Play title Imoseyama Onna Teikin  In Japanese
Mt Imo and Mt Se: A Tale of Womanly Virtue
Authors Chikamatsu Hanji
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Matsuda Boku
Chikamatsu T˘nan

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 ďsaka at Takeda Shinmatsu's theater (ex-Takemotoza). It was quickly adapted for Kabuki and staged in Ky˘to in the 3rd lunar month of 1771 at the Kitagawa no Shibai [casting].

The "Sarusawa no Ike" scene went into oblivion at the beginning of the 20th century. It was fortunately twice during the second half of the 20th century:

Date Theater Tankai Tenchi
1974/04 National Theatre Sawamura Tanosuke VI Nakamura T˘z˘ VI
1996/11 National Theatre Ichikawa Somegor˘ VII Band˘ Shűch˘ V

"Sarusawa no Ike" is the first scene (kuchi) of the second act of "Imoseyama Onna Teikin".

Key words Asuka Jidai
Fujiwara Kamatari
Fujiwara Tankai
Gidayű Ky˘gen
Sarusawa no Ike
Soga Emiji
Soga Iruka
Taika no Kaishin
Tenchi Tenn˘

Having been falsely informed that the tsubone Uneme has drowned herself in Sarusawa Pond, Emperor Tenchi, who is blind, comes to the pond in a carriage (mikuruma), accompanied by court ladies (kanjo), to mourn her death. Fujiwara no Kamatari's son Tankai presents himself to offer his service to assure the Emperor's safety.

A messenger comes from the palace to report to the Emperor that Soga no Emiji has killed himself but his son Soga no Iruka, who is more rebellious than his father, has invaded the palace. Fujiwara no Tankai goes to a height to observe the palace from the distance and, falsely telling the Emperor that troops loyal to Emperor Tenchi have retaken the palace from the rebels. Tankai advises him to go back to the palace immediately. Led by Tankai, the carriage carrying the Emperor goes ostensibly to the palace but actually to what Tankai believes to be a place of safety.

The actors Ogawa Kichitar˘ I (center/standing) and Nishikawa Otokichi (right/in the carriage) playing the roles of Fujiwara no Tankai and Emperor Tenchi in the "Sarusawa no Ike" scene of "Imoseyama Onna Teikin", which was staged in the 8th lunar month of 1771 at the Kado no Shibai

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