Kumagai’s Camp – A Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani


Kumagai Jinya – Ichinotani Futaba Gunki


by Hashimoto Hiroki

Kumagai’s Camp – A Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani

Writer Namiki Sôsuke (Acts I-III prior to his death, completed by Asada Iccho and others)

Bunraku: December 1751, Osaka

Kabuki: May 1752, Edo


A Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani is a five-act puppet play based on the classic Tales of Heike concerning the battle between the Taira and Genji clans. Taira Tokitada uses his two daughters to try to undermine the Genjis but meets fierce resistance. The most frequently performed scene in present-day Kabuki is Act III, commonly known as Kumagai’s Camp (Kumagai Jinya). Occasionally Act II, Camp Gate and The Battle, are also performed.

Kumagai’s Camp is expanded significantly from a well-known episode in Chapter 9 of The Tale of Heike, “The Death of Atsumori”. Atsumori, who was supposedly killed on Suma Beach, proves here to have survived on the arrangement of his enemy Yoshitsune. There are other twists as well in the overall play, including the notion of Atsumori as the former emperor’s child.


●main graphic [from left]Kumagai Naozane(Nakamura Kichiemon)、Yoshitsune(Nakamura Shikan) September 2007 Kabukiza Theatre


●publish on the web December1 2014