Kasane

かさね

Kasane

The truth about a woman’s lover leads her to a tragic end.

A love tragedy unfolding to the tender sounds of Kiyomoto music. Kasane falls for a mature playboy, who turns out to be her mother’s lover and her father’s murderer. A dance drama about the unhappy fate of an innocent young girl.

Synopsis

by Abe Satomi

Promise of joint suicide

A summer night after the rain. Kasane, a lady-in-waiting, hurries along a street in the darkness in pursuit of her lover Yoemon, a servant in the same household, who has left a suicide note and disappeared. Eventually she catches up with him at the riverbank of Kinegawa and reminds him that they had promised to die together. Yoemon tells her that is not possible, saying he has his reasons. Servants under the same master were not allowed to have romantic relationships, but Kasane is pregnant with Yoemon’s child.

【Left】Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Nakamura Hashinosuke) August 2013 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】[from left]Kasane(Nakamura Tokizo)、Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Ichikawa Somegoro) June 2011 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre

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Decision to die together

Kasane tries to persuade her lover. She reminds him that they met the previous summer and have spent many happy moments together. When she shyly informs him of her pregnancy, Yoemon finally agrees to the joint suicide. They both start to cry, thinking about their lack of filial duty to their faraway parents.

[from left]Kasane(Nakamura Tokizo)、Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Ichikawa Somegoro) June 2011 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre

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Drifting skeleton

To the eerie sound of the wind, a skull floats down the river on a grave marker with a sickle thrust in its eyehole. Yoemon sees on the grave marker the name “Suke”. Astonished, he breaks the grave marker in two. Suddenly Kasane experiences a sharp pain in her leg and falls. Yoemon removes the sickle and chops apart the skull, at which Kasane covers her face and falls into a bush.

Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Ichimura Uzaemon) November 1943 Kabukiza Theatre

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Fight in the darkness

A policeman appears in the darkness and tries to arrest Yoemon, which leads to a fight. The scene is a showpiece for the actor playing Yoemon, who shows his masculine manner to the strains of the gorgeous Kiyomoto music and beautiful lyrics. The policeman drops a letter, which is revealed to be an arrest warrant for Yoemon. During a gap between the clouds under the dim moonlight, Yoemon reads the letter in one of the scene’s highlights. Yoemon tries to evade capture, but is stopped by Kasane.

Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Nakamura Hashinosuke) August 2013 Kabukiza Theatre

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Kasane’s dramatic change

Kasane grabs Yoemon because she suspects the letter is from another woman. She accuses him of betraying her. Yoemon is shocked to see that Kasane’s face has transformed into a monstrous look, but Kasane, unaware of the change, clings to his leg and pleads that she loves him. She talks of how happy they would be if she gave up her courtesan ways and lived with him in the town. Meanwhile, her face gets ever more deformed.

[from left]Kasane(Nakamura Fukusuke)、Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Nakamura Hashinosuke) August 2013 Kabukiza Theatre

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Karma

Yoemon, unable to bear it, attacks Kasane from behind with the sickle. He forces her to look into a mirror to show her the deformation in her face. He confesses that he had an affair with Kasane’s mother and killed the father Tsuke, and tells Kasane that she has unknowingly fallen in love with her father’s enemy. He says that he sees in Kasane’s face the father’s image at his murder, and that the change in Kasane’s face is the result of karma.

[from above]Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Matsumoto Koshiro)、Kasane(Onoe Baiko) May 1972 Kabukiza Theatre

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Kasane’s final moments

While Kasane laments her fate of falling in love with her enemy, she chases Yoemon in her bloody state, and after a desperate fight is finally killed on the bridge. Yoemon runs away, but is drawn back by the supernatural power of Kasane’s ghost. The act of being drawn back by an invisible power is another acting highlight for Yoemon.

【Left】[from above]Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Ichimura Uzaemon)、Kasane(Onoe Kikugoro) November 1943 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】[from left]Kinegawa Yoemon, actually Kubota Kingoro(Nakamura Hashinosuke)、Kasane(Nakamura Fukusuke) August 2013 Kabukiza Theatre

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