Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi (Keyamura)

彦山権現誓助剱~毛谷村

Hikosan Gongen Chikai no Sukedachi (Keyamura)

A powerful woman disguised as an itinerant monk suddenly appears before a kind youth in the mountains of northern Kyushu.

The bereaved wife and two daughters of a murdered sword master plot the difficult path to revenge. The older daughter Osono is strong and skilled in martial arts, but her younger sister is killed by the enemy. Osono arrives in despair in Keyamura (Keya Village) near Mt Hiko, where she has a fateful meeting with a kind young man named Rokusuke.

Synopsis

by Hashimoto Hiroki

Young man prays for deceased mother

Keyamura Rokusuke is a kind youth living at the foot of Mt. Hiko in northern Kyushu. He is skilled at martial arts but does not work for a lord. A local ruler has offered the job of martial arts master to anyone who can beat Rokusuke. One day, when Rokusuke is visiting his mother’s grave, he comes across an unemployed warrior named Mijin Danjo. The warrior is accompanied by his deaf mother. Danjo, set to fight Rokusuke the following day, asks Rokusuke to lose the fight intentionally so that he can get the martial arts job and take care of his poor mother. Rokusuke readily agrees to the arrangement. On the way back, Rokusuke rescues a young samurai with an infant under his care, who have come under attack. The samurai is killed, but asks Rokusuke with his dying breath to look after the child. Rokusuke agrees and takes the child home.

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Throwing the fight

Rokusuke is at his quiet mountainside home, where the plums are in bloom. He has hung the child’s clothes outside the home in hopes of locating the family. A match is taking place with Danjo in the garden. Rokusuke is hit on the forehead by the arrogant Danjo, but continues to smile and encourage his opponent and as promised, loses the fight intentionally. An old woman on a long journey stops by for a brief rest. Greeted kindly by Rokusuke, she suddenly offers to be his mother. Rokusuke finds her words strange but allows her to rest inside the house. The child then returns home crying for his mother, and Rokusuke gently puts him to sleep.

[from left]Mijin Danjo, actually Kyogoku Takumi(Ichikawa Danzo)、Keyamura Rokusuke(Onoe Kikugoro) February 2015 Kabukiza Theatre

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True identity of mysterious itinerant monk

A curious itinerant monk turns up. The monk is attacked by local workers but easily fends them off. Rokusuke notices that the monk is actually a woman. She removes her headgear and attacks Rokusuke, shouting that he is the family enemy. The child wakes up and rushes to her, calling her “Auntie”. Rokusuke, calming the child, tells the story from the previous day and discloses his name. The woman abruptly becomes feminine in her behavior and announces that she will be his wife. She starts to take care of Rokusuke.

[from left]Keyamura Rokusuke(Nakamura Kichiemon)、Osono(Nakamura Fukusuke) April 2009 Kabukiza Theatre

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Connection with the master

The woman reveals that she is in fact Osono, the daughter of Rokusuke’s former teacher Yoshioka Ichimisai, who taught Rokusuke the secret of swordsmanship. Ichimisai had arranged for his daughter to marry Rokusuke, but was murdered by Kyogoku Takumi, prompting her to seek revenge. Her younger sister was also killed by Takumi, and it was the sister’s child who was rescued by Rokusuke. Then the old woman appears and reveals that she is Osono’s mother. To fulfill his promise to his old master and join the vendetta, Rokusuke marries Osono with the mother as the go-between.

【Left】Osono(Nakamura Tokizo) February 2015 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】Oko(Nakamura Tozo) February 2015 Kabukiza Theatre

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Identity of Mijin Danjo

The woodcutter Onoemon arrives with his mates, asking for help in avenging his mother’s murder. When Rokusuke examines the dead body, he discovers it was the old woman that Mijin Danjo had claimed to be his mother. Danjo had used her to trick Rokusuke and subsequently killed her to keep the truth from leaking. Even the normally calm Rokusuke is enraged. Other information from Osono and the widow reveals that Danjo is in fact the family enemy Kyogoku Takumi. He and the family prepare for a journey to carry out their vendetta.

【Left】[from left]Osono(Nakamura Tokizo)、Onoemon(Ichikawa Sadanji)、Keyamura Rokusuke(Onoe Kikugoro)、Oko(Nakamura Tozo) February 2015 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】[from left]Osono(Nakamura Tokizo)、Keyamura Rokusuke(Nakamura Kichiemon) February 2004 Kabukiza Theatre

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