|Play title||Igagoe Dôchű Sugoroku
Igagoe Norikake Gappa
|Authors||Chikamatsu Hanji, Chikamatsu Kasaku ("Igagoe Dôchű Sugoroku")
Nagawa Kamesuke I ("Igagoe Norikake Gappa")
|Common title||Yukie Goroshi
The Murder of Yukie
The play "Igagoe Dôchű Sugoroku" was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 4th lunar month of 1783 in Ôsaka at the Takemotoza. The authors drew their inspiration from Nagawa Kamesuke I's successful drama "Igagoe Norikake Gappa", which was directly written for Kabuki and was staged for the first time in the 12th lunar month of 1776 in Ôsaka at the Naka no Shibai [casting]. "Igagoe Dôchű Sugoroku" was adapted for Kabuki the same year and staged for the first time in the 9th lunar month of 1783 in Ôsaka 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:
"Igagoe Dôchű Sugoroku" is made up of 10 acts. "Wada Yukie Yashiki" ('At the Mansion of Wada Yukie'), commonly called "Yukie Goroshi" ('The Murder of Yukie') is the Second act.
Wada Shizuma has incurred the displeasure of his father, the fencing master Wada Yukie and an important vassal (kashin) of Lord Uesugi, for his love affair with a Yoshiwara yűjo, the keisei Segawa, and has been disowned as a result. Actually, Shizuma has been lured into a trap set by an evil disciple of his father's, Sawai Matagorô, who hopes that by discrediting Shizuma, he himself will be able to become the heir and successor of Yukie. With this in mind, he has introduced Shizuma to the pleasures of Yoshiwara. Shizuma, falling in love with Segawa, has been forced on Matagorô's instigation to pawn a prized family sword in order to obtain funds to keep up his visits to Yoshiwara.
In the meantime, at ailing Yukie's home in Kamakura, his wife Shibagaki approaches him to ask for lenience in his treatment of Otani, his daughter. Shibagaki is Yukie's second wife, and both Otani and Shizuma are Yukie's children by his late first wife. There is one other child, Shibagaki's, who is a six-year old girl named Onochi. Otani has also been disowned by Yukie because she has had an unapproved love affair with a rônin named Karaki Masaemon. Although Yukie has no grudge against Masaemon whom he respects as a fine swordsman, he cannot approve their illicit relationship, and he has disowned Otani as a consequence. Shibagaki is not happy about this situation, and has once again brought up the matter for reconsideration. Yukie, who is not really angry at his daughter as he would make it appear, tells Shibagaki not to fret about it. Masaemon has gained a good post as fencing master in the household of Lord Honda Dainaiki, on the recommendation of Usami Goemon, and the time will no doubt come soon when everything can be straightened out.
At this point the coming of Sawai Matagorô is announced. Yukie dislikes Matagorô, but he accepts to meet him as he has come for a discussion of a confidential nature. Matagorô asks Yukie to grant him the Wada family heirloom sword, because otherwise there is danger that the sword will fall into outsiders' hands. He knows that Shizuma has pawned it, and hopes to retrieve it and take possession of it with Yukie's permission. Yukie, however, is one step ahead of him. He has already repossessed the pawned sword, foiling Matagorô's plans. Yukie angrily denounces Matagorô for his machination to discredit Shizuma. He also suspects there is someone else behind the conspiracy against the Wada Clan. Matagorô puts on a show of simulated remorse, saying as proof of his repentance he will show Yukie a secret message related to the plot. He takes out a letter which Yukie proceeds to read, realizing as he does so that the head of the conspiracy is Sawai Jôgorô, as he has suspected. Matagorô takes it as an opportunity to suddenly strike his master with his sword and he quickly kills him. Then he steals the precious sword from the alcove and runs away.
Illustration for the "Yukie Goroshi" scene from the ezukushi banzuke of the drama "Igagoe Norikake Gappa", which was staged in the 12th lunar month of 1776 at the Naka no Shibai with Arashi Bungorô I (left), Asao Tamejűrô I (right) and Arashi Sanjűrô IV (bottom) in the roles of Wada Yukie, Sawai Matagorô and Ikezoe Magohachi
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