Play title Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri  In Japanese
Author Tsuruya Namboku IV
History

The drama "Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri" was premiered in the 3rd lunar month of 1813 at the Moritaza [casting].

Structure

The drama "Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri" is made up of 3 acts (7 scenes):

Act Scene In Japanese In English
I 1 柳島妙見 The My˘ken Shrine in Yanagishima
  2 橋本座敷 The zashiki of the Hashimotoya
  3 小梅莨屋 The Koume Tobacco Shop
II 1 瓦町油屋 At the Aburaya in Kawara-machi
  2 瓦町油屋裏手二階 On the 2nd floor behind the Aburaya in Kawara-machi
  3 油屋裏手土蔵 The doz˘ behind the Aburaya in Kawara-machi
III 1 向島道行 The michiyuki at Muk˘jima
You need a Japanese Language Kit installed within your system in order to be able to read the characters
Key words Ennosuke Shin'enshutsu Jűshű
Kizewamono
Muk˘jima
Osome-hisamatsumono
Sewamono
Sumidagawa
Summary

Act I, scene 1: within the precincts of the My˘ken Shrine in Yanagishima

There are many people at the My˘ken shrine. Sashir˘ meets Yamagaya Seibei there accidentally. Sashir˘ was on the way to Seibei's home in order to talk with him. Sashir˘ arranged the marriage of Seibei and Osome, but he has heard that Osome had a lover. Sashir˘ was worried about it, and he intended to talk about it to Seibei directly. Seibei thinks that it is not likely and Sashir˘ should not worry about it. He knows that people like to gossip about such a beautiful young girl. Seibei says also that he will visit to Osome's home himself later. Sashir˘ is relieved and they leave the shrine.

Osome also comes at the shrine with Osono and Hisamatsu. Osome is the beautiful daughter of a wealthy pawnshop, the Aburaya. Osono is a maid of that shop, and Hisamatsu is an apprentice there. Osome has an official fiance, Seibei, nevertheless she and Hisamatsu love each other secretly. Osome and Osono go to the shrine, but Hisamatsu leaves the shrine because he doesn't like to be witnessed in the company of Osome.

Kyűsaku who sells vegetables comes at the shrine, and drops by the tea shop near the precincts. Kyűsaku is an elder brother of Hisamatsu, and he finds Omitsu who comes here as well. Omitsu is the fiancee of Hisamatsu. She's heard the gossip about Hisamatsu and Osome. She is decided to get the truth from Hisamatsu. Kyűsaku stops her meeting Hisamatsu, and makes her go home. Actually Kyűsaku doesn't accept Omitsu as a fiancee of Hisamatsu.

Then, Takekawa comes to the tea shop from the shrine, and she is very glad to meet Kyűsaku accidentally. Takekawa is a lady-in-waiting of the Chiba clan, powerful samurai family. Takekawa's father Ishizu Hisanoshin was a retainer of the Chiba clan, but he committed ritual suicide, because he lost a treasure sword called Go˘ Yoshimitsu and its certificate. After that, Takekawa's younger brother was adopted by a wet nurse who was Kyűsaku's mother. This younger brother is none other than Hisamatsu. Takekawa is worried about her real younger brother Hisamatsu, and asks Kyűsaku about him. Hisamatsu works for the pawnshop Aburaya as an apprentice in order to search for the sword and its certificate, but he hasn't found them yet. Takekawa asks Kyűsaku to take care of Hisamatsu as well and she leaves the place.

Aburaya Tasabur˘ comes here. Tasabur˘ is Osome's elder brother, but he doesn't care about the Aburaya and its business. He just cares of his lover, a geisha named Koito, but recently the Chiba clan's retainer Suzuki Yachűta has started to try to buy Koito. Koito and Yachűta come here, but Koito seems to be with him unwillingly. Tasabur˘ hides himself. Yachűta and Koito drops by the tea shop, and Yachűta tries to put Koito in a good mood. Yachűta buys a bundle of vegetable, but Koito doesn't care of course. Meanwhile, Kyűsaku goes to the shrine. Yachűta says to Koito to go together to a first-class restaurant, the Hashimotoya, and Koito accepts reluctantly. Yachűta leaves the bundle of vegetable in the tea shop. Tasabur˘ has watched everything, and he finds Zenroku who is the chief manager of the Aburaya. Tasabur˘ hands the certificate to Zenroku in order to sell it, and goes to the Hashimotoya, following Koito and Yachűta.

Tasabur˘ needs money in order to buy Koito before Yachűta. Zenroku successfully sweet-talked to Tasabur˘ in order to put his hand on the sword certificate to make some money. Zenroku plans to sell the certificate to get enough money, to become the owner of the Aburaya after his wedding with Osome. Zenroku makes the mistake to speak out loud and the apprentice Kyűta has heard everything about this stupid plot. Zenroku gives some money to Kyűta, and says to go to his hometown as soon as possible. Kyűta goes away.

Zenroku finds the bundle of vegetable, which was purchased by Yachűta, and he hides the sword certificate in it. Zenroku's subordinate Kyűsuke comes here, and Zenroku is going to go with him. Kyűsaku stops it, because Zenroku is holding the bundle of vegetable, which was already sold to Yachűta. Zenroku is ready to buy it but Kyűsaku doesn't accept it. They argue, and Kyűsuke finally hits Kyűsaku with his wooden sandal. Kyűsaku's forehead is hurt and his kimono is ripped. Seibei and Taroshichi come here and stop them. Seibei gives some money to Kyűsaku to buy some medicine, and Taroshichi gives a second-hand kimono to replace the ripped one. They all leave the tea shop. The sword certificate is carried by Kyűsaku with the bundle of vegetable.

Act I, scene 2: the zashiki of the Hashimotoya

Koito is waiting for her lover Tasabur˘ at the room of the first-class restaurant Hashimotoya. Tasabur˘ arrives and says that he can make money to buy back Koito's courtesan contract. Tasabur˘ leaves the restaurant in order to receive money from Zenroku, and Koito also leaves the place.

Tasabur˘ comes back, looking for Koito, and finds Zenroku and Gonbei, who is a henchman of Yachűta. Yachűta demands the sword certificate to Zenroku, but Zenroku can't say enough excuse. Then, Yachűta demands money that Gonbei should have received from Kimon no Kihei. Gonbei also can't say enough excuse. Yachűta is a retainer of the Chiba clan, and he ordered the villain Kihei to steal the treasure sword and its certificate from Ishizu Hisanoshin. Kihei managed to steal them and brought them to the pawnshop Aburaya to get his reward. Although Kihei got the money, 100 ry˘, but he hasn't given that money to Yachűta. They go away to talk about their problem.

Takekawa is also waiting for Hisamatsu at the next room of the Hashimotoya. Hisamatsu arrives at the restaurant to meet his elder sister, and he is watched over by Yachűta. Yachűta talks about it to Zenroku, and Zenroku thinks that there must be Osome in that room, because he knows that Osome also came to the Hashimotoya searching for Hisamatsu. Zenroku goes into the room, but there is Takekawa only. Takekawa is furious with Yachűta and Zenroku.

Act I, scene 3: the Koume Tobacco Shop

Oroku who sells tobacco at Koume has received a letter from Takekawa. She was a maid of Takekawa before. In this letter, Takekawa asks Oroku to find 100 ry˘ in order to get the treasure sword and its certificate from the Aburaya. Oroku would like to do anything for Takekawa, but she has no way to make such a big amount of money.

Kimon no Kihei, who is Oroku's husband, is on his way to home, and Gonbei speaks to him. Gonbei asks him to give the money, but Kihei says that he can't do it. Kihei has stolen the treasure sword and its certificate. He brought them to the pawnshop Aburaya, and got the money 100 ry˘. Kihei did gamble with that 100 ry˘, and he had lost all that money. Kihei says that he won't hide himself anywhere. Gonbei iss scared of Kihei, and has no choice but to get away. However, Kihei knows that he needs to make the 100 ry˘ immediately.

Kihei comes home, and starts drinking sake with Oroku. Then, Kyűsaku comes here to buy some tobacco. He is followed by a hairdresser. Kyűsaku asks the hairdresser to dress his hair. He talks about the events at the shrine. After that, Kyűsaku asks Oroku to repair his ripped kimono, and the second-hand kimono that he's received from Taroshichi.

After the departure of both Kyűsaku and the hairdresser, Kihei and Oroku think up the same thing. There is an unidentified young man who has suddenly died. His dead body was taken into a coffin, and it is near the tobacco shop now. Kihei and Oroku dress the dead body with Kyűsaku's ripped kimono, and shave his forelock. Kihei makes also a scar on the dead body forehead.

