Igagoe Dochu Sugoroku (Numazu)


Igagoe Dochu Sugoroku (Numazu)

A father begs a favor of his son in exchange for his life

A traveler and an old porter meet by chance and travel together amiably. They come to realize not only that they are father and son, who have been separated for many years, but also on the opposite sides of a revenge battle. In a lonely pine field, the father begs the son for information on the whereabouts of the enemy. A masterpiece depicting the dilemma of love vs. duty and the sorrows of separation of a parent and child.


by Mizuochi Kiyoshi

Coincidental encounter

A boundary sign marking the entrance to the main inn area of Numazu. While traveling on the Tokaido Highway, the clothing merchant Jubei remembers that he forgot something at the last customer. He sends the porter back with a letter. He starts to take his baggage himself when he is approached by an old man named Heisaku offering to be his porter. Jubei feels pity for the man and takes up the offer.

【Left】Heisaku(Nakamura Kanzaburo) November 2011 Heisei Nakamuraza Theatre 【Right】Jubei(Kataoka Nizaemon) December 2010 Kyoto Minamiza Theatre


Miracle potion

Heisaku, desperate for the job, claims to be fine but is clearly not physically fit. He needs to take a break after every few steps, worrying Jubei, and ultimately stumbles on a tree and hurts his toe. Jubei takes medicine out of a special case and puts it on the wound, immediately alleviating the pain. The astonished Heisaku is overjoyed. In the end, Jubei carries the luggage himself and walks alongside Heisaku. The two get along curiously well, chatting along the way until they come across Heisaku’s daughter Oyone. Taken by her beauty, Jubei agrees to visit Heisaku’s home.

【Left】[from left]Heisaku(Nakamura Karoku)、Oyone(Nakamura Shibajaku)、Jubei(Nakamura Kichiemon) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre 【Right】Jubei(Nakamura Kichiemon) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Curing the husband’s wound

Jubei, arriving at Heisaku’s home, has fallen for Oyone and suggests that he can give her a better life. Heisaku does not seem to notice and tells Oyone instead about the potion that Jubei carries. Jubei says that it is a secret cure for sword wounds that money cannot buy. Hearing this, Oyone immediately invites Jubei to stay overnight, to which just as quickly agrees. When Jubei’s porter catches up with him, he sends him ahead. In the middle of that night, Jubei awakens to discover someone trying to steal the medicine. He jumps up and captures the culprit, only to discover that it was Oyone. She says she is trying to steal the medicine for her husband to cure his sword wound.

[from left]Heisaku(Nakamura Karoku)、Oyone(Nakamura Shibajaku)、Jubei(Nakamura Kichiemon) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Father and son reunite

Oyone reveals that she was once a courtesan in Edo’s Yoshiwara district under the name Segawa. Jubei realizes that her husband is the enemy Sawai Matagoro. That is, Jubei is being asked to aid and abet the enemy. He asks Heisaku whether he had other children. Heisaku replies that he had a son named Heisaburo who he gave up for adoption at age 2, but has not seen him since. Jubei becomes conscious that he is that very son. However, he refrains from revealing his identity as his father Heisaku serves the enemy. He slips away, leaving behind a request that they build a pagoda for him (in effect his tomb) and leaving behind the medicine and gold case along with the certificate of parentage. Oyone realizes that the case belonged to Matagoro, Jubei’s master, while Heisaku discovers from the note that Jubei is his own child. Heisaku runs after Jubei, telling Oyone to secretly follow behind.

Heisaku(Nakamura Karoku) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


First and last encounter of father and son

Heisaku catches up with Jubei deep in the night in a pine field. He pressures Jubei to tell him the true owner of the medicine case. Jubei says that the owner of the medicine is the enemy of the patient needing the medicine. He tells his father to look on the medicine as something he found and that curing the sick should be the priority. Heisaku suddenly grabs Jubei’s dagger and stabs himself in the stomach. As he dies, he begs desperately for the information on the enemy’s whereabouts. This now becomes the dying request of a father to his long-lost son. Jubei knows full well that the sister is hiding and listening nearby, but out of compassion for his father, gives him the information he is seeking. Only now, they acknowledge being father and son, and shed tears on their first and only meeting. Jubei departs, leaving his sister and dying father behind.

【Left】[from left]Heisaku(Nakamura Karoku)、Jubei(Nakamura Kichiemon) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre 【Right】[from left]Ikezoe Magohachi(Ichikawa Somegoro)、Heisaku(Nakamura Karoku)、Oyone(Nakamura Shibajaku)、Jubei(Nakamura Kichiemon) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre