"Toribeyama Shinjű" is made up of 1 act, which is divided into 2 scenes.
While in Ky˘to, Kikuchi Hankur˘, a youth in service to the Sh˘gun, falls in love with Osome, a young geisha, and becomes her patron. Osome's father brings New Year's costumes for both her and Hankur˘. She brags to him about Hankur˘'s love and kindness. When Hankur˘ arrives, Osome is so happy that he cannot bring himself to break the news to her that the Sh˘gun has decided to go back to Edo; so he pretends to be drunk and to fall asleep.
Hankur˘'s friend Ichinosuke comes boisterously into the room. Hankur˘ asks Ichinosuke to loan him 200 gold pieces, explaining that he wants to pay Osome's ransom so that she can be free to go back to her father.
Ichinosuke's younger brother Genzabur˘ bursts into the room and berates Ichinosuke for his dissolute behavior, insulting Hankur˘ as a bad influence. Hankur˘ challenges Genzabur˘ to a duel and they dash out of the house followed by a very anxious Osome.
The duel takes place in the dark at the Kamo River, and Hankur˘ kills Genzabur˘. Osome arrives at the spot just as the moon comes out from behind a cloud. Hankur˘ explains to Osome that he has only two choices-he can either commit suicide on the spot or go confess to Ichinosuke who will be obliged to kill him in revenge for Genzabur˘'s death. She urges him to flee, as no one else knows what happened, but he rejects this solution as too cowardly, and he regrets that she will now suffer for her relationship with him. She insists that if he must die, she will die with him, so they decide to commit suicide on Mount Toribe where the dead are cremated. They change into their New Year's costumes and set out hand in hand, along the banks of the river, toward Mount Toribe, the mountain of death.
Source: Don Kenny
An illustration for the performance of "Toribeyama Shinjű" in September 1917 in K˘be
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