Play titles Honch˘ Nijűshik˘  In Japanese
Authors Chikamatsu Hanji
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Takeda Inaba
Takeda Heishichi
Takemoto Saburobŕ II

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].

"Michiyuki Niai no Meotogan" ("The Travel Dance of the Perfectly Matched Couple" in English) has been occasionally revived within a t˘shi ky˘gen production of "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘". 4 records of performance in 40 years, between 1965 and 2005:

Date Theater Minosaku Nureginu
1965/04 T˘yoko Hall Ichikawa Sadanji III Nakamura Utaemon VI
1968/05 Kabukiza Ichikawa Sadanji III Nakamura Ganjir˘ II
1971/10 National Theatre Nakamura Ganjir˘ II Nakamura Utaemon VI
2005/03 National Theatre Kataoka Ainosuke VI Kataoka Takatar˘

"Michiyuki Niai no Meotogan" ("The Travel Dance of the Perfectly Matched Couple" in English) is the first scene of the 4th act of "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘". In 2005, it lasted 24 minutes.

Key words Gidayű Ky˘gen
Takeda Katsuyori
Takeda Shingen
Uesugi Kenshin

Disguising themselves as medicinal herbs peddlers (kusuri-uri), Minosaku and Nureginu travel along the Shinano roads. They are going to Uesugi Kenshin's mansion. As they call their herbs for sale, passers-by look enviously at them, taking them for a newly-married happy couple. They are also spotted by two highway robbers, Gonroku and Kanpachi, who have already attacked Minosaku and who want to take their revenge. Minosaku and Nureginu look like husband and wife but they are no more than fellow travelers: Minosaku is not a peddler but Takeda Katsuyori disguised as a the gardener Minosaku. Nureginu, who is a koshimoto at the Takeda household, was married to Takeda Katsuyori, who was in reality Minosaku and who committed seppuku as a substitue for the real Takeda Katsuyori, while the man named Minosaku is in reality Takeda Katsuyori. Therefore Nureginu is full of complex inner emotions as she is travelling with a man who is the exact image of her dead husband. The michiyuki ends with the attack of Gonroku and Kanpachi, which becomes a lively dance.

A picture from the ezukushi banzuke for the staging in the 1st lunar month of 1766 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza of the puppet play "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘"

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