Natsumatsuri Naniwa-kagami (Naniwas mirror in a summer festival) (夏祭浪花鑑)

Natsumatsuri Naniwa-kagami is the title of ningyo joruri (puppet drama) and kabuki kyogen (comic drama). It was premiered at Osaka Takemotoza (puppet theater in Osaka) in August 1745. The playwrights were Senryu NAMIKI, Shoraku MIYOSHI, and Koizumo TAKEDA. It was made into kabuki soon after the premiere and became one of the popular programs.

The story is based on a murder case by a fish dealer that occurred in Osaka Nagamachiura (the current Nipponbashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City) in the winter of 1698.

It is totally composed of nine acts. For toshi kyogen (performance of an entire play), it is commonly known as "Natsumatsuri." However, nowadays the third act 'Sumiyoshi Toriimae' (aka. Toriimae), the sixth act 'Tsuribune Sabuuchi' (aka. Sabuuchi), and the seventh act 'Nagamachiura' (aka. Doroba) are often performed, therefore, these are frequently used as the common names.


Danshichi was a homeless waif in his boyhood, picked up by Giheiji MIKAWAYA, married Giheiji's daughter Okaji, had one child, and became a fish vendor called Bote-furi (vending with calling to customers) (peddler) in Senshu Sakai. He basically had a strong spirit like Robin Hood and associated with an old kyokaku (professional gambler) Tsuribune Sabu and others while calling himself Danshichi Kurobe. Danshichi mistakenly had a chugen (a person in low rank) belonging to a villain named Sagaemon OTORI, die to save Isonojo, the son of Hyodayu TAMASHIMA who was a vassal of the Hamada family in Senshu and his benefactor, from danger and went to prison. However, Danshichi was released through the efforts of Hyodayu with a reduction in penalty by one degree and expelled from Sakai.

The first act: Otai chaya
The first act describes the debauchery of Isonojo and wrongdoings of Sagaemon who illicitly loves Kotoura, while the beggar Tokube narrates his own despair, and also describes the ingenuity of Okaji who admonishes Isonojo, and other matters.

The second act: TAMASHIMA Hyodayuuchi
Expulsion of Isonojo
Hyodayu decided to discharge Danshichi influenced by Okaji's begging for mercy for her husband.

The third act: Sumiyoshi Toriimae (aka. Toriimae)

Okaji, their son Chomatsu, Sabu, and others came to Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine Toriimae to meet Danshichi. Okaji and her son immediately visited a shrine to pray for her husband's discharge. Sabu happened to see Isonojo getting caught by villains Koppa no Gon and Nama no Hachi forced to pay a palanquin fee, and saved Isonojo and made him go to a nearbye teahouse. There, Danshichi appeared with long sakayaki (shaved part of the forehead) and beard accompanied by an officer and his rope was removed. Danshichi was happy saying that 'I owe this to Ofudosama of my faith, and thank you very much, Mr. Hyodayu, I will protect Mr. Isonojo at the risk of my life', then Sabu called him, celebrated the reunion, and gave him a new kimono. Danshichi enters a barber shop. Sabu goes to the teahouse.

Isonojo's mistress Kotoura was approached by Sagaemon while passing by, but she was saved by Danshichi who freshly became kyokaku appearing from the barber shop. Before making Kotoura escape to the teahouse, another kyokaku Tokube ISSUN who was a henchman for Sagaemon appeared and a fight began. Okaji intervened to stop the two men from fighting, and Tokube apologized because he recognized that she had been saved from his own ordeal before. Moreover, they learned that Tokube's wife Otatsu was a vassal of the Tamashima family, and thereby Danshichi and Tokube exchanged each other's yukata sleeves (light cotton kimono) to forge a bond of Gikyodai (to be associated with each other as brothers).


One of the highlights is how Danshichi changes from a dowdy shape in the first part to a fresh kyokaku in the second part as Takemoto said 'freshly shaved Itobin-atama (head) and blue sakayaki'.

In the scene where Sabu makes some young people at Toko no mise (store) remove their loincloths, he enters the store again quietly in Tokyo, but the staging is colorful in kamigata and Sabu has the Toko no people wear loincloths calling out 'Let's pull it' and geze (off-stage) music with 'Kankara Daiko' (drum), which is fullly enjoyable truly like kamigata. There is a humorous performance to hide his private parts with a fan in haste realizing he had no loincloth while trying to tuck up the hem of his yukata's while withdrawing into the passage. After this, performance in kamigata he withdrew trotting in uchimata blocking the sunshine with his fan, and in Edo he withdrew slowly covering the front side saying 'dokkoisho' (a word spoken while applying muscle or when you move your tired body).

