SummaryThis play offers a vivid juxtaposition between the strong affection shown by the two daughters.
Osome, the daughter of a major merchant in Osaka, and Omitsu, the daughter of a rural farming household, have strong feelings of affection towards Hisamatsu, an apprentice at the merchant’s shop. This sewa-mono was written based on an actual double suicide incident that had occurred.
This incident has also been adapted for Ningyo joruri and Kabuki and was known as "Osome Hisamatsumono." Also popular was a performing art called "Utazaimon," in which a performer sings and walks while adding fushi-mawashi (intonations) to such situations and suicides. "Shinpan," meaning new ballad, in the title of the play is likely a show of respect for the preceding work.
The act that is frequently staged is "Nozakimura (Nozaki Village)." The lively shamisen music that resonates at harrowing scenes is considered a masterpiece.
Highlight: "Nozakimura (Nozaki Village)"A merchant’s daughter returns the letter of an irresolute man, urging him to stay with her.
Accused of stealing, Hisamatsu returns to his family home and prepares to hold a wedding with Omitsu, the daughter of his foster father. Just then, Osome, the daughter of Hisamatsu’s employer and his lover, appears in pursuit of Hisamatsu.
The narrator and Shamisen player make use of a variety of techniques so that these two daughters are distinguishable. The scene where Osome scolds Hisamatsu with a letter in her hand employs "Kudoki," a method of building up climax by fervently pouring forth the character’s strong sentiments and feelings.
National Bunraku Theatre
"Shinpan Utazaimon" Nozakimura
Narrator: Toyotake Hanafusadayu III
Shamisen player: Tsuruzawa Tozo II
Puppeteer Hisamatsu: Yoshida Minojiro
Osome: Yoshida Minosuke III