|WANKYÛ SUE NO MATSUYAMA
|Wankyû Sue no Matsuyama
|Ki no Kaion (1708)
Watanabe Katei (1906)
"Wankyû Sue no Matsuyama" was initially a puppet theater wankyûmono drama written by Ki no Kaion and staged at the Toyotakeza in 1708 . Watanabe Katei wrote his own drama, loosely related to Ki no Kaion's original drama, entitled "Wankyû Sue no Matsuyama" and premiered in March 1906 in Ôsaka at the Nakaza. It starred Nakamura Ganjirô I in the role of Wan'ya Kyûbê.
"Wankyû Sue no Matsuyama" is rarely-staged on Kabuki stages; since the end of World War II and up to the end of the 20th century, we've found only 6 records of performances in ôshibai between 1947 and 2000:
The drama "Wankyû Sue no Matsuyama" is made up of 2 acts (4 scenes).
Act I, scene 1: Shinmachi Kuken Iriguchi
The scene is set at the entrance of the Shinmachi Kuken pleasure quarters. Shibata Sadanoshin, at the service of the Chôshû clan stationed in Ôsaka, has fallen in love with the tayû Ôgiya Matsuyama and hopes to raise 300 ryô with which to buy out her contract (miuke). A rich merchant threatens to beat him to this goal, and he is desperate to raise the money quickly.
Along come two merchants, Tenmaya Kinosuke and Bundôya Kinzaburô, for whom Sadanoshin is an important client. He sounds them out on the possibility of a loan but is turned down when they learn how much he needs. The resentful Sadanoshin threatens to renegotiate their contracts, and rises to go see Wan'ya Kyûbê. He has heard that Kyûbê has just been entrusted by a feudal retainer with 300 ryô for safekeeping. The two merchants inform Sadanoshin that Kyûbê is actually on his way to meet them here at the pleasure quarters, but they warn him that the money would be impossible to get hold of since it belongs to a powerful daimyô. They also explain that since Kyûbê has sworn off drinking, he would be unlikely to be talked into lending the money. This gives Sadanoshin an idea. He instructs the merchants to reserve a room at the Ibarakiya  ageya while he himself will wait for Kyûbê's arrival.
Before they go, however, they spot Kyûbê walking toward them. Sadanoshin calls him over to explain that they are planning a party to celebrate the Setsubun Festival and are eager to have his company. Kyûbê declines because of his vow to remain sober, but Sadanoshin will hear none of it. A group of Ibarakiya  employees passes by looking for customers, and Sadanoshin reserves a room there. Kyûbê is practically forced to come along.
Act I, scene 2: Shinmachi Ibarakiya no Rôka Zashiki
The Wan'ya bantô Kaemon approaches the Ibarakiya  and is directed to his boss. He has come to caution Kyûbê against drinking, as his inebriated antics have caused considerable grief, and to be particularly careful about safeguarding the money he has been entrusted with. He calls over a nakai and presses her not to serve any more drinks to Kyûbê, saying he has come to take his boss home. He is concerned that Kyûbê might have broken his vow, and the nakai confirms his worst fears; Kyûbê has already had plenty to drink and is being pressured to drink even more. Fearing that trying to interrupt the merrymaking party now would only make matters worse, they agree to call the tayû Ôgiya Matsuyama, the courtesan Sadanoshin is infatuated with, to try to help them.
Act I, scene 3: Shinmachi Ibarakiya Ôhiroma
Kyûbê prepares to leave as it is quite late but is stopped by Sadanoshin, saying the fun has just begun and that he must drink from a giant sakazuki before he can go. The merchants who accompanied Kyûbê suggest they call a palanquin to take him home, but Sadanoshin insists on drinking further, forcing Kyûbê to gulp down the huge and full sakazuki. While he resists at first, Kyûbê is eventually prodded into draining it. Excited, Kyûbê claims that Setsubun Festival calls for the scattering of beans to drive out evil and invite good fortune. He rips open the bag containing the 300 ryô and pours the coins into the sakazuki. He aims one of the coins at Sadanoshin's forehead and begins scattering them around the room. When the nakai or the taiko mochi scurry to pick them up, Sadanoshin orders them away. Matsuyama finally enters the room to everyone's surprise. They are even more surprised to hear her announce that she will only take Kyûbê for her client, devastating Sadanoshin.
Act II, scene 1: Wan'ya no Uemachi no Bessô
The scene is set in Kyûbê's family's villa on the Uemachi Plateau. A letter arrives demanding that the 300 ryô entrusted to Kyûbê be returned today. Although it has been more than three days since the party at the Ibarakiya , the incident has not come to light. But when the money is delivered, it will be revealed that the lord's seal that had been affixed to the bag containing the money has been torn open. This, no doubt, will result in the Wan'ya being ordered to shut down its business.
The bantô Kaemon decides to take the case to Tajima Shuzen, the feudal retainer who has ties with the Wan'ya business going back to Kyûbê's father's era. Kyûbê's mother Oyoshi, though, doubts that the bantô can do much and decides to take the matter into her own hands. She intends to confess to having broken the seal herself and have all the blame heaped on her so that the business may continue under Kyûbê's management.
Kyûbê finally comes back home, three days after leaving the house for the pleasure quarters of Shinmachi Kuken. Having sobered up, he brings a branch of cherry blossoms home after visiting his father's grave. Kyûbê apologizes for bringing ignominy to the family business. His mother consoles him, telling him to work together with his sister in the future. She also hands him an outer garment that his father had worn. The garment is a family treasure that was given by a feudal lord, and a symbol of the head of the Wan'ya household. She leaves to visit the altar where her husband is enshrined, hinting that she herself will not have much longer to live. Kyûbê is touched by his mother's kindness. He intends to be disowned, however, and to plead that his misdeeds should not be allowed to affect the family business. He writes a letter to Tajima Shuzen to seek his pardon and asks his sister to take it to him.
Soon the bantô Kaemon comes running back with news that the breaking of the seal has finally become public and that the Wan'ya has been ordered to close down as of tomorrow. Kyûbê's mother has confessed to the crime and has been arrested and tied up by Shibata Sadanoshin. Kyûbê begins to grow delirious and mistakes his bantô for the scheming Sadanoshin. Just as he is about to lose all control, the tayû Matsuyama arrives at Kyûbê's home. Her lover does not recognize her at first but finally comes to his senses.
They are startled when a housekeeper announces that Kyûbê's mother has returned home safely, accompanied by none other than the feudal retainer Tajima Shuzen. It takes a moment for Kyûbê to grasp everything that is happening. The retainer has pardoned Kyûbê and his mother, who had given herself up in place of her son. Instead Shibata Sadanoshin, who has schemed to steal the 300 ryô from Kyûbê because of his infatuation with a tayû, has been arrested. Shuzen thanks Kyûbê for his help and announces that the family business may continue. Overjoyed, Kyûbê is filled with emotion and vows never gain to lose his self-control.
 A summary of Ki no Kaion's original drama is available in Samuel Leiter's "New Kabuki Encyclopedia".
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