|KYÔKAKU HARUSAME GASA
|Kyôkaku Harusame Gasa
A Chivalrous Commoner and a Spring Rain Umbrella 
Jitsuroku no Sukeroku
The original drama was in 6 acts (12 scenes).
Act I, scene 1: Shin Yoshiwara Moritaya
Ôguchiya Jihê is the scion of a prosperous fudasashi in Kuramae (in Edo near Asakusa), one of the influential rice-brokers who dealt directly with the daimyô lords, but he has given up his inheritance to his younger half-brother Ôguchiya Seizaburô, has took the name of Ôguchiya Gyôu in order to be free to fight the overbearing hatamoto or rônin, something he would not be able to do as a wealthy fudasashi. The direct cause of his sudden renouncement of his heritage has been resentment against a samurai named Henmi Ikkaku, now a bad rônin called Henmi Tetsushinsai, who used his class superiority to force unwarranted loans from Gyôu's father Ôguchiya Jizaemon.
In the past, Tetsushinsai has attacked Amano Yukie, the young son of a daimyô named Amano Minbu, but has been set off by the intervention of an old samurai named Imanishi Gennoshin. Later he has taken revenge by basely and brutally killing both Gennoshin and his wife. In the meantime, Amano Minbu and Yukie have learned from neighbours that Gennoshin had a daughter named Otsuyu who has been forced by family poverty into becoming a keisei in the pleasure quarter of Shin-Yoshiwara. Her professional name is now Usugumo . Consequently, they have contacted Gyôu in order to locate the girl and inform her of her parents' death.
At the Moritaya establishment in Shin-Yoshiwara, Tetsushinsai arrives and demands the company of the keisei Usugumo. No one thinks well of this rough visitor, so they prepare to help Usugumo stave off the unwelcome visitor. As for Tetsushinsai, in spite of this pretence that he has fallen in love with Usugumo, his real intention is otherwise. He has come to try to sound her out and see whether she is aware that he is her father's murderer.
Although Usugumo shows every sign of dislike for Tetsushinsai, repulsing him entirely, he is led to believe that she does not realize the truth yet. Here, a man named Karigane Shôbê comes to see Tetsushinsai, and Usugumo leaves the room in relief. Tetsushinsai whispers to Shôbê that Usugumo seems to know nothing, and there is nothing to fear from her. The person to be feared is her Ôguchiya Gyôu. Therefore Tetsushinsai plots with Shôbê to lure Gyôu into street-fighting in the heart of Yoshiwara and kill him off in order to prevent future complications.
Act I, scene 2: Nakanochô Kenka
A little later, Usugumo and her company are on their way back from another ageya, and stop to rest under the cherry blossoms in Nakanochô. Her companions are speaking sympathetically of Usugumo's difficulty that day because of Tetsushinsai's unwanted attention.
At this point Gyôu makes his appearance. He is dressed in the elegant manner of the Edo otokodate, and makes a striking figure. He and Usugumo and the rest of the company exchange words with each other, and the others tell him of Usugumo's trouble that day.
The taiko mochi Zenkô comes carrying a letter for Usugumo from Amano Minbu. On learning the contents of the letter, Gyôu hurriedly sends her to meet Minbu. She has to tell Minbu about her desire concerning revenge for her father's death.
As Gyôu retires together with the others, a few henchmen of Tetsushinsai's come to seek him out, presently followed by Tetsushinsai himself. Gyôu cynically asks whether Tetsushinsai has come to demand a loan again. Tetsushinsai replies that what he wants this time is not money but the keisei Usugumo. Gyôu replies that Usugumo being a keisei, her time can be purchased by anyone with lots of money. He flings Tetsushinsai some money with which to do so if he wishes, thus highly humiliating his enemy. Tetsushinsai angrily tries to strike Gyôu with a tobacco tray, but Gyôu takes it from him and wounds Tetsushinsai with it instead, in retaliation for the wound which he himself received from Tetsushinsai some months earlier at his father's store. As a fight seems inevitable, the keisei Katsuragi, close friend of Usugumo, comes running between them to act as arbitrator. Both men decide that the place and time are bad, and lay off the quarrel until a future time.
Act II, scene 1: Asakusa Namiki Yamiuchi
A group of henchmen, on the payroll of Karigane Shôbê, are lying in wait, hiding behind the trees along the road to Asakusa. They know that Gyôu will presently pass by in a palanquin on his way home from the pleasure quarter of Shin-Yoshiwara.
