MITSU NINGYď
   
Play title Sono Sugata Hana no Utsushie  In Japanese
Common title Mitsu Ningy˘  In Japanese
Authors Sakurada Jisuke II (lyrics)
Kishizawa Uwasa I (music)
Fujima Kanjűr˘ I (choreography)
History

The Tokiwazu-based dance-drama "Sono Sugata Hana no Utsushie" was premiered in the 4th lunar month of 1818 at the Nakamuraza [casting].

Length

Around 30 minutes (32 minutes for the production at the National Theatre in March 2015)

Key words Ageya
Ashiby˘shi
Daijin-mai
D˘ky˘
Keisei
Kuruwa
Nakanoch˘
Sansa Shigure
Shosagoto
Tanzen
Tokiwazu
Wakashu
Yakko
Yakkomono
Yoshiwara
Summary

The scene is set in the main street (Nakanoch˘) of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter in Edo. Three Yoshiwara figures are taken out of their boxes, a young, handsome and fashionable wakashu patron dressed in the tanzen style, a boisterous yakko and a top-ranking courtesan (keisei). They evoke the bustle of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter. Then the two men attempt to get the affection of the keisei through dance. First the patron tells a fanciful story of the origins of the pleasure quarter saying that it started in the 8th century when the empress ordered the notorious Buddhist priest D˘ky˘ to set it up. Then the patron performs the daijin-mai, the famous dance of the wealthy patron. The footman is overwhelmed by the splendor of the pleasure quarter and mimes the drinking games in the banquet parlors (ageya) and finishes with a vigorous dance with foot stamping, which is often a feature of dances for the yakko (ashiby˘shi). Then the courtesan describes her difficult life and how she must be sensitive to the slightest nuances of the emotions of the men that she entertains. The dance ends with the three dancing together to a lively sansa shigure song that describes the happy patrons of the Yoshiwara, flocking there even in the rain.

The actors Nakamura Shikan I, Iwai Hanshir˘ V and Band˘ Mitsugor˘ III playing the roles of the yakko, the keisei and the young tanzen samurai in the dance "Sono Sugata Hana no Utsushie", which was staged in the 4th lunar month of 1818 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni I)

Prints & Illustrations

 
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