Nozaki Village

新版歌祭文~野崎村

Shinpan Utazaimon: Nozaki Mura

Osome is desperately in love with Hisamatsu, but the latter is already engaged to the innocent country girl Omitsu. The heartbreaking fate of a three-sided love affair.

Osome, the daughter of a rich merchant, has fallen in love with the clerk Hisamatsu. He, however, already has a fiancée named Omitsu. Returning to his hometown in Nozaki Village, he exchanges wedding vows with Omitsu, when Osome suddenly appears in the joyful scene… This love triangle among a young man and two women ahead of the New Year’s holiday comes to a painful ending.

Synopsis

by Hashimoto Hiroki

Forbidden love

Osome, the daughter of the pawnbroker shop Aburaya, is having an affair with the shop’s clerk Hisamatsu, a relationship that is forbidden due to their differing status. Another pawnbroker in the town desires Osome and, taking advantage of a huge loan that his shop has extended to them, schemes to arrange a marriage with her. Kosuke, a clerk at Aburaya, is bribed to pin a crime on Hisamatsu. This leads to Hisamatsu being sent back to his hometown.

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Sudden wedding preparations

Hisamatsu is from a farming household in Nozaki Village on the outskirts of Osaka. The bride Omitsu is busily readying herself for her wedding ceremony. Her father has told her that Hisamatsu, her stepbrother and fiancée, is coming home and that they will be married that day. Omitsu, caught off guard by the sudden turn of events, cannot hide her joy. She excitedly prepares the wedding meal and occasionally glimpses herself in the mirror, shyly imagining how she will look as a married woman.

【Left】Omitsu(Nakamura Fukusuke) August 2013 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】Omitsu(Nakamura Shichinosuke) October 2014 Kabukiza Theatre

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The lover and the fiancée

Osome shows up with beautifully coiffed hair and a gorgeous kimono. She claims unconvincingly that she was on the way to Nozaki Shrine for prayer, but is it clear that she was actually following Hisamatsu. Omitsu deduces at a glance that this is Hisamatsu’s rumored lover, and Hisamatsu is surprised to see her there. The father, sensing what has happened, takes his daughter inside the house. Osome, alone with Hisamatsu, confesses her love for him.

【Left】[from left]Osome(Nakamura Jakuemon)、Omitsu(Nakamura Shikan)、Kyusaku(Nakamura Tomijuro)、Hisamatsu(Nakamura Ganjiro) February 2005 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】Hisamatsu(Nakamura Hashinosuke) December 2009 Kabukiza Theatre

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The couple’s decision

Hisamatsu, conscious of his debt to Osome’s household, suggests that she marry the other pawnbroker, who is more befitting of her status. Osome, however, says that if she cannot be with Hisamatsu, she would rather die. In fact, she reveals that she is pregnant with his child. The couple lament that their only option is to die together. The father emerges. He has figured out what was going on and cautions them, citing a famous story where a major merchant’s daughter and the shop’s assistant comes to a tragic end.

[from left]Hisamatsu(Nakamura Ganjiro)、Osome(Nakamura Jakuemon) February 2005 Kabukiza Theatre

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Finally, the wedding…

The father summons Omitsu, seeking to get her married quickly. Omitsu appears quietly, her face covered by a white veil. When the father removes the veil, he is shocked to see that she has shaved her head, indicating her intention to become a nun. She has guessed that Hisamatsu and Osome were intending to commit suicide, and to save them both, she abandons her hope of marriage and becomes a nun. Only one hour since she was informed that she would be getting married, she has made a heartbreaking decision.

[from left]Kyusaku(Nakamura Tomijuro)、Omitsu(Nakamura Shikan) February 2005 Kabukiza Theatre

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Sad separation

The proprietress of Aburaya comes to retrieve her daughter. The accusations against Hisamatsu had been revealed as false, so she seeks to take him home as well. Heeding the needs of society, she sends Hisamatsu in a palanquin while returning with her daughter in a boat. Osome and Hisamatsu, hiding their decision to commit suicide, depart under the pleasant early spring sky. Omitsu sees them off, wishing them happiness. Once they are out of sight, she can no longer hold back her emotions and breaks out in tears, leaning on her father for support.

【Left】[from left]Otsune(Sawamura Tanosuke)、Osome(Nakamura Jakuemon)、Omitsu(Nakamura Shikan)、Kyusaku(Nakamura Tomijuro)、Hisamatsu(Nakamura Ganjiro) February 2005 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】[from left]Omitsu(Nakamura Fukusuke)、Kyusaku(Bando Yajuro) August 2013 Kabukiza Theatre

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