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Role: Ashikaga Yorikane (足利頼兼)

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Biography:

"Instead of leading his clan, Ashikaga Yorikane, daimyō of Ōshu, was leading a life of pleasure. He had become so obsessed with the beautiful courtesan Takao that he completely disregarded his responsibilities. He also grossly neglected his betrothed, Utakata. His faithful and loyal retainer Kinugawa Tanizō had observed his behaviour for a while with great disapproval and wanted to lead his lord away from this shameful life. Yorikane's refusal to part from Takao only complicated matters, to Tanizō eventually decided that there was only one way to bring Yorikane to his senses; removing Takao out of his life by killing her. One day, during a boat trip on the Sumida River, Takao was mysteriously murdered. Her death caused quite a stir in the capital as the courtesan was well known. Tamizō cleverly persuaded Yorikane to spend some time outside Edo until the excitement died down."

Quoted from: Heroes of the Kabuki Stage by Arendie and Henk Herwig.