Invitation to Kabuki - Guidance for Kabuki appreciation
Kabuki repertoire
"Sato moyo azami no ironui"
Common name: "Izayoi seishin"
Introduction of work
This Sewamono, commonly called "Izayoi seishin," was written by Kawatake Mokuami. It depicts the vicissitudes of Seishin, a priest at Gokurakuji temple, and the courtesan Izayoi.
Seishin was expelled from his temple for nyobon (Buddhist priest's illicit sexual relations with a woman). Izayoi realizes that she is pregnant with Seishin's child, and escapes from the kuruwa (licensed prostitution quarter). Izayoi and Seishin meet near the Inase river, and jump into the river in an attempt to commit double suicide.
However, unknown to each other, they both survive. Seishin has become an outlaw because he accidentally killed a man, and Izayoi has become the mistress kept by Hakuren, who rescued her from drowning. Later, Izayoi and Seishin meet again in the mountains of Hakone. They became thieves calling themselves Oniazami no Seikichi and Osayo, and visit Hakuren to extort money from him.
At present, the play is performed from the 'Inasegawa hyappongui' scene in which Izayoi and Seishin attempt to commit double suicide, to the 'Hyappongui kawashimo' scene in which the two of them, each not knowing that the other has survived, pass by each other.
A highlight of the 'Hyappongui kawashimo' scene is Seishin's "Shikashi mateyo" speech after he has committed the crime of murder, and the evil in his heart has awakened.
Izayoi and Seishin in the 'Inasegawa hyappongui' scene. Izayoi played by Onoe Baiko 6th, Seishin by Ichimura Uzaemon 15th, "Sato moyo azami no ironui" 'Inasegawa hyappongui' scene [performance title: "Sato no haregi azami no ironui"] Teikoku Gekijo, June 1926
Distinctive expressions
An excellent piece of Kiyomoto music, "Ume yanagi nakamoyoi tsuki" is sung and played in 'Inasegawa hyappongui' scene. The performance from the reunion of Izayoi and Seishin to their successful double suicide develops through movements like those of Buyo (dance). Actually, the desperate double suicide scene is made very emotional and beautiful by this Kiyomoto music, becoming the highlight of this play.