The Stone-Cutting Feat of Kajiwara


Kajiwara Heizo Homure no Ishikiri

A pure-hearted warrior and a miraculous sword

Kajiwara Heizo is nominally a warrior in the Heike group, which has just won a major victory over the enemy Genji clan. When asked to evaluate a sword for sale by an old craftsman, he recognizes it immediately as a Genji treasure – and his true sympathies are gradually revealed in a story of numerous highlights.


Authentication of sword

Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura in early spring, with red and white plum blossoms in full bloom. The sibling Heike warriors Oba and Matano come to celebrate a key victory over the Genji clan. They run into their colleague Kajiwara and join him for a drink. They are approached by an old man, the craftsman Rokurodayu, and his daughter Kozue, who seek to sell their family’s treasured sword. Oba is interested, and asks Kajiwara to evaluate it. At a glance, Kajiwara recognizes it as an unrivaled weapon.

Panoramic view [from left]Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Nakamura Kichiemon)、Manpei(Nakamura Kinnosuke)、Oba Saburo Kagechika(Onoe Kikugoro)、Matano Goro Kagehisa(Nakamura Matagoro) May 2013 Kabukiza Theatre


One blow, two bodies

The delighted Oba starts to buy the sword, but his suspicious brother intervenes. He says that a great sword would be able to cut two bodies with one blow, and suggests that it be tested. As it happens, there is only one available prisoner on death row. Rokurodayu, desperate to sell, sends his daughter home on a pretense and then volunteers to be the second victim. Having heard that, Kajiwara says he will perform the test himself. Kozue returns to find her father about to be executed and cries out. Kajiwara swings the sword, but kills only the criminal while stopping just enough to cut the ropes binding Rokurodayu, who is unharmed.

【Left】Kenbishi Nomisuke(Bando Yajuro) May 2013 Kabukiza Theatre 【Center】[from left]Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Matsumoto Koshiro)、Matano Goro Kagehisa(Nakamura Kasho)、Oba Saburo Kagechika(Ichikawa Sadanji) January 2010 Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Nakamura Kichiemon) June 2011 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre


Cutting of the rock

The Oba brothers ridicule them for the sword’s failure and exit. Kajiwara had recognized the sword as a treasure of the Genji clan and reveals that he is secretly a sympathizer. He realized that father and daughter were hoping to sell the sword to avenge the recent defeat. To prove the sword’s worth, he cuts a stone water basin in half with a single blow. He promises the delighted father and daughter that he himself will buy the sword.

【Left】[from left]Kozue(Nakamura Shibajaku)、Rokurodayu(Nakamura Karoku)、Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Nakamura Kichiemon) June 2011 Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre 【Center1】Uzaemon style [from left]Rokurodayu(Ichikawa Danshiro)、Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Nakamura Tomijuro)、Kozue(Nakamura Kaishun) December 2008 Kabukiza Theatre 【Center2】Kichiemon style [from left]Kozue(Nakamura Shibajaku)、Rokurodayu(Nakamura Karoku)、Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Nakamura Kichiemon) May 2013 Kabukiza Theatre 【Right】Ganjiro style [from left]Rokurodayu(Bando Mitsugoro)、Kajiwara Heizo Kagetoki(Nakamura Ganjiro)、Kozue(Nakamura Hirotaro) November 1993 Minamiza Theatre