Dance title Ômori Hikoshichi  In Japanese

Fukuchi Ôchi (lyrics)
Kishizawa Nakasuke (music)
Hanayagi Jusuke I (choreography)


Fukuchi Ôchi's dance-drama "Ômori Hikoshichi", which mixed Tokiwazu and Gidayû musical accompaniment, was premiered in October 1897 at the Meijiza [casting].

Key words Shosagoto
Hannya no Men
Shin Kabuki Jûhachiban

In order to avenge the death of her father (one of the warriors on the losing side of the Southern Dynasty), Princess Chihaya comes to a mountain in Iyo Province to attend a three-day festival of sacred music and dancing, to which all the great lords supporting the Northern Dynasty are invited. The Princess there hopes to encounter Ômori Hikoshichi, the enemy general who defeated her father in battle and caused his death.

At a mountain stream, she meets Ômori Hikoshichi, and putting on a demon's mask to confuse and frighten him, attempts to stab him. He easily defeats her, and she explains why she has made the attempt. Ômori Hikoshichi in a "Narration" recounts the circumstances of her father's death. He gives her a precious sword which he had taken from her father and which subsequently was entrusted to Ômori Hikoshichi by the Shôgun for safekeeping.

At this moment, one of Ômori Hikoshichi's colleagues arrives on the scene. In order to dispel any suspicions of sympathy with the enemy side, Ômori Hikoshichi tells Princess Chihaya to don the demon's mask and pretend to be the spirit of her father who has come to retrieve the sword. Before the colleague's amazed eyes, Ômori Hikoshichi pretends to be bewitched, gives the demon the sword, and dances crazily. He finally mounts his steed and rides down the hanamichi passage-way.

Source: Faubion Bowers

The actors Ichikawa Metora II and Ichikawa Danjûrô IX playing the roles of Ômori Hikoshichi and Princess Chihaya in the dance drama "Ômori Hikoshichi", which was staged in October 1897 at the Meijiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)

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