Play title Kanadehon Chűshingura  In Japanese
Common title Rikiya J˘shi  In Japanese
Authors Takeda Izumo II
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Namiki Senryű I

The play "Kanadehon Chűshingura" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 8th lunar month of 1748 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki the same year and staged for the first time in the 12th lunar month of 1748 in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai [casting]. The "Nidanme" act (2nd act) was performed with the actors Kataoka Nizaemon IV and Yamamoto Koheiji in the roles of Kakogawa Honz˘ and Momonoi Wakasanosuke.


The "Nidanme" act, the second act of "Kanadehon Chűshingura", is made up of 2 scenes commonly called "Rikiya J˘shi" (literally "the Emissary Rikiya") and "Matsukiri" (literally "the Cutting of the Pine Branch"). This act is most of the times omitted for a t˘shi ky˘gen production of this drama.

Key words Gidayű Ky˘gen

Previous scene: "Kabuto Aratame"

Act II, Scene 1: Rikiya J˘shi
The Emissary Rikiya

Act two opens on the grounds of Wakasanosuke's estate, which is alive with gossip about the unknown details of Moron˘'s treatment of Wakasanosuke the previous day. Honz˘ enters and dismisses two such gossiping servants, admonishing them for chatter that could bring shame on the household. Tonase and Konami approach and inform Honz˘ that Wakasanosuke's wife, too, has somehow heard the rumors of yesterday's conflict and is deeply concerned over what it might mean. Honz˘ chides them for not putting her ladyship at ease and parries their question by saying that women and children always make too much of such a situation.

As Honz˘ takes his leave, Rikiya enters with an official message for lord of the house from En'ya. Although Tonase is specifically instructed to receive him with all due formality and relay the contents of the message, she passes the duty to Konami, aware of her daughters desire to spend time with her future husband. But, as the virginal Konami is capable of naught but blushing, Tonase is forced to fake a bout of chronic back pain in an effort to force the young couple together.

Although the two love each other deeply, Rikiya, an upright youth of seventeen worthy of the name ďboshi, makes every attempt to avoid improper behavior while he is serving in an official capacity, despite Konami's coquettish behavior. Wakasanosuke enters just as Rikiya ceremoniously conveys his message: Both En'ya and Wakasanosuke must be at Tadayoshi's palace by four the next morning.

Source: summary based on Donald Keene's translation "Chűshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers"; Columbia University Press, New York; (C) 1971

Next scene: "Matsukiri"

The actors Sawamura Tossh˘ II (bottom/left) and Sawamura Tanosuke III (top/right) playing the roles of Konami and ďboshi Rikiya in the "Rikiya J˘shi" scene of second act of the drama "Kanadehon Chűshingura", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1862 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)

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