The stage fight between Danshichi and Tokube is an old style one where both perform the same poses. Danshichi plays somehow a dowdy and oily role, while Tokube plays a slim and sophisticated role. However, an ability to bluff is required because he was a beggar before and says 'I'm ashamed of myself' when accused by Okaji. He is weak and holds his head in his hands and this is in contrast to his initial sophistication. This role is mainly played by Kanya MORITA (the fourteenth), Nizaemon KATAOKA (the fifteenth), Koshiro MATSUMOTO (the ninth), Hashinosuke NAKAMURA, and others.

When withdrawing in the final passage, Okaji removes a facial tissue from Danshichi's beard to indicate their harmony.

A fresh atmosphere in early summer emphasizes the friendship between men. An excellent style is passed down whereby an officer who tells about Danshichi's discharge withdraws holding a fan over him. In the performance of the current Tojuro SAKATA at the Osaka Shochiku-za Theater in July 2006, a season is changed to spring as in the original and the characters wore awase (lined garment) from yukata.

The fourth act: Household articles stored in Uchihonmachi
Giheiji tries to get some money from Isonojo who became a clerk by pretending to be a samurai. This wrongdoing was stopped by Danshichi, but Isonojo killed a man.

The fifth act: Yasui Woods 'Michiyuki Imose no Hashirigaki' (scribble)
A double suicide by Isonojo and Onaka, the daughter of the household articles store
Denpachi, a bad clerk was allowed to die as a scapegoat after being accused of murder by Sabu's wit.

The sixth act: Tsuribune Sabuuchi (aka. Sabuuchi)

The eve of a festival vigil at Takatsu-jinja Shrine in the heat of July. Isonojo becomes a clerk at the household articles store in Uchihoncho being introduced by Danshichi, but was almost robbed of his money by Giheiji and others and he killed the accomplice broker Yashichi, thereby he and Kotoura were hidden at Sabu's house. Then, Tokube's wife Otatsu visits them. She wanted to leave to return to her hometown with her husband. Sabu's wife Otsugi asked her to bring Isonojo back with them immediately. Otatsu promptly agreed, but Sabu did not agree because 'His face looks so sexy,' he was afraid that something might happen between Otatsu and Isonojo. Otatsu is angry as 'I'm losing my face, please not to make me do so, my dear,' but Sabu never agrees.
Otatsu was at a loss and put an iron beside her on her cheek and showed her spirit even by losing her beauty as 'Do you think I'm still beautiful?'
Sabu is amazed and agrees.

Then, Gon and Hachi arrive to abduct Kotoura.
Sabu give up any intention to fight because of his faith, but could not stand it anymore and said 'Oh, I have to kill him' to Otsugi, who replied 'Do you really have to?'
Yes, why not?'
Sabu remarked like that.
Gon and Hachi looked down on him as an old man and threatened him while being 'Funny, are you killing us?' 'Why don't you do that?' 'Let's kill us!' 'Yes, butcher us!'
Sabu rips off a beadroll in his ear as 'Shut up, what I kill is this beadroll and once killed, I'm still the original Tsuribune, feeling free.' and kicked them down the other way around as 'you, wait there,' and after changing his kimono, he goes out to kill Sagaemon with a long knife. Otatsu leaves the house with Isonojo while Otsugi is seeing them off.

Giheiji appears at the gate in a palanquin after they had gone and made an excuse to Otsugi saying; 'I've been used by children because I'm old, and I came here to take Kotoura as requested by Danshichi' and hurriedly took Kotoura into the palanquin. After that, Danshichi arrives with Tokube and is asked about the circumstances from Otatsu, but he was sure that he did not say that. It seems that Sagaemon uses greedy Giheiji to abduct Kotoura. Danshichi hurriedly follows the palanquin.


In this scene, it is 'Shoten' in Tokyo. Background music players of 'danjiri' (decorative portable shrine, float used in festivals) are used in kamigata.

In this scene, Sabu has a leading role. Spirit of an old kyokaku who knows the ups and downs of life thoroughly is required and it is difficult to play while mixing firmness and softness together. Nizaemon KATAOKA (the thirteenth) showed the best performance in that sense. Skillful supporting actors such as Sadanji ICHIKAWA (the third), Danzo ICHIKAWA (the eighth), Kichisaburo ARASHI (the seventh), Kikujiro ONOE (the fourth), and others were impressive. Danshiro ICHIKAWA (the fourth) and Yajuro BANDO are good at it recently. Moreover, when he entered cutting the beadroll and wearing a sword, he wore a shroud with a dragon in the clouds drawn in Japanese ink painting, and this staging emphasizes Danshichi's tattoo.

