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Colour woodblock print, oban. The kabuki actors Ichikawa Danzo IV as Daihanji Kiyozumi standing with two swords and holding out a branch of cherry blossom, and Osagawa Tsuneyo II as the widow Sadaka, (‘koshitsu Sadaka’), in the ‘Yoshinogawa’ scene from Act III of the play ‘Imoseyama onna teikin’ by Chikamatsu Hanji and others, performed at the Morita-za in the 9th month of 1798.
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- In the play it is the 7th century and the evil Soga no Iruka has usurped control of the country, sending the emperor into hiding. Two feuding families – the Dazai and the Daihanji – are both loyal to the emperor but now find themselves subject to Iruka’s whims. In order to consolidate power, Iruka orders that the daughter of the deceased Dazai no Shoni become his concubine while the son of Daihanji Kiyozumi is to become his retainer. As this ‘Yoshinogawa’ scene begins, Dazai’s widow Sadaka, now head of her household, and Daihanji Kiyozumi are returning home from their audience with Iruka. Their estates are next to each other separated only by the Yoshino River, along the banks of which they both walk, deep in thought. Each carries a sprig of cherry blossom that they have been ordered to cast into the river once their children have agreed to Iruka’s demands. The two children, however, are unwilling to comply because they are in love with each other and, separately, each decides to die. (Paul Griffith, 26/11/2009).
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Imoseyama onna Teikin (妹背山婦女庭訓) (play)
Associated Title: Yoshinogawa (吉野川) (scene)
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