Nezumi komon haruno shingata (鼠小紋東君新形)
Nezumi komon haruno shingata is a program of Kabuki. First performed on February 5, 1857 at the Ichimura-za Theater in Edo. Screenplayed by Mokuami KAWATAKE. Total five sections. He was ommonly known as "Nezumi kozo."
An abandoned child Yokichi was raised by a thief Tsukinowano Okuma and became a chivalrous robber Nezumi kozo who steals money from daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) and wealthy merchants and provides it to the poor. Now he changed his name to Kozo INABA, and disguised himself as a fortune-teller Sazen HIRASAWA and lives in Kamakuranamekawa.
Inabayashiki Tsujibansho no ba
One night, Kozo steals 100 ryo (currency unit) from a residence of Inage to save Shinsuke KATANAYA and his lover Omoto who are distressed because their money had been stolen by an evil stranger. However, Tsujiban Yosobe caught him and it turns out that Yosobe is his biological father. ozo, who is a thief now, cannot identify himself and leaves there crying.
Namerikawa Inabanai no ba
A few days later on a snowy night, Kozo receives a shocking news from Sankichi, Omoto's younger brother. Omoto and Shinzuke have been traced by the hallmark of the money stolen from the wakato (young samurai) of Inage and are both arrested. Also, his father Yosobe is imprisoned to take the responsibility of this robbery. His estranged wife, who became blind, comes to visit him by chance, however, turns her away pretending to be a stranger, although that is not his intention. Moreover, it turns out that the person who stole money from Shinsuke in the first place was his foster mother Okuma. Okuma, feeling remorse, purposely dies by the hand of Kozo.
Kozo accepts all the facts and turns himself in, however, breaks out of prison since he got angry with the attitude of a ruthless officer Bansaku ISHIGAKI. Thanks to the help of a merciful officer, Yajuro HAYASE, Kozo successfully escapes.
Nezumi komon haruno shingata is a Kabuki version of a kodan story written by Hakuen SHORIN, whose subject was a chivalrous robber Nezumi Kozo Jirokichi, who actually existed during the Tenpo era.
A sewa kyogen which is rich in the emotions of the Edo period
The scene when Kozo and Yosobe talk and find out they are a father and son in Tsujibansho and the conversations between Kozo and Sankichi in Inaba are popular; these two scenes are mainly performed in these days.
Throughout the program, 'Kozo INABA,' which is punned on the name 'Nezumi kozo,' is used as the main character's name.
However, Nezumi Kozo Jirokichi appears for the first time in the third section 'Kamakura Nakano-cho Daikokuya no ba.'
He saves an Oiran (prostitute) from difficulties, which was just a dream of Kozo. In addition, there are lots of descriptions that are related to 'nezumi' (mouse) in the script, which shows the writer's wit.
At the very first performance, Sankichi, played by Kikugoro ONOE V at the age of 13, was an excellent performance and even Kodanji ICHIKAWA IV, who played Kozo, was impressed. Uzaemon watched the move of shijimi-uri (fresh water clam peddler) in Fukagawa every day before the performance, and obtained some ideas. This triggered the advancement of Kikugoro ONOE V to became one of the greatest actors of the Meiji period.
In recent years, Kikugoro ONOE VII plays the role of Kozo. Yosobe played by Uzaemon ICHIMURA XVII was excellent and his performance as an old man was like the quintessence of the play dealing with the lives of ordinary people.