Dance titles Michiyuki Koi no Odamaki
Negai no Ito Enishi no Odamaki
Play title Imoseyama Onna Teikin  In Japanese
Mt Imo and Mt Se: A Tale of Womanly Virtue
Authors Takarada Jusuke (lyrics)
Kishizawa Ichizô (music)

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 Ôsaka at Takeda Shinmatsu's theater (ex-Takemotoza). It was quickly adapted for Kabuki and staged in Kyôto 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.

A Tokiwazu-based michiyuki was created in 1833. It was entitled "Negai no Ito Enishi no Odamaki" and was staged for the first time in the 7th lunar month of 1833 at the Kawarasakiza with the minor actors Nakamura Kanzô, Ichikawa Koisaburô and Ichikawa Masuju in the roles of Motome, Omiwa and Princess Tachibana. This michiyuki is still part of the current Kabuki repertoire but most of the times, it is the Gidayû version which is produced.


The michiyuki "Koi no Odamaki" belongs to the 4th act of "Imoseyama Onna Teikin".

Key words Asuka Jidai
Fujiwara Kamatari
Fujiwara Tankai
Furu Jinja
Soga Iruka
Taika no Kaishin


Fujiwara no Kamatari's son Tankai is one of those involved in the resistance against the evil Soga no Iruka, who rules the country of Yamato with an iron hand. He has decided to hide in a little village, calling himself Motome. Omiwa, the daughter of Motome's neighbor, the owner of a sake shop, has fallen in love at first sight. At the same time, another woman regularly and secretly visits Motome at night. She is a mysterious princess who refuses to reveal her identity. One night, the two women come to visit Motome at the same time. There is a jealous confrontation and the unknown princess slips away from the house into the dark, followed by Motome. Then, Omiwa rushes to chase after the man she loves. The threesome will meet at the Furu shrine.

At the Furu shrine

Motome catches hold of the princess. Motome suspects her to be Princess Tachibana, the sister of the evil Soga no Iruka and he would like to learn why she comes to visit him only in the dark of night, and why she refuses to reveal her identity. He promises that if she tells him everything, he will take her to wife. Despite Motome insistent questions, Princess Tachibana keeps on refusing to reveal her real identity. The two young people are interrupted by the sudden arrival of the passionate Omiwa. The two jealous women start to squabble over Motome, each trying to take possession of Motome. The young man is pushed and pulled between the two fighting ladies. But when a temple drum sounds in the distance, the princess hurries off, leaving the shrine. Motome, in order to be able to follow her, stealthily attaches the end of a red thread from a spindle he is carrying to her kimono. Then he runs after her in the dark, following the red thread. The frustrated Omiwa decides to do the same, attaching a white thread from her spindle to Motome's kimono, and she too heads off into the dark, following the white thread. The three young people take the direction of Iruka's palace.

The actors Nakamura Fukusuke I (left), Onoe Kikugorô IV (medallion) and Onoe Baikô (right) playing the roles of Omiwa, Princess Tachibana and Motome in the michiyuki of the drama "Imoseyama Onna Teikin", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1859 at the Nakamuraza
(print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)

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