Play title Some Moyô Imose no Kadomatsu  In Japanese
Author Suga Sensuke

The play "Some Moyô Imose no Kadomatsu" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in Ôsaka at the Kita-Horie Ichi-no-Gawa Shibai in the 12th lunar month of 1767. It was adapted to Kabuki several years after, in the 4th lunar month of 1782 in Ôsaka. This adaptation was produced by Yamashita Kinsaku II at the Naka no Shibai (unknown casting).

"Some Moyô Imose no Kadomatsu" is no more part of the current Kabuki repertoire but it is still performed in Bunraku; a revival at the National Theatre of this drama in the future to come would not be a big surprise. It is also worthy to note that the role of Zenroku in "Shimpan Ukina no Yomiuri" (in the "Choinose" scene) comes directly from "Some Moyô Imose no Kadomatsu".


The original drama was in two parts.

Key words Sewamono
Gidayû Kyôgen

At the Ikudama Shrine

When Osome, daughter of Tarobei, proprietor of the pawnshop in Ôsaka, visits the Ikudama Shrine with her lover Hisamatsu, an apprentice at her father's shop, they are embarrassed to hear a ballad book peddler recite a ballad about their "scandalous" love affair.

Zenroku, chief clerk at the pawnshop, arrives and tells Osome that he has written the ballad in order to have Hisamatsu expelled from the shop and win Osome as his sweetheart. As Zenroku makes amorous advances to Osome, Hisamatsu stabs him to death with a sword and kills himself with the same weapon. In despair Osome throws herself into a well.

The pawnshop

What happened in the preceding scene was in fact a dream dreamt by both Osome and Hisamatsu in their midday naps. Hisamatsu says to Osome that he will die alone so that she may be free to marry Seibę chosen by her parents as her husband but Osome insists that she will die together with him. She tells him that her mother has discovered in the bathroom that she is already pregnant.

When Osome goes away, having been called by her mother Okatsu, Hisamatsu's father Kyûsaku visits the shop to advise him to take a leave of absence from the shop to stay in Kyûsaku's house for a while. As Hisamatsu does not consent, Kyûsaku gets angry and beats him with a leather shoe. Osome, coming back, tells Kyûsaku that she is to blame. Okatsu also enters and asks Osome to marry Seibę who is Osome's fiancé. Seeing Osome still reluctant, she takes out a razor and tries to kill herself if she does not agree. Osome is thus compelled to give her consent. Kyûsaku takes his leave after confining Hisamatsu to the storehouse to make sure that the lovers will have no more clandestine meetings.

In front of the Storehouse

Late at night Osome stealthily comes to the front of the storehouse. Hisamatsu looks out of the small window and asks her to pray for the repose of his soul after his death. Osome says she will die with him, rejecting her parents' request to marry Seibę.

Noticing her presence in the dark, her father Tarobei opens the sliding door of his room facing the storehouse. He calls her in and tenderly persuades her to marry Seibę. When Osome comes out of her father's room, Zenroku, a clerk, approaches her and asks her to elope with him. Saying that he is going to steal valuable articles from the storehouse by using the key he has secretly secured, he unlocks the door of the storehouse when Hisamatsu comes to the doorway and stabs Zenroku with a dagger. Hisamatsu flees with Osome. Zenroku is caught by Seibę, who has come to look for Osome.

Source: Hironaga Shûzaburô

The actors Arashi Rikan II (left print) and Iwai Shijaku I (right print) playing the roles of Osome and Hisamatsu in the "Kuramae" scene of the drama "Some Moyô Imose no Kadomatsu", which was staged in the 11th lunar month of 1832 at the Kitagawa no Shibai (print made by Shumbaisai Hokuei)

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