For Otatsu, performing ability to be an opponent of the actor in Sabu's role is required. Today the method of Gennosuke SAWAMURA (the fourth) is main stream.
Especially when withdrawing, after being called by Otsugi, pointing at his face as 'It is not here that people like.'
And hitting his chest as 'It's here, sorry.'
This brisk staging was devised by Gennosuke. Kanzaburo NAKAMURA (the seventeenth) and Kanzaburo NAKAMURA (the eighteenth) are playing two roles quicky changing with Danshichi. Moreover, the clothes are beautiful summer outfits such as a black satin belt, a shallow yellow cotton hat, and a parasol. In one staging, she looks at a burn of her face in the reflection in a tray, puts the tray on tatami, and looks up at Sabu.

Sabu's wife Otsugi is ordinary, but at the same time she needs to be saporific as a companion of the old kyokaku, and thereby it is important as the supporting role. Otsugi played by Gado KATAOKA (the thirteenth) was extremely wonderful by giving off a kamigata-style amorous aura. Staging excites the audience calling an actor's stage family name of Sabu as 'yo, yo, OO-ya!' when Sabu left the passage heeling Gon and Hachi.

The first part is somber focusing on exchanges between Otsugi and Sabu, while the second part goes speedy in reverse in a whirl of coming and going from the matter of Sabu's beadroll. When Danshichi runs for the passage near the end of the curtain, 'danjiri bayashi' (music performed in festivals) is uplifted in crescendo, which indicates Danshichi's impatient mind quite well.

The seventh act: Nagamachiura (aka. Doroba)

Nagamachiura on the east side of Sakai-suji
Danshichi caught up with the palanquin and accused Giheiji, but he had no remorse as 'I was waiting for you to be disgusted.'
Danshichi quickly put a stone in his pocket and said that he had thirty ryo (old currency unit) gathered by his friends in Tanomoshi-ko (beneficial association) when he was in jail. He told such a lie. Giheiji heard that he could get some money and had the palanquin return and said, 'Hey, where's the money?', 'Well, that money is...', 'Yes? That money?', 'I don't have the money here' and takes out the stone camouflaging as money. Angry Giheiji hits Danshichi very hard as 'How dare you cheat your merciful father' and wounded him by hitting his forehead by Danshichi's setta (sandal). Danshichi put his hand on his forehead complaining; 'Oh, it hurts … Father, you didn't have to hit like that', and was surprised at the blood.
Danshichi became angry as 'Hey, you hurt a man's living face...' and Giheiji glared at him as 'Hit, slapped, hit, so what? What about it?'
Danshichi unwillingly put his hand on his sword. Hey, are you going to kill me?', 'No, Father, how could I…' one's father-in-law is almost one's father. Danshichi tried to be stoic as much as possible. Gloating Giheiji held the sword and issued a challenge, 'Listen, a father-in-law is a father and if you kill a father, you'll be dragged by an Isshaku (about thirty centimeters) bamboo saw as if cutting down Issun (about three centimeters), you'll be hanging upside down from a Sanjaku (about ninety centimeters) tree if cutting down Sanzun (about nine centimeters), so, cut me down, with this'. While quarreling as 'Father, please stop it, it's dangerous,' 'Hey, kill me, kill me', finally fighting over the sword.

The sword's scabbard slips and Danshichi happens to cut Giheiji's shoulder on the tip. Wow, you did cut, you're a father-killer,' 'Father, what are you talking about? That's enough,' and Danshichi released stage blood when he pressed Giheiji's mouth and brutally killed him knowing what would be coming while danjiri-bayashi was bent over.
Danshichi threw his body into a pond, washed himself with well water, and disappeared into a crowd of danjiri as 'Though a bad guy, still a father-in-law is a father, Father, I'm sorry.'


This is a dreadful murder play, but with a famous scene decorated with a sense of the summer seasonand excellent colors, such as a contrast between a dark stage and the festival lights of danjiri, colors of vivid tattoos and a crimson loincloth, use of real water and real mud, and others. And various beautiful poses of the sword fight are the highlights of this kyogen.

A 'mud boat' where mud is put into a cut-out hole before the stage plays the role of a pond. This is called 'Doroba' (mud field) because Giheiji jumps in here and shows a frog's pose hassling with Danshichi. After the curtain falls, the actor who plays Giheiji is covered with mud and it is very difficult to wash it away.

Giheiji is an obnoxious old man blinded by greed. How vivid and hateful he acts making Danshichi standout and audience understand Danshichi's anguish and the process leading up to the murder. Skillful actors such as prewar Tomoemon OTANI (the sixth), recent Enjaku JITSUKAWA (the third), Okuzan ASAO (the fourth), Genzaemon NAKAMURA, and Danshiro ICHIKAWA the fourth were impressive and lately Takashi SASANO was received well when Kanzaburo NAKAMURA, the eighteenth played at 'Heisei Nakamura-za Theater'. It has been said that this scene should be done with 'Kenkaba' (sword fight), the third act of Chushingura (the treasury of Loyal Retainers).
Danshichi played by Enjaku JITSUKAWA (the second) looks up and down in a quarrel with Giheiji, 'There is nothing, no, nothing...'
Enjaku acts caring for the people around with such a parting shot and his breathing was a masterpiece.