Presently Gyôu's palanquin approaches the site, but for some reason Gyôu stops the two kagokaki, and getting out, he starts to walk along behind them. The men in ambush come out to attack the palanquin. As the carriers flee, they discover that the kago is empty. Gyôu, watching from behind, announces his presence, and then quickly proceeds to do away with them, striking them unconscious or causing them to flee. Then Shôbê himself steps out from the shadows with a sword in his hand.
In the dark, Gyôu manages to best Shôbê. As the moon come out of the clouds, he recognizes his opponent Shôbê. Gyôu is aware of Shôbê's shameful secret … that he is an eta, a despised untouchable. Shôbê asks Gyôu to kill him but the merciful Gyôu forces the man to stand up and accompany him.
Act II, scene 2: Suwa-chô Tatsutaya
Shôbê has no idea where Gyôu is taking him, and is amazed to find himself in an upstairs guest room of a restaurant called Tatsutaya in the district of Suwa-chô, whose proprietor is one of Gyôu's friends. Gyôu asks the proprietor to bring clean clothes for Shôbê to replace the one torn in the fight, and then invites Shôbê to drink and eat with him. Shôbê knows that Gyôu is aware that he is a member of the despised eta social class. Therefore, he is amazed to be treated by Gyôu in such a high class manner. Gyôu replies that all men are born equal. Then, Shôbê repents having sided with the bad side of Tetsushinsai against Gyôu. In the ensuing conversation, it becomes clear that Tetsushinsai has wanted to kill Gyôu in order to prevent his seeking revenge with Usugumo for her father's death.
For the first time, Shôbê learns from Gyôu's words that the murdered man was his benefactor, who many years previously saved his life. Gyôu asks Shôbê to reveal the names of the men responsible for the killing of Imanishi Gennoshin. Shôbê refuses at first, saying that he is bound to secrecy. But, when Gyôu says that he needs proof against the culprits, Shôbê gives names of several men who should know the truth and are likely to confess the whole story.
With this, having betrayed his own gang, Shôbê has no choice but to stab himself (seppuku). At the same time, several of his henchmen arrive at the restaurant, looking for him. Shôbê dies after telling them that there has been a reconciliation with Gyôu, and asking Gyôu to see to everything after his death.
Act III, scene 1: Imado Hachiman Uchi Adauchi
Meanwhile, Amano Minbu has been furthering plans to aid Usugumo in her revenge against Tetsushinsai. Having got the pertinent information from Gyôu concerning the hired gang of murderers, he has checked with the authorities and got the necessary confessions and proof against Tetsushinsai, as well as official permission for Usugumo to take revenge against him.
It is the day of the festival at the Imado Hachiman Shrine in Asakusa. Tetsushinsai and his gang are expected to come to the site. Amano Minbu's men are also in the crowd, with instructions to aid in the vendetta. Minbu himself and his son Yukie are also present.
Presently Gyôu comes. He informs the others that Usugumo is resting in a house nearby. His plan is to start a fight with Tetsushinsai, during which his own men will take care of Tetsushinsai's gang. Then, when Tetsushinsai is more or less subdued, Usugumo will be able to take her revenge. However, Amano Yukie asks that he himself instead of Gyôu be allowed to start the fight and best Tetsushinsai, in retaliation for the time when Tetsushinsai has tried to molest him, leading to Gennoshin's intervention and his subsequent murder. Gyôu agrees. Amano Minbu draws Gyôu aside and asks whether Usugumo, in spite of her profession in the pleasure quarter, is still innocent as he has heard the rumour. Gyôu confirms that she is and plans are made for Usugumo to become the bride of Yukie after the revenge.
Everything goes as planned. The rônin Henmi Tetsushinsai and his men arrive in the precinct of the Imado Hachiman Shrine. Amano and Gyôu's men quickly prevent Tetsushinsai's underlings from aiding their leader, while Yukie fights it out with him. Then, as Tetsushinsai is finally defeated, Usugumo comes out from her hiding spot to strike the final mortal blow against her father's murderer.
The actors Ichikawa Metora II (left print; top), Sawamura Gennosuke IV (left print; bottom), Ichikawa Ennosuke I (central print; bottom), Nakamura Fukusuke IV (central print; top), Ichikawa Danjûrô IX (right print; top) and Ichikawa Yaozô VII (right print; bottom) playing the roles of the keisei Usugumo, the keisei Hinotoyama, the rônin Henmi Tetsushinsai, the keisei Katsuragi, Ôguchiya Gyôu and Karigane Shôbê in the drama "Otokodate Harusame Gasa", which was staged in April 1897 at the Kabukiza (print made by Toyohara Kunichika)
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