Play title Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki  In Japanese
A Diary of Two Butterflies in the Pleasure Quarters [1]
Authors Takeda Izumo II
Namiki Senryű I
Miyoshi Sh˘raku

The play in nine acts "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki" was originally written for the puppets theater and performed for the first time in the 7th lunar month of 1749 at the Takemotoza in ďsaka. It was adapted for Kabuki a few weeks later by the zamoto Arashi San'emon IV in the 8th lunar month of 1749 in Ky˘to. The roles of the 2 sum˘ wrestlers Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ and Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi were played by the actors Nakayama Shinkur˘ I and Fujikawa Heikur˘.


The play "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki" was a 9-act drama (11 scenes), including a michiyuki.

Act In Japanese In English
I scene 1 清水浮無瀬 Kiyomizu Ukamuse
At the Ukamuse Restaurant near the Kiyomizu Temple
II scene 2 清水観音舞台 Kiyomizu Kannon Butai
On the Kannon Stage at the Kiyomizu Temple
II 堀江角力小屋前 Horie Sum˘ Goya Mae
In front of a temporary Sum˘ Area in the Horie district of ďsaka
(Commonly called "Sum˘ba")
III 新町九軒井筒屋 Shinmachi Kuken Izutsuya
At the Izutsuya Tea House in Shinmachi Kuken
(Commonly called "Izutsuya")
IV 大宝寺町搗米屋 Daih˘jimachi Tsukigomeya
A Rice-cleaning Store in the Daih˘ji-machi district of ďsaka
(Commonly called "Komeya")
V 難波芝居裏 Nanba Shibai Ura
Behind the Nanba Theater District of ďsaka
(Commonly called "Nanba Ura Koroshi")
VI 橋本治部右衛門の邸 Hashimoto Jibuemon no Yashiki
At Hashimoto Jibuemon's Mansion
(Commonly called "Hashimoto")
VII 道行菜種の乱咲 Michiyuki Natane no Midarezaki
The Turbulent Blooming of Rapeseed Travel Dance
VIII 八幡の里南与兵衛住家 Yawata no Sato Yohŕ Sumika
At Yohŕ's home in the Village of Yawata
(Commonly called "Hikimado")
IX scene 1 竹右衛門住家 Chikuemon Sumika
At Chikuemon's home
IX scene 2 観心寺 Kanshinji
At the Kanshinji Temple

The "Hikimado" and "Sum˘ba" acts are regularly staged independently and are both very popular. "Komeya" and "Nanba Ura Koroshi" are usually staged as part of a t˘shi ky˘gen production. "Izutsuya" or "Hashimoto" are rarely staged. Act I and the michiyuki were revived in September 1968 at the National Theatre.

Key words Azuma-yojibŕmono
Ganjir˘ Jűnikyoku
Gidayű Ky˘gen
Shinmachi Kuken

Act I, scene 1: Kiyomizu Ukamuse
At the Ukamuse Restaurant near the Kiyomizu Temple

Fujiya Azuma and Fujiya Miyako are two lovely ďsaka courtesans and intimate friends. The former is the lover of Yamazaki Yogor˘ and the latter is in love with Nan Yohŕ. However, both are targeted by rival in love of these two men. Azuma is being sought by the samurai Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Miyako by G˘zaemon's colleague Mihara Ariemon as well as by Yogor˘'s tedai Gonkur˘. They have heard rumors that the rival suitors are preparing to purchase the courtesans' contracts, and are anxious to inform their lovers so as to have them take actions to forestall the plans of the bad men.

Yogor˘ has organized an outing at the Shinkiyomizudera temple in ďsaka. Azuma and Miyako are both present, accompanied by other courtesans, nakai and taiko mochi. The two courtesans are waiting eagerly for the arrival of their respective lovers.

