Yohanasake Ukinano Yokogushi (与話情浮名横櫛)

"Yohanasake Ukinano Yokogushi" is one of the Sewamono (play dealing with the lives of ordinary people) masterpieces of Kabuki. This has some common names, such as "Genjidana Kirare Yosa" and "Otomi Yosaburo."


This is based on the story-telling of Ryosuke KAN. This story is created based on the actual event of Isaburo YOSHIMURA the fourth, a master of Nagauta (long epic song with shamisen accompaniment), which happened in Kisarazu City. Joko SEGAWA (the third) made this story into Kabuki, which was performed for the first time at Edo Nakamura-za Theater on February 21, 1853.

Originally this story is made up of nine acts, however only the first half, "Misome" (falling in love) and "Genjidana" are often played nowadays. In the initial performance, the Yosaburo played by Danjuro ICHIKAWA (the eighth) gained good reputation. A wellborn son, Yosaburo becomes a rogue because of a love affair. He tries to act strong and defensive, but has weakness, too. Danjuro perfectly matched such complicated character, which exactly fit the intention of the author Joko. In the end of the Meiji period, 'Genjidana' was performed repeatedly by Uzaemon ICHIMURA (the fifteenth) playing Yosaburo, Baiko ONOE (the sixth) playing Otomi and Matsusuke ONOE (the fourth) playing Komori Yasu, and they gained much popularity. It is typical after the war that good-looking pairs, such as Danjuro ICHIKAWA (the eleventh) playing Yosaburo and Baiko ONOE (the seventh) playing Otomi in the past, and Nizaemon KATAOKA (the fifteenth) for Yosaburo and Tamasaburo BANDO (the fifth) for Otomi today.

The latter half is the extortion by Yosaburo at Izumiya. Yosaburo is arrested at Yajingahara. Next, a Shosagoto (dance in Kabuki) called 'Shima no Tametomo' follows, which indicates the Ento (to be exiled to a remote island) of Yosaburo. An expressive 'scene at the store of Izuya,' which describes that Yosaburo meets his renounced biological parents thanks to the arrangement of his houseboy Tadasuke, after escaping from the island. After Sewa Danmari, where Yosaburo meets Akama on a bank in Hirazuka again, 'a scene in the final stage Kyuji KANNON' follows, at which a scar on the Yosaburo's face disappears thanks to the self-sacrifice of his old friend Kyuji KANNON. However, the scenes other than 'a scene at the store of Izuya' are not good, so rarely performed nowadays. However, it seems that the author had the successive plot.

Casting at the initial performance

Yosaburo played by Danjuro ICHIKAWA (the eighth)
Otomi played by Kikugoro ONOE (the fourth)
Izumiya Tazaemon played by Sanjuro SEKI (the third)
Kyuji KANNON played by Kodanji ICHIKAWA (the fourth)
Komori Yasu played by Nakazo NAKAMURA (the third)

Story line (the second and third acts of the original work)

Yosaburo, a son of a mercantile house in Edo, met Otomi in Kisarazu and fell in love with her at first sight ('Kisarazu Kaigan Misome' (falling in love at the coast of Kisarazu)). However, Otomi is a mistress of Genzaemon AKAMA. Because their love affair was found out, Yosaburo was barbarously killed by the followers of Genzaemon and his body was thrown away in the sea. Otomi saw the scene and ran away, however she was chased by the follower, Mirukui no Matsu, therefore she tried to commit suicide by drowning.

Surprisingly, both of them survived, and Otomi was taken in at the mistress' home by Tazaemon (Genjidana in Kamakura) who served as the head clerk of Izumiya. Yosaburo was disinherited by his family and became a highbinder, who gained public notoriety as "Kirare Yosa" (Scarface Yosa) with his 34 sword cuts.

One day, Yosaburo came to the house of Otomi to do extortion with a rascal, Komori. Because Yosaburo was unable to forget Otomi even for a moment, he was surprised to see Otomi, and also got angry to know that she became a mistress of someone. Famous lines telling his bitterness and love follow, and then the two of them got money and left thanks to the intervention of Tazaemon ("Genjidana"). Otomi insisted that Yosaburo is her older brother in order to get through the situation, however Tazaemon is her brother in reality. Tazaemon attempted to intercede for the two of them, even though he knew all about the matter.

In the original plot, however, Yosaburo who returned to Otomi found out the crime of the Akama group because the clerk of Izumiya is the older brother of Mirukui, and he swore revenge. The play comes to an end with the scene in which Yosaburo hugs Otomi saying "we can talk if we stay alive" after the event that Yosaburo came to know the miracle medicine that cures sword scars. However this part is also rarely played for the reason of time.

Meiserifu (famous lines)

The famous lines by Yosaburo at a scene of the mistress' home of Genjidana in the fourth act.

Yosaburo: Hi, Goshinzo (a wife of a rich merchant), Ma'am, Ms Otomi, or Otomi, it has been a long time.

Otomi: Who are you?

Yosaburo: I am Yosaburo.

Otomi: What?

Yosaburo: You forgot me?

Otomi: Yes.

Yosaburo: My piddling love turned out harmful. I do not know why I have survived, and it has been more than three years since the time in Kisarazu. My parents in Edo disinherited me, thus I became penniless in Yatsushichigo. However, thanks to the scars on my face, I gained public notoriety as "Kirare Yosa." Around the time when I got accustomed to extortion, I entered Genjidana. I saw Otomi, who I thought is dead, in the house surrounded by the white and black latticed walls. Even Buddha is unable to notice. How could you survive. I can not leave with such a small amount of money as the Ichibu gin silver coin.

Derivative works

"Hachiman Matsuri Yomiya no Nigiwai" (Chizimiya Shinsuke)
As the sequel, Mokuami KAWATAKE wrote this for Kodanji ICHIKAWA (the fourth). The plot is that because Genzaemon, who came to Edo, had illicit love with a Geisha (Japanese professional female entertainer at drinking party) Oriyo who is resembling Otomi, an Echigo merchant Shinsuke got involved in a tragedy.

Both Kichiemon NAKAMURA (the first), who played Shinsuke and Utaemon NAKAMURA (the sixth), who played Omiyo, gained a good reputation.

"Musumegonomi Ukinano Yokogushi" (Kirare Otomi)
Not Yosaburo but Otomi got slashed, and then she did extortion for Genzaemon for the sake of her lover Yosaburo who she met again. Later it is found out that Otomi and Yosaburo are the actual brother and sister who were separated when they were small. Both of them committed suicide out of guilt that they had a relationship with each other. Mokuami wrote this for a star actor for female roles Tanosuke SAWAMURA the third. Third play is full of decadent atmosphere of the end of the Edo period, and this outperforms the original one in terms of contents and structure, although this is a rewritten Kyogen.

This was a role for which actors, not only Tanosuke SAWAMURA the third, but also Gennosuke SAWAMURA (the fourth) and Kunitaro KAWARASAKI (the fifth) from Zenshinza (the Zenshinza Company) gained a reputation.

A play written by Kaoru OSANAI. Based on "Izuya" of this play, he added modern interpretations.