Play title Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku  In Japanese
Authors Chikamatsu Hanji
Chikamatsu Kasaku

The play "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 4th lunar month of 1783 in ďsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted for Kabuki the same year and staged for the first time in the 9th lunar month of 1783 in ďsaka at the Naka no Shibai [casting].

This play is based on the famous Igagoe vendetta, which took place in 1634. When it was dramatized, the names and details, and even the era were changed because of censorship by the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate:

Real Names Theater Names
Kawai Matagor˘ Sawai Matagor˘
Araki Mataemon Karaki Masaemon
Watanabe Yukie Wada Yukie
Watanabe Kazuma Wada Kazuma
Kawai Jinzaemon Yamada K˘bŕ

"Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" is made up of 10 acts. "Okazaki" gathers act VIII ("Fujikawa Shinseki" / "At the new barrier on the Fuji River") and act IX ("Okazaki Yamada K˘bŕ Sumika" / "at Yamada K˘bŕ's home in Okazaki").

Key words Gidayű Ky˘gen

Act VII: Fujikawa Shinseki
At the new barrier on the Fuji River

Pursuing Matagor˘, in this play, the killer of his father, Shizuma comes to a barrier at Fujikawa, but does not have a certificate to let him through. Osode, a teahouse maiden falls in love with Shizuma and helps him by taking the travel documents from Sukehei, a footman. She distracts the footman by showing him the telescope used to watch travelers approaching the barrier and he is absorbed watching a husband and wife who are dumpling sellers.

Matagor˘ and his uncle Rinzaemon pass through the barrier and ask a horse driver to kill Shizuma and Masaemon if they are found. After the barrier is closed for the night, Masaemon arrives and sneaks past by going through a bamboo grove. Sukehei tries to follow in the same way since Shizuma took his travel papers, but is captured instead.

Act VIII: Okazaki Yamada K˘bŕ Sumika
At Yamada K˘bŕ's home in Okazaki

Osode takes Shizuma to her house. Shizuma presents a letter addressed to her father K˘bŕ from the stolen travel documents and the letter asks him to protect Matagor˘, who has been betrothed to marry Osode. She has never met Matagor˘, so Shizuma immediately poses as him and they go to their marriage bed.

Masaemon has been attacked and is rescued by K˘bŕ. In fact, K˘bŕ was once Masaemon's fencing teacher and recognizes him immediately. But at that time, Masaemon was still using his childhood name and so K˘bŕ does not realize that Masaemon is now the enemy of his family and even requests his help in protecting Matagor˘. Masaemon's wife Otani appears outside with her newborn baby. When he left to help with the vendetta, Masaemon divorced Otani to shield her from punishment. But she has followed him, hoping to unite her baby with his father at least once. Masaemon comforts her outside in the snow, but insists that she leave immediately since he must keep his true identity a secret. The baby falls into K˘bŕ's hands, and learning that it is Masaemon's son, vows to keep the child as a hostage to try to draw out their enemy. But Masaemon grabs the baby and stabs it, saying that it is cowardly to take hostages. Finally K˘bŕ introduces Masaemon to "Matagor˘" and Masaemon is surprised to see that it is actually Shizuma. Suddenly K˘bŕ reveals that he knows their true identities and realized that his old student was actually Masaemon by the hidden tears in his eyes when he killed his own son. Now K˘bŕ throws his loyalty to Shizuma and Masaemon and tells them where Matagor˘ is.

Source: Earphone Guide website


"Okazaki" used to be a popular item before WW2. Since the end of WW2, it was been so far revived only four times, in February 1952 at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ and in September 1970, December 2014 and March 2017 at the National Theatre.

Act VII is nicknamed "T˘megane" (the telescope) because of the telescope used by Matagor˘'s henchman Sukehei to spy Shizuma and Osode in a comical scene.

Act VIII is nicknamed "Tabako Kiri" (tobacco shredding): when his wife Otani and his son Sh˘tar˘ arrives at K˘bŕ 's home, exhausted and chilled to the bone, Masaemon does not look at them, shows absolutely no emotion and prefer to smoke instead of helping them.

The actors Arashi Daizabur˘ IV, Nakamura S˘jűr˘, Iwai Hanshir˘ VIII and Nakamura Nakaz˘ III playing the roles of Otani, Karaki Masaemon, Wada Shizuma and Yamada K˘bŕ in the drama "Kaze Kaoru Iga no Akebono", which was staged in june 1874 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Sh˘sai Gink˘)

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