Nan Yohŕ arrives at the site, looking for Miyako. Yohŕ used to be an official with important duties before his downfall because of his love affair with Miyako. He is now making a living by producing and selling whistles. The others tactfully withdraw, leaving Yohŕ alone with Miyako. Miyako starts to tell him of Gonkur˘'s advances, but Yohŕ, instead of reacting as Miyako expects him to, sarcastically says that Gonkur˘ works in a prosperous shop and is a better choice than a penniless whistle-maker. A brief lover's quarrel ensues, which, however, is soon ended. Miyako and Yohŕ agree to meet later in the different place but they both leave the stage.

Now Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Mihara Ariemon appear on stage, where they meet the dubious taiko mochi Sadoshichi. This evil man was asked by the two samurai to get the opportunity to meet the two courtesans. Sadoshichi says he will make arrangements but it is obvious that he has a different plan up his sleeve.

Finally, Yogor˘ appears on stage. Azuma hurries out to greet him but Yogor˘ does not notice her at first. Azuma decides to put on an act and becomes suddenly ill. Yogor˘ is flustered until he understands that Azuma and her companions are just teasing him. Sadoshichi approaches Yogor˘ and tells him about Hiraoka G˘zaemon's plans to ransom Azuma. The rich samurai has promised to pay 300 ry˘ this evening. Yogor˘ answers that he has just received 300 ry˘ from his business in ďsaka and that he has entrusted the money to Gonkur˘. He asks Sadoshichi to go to get the money from Gonkur˘ and use it to purchase Azuma's contract. Azuma is relieved but she is unaware that Sadoshichi is up to mischief.

In the meantime, the clerk Gonkur˘, who wants to get Miyako and has asked Sadoshichi to make arrangements for him, comes to the site. Sadoshichi approaches him with Yogor˘'s request about the 300 ry˘. Gonkur˘ reveals that he has 300 ry˘ with him ů in counterfeit money! He hands the fake money over to Sadoshichi while Gonkur˘ pockets the real money. He will use it to purchase Miyako's contract. The two villains congratulate themselves.

Sadoshichi, who has taken care of handing over the fake money in Yogor˘'s name, returns to the site where he meets G˘zaemon and Ariemon. He shows G˘zaemon the official paper freeing Azuma from service at the brothel. G˘zaemon is angered at Sadoshichi's treachery, but Sadoshichi reveals that the paper does not include the name of the redeemer. Any name can be written on this important document later.

A messenger from the Fujiya house of assignation appears on stage. He tells all that Yogor˘'s money is not genuine. Yogor˘, who is called back on stage, has to give some explanation about this affair. Yogor˘ is accused by the two samurai, Sadoshichi and Gonkur˘ of using knowingly counterfeit money to purchase Azuma's contract. They order him to pay the sum in real money immediately if he does not want to be accused of a serious crime. Yogor˘ is in trouble. Yohŕ suddenly steps out. Yohŕ has witnessed everything and knows the evil plan. He threatens to reveal all. G˘zaemon and Ariemon flee as quickly as possible. Azuma comes hurrying out to thank Yohŕ for his help. Then, she introduces Yohŕ to Yogor˘ as Miyako's lover. They all go inside the Ukamuse restaurant to have a drink together.

Act I, scene 2: Kiyomizu Kannon Butai
On the Kannon Stage at the Kiyomizu Temple

Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Mihara Ariemon are upset by the failure of their plans. They come to the conclusion that they must kill Yohŕ in order to straighten matters out. They work out another plan with the taiko mochi Sadoshichi.

Presently Yohŕ comes running to the Kannon stage at the Kiyomizu temple. He was attacked by a group of hoodlums hired by Sadoshichi. In the ensuing fight, Sadoshichi has bitten Yohŕ's little finger with full tooth, biting it off. Yohŕ killed Sadoshichi, leaving his little finger in the mouth of his enemy, and has run away.

