Sumidagawa Gonichi no Omokage : Hokaibo



Greedy monk collecting donations ostensibly for the construction of a bell tower at a shrine, which he uses instead for alcohol and women. He makes ample use of lies, extortion and murder. He tries to seduce Okumi, employing trickery for monetary and sexual gain. He is eventually murdered and left to die in a hole that he himself had dug. He then comes back as a ghost and haunts Okumi. He is the embodiment of evil, but his comic nature makes him one of Kabuki’s most popular characters.

Yosuke, in fact Yoshida Matsuwaka

The successor of Kyoto’s Yoshida family, which has been terminated. To find the stolen family treasure and resurrect the disgraced household, he goes to Edo and disguises himself as a clerk. He is handsome and clever and secretly in love with Okumi. He has a fiancée named Princess Nowake.


Only daughter of the owners of the Eirakuya shop. She is in love with Yosuke and refuses to accept the arranged marriage set up by her mother to regain the lost scroll. When she realizes that Yosuke has a fiancée, she is consumed with jealousy. She is pursued by both Hokaibo and the head clerk, and is kidnapped at one point by each in succession. She manages to escape with Yosuke but is attacked by a ghost looking just like her.

Eirakuya Oraku

Widow of the owner of Eirakuya. Her family served the Yoshida family, and she protects the family’s son Matsuwaka in disguise as a clerk after the family’s downfall. She knows about the love affair between her daughter Okumi and Matsukawa/Yosuke, but promises Okumi’s hand in marriage to Gen’emon nevertheless in order to retrieve the precious scroll. This role was originally the male shop owner Gonzaemon.


Head clerk of Eirakuya. He falls in love with the shopowner’s daughter Okumi, and seeks to become her husband and the shop owner. In an evil plot hatched with Hokaibo and Gen’emon, he locks Okumi in a palanquin in a kidnap attempt, but she is immediately snatched away by Hokaibo. The character is sometimes named Shohachi.

Ushijima Daizo

Villainous samurai who helped mastermind the downfall of the Yoshida family. He secretly plots with Hokaibo, Gen’emon and Chokuro to find Matsuwaka and the scroll.

Princess Nowake

The daughter of the prestigious Hanazono family from Kyoto. She is engaged to Matsuwaka. She comes to Edo with a servant in pursuit of Matsuwaka, only to discover that he is in love with Okumi. When she refuses the advances of Hokaibo, he murders her and lies that he was asked by Matsuwaka to kill her. She dies believing this, and returns as a vengeful ghost to haunt Matsuwaka. Her spirit merges with Hokaibo after his death to become a joint ghost pursuing Okumi and Matsuwaka.

Osakaya Gen’emon

Shopowner who possesses the treasured carp scroll. In love with Okumi, he reaches an agreement with her mother to hand over the scroll for 100 ryo and Okumi’s hand in marriage. When he learns that Okumi is in a relationship, he is furious and tears up the scroll, leading to his murder. This character is sometimes called Yamazakiya Kanjuro.

Doguya Jinza

Originally a loyal servant in the Yoshida family. He acts as guardian to Matsuwaka in the latter’s guise as the clerk Yosuke. He offers to take responsibility when Yosuke murders Gen’emon. He manages to retrieve the treasured scroll from Hokaibo and eventually kills him.


Female shipmaster at Sumida River crossing. She assists the fugitives Yosuke and Okumi, and faces down the ghost who has taken the appearance of Okumi. Her character is sometimes set as Jinza’s wife or sister and is sometimes called Osaku.