Play title Kanadehon Chűshingura  In Japanese
Common title Matsukiri  In Japanese
Authors Takeda Izumo II
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
Namiki Senryű I

The play "Kanadehon Chűshingura" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 8th lunar month of 1748 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki the same year and staged for the first time in the 12th lunar month of 1748 in ďsaka at the Kado no Shibai [casting]. The "Nidanme" act (2nd act) was performed with the actors Kataoka Nizaemon IV and Yamamoto Koheiji in the roles of Kakogawa Honz˘ and Momonoi Wakasanosuke.


The "Nidanme" act, the second act of "Kanadehon Chűshingura", is made up of 2 scenes commonly called "Rikiya J˘shi" (literally "the Emissary Rikiya") and "Matsukiri" (literally "the Cutting of the Pine Branch"). This act is most of the times omitted for a t˘shi ky˘gen production of this drama.

Key words Gidayű Ky˘gen

Previous scene: "Rikiya J˘shi"

Act II, Scene 2: Matsukiri
The Cutting of the Pine Branch

After both Rikiya and Konami take their leave, Wakasanosuke summons Honz˘ and asks to discuss something with him in private. Before speaking his mind, Wakasanosuke demands that Honz˘ swear to neither reveal his lord's intentions nor try to dissuade him from action. Honz˘, after some reluctance, swears the oath. Wakasanosuke then proceeds to tell him of the insults he was subjected to and his resolve to exact revenge on Moron˘ the very next day. Though such an act would likely precipitate the end of his household as well as his own demise, Wakasanosuke considers Moron˘'s slaying to be a service to the nation. Honz˘ encourages his master's plan and urges him act decisively.

As soon as Wakasanosuke take his leave, Honz˘ calls for his horse and sets off for Moron˘'s mansion, ignoring the pleas of his wife and daughter to try to talk their lord out of his murderous plan.

Source: summary based on Donald Keene's translation "Chűshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers"; Columbia University Press, New York; (C) 1971

Next scene: "Shinmotsu"

The actors Onoe Baik˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon VIII playing the roles of Momonoi Wakasanosuke and Kakogawa Honz˘ in the "Matsukiri" scene of second act of the drama "Kanadehon Chűshingura", which was staged in the 4th lunar month of 1860 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Utagawa Yoshitoshi)

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