Play title Kesakake Matsu Narita no Riken
Common title Kasane
Authors Tsuruya Nanboku IV
Matsui K˘z˘ II
Kiyomoto Saibŕ
Structure The dance-drama "Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame" was originally the michiyuki of Tsuruya Nanboku IV's drama "Kesakake Matsu Narita no Riken".

The play "Kesakake Matsu Narita no Riken" was performed for the first time in Edo in the 6th lunar month of 1823 at the Moritaza with the stars Onoe Kikugor˘ III and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII in the roles of Kasane and Yoemon. Kiyomoto Saibŕ made the musical accompaniment and the lyrics were written by Matsui K˘z˘. The michiyuki was performed independently of the rest of the play in the 6th lunar month of 1849 at the Kawarasakiza, with Onoe Kikujir˘ II (Kasane) and Band˘ Hikosabur˘ IV (Yoemon), then it fell into oblivion.

The Azuma School of Dance decided to revive it in 1906 at the Shintomiza, in collaboration with the actor Ichikawa Komaz˘ VIII and the music master Kiyomoto Enjudayű V. The first great revival was performed in December 1920 at the Kabukiza, with the great Kabuki couple Ichimura Uzaemon XV (Yoemon) and Onoe Baik˘ VI (Kasane). Thanks to this revival, the dance-drama "Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame" became a great item in the current Kabuki repertoire and it is performed regularly by the best Kabuki actors.

The play "Kesakake Matsu Narita no Riken" was revived at the National Theatre in April 1995, with the stars Onoe Kikugor˘ VII and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XII in the roles of Kasane and Yoemon.

Key words Kasanemono

Yoemon is fleeing from his lord's anger after having lost a valuable heirloom that was entrusted to him. He meets his love, Kasane, at the river. And she begs him to let her die with him. At last he consents to her plea. But when they are saying farewell to the world, a skull with a sickle stuck in the eye socket floats by. Seeing the sickle, Yoemon recognizes it as the very one with which he long ago slayed a man called Suke. Unknown to Yoemon, Kasane is the daughter of his former sweetheart and her husband, Suke the man he killed. All of a sudden two policemen leap out of nowhere and try to arrest Yoemon. He drives them off, but he finds a public notice proclaiming him to be Suke's murderer. Meanwhile Suke's vengeful spirit has entered Kasane, disfiguring her with the same wounds Yoemon had inflicted on him years earlier. When Kasane runs up and clings to Yoemon, he suddenly realizes her connection with his victim, and in trying to escape, he wounds her with the sickle. Finally he makes her look in a mirror as he confesses his crime and explain that they can never, even in death, be happy together. Kasane, now completely possessed by her father's spirit, is pursued by Yoemon. He kills her with the sickle and then tries to flee. But her ghost beckons, then drags him back to the scene of this crime, where his dead love lays ghostly her hands on him.


One of the best Kabuki dance-dramas, famous for its beautiful Kiyomoto musical accompaniment.

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The actors Onoe Kikugor˘ III and Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VII playing the roles of Kasane and Yoemon in the dance "Iro Moy˘ Chotto Karimame", which was performed in the 6th lunar month of 1823 in Edo at the Moritaza (print made by utagawa Toyokuni I)
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