Hikimado (The Skylight) from Futatsu Chocho Kuruwa Nikki (A Diary of Two Butterflies in the Pleasure Quarters)



A sumo wrestler and his stepbrother find themselves on opposite sides of the law

The fugitive Nuregami secretly visits his mother for a final reunion before he disappears. She is shocked to realize that he is the very one being sought by her stepson, a local official. She is torn between her real child and stepchild, who themselves are forced to choose between duty and compassion.


by Suzuki Tami

Moon-viewing preparations

The village of Yawata, near Kyoto’s Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine. Yohei’s wife Ohaya and mother Oko are preparing for the moon-viewing party. Oko is the second wife and not Yohei’s actual mother, but they were leading a happy life. Yohei has been called away on duty.

【Left】Ohaya(Nakamura Shibajaku) September 2006 Kabukiza Theatre 【Center】[from left] Ohaya(Nakamura Senjaku)、Oko(Ichikawa Unosuke) December 2009 Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】Nuregami (Nakamura Hashinosuke) December 2009 Kabukiza Theatre


The unexpected guest

They receive a quiet visit from Nuregami Chogoro. Nuregami was Oko’s real child, given up for adoption before her remarriage. Both Oko and Oyaha had heard that he was making good progress as a sumo wrestler and are overjoyed at the meeting. However, Nuregami reveals that he had killed someone in protection of a supporter and was now a fugitive. He goes to rest on the second floor. Yohei then returns, announcing proudly that he has been appointed as a local police official.

[from left] Ohaya(Nakamura Kaishun)、Jujibei(Onoe Kikugoro)、Oko(Sawamura Tanosuke) October 2005 Kabukiza Theatre


Criminal montage

Oko and Ohaya had been delighted with the news of the promotion, but were shocked to learn that Jujibei’s first task is to find and arrest Nuregami. Jujibei is enthusiastic to deliver success and prove his worth. The women, hearing that his duty runs from dusk to dawn, think of a scheme.


Shadow on the water

Jujibei happens to look at the water basin in the garden and catches the reflection in the moonlight of Nuregami looking down from the second floor. Ohaya notices this and rushes to close the home’s skylight. Jujibei eventually deduces that the person upstairs is Nuregami and that the wrestler is his stepmother’s real son. He casually mentions details of an escape route and announces that he is going out to pursue his duty.

【Left】[from left] Jujibei(Onoe Kikugoro)、Nuregami(Ichikawa Sadanji) October 2005Kabukiza Theatre 【Center】[from left] Jujibei(Ichikawa Somegoro)、Ohaya(Kataoka Takataro) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre 【Right】Oko(Nakamura Tozo) September 2010 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Father’s mole

Nuregami, thinking of Jujibei’s duty, makes up his mind to be captured, but the women convince him to run away. He has a big lock on his forehead and, like his father, a large mole on his right cheek. To disguise him, the mother cuts off the fringe and tries to shave off the mole, which doesn’t come off. Suddenly, Jujibei throws a package with silver that hits Nuregami and cuts off the mole. The silver was given to aid Nuregami in his escape.

【Left】[from left] Ohaya(Nakamura Kaishun)、Nuregami(Ichikawa Sadanji)、Oko(Sawamura Tanosuke) October 2005  Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】[from left] Ohaya(Kataoka Takataro)、Oko(Nakamura Tozo)、Nuregami(Onoe Shoroku)September 2010  Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Societal duty trumps blood love

Nuregami is moved by the family’s compassion, but tells his mother that they should respect their duty to society over their blood relations. The mother realizes her mistake. She weepingly pulls the rope from the skylight to tie her son up, and delivers him to Jujibei.


Release of creatures at daybreak

However, Jujibei cuts the rope. This causes the window to open and the bright moonlight to shine in. Jujibei notes that his duty ends with the dawn. Nuregami thanks him wholeheartedly and runs away along the secret escape route.

【Left】[from left] Nuregami(Kataoka Gato)、Jujibei(Nakamura Kanzaburo) August 1996 Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】[from left] Nuregami(Onoe Shoroku)、Jujibei(Ichikawa Somegoro)、Ohaya(Kataoka Takataro)、Oko(Nakamura Tozo) September 2010  Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre