Play title Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami  In Japanese
Summer Festival: Mirror of Ôsaka
Authors Namiki Senryû I
Miyoshi Shôraku
Takeda Koizumo I (Takeda Izumo II)

The play "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 7th lunar month of 1745 in Ôsaka at the Takemotoza. It was so successful that it was almost immediately adapted for Kabuki and staged for the first time in the 8th lunar month of 1745 in Kyôto at Miyako Mandayû's theater. It was produced by the zamoto Nakamura Kiyosaburô I and starred Fujioka Daikichi and Sakakiyama Danshirô I in the roles of Danshichi Kurobê and Tsuribune Sabu. It was a long run and the performance was extended up to October. According to the chronicles, the play was simultaneously staged in another Kyôto theater in the 8th lunar month of 1745, at the Minamigawa no Shibai, produced by Nakamura Kumetarô I. A few months later, this Ôsaka play was finally staged in Ôsaka. The three main Kabuki venues decided to produce it almost simultaneously, starting a fierce competition for the best performance and line-up. It was first staged at the Ônishi no Shibai from the 5th of the 12th lunar month of 1745, produced by Arashi San'emon IV and starring Nakayama Shinkurô I in the role of Danshichi [casting]. Then it was staged at the Naka no Shibai from the 10th of the 12th lunar month of 1745, produced by Ichiyama Sukegorô I and starring Arashi Shichigorô I in the role of Danshichi [casting]. It was finally staged at the Kado no Shibai from the 15th of the 12th lunar month of 1745, produced by Arashi Sanjûrô II and starring him in the role of Danshichi [casting]. "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" was staged for the first time in Edo in the 5th lunar month of 1747, at the Moritaza (casting unknown).


"Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" is a 9-act drama. "Tajima-chô" and "Yane Ue" are the nicknames of the two scenes of the 8th act of this drama: "Tajima-chô Danshichi Uchi" ("at Danshichi's home in Tajima-chô") and "Tajima-chô Yane Ue Torimono" ("the capture above the rooftops in Tajima-chô").

Key words Sewamono

At Danshichi's home in Tajima-chô

Kurobê becomes ill from remorse, and Okaji guesses what he has done but, since she knows her father's character, cannot find it in her heart to blame him. She lives in daily dread that the police will arrest him. Tokubê, who has, of course, also guessed Kurobê's secret, tries to persuade Kurobê to come with him to Tamashima and, when he refuses, succeeds in tricking Okaji into making her husband divorce her, thus severing the blood relationship between Giheiji and Kurobê and making his crime less dreadful in the eyes of the law. He and Sabu take Okaji and Ichimatsu away as a posse of police surrounds the house to arrest Kurobê. Tokubê returns and persuades the officer in charge of the guard that Kurobê is so strong and dangerous that he had better let someone like Tokubê who knows him, go into the house and trick him into surrendering. The police officer consents.

The capture above the rooftops in Tajima-chô

The stage revolves to show the roof of the house, where Kurobê is at bay. The house is surrounded except on one side where there is a river. Tokubê joins Kurobê on the roof. They look into each other's eyes and, leaping into the river, are able to swim to safety and escape to Tamashima.

Aubrey and Giovanna Halford in "The Kabuki Handbook"

The actors Nakamura Komanosuke V and Jitsukawa Enjaku I playing the roles of Issun Tokubê and Danshichi Kurobê in the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in the 5th lunar month of 1866 at the Naka no Shibai (print made by Nakai Yoshitaki)

Search this site powered by FreeFind
  Site map | Disclaimer
Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News