Play title Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami  In Japanese
Authors Namiki Senryű I
Miyoshi Sh˘raku
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 ďsaka 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 Ky˘to at Miyako Mandayű's theater. It was produced by the zamoto Nakamura Kiyosabur˘ I and starred Fujioka Daikichi and Sakakiyama Danshir˘ I in the roles of Danshichi Kurobŕ 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 Ky˘to theater in the 8th lunar month of 1745, at the Minamigawa no Shibai, produced by Nakamura Kumetar˘ I. A few months later, this ďsaka play was finally staged in ďsaka. 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 ďnishi no Shibai from the 5th of the 12th lunar month of 1745, produced by Arashi San'emon IV and starring Nakayama Shinkur˘ 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 Sukegor˘ I and starring Arashi Shichigor˘ 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 Sanjűr˘ 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. "D˘guya" and "Bangoya" are the nicknames of the two scenes of the 4th act of this drama.

Key words Sewamono

The Curio Shop

Through Danshichi's recommendation Isonoj˘, assuming a temporary name of Seishichi, works at Magoemon's curio shop at Uchihommachi in ďsaka. Magoemon's daughter Onaka falls in love with him. While she is confiding her love to him in the front room, Danshichi visits the shop to sell his fish. Danshichi and Onaka go off to the kitchen to discuss the fish, leaving Isonoj˘ to mind the shop.

Presently Giheiji, Danshichi's father-in-law, visits the shop, disguising himself as a samurai. Giheiji, a wicked fellow, is trying to swindle Isonoj˘ out of money in conspiracy with Denpachi, a senior clerk of the curio shop, and Yaichi, a wicked dealer in second-hand goods, taking advantage of the fact that Isonoj˘, being new to the curio business, has little knowledge of the trade.

In the presence of Isonoj˘ the disguised Giheiji negotiates with Denpachi for the purchase of an old incense burner and after some haggling Giheiji agrees to buy it for 55 ry˘, saying that he will make payment on the following day. Then Giheiji and Denpachi retire to an inner room to rest, leaving Isonoj˘ alone in the front room.

The incense burner belongs to Yaichi, who has asked the shop to sell it for him on commission. Acting on the plan agreed with Denpachi and Giheiji, Yaichi visits the shop and tells Isonoj˘ that he is willing to sell the incense burner, which he originally priced at 80 ry˘, for only 50 ry˘, since he is urgently in need of money. Remembering that Giheiji has promised to Denpachi to buy it for 55 ry˘, Isonoj˘ believes he can help his shop to clear a profit of 5 ry˘ and agrees to close the bargain but asks Yaichi to wait until the following day for payment. Yaichi insists that the money be paid him immediately. Confident in his ability to cover the payment, Isonoj˘ borrows 50 ry˘ of the shop's money from Denpachi and pays it to Yaichi on his own authority.

After Yaichi has gone, Giheiji returns to the front room. When Isonoj˘ tells Giheiji that he closed the bargain Giheiji denies any knowledge of his promise to buy the incense burner for 55 ry˘, while Denpachi, also pretending ignorance of the deal, demands that Isonoj˘ immediately pay back the money he borrowed. When Isonoj˘ protests both Giheiji and Denpachi beat him. Hearing the noise, Danshichi rushes from the kitchen and protects Isonoj˘ from further attack. He finds to his surprise that the "samurai" is none other than Giheiji, his father-in-law.

Magoemon, the proprietor of the shop, comes in and, inspecting the incense burner, finds that it has no value at all as an antique. Isonoj˘ now realizes that he was swindled, Giheiji leaves the shop without further ado. Danshichi, as guarantor for Isonoj˘, promises Magoemon he will see to it that Isonoj˘ make good Magoemon's loss. He then leaves the shop, taking Isonoj˘ with him.

The watchman's hut

At night Isonoj˘ comes back to the front of the house to find an opportunity to kill Denpachi in reprisal. Onaka, who has come out to look for Isonoj˘, tells him that Magoemon has given her 50 ry˘ to enable him to compensate for the debt he incurred as a result of the swindle practiced on him.

Isonoj˘ notices the approach of Denpachi and hides himself in a watchman's hut. Denpachi tells Onaka that he wants to elope with her and asks her to wait while he sneaks into her father's house to steal the money to finance their flight. In spite of her objection he pushes her into the watchman's hut.

Yaichi comes to deliver Denpachi's share of the swindled money. Denpachi, asking Yaichi to keep watch so that Onaka may not escape from the hut, enters the house for his planned theft. When Yaichi opens the door of the hut to inspect his charge, Isonoj˘ stabs him to death from within. Denpachi comes out of the house and, mistaking Isonoj˘ for Yaichi in the dark, delivers to Isonoj˘ some of the money he has stolen. Isonoj˘ snatches at the money and runs away with Onaka.

Source: Hironaga Shűzabur˘

The "D˘guya" (top) and "Bangoya" (bottom) scenes of the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami", which was staged in the 5th lunar month of 1765 at the Naka no Shibai

Upper part of the image: the "D˘guya" scene with Nakamura Kichiemon I (top/left) and Yamashita Kinsaku II (right) in the roles of the curio dealer Magoemon and his daughter Onaka (the actor in the middle is most likely Arashi Koroku I but we can't identify the role)

Bottom part of the image: the "Bangoya" scene with Somekawa Konohŕ I (left), Arashi Sangor˘ II (center) and Mimasu Kanz˘ I (right) in the roles of the tedai Denpachi, Isonoj˘ and Yaichi

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