Meiboku Sendai Hagi (伽藍先代萩) (kabuki )



The National Theater of Japan gives this summary of the this play as it is performed today:

"This play was based on feud in the Date family, part of the Sendai Domain during the Edo Period (17th to 19th centuries). In the story, Nikki Danjo—a regent of the Ashikaga family in Oshu (present-day northeast Japan)—and his younger sister Yashio plot to seize power in their family.

The main scenes still performed today include ‘Goten’, in which Masaoka, nursemaid to the child lord Tsuruchiyo, saves the boy from the conspirators due in great part to her own son; ‘Yukashita’, in which Arajishi Otokonosuke guards the palace from under the floor but is overcome by Danjo’s rat magic, Danjo steals and escapes deliberately; and ‘Taiketsu’ and ‘Ninjo’. In these last two scenes, Danjo loses his case in a trial over the plot due to Hosokawa Katsumoto. Danjo protests the verdict and resists, but is put to death as a result.

Masaoka is the key character in the ‘Goten’ scene. This is considered one of the great nursemaid characters in the Kabuki tradition.

Danjo has gained renown as a villain attempting to take over the country, linked to the enchanting nature of his actions despite having evil intentions."