Act II, scene 1: at the Aburaya in Kawara-machi

Oroku visites the pawnshop Aburaya, and shows the second-hand kimono to the clerks. She says that her younger brother brought it to her home last night. Oroku worried if he had stolen it, so she asked if his story is true. The chief manager Zenroku says that Oroku's younger brother's story is indeed a true one. There was a squabble, and the second-hand kimono was a way apologize. Oroku suddenly changes her attitude and calls her husband's name, Kihei, who arrives walking near a palanquin.

The unidentified young man's dead body is also in the palanquin. Oroku says that her younger brother died suddenly after he came home. He must have been violently hitten by a clerk. Oroku and Kihei demand some consolation money. Although Zenroku gives some money to them, they refuse to receive it. They demand 100 ry˘, the exact amount of money needed by Tatekawa.

Yamagaya Seibei appears on stage and he takes a look to the dead body. The young man has a scar on his forehead, but Seibei finds that he is somehow still alive. Seibei sugggests to cauterize the skin with moxa on that man's body. As a result, that dead man comes back to life. The young man is the apprentice Kyűta. After he received some money from Zenroku, he ate a globe fish (fugu) and got poisoned. Kyűta had lost consciousness until now. There is no reason for Kihei and Oroku to continue their blackmail attempt now. Moreover, Kyűsaku arrives at the Aburaya and says that he found a strange document in his vegetables when he came home last night. He wanted to bring it back here. It is the sword certificate for Go˘ Yoshimitsu. Seibei is pleased to receive it. Then, Kihei and Oroku leave the Aburaya, carrying a palanquin themselves.

Act II, scene 2: on the 2nd floor behind the Aburaya in Kawara-machi

Osome has locked herself up in the room of Aburaya, because she is worried that she is pregnant. Hisamatsu comes here worrying about Osome. They both become sad with their tragic fate. Then, Teish˘ who is the widow of Aburaya visites Osome's room. Teish˘ is the stepmother of both Tasabur˘ and Osome. After her husband has died, she has treated them well. However she feels that it might not have been enough, because Tasabur˘ selfishly fell in love and Osome is pregnant. Actually, the Aburaya is in a serious business slump now. So Teish˘ intends to make Osome marry with Yamagaya Seibei in order to save the Aburaya. Teish˘ knows that Osome and Hisamatsu love each other, and that Osome is pregnant. Nevertheless, Teish˘ asks Osome to accept to get married with Seibei. After the departure of Teish˘, Osome and Hisamatsu promise to do double suicide (shinjű).

Act II, scene 3: the doz˘ behind the Aburaya in Kawara-machi

Osome leaves the Aburaya to secretly go to the Sumida River in order to meet Hisamatsu. Then, Kimon no Kihei appears on stage, breaking the wall of the doz˘ and enters it to steal the sword Go˘ Yoshimitsu. Hisamatsu follows Kihei and they start to fight each other. Hisamatsu finally kills Kihei and rushes to the Sumida River to meet his beloved Osome.

Act III, scene 1: the michiyuki at Muk˘jima

A palanquin with Osome in it appears on stage. The Palanquin bearers tie their palanquin with a rope in order to keep Osome in. They are on Zenroku's payroll and were ordered to bring Osome somewhere. Hisamatsu tries to stop the palanquin, but he can't succeed. Hisamatsu does not give it up and he chases the palanquin. Then, Omitsu comes on stage. She has gone crazy and follows Hisamatsu. Suddenly Oroku appears on stage. She helps Osome to escape from the palanquin bearers. Then, she prevents Osome and Hisamatsu to commit a double suicide.

This summary was written by Sekidobashi Sakura (October 2003) and Sh˘riya Aragor˘ (April 2009)

Iwai Hanshir˘ V playing the roles of Hisamatsu and Osome in the drama "Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri", comonly called "Osome no Nanayaku" ("Osome's seven roles"), which was staged in the 9th lunar month of 1820 at the Naka no Shibai (print made by Utagawa Kunihiro)

Iwai Hanshir˘ V and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ V playing the roles of Dote no Oroku and Kimon no Kihei in the drama "Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri", comonly called "Osome no Nanayaku" ("Osome's seven roles"), which was staged in the 9th lunar month of 1820 at the Naka no Shibai (print made by Utagawa Kunihiro)

 
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