After the curtain falls, danjiri with festival music appears, and Danshichi takes a towel from someone's hip, wraps his face with it, and said 'Chosaya, yosa' after everyone had gone.
It was usual for Danshichi to disappear tremblinglysaying hayashikotoba (appendix yelling words), but in staging Enjaku JITSUKAWA, the second was that the young man stares at the pond where Giheiji sank and Danshichi said 'Chosaya, yosa.'
In the staging, Danshichi blocks the young man with hayashikotoba and two entered the passage dancing. Tojuro SAKATA (the fourth) revived this staging in Osaka Shochiku-za Theater in July 2006.

Moreover, in the original, the curtain falls when Tokube walks by and picks up Danshichi's setta. One staging shows a quick change of clothes for the two roles of Giheiji and Tokube and this is a kabuki specific staging where an actor who died awfully appears as a beautiful figure at curtainfall.

The eighth act: Tajimacho Danshichinai (aka. Nomitoriba)
Okaji and Nagamatsu went to Bicchu Province out of charity by Sabu and Tokube. Tokube gave money to Danshichi to escape instead of tying him up with rope after torite (official in charge of imprisoning offenders) intruded.

The ninth act: TAMASHIMA Tokubeuchi
Wrongdoings of Sagaemon were revealed, disowning Isonojo was dissolved, and Nagamatsu accompanied by Sabu and Okaji tied up Danshichi with rope, but a reduction of sentence was promised by Hyodayu.


Toriimae with fresh feeling of the season in early summer. Sabuuchi that describes the taste of the summer festival, joys and sorrows of duty and obligations, and Nagamachiura an outstanding killing field in kabuki kyogen. Each has a high spot as above and it is set in Osaka, which requires the rich taste of kamigata kabuki. For Danshichi, Enjaku JITSUKAWA, the second in prewar years, Enjaku JITSUKAWA, the third and Nizaemon KATAOKA, the thirteenth in postwar years were good at it. Even in Tokyo, Danjuro ICHIKAWA (the ninth), Kichiemon NAKAMURA (the first), Uzaemon ICHIMURA (the fifteenth), Kanzaburo NAKAMURA (the seventeenth), Shoroku ONOE (the second), and others adopted staging integrated kamigata (Kyoto and Osaka) style into Edo. Nowadays Kanzaburo NAKAMURA, the eighteenth, Kichiemon NAKAMURA (the second), Tojuro SAKATA, the fourth, Ennosuke ICHIKAWA (the third), and others are good at it.

It was originated from "Yadonashi Danshichi" (Homeless Danshichi) of which premiere was played by Nizaemon KATAOKA (the first) in 1698 and there is 'Yadonashi Danshichi Shiguregasa' of the same line, which is occasionally played by the current Tojuro and others. Moreover, 'Onna Danshichi' (female Danshichi), 'Nazoobi Issun Tokube,' the masterpiece by Nanboku TSURUYA (the fourth), and others are included as kakikae (rewritten) kyogen.

Atmosphere in kamigata is said to be a life of this kyogen and kamigata's staging was emphasized even in Tokyo after the war.
It is said that Nizaemon KATAOKA, the thirteenth once outraged when he saw Danshichi by a certain kabuki actor in Tokyo who lacked kamigata color, and therefore he appealed to Tojuro SAKATA (then Senjaku NAKAMURA) saying that 'This is blasphemous to the kamigata kabuki, so would you please play Danshichi as an example?'

Discourse about performance by famous actors

The role of Danshichi should show tenacity of kamigata plays and interest in movement of songs while being fresh because it's a summer play … The contrast from a dowdy figure of temporary release from a prison in Sumiyoshimae (Toriimae) to a figure wearing Yukata coming out from the second barber. It is not fun at all if I do not change totally to knock out the audience.
Still, these two should not be like different people, which is troublesome.'
(Kichiemon NAKAMURA, the first)

Danshichi is not really Danshichi in this scene if the style that everything is fit does not go beautifully (in a sword fight of Nagamachiura).'
An actor who plays Giheiji and I should get along fine.'
If not, the style will be destroyed.'
... Then... During this fight, mud coats fingertips and the kimono of Giheiji often attaches to a face and a kimono of Danshichi, so we should be careful not to put mud and at the same time we should give style, and this is also part of struggle for Danshichi in this scene.'
(Enjaku JITSUKAWA, the second)

[Original Japanese]