He meets Miyako by chance and tells her the whole story. As pursuers close in, Miyako hides him in a chest and sits on it. Gonkur˘ finds her there and makes amorous advances, showing her a certificate that says he has paid off Miyako's ransom. She suddenly says that she wants him to prove the depth of his love for her. She asks him whether he would cut out his little finger as a token of love. Gonkur˘ is unwilling but Miyako forces him to do it reluctantly. A group of torite arrives at the Kannon stage. They check Gonkur˘'s hands and find that one finger is missing. They know that Sadoshichi has been killed and the corpse had the bitten-off finger of the killer in his mouth. Gonkur˘ makes a good suspect. He is taken away along with Miyako for further questioning.

Yohŕ comes out of hiding but he is spotted by G˘zaemon and Ariemon. They run after him, but Yohŕ escapes, opening a parasol and using it as a parachute to fly down to safety from the high pavilion to the ground below.

Act II: Horie Sum˘ Goya Mae
In front of a temporary Sum˘ Area in the Horie district of ďsaka
--> A dedicated summary: "Sum˘ba"

This act shows the rivalry in Horie between two sum˘tori, Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ and Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi. In order to help his master Yamazaki Yogor˘ to buy out the contract of his lover, the beautiful courtesan Fujiya Azuma, the senior wrestler Nuregami Ch˘gor˘, who has not yet lost a match since the beginning of the sum˘ tournament in Horie, throws a match, letting the younger wrestler Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi win. Ch˘gor˘ hopes to get his help as Ch˘kichi's most important patron is Hiraoka G˘zaemon, the rival in love of Yogor˘, who also wants to buy Azuma out. The young wrestler loses his temper when he learns the truth directly from Ch˘gor˘'s mouth and the two end up competing in a test of pride.

Act III: Shinmachi Kuken Izutsuya
At the Izutsuya Tea House in Shinmachi Kuken

Act IV: Daih˘jimachi Tsukigomeya
A Rice-cleaning Store in the Daih˘ji-machi district of ďsaka
--> A dedicated summary: "Komeya"

Act V: Nanba Shibai Ura
Behind the Nanba Theater District of ďsaka
--> A dedicated summary: "Nanba Ura Koroshi"

The scene is set at night in a field near the D˘tonbori theater district. The samurai Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Mihara Ariemon have captured Fujiya Azuma and Yamazaki Yogor˘. G˘zaemon, who has paid a huge amount of money for Azuma's miuke, tells the courtesan that she is now his wife. Yogor˘ is beaten up but he refuses to accept losing his lover. Both Azuma and Yogor˘ are ready to die. Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ comes running and, with his amazing physical strength, violently pushes the two samurai aside. He tells Azuma and Yogor˘ to hide. They regain consciousness but, instead of reasonably discussing with Ch˘gor˘, they prefer to draw their sword and attack Ch˘gor˘. The sum˘tori is too strong for both Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Mihara Ariemon, who are easily beaten and injured. Ch˘gor˘ has no other choice than to finish off the two wounded men. Hanaregoma Ch˘kichi arrives at the scene of the crimes and Ch˘gor˘ asks him to take good care of Azuma and Yogor˘. When Yogor˘ tries to kill himself, Ch˘kichi stops him. He advises Ch˘gor˘ to flee to avoid being arrested. Ch˘kichi's two good-for-nothing friends Geta-no-Ichi and Node-no-San, who have seen everything, say that they will report Ch˘gor˘'s crime to the authorities. With Ch˘kichi's consent, Ch˘gor˘ kills them both.

Act VI: Hashimoto Jibuemon no Yashiki
At Hashimoto Jibuemon's Mansion
--> A dedicated summary: "Hashimoto"

Oteru, Yogor˘'s deserted wife, now lives with her father, Hashimoto Jibuemon. One day, Yogor˘ and Azuma arrive in this house in a palanquin. Yogor˘ asks Oteru to let him and Azuma stay in father's home. Oteru agrees to keep Azuma but not Yogor˘. advises Yogor˘ to return to his own house. Jibuemon, who has been eavesdropping their conversation, appears and tells Yogor˘ that he can stay at one condition: the writing of a divorce letter. Yogor˘ accepts and Azuma keeps it to herself as she feels sorry for Oteru.

