|Okamura Shik˘ (adaptation)
Kishizawa Koshikibu V (Shikisa VII), Kineya Mitar˘ V (music)
Shinko Engeki Jűsshu
Hen-pecked husband Uky˘ is besotted with a courtesan he met while on a trip but now he has a problem. The courtesan, Hanago, has come to Edo and he wants to meet her, but how can he get away from his possessive, hawk-eyed wife, Tamanoi, whom he secretly calls "the mountain witch"? Inspiration comes-he tells her that he has decided to go on a one-year, no, a two-year pilgrimage of the temples, but she will not hear of it. After much pleading and cajoling, Uky˘ finally gets her to agree that he may spend one night alone in his room doing Zen meditation, and she will not disturb him.
A gleeful Uky˘ tells his servant how he has fooled his wife into letting him have one night alone, but he doesn't trust her not to peek in on him, so the servant must take his place while he goes out to see his beloved Hanago. To be sure his wife doesn't notice the substitution, the servant must wear a robe over himself.
While Uky˘ is away, his wife comes to peek at how he is doing and feels so sorry for him that she enters the room and gives him tea and cakes. Gesturing wildly the servant tries to get rid of her, but instead arouses her suspicions and she uncovers the quaking servant and the plot. Furious, she forces the servant to assist her in substituting for him, and she places the robe over herself and awaits her husband's return.
In the early hours of the next morning, an inebriated and slightly disheveled Uky˘ comes singing home, heady with the delights of the previous night. Seeing his faithful 'servant' right where he left him the night before, he thanks him for enabling him to get away from his wife, the old bag. Afraid that she will sense he has been enjoying himself he thinks he better tell someone what happened to get it off his chest-the servant will do nicely, but to save them both embarrassment, he should keep the robe over himself a while longer. Uky˘ then launches into a detailed account of his tryst, punctuated with sighs and looks of ecstasy.
Of course, the denouement comes when Uky˘ pulls the robe off the seated figure, and his happy countenance turns to a look of sheer horror when he sees that it is his wife. Weak-legged he tries to flee but we know she will pursue him forever.
Courtesy of Jean Wilson (1999)
A pre-War postcard of the dance-drama "Migawari Zazen"
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