This jidaimono period play shows
the gentle warrior Kajiwara Genta. At the battle of the Uji River, he competes
with a fellow warrior Sasaki Takatsuna to be first into battle. Out of the shame,
his father sends a letter ordering him to commit ritual suicide. But to save her
son's life, Genta's mother Enju disowns him instead. Knowing that the
lady-in-waiting Chidori is in love with Genta, Enju dismisses her from service,
secretly allowing the two lovers to be together. Featuring
Ichikawa Somegor˘, Nakamura Shibajaku, Nakamura Kash˘ and Nakamura T˘z˘ as Genta, Chidori, Genta's brother Heiji and Enju.
ďkawa no Inkyo: Onihei Hankach˘ is a popular series of novels, written by Ikenami Shotar˘ from 1967,
and successfully adapted to television. In all, 135 stories were published. The hero is Hasegawa
Heiz˘, head of the special police who had jurisdiction over arson and robberies in Edo. His nickname is "Onihei," which means "Heiz˘ the Devil".
He leads a band of law-enforcers and cultivates reformed criminals as informants to solve difficult crimes. This episode, "The Retired of the ďkawa River"
is about the stealing of Onihei's precious silver kiseru, a souvenir from his late father.
The investigations lead Onihei to the old boatman Tomogor˘, who used to be a thief but he's supposed to have retired.
Featuring Nakamura Kichiemon and Nakamura Karoku in the roles of Onihei and Tomogor˘.
Matsuura no Taiko: Lord Matsuura (Nakamura Kichiemon) lives next door to the
enemy of the loyal retainers and is disgusted because they do not seem to be
interested in avenging the death of the lord. He is especially upset because
he studied with the same fighting teacher as Kuranosuke, the senior retainer
who should be leading the vendetta. Moreover, he learns from the haiku teacher
Takarai Kikaku (Nakamura Karoku) that his student ďtaka Gengo (Ichikawa Somegor˘) who should be part of
the vendetta left a poem suggesting that he was forgetting his former lord and
going to take service with another samurai lord. Gengo's sister Onui (Nakamura Shibajaku)
serves Lord Matsuura and in disgust he is about to dismiss her, when there
is a disturbance from next door. The attack has begun, and in joy, Lord Matsuura
counts out the strokes of the drum, struck in a pattern that is only
known by students of his fighting teacher.
Enma to Seirai: this is a new dance play written by Nakamura Kichiemon
himself under the name Matsu Kanshi that is an adaptation of a
Enma, the king of hell (Ichikawa Sadanji) is upset that religion has meant that fewer
people are falling into hell. He summons a falconer named Seirai (Nakamura Kichiemon)
and wants to condemn him for taking life, but the falconer says that it is the
falcon that does it and he is blameless. In dance, he describes hunting with
a falcon and this is so interesting that Enma himself wants to try it.
Kirare Yosa: Yosabur˘ (Ichikawa Somegor˘), the refined young son of a wealthy merchant falls
in love with Otomi (Nakamura Shibajaku) the moment he first sees her on the beach.
But Otomi is the mistress of a powerful gangster, and when their relationship
is discovered, the two are attacked. Yosabur˘ is cut from head to toe and
the two are dumped into the sea. Otomi lives and is taken in by a rich
merchant while Yosabur˘ is now covered with scars. Yosabur˘ turns into
a petty thief and extortionist but one day, finds that the woman he is
about to blackmail is none other than Otomi, alive and well.
Source: Earphone Guide website, except "ďkawa no Inkyo"