Yamazaki Yojibŕ, Yogor˘'s father, visits the house and asks Jibuemon to let him take Oteru to his house. Jibuemon refuses and the two strong-willed men' quarrel. Jinbŕ, one of the two palanquin bearers, enters the house and proposes to negotiate alone with Azuma. Jinbŕ in fact confesses to Azuma that she is indeed his daughter. He had to abandon her when she was six years old. He makes an earnest appeal to Azuma to give up Yogor˘. She is about to kill herself when Jibuemon reappears. He will pay the remaining sum of her ransom by selling his precious sword. Then Yojibei reappears. He has shaved his head and wears a Buddhist priest's robe. He has entered the Buddhist priesthood in order to atone for his Yogor˘'s misconduct. All agree that Oteru and Azuma will stay at Yojibei's home as Yogor˘'s wife and Yogor˘'s mistress.

Act VII: Michiyuki Natane no Midarezaki
The Turbulent Blooming of Rapeseed Travel Dance [illustration]

In this michiyuki, Fujiya Azuma and Yamazaki Yogor˘ travel together. Yogor˘ is not well for he has gone mad. The lyrical scene ends with a beautiful description of the scenery and circumstances.

Act VIII: Yawata no Sato Yohŕ Sumika
At Yohŕ's home in the Village of Yawata
--> A dedicated summary: "Hikimado"

Ch˘gor˘, after the killing in Nanba, is on the run, wanted by the police. He arrives at his real mother's house, Ok˘, who has remarried and lives in small village with her foster son, Nan Yohŕ, and his wife, Ohaya. Ch˘gor˘ intends to surrender himself to the police after one final meeting with his mother. Ok˘ and Ohaya receive him warmly. Ok˘ asks Ch˘gor˘ to rest at the second floor room and she starts cooking with Ohaya.

Having been summoned by the local magistrate, however, Yohŕ is out. To his great joy Yohŕ has been finally allowed to inherit both his deceased father's name, Nanp˘ Jűjibŕ, and his duties. He has received from the magistrate his truncheon and he is now a respectable rural policeman. He returns home triumphantly with Hiraoka Tanbei and Mihara Denz˘, the brothers of Hiraoka G˘zaemon and Mihara Ariemon, who were killed by Ch˘gor˘. Ironically, Jűjibŕ's first assignment is to arrest Ch˘gor˘, the foster brother he has never met. The manhunt for Ch˘gor˘ is about to start. While Hiraoka Tanbei and Mihara Denz˘ take charge of the daytime search, Jűjibŕ is ordered to search the killer at night. Ok˘ asks him about the personal description that is being circulated, so that Ch˘gor˘ can disguise himself and escape from the village without being recognized. Jűjibŕ becomes vaguely aware of the presence of someone upstairs. He leaves the house and quietly goes round to the back yard with the intention of discovering the intruder, whom he now suspects is none other than Ch˘gor˘. Eavesdropping on Ok˘ and Ch˘gor˘, he gradually comes to have compassion for Ch˘gor˘, who must have suffered countless hardships as an orphan. Finally, Jűjibŕ decides to let Ch˘gor˘ go away, even at the sacrifice of his new duties.

When Jűjibŕ allows Ch˘gor˘ to make his escape, it is night. In those days it was the custom to close the skylight shutters at night. Jűjibŕ takes full advantage of this custom to rationalize his actions. He cuts the rope of the roof skylights, letting the moonlight entering into the room. Jűjibŕ tells all that it is morning already, and that his duty is over as he is in charge of the night time only.

Act IX

This summary would have not been possible without the help of Sekidobashi Sakura!


[1] The title "A Diary of Two Butterflies in the Pleasure Quarters" comes from the 1st volume of "Kabuki Plays On Stage".

"Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki" at the Naka no Shibai in the 12th lunar month of 1762 (more details through the link below)

Prints & Illustrations

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