Source: Kabuki Plays On Stage (Volume II: Villainy and Vengeance: 1770-1800), edited by James R. Brandon and Samuel L. Leiter

The actors ‘tani Tomoemon IV, Sawamura SŰjŻrŰ V, BandŰ HikosaburŰ IV and Onoe BaikŰ IV playing the roles of Yasuke, Satsuma GengobÍ, Sasano GengobÍ and Sakuraya Koman in the drama "Godairiki Koi no FŻjime", which was staged in the 7th lunar month of 1848 at the Kawarasakiza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)

Prints & Illustrations

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