Suehiro (The Fan of Felicity) (Kyogen) (末広 (狂言))

Suehiro is a program of Kyogen (farce played during a Noh cycle). It is also called Suehirogari and Suehirokari. It is a notable celebratory number in Waki Kyogen (auspicious plays). The number describes an exchange between a swindler, who pushes an old oiled-paper umbrella as an increasingly successful lucky charm, and Tarokaja (a common name for a manservant in Kyogen, Noh farce) who is strongly opinionated. Originally, Suehiro means a chukei (ceremonial folding fan) in ginkgo leaf shape.

The characters

Noh shite (main role): Lucky fellow
Ado (the second role of Kyogen, farce played during a Noh cycle): Tarokaja
Ado: Vendor

Story line

The world is in time of peace, the period of parties in all sizes. A man (lucky fellow) plans to hold a party with all relatives, and thinks of giving a Suehiro (a fan) to an elder as a gift.
The man immediately calls Tarokaja and tells him to buy a Suehiro with 'good-quality paper, polished frame and cartoon sketch (picture written 絵 reads 'e').'
Tarokaja comes out to the city and shouts, 'I would like to buy Suehiro!' on the main street.
A swindler (vendor) overhears about this and tries to sell old oiled paper umbrella saying 'this is a Suehiro.'
Tarokaja says, 'it uses a good paper and frames, but there is no picture (絵: reads 'e').'
The swindler replies, 'it is not about picture (絵: reads 'e'), but a handle (柄: also reads 'e').'
Tarokaja bustles with joy and buys the umbrella, paying large sum of money. The swindler feels ill at ease seeing Tarokaja being fooled so easily, and calls Tarokaja to stop.
I will give you a free gift.'
It will be good to dance when your master is in bad mood.'
The swindler says so and teaches Tarokaja a hayashi-mono (dance with hayashi music).

The man gets furious seeing what Tarokaja brought back, and Tarokaja realizes that he was fooled. Tarokaja dances hayashi (hayashi-mono) taught by the swindler. Good mood returns to the man, and he dances with Tarokaja.

[Original Japanese]