02/12/2016

Kasane and Yoemon

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Kasane and Yoemon 累と与右衛門

A piece of real life, about a husband killing his wife and her revenge as a ghost.
This story later became a Kabuki play.



- quote
Meiboku Kasane Monogatari
The drama "Date Kurabe Okuni Kabuki"
was premiered in the 7th lunar month of 1778 at the Nakamuraza [casting]. It had an influence on the evolutions of "Meiboku Sendai Hagi". Many scenes from "Date Kurabe Okuni Kabuki" were integrated within "Meiboku Sendai Hagi".
"The play is based on a real event involving the Date clan of Sendai during the 1660's, but censorship prevented contemporary incidents being dramatized, so the drama was set during the Muromachi period (1336-1568), and names were changed to disguise the protagonists' identity."
(text courtesy of Jean Wilson 1998)
- - - Introduction
Kinugawa Tanizô, a sumôtori patronized by Lord Ashikaga Yorikane, assassinated the courtesan Takao, Yorikane's lover, in order to save him from his scandalous love affair about to bring ruin to his household. Kinugawa Tanizô succeeded in escaping and hid himself in the village of Hanyû. Disguising himself as a farmer and calling himself Yoemon, he married Kasane, the younger sister of both Takao and the tôfu maker Saburobei. Soon after their wedding, Kasane was cursed by Takao's evil spirit and her face was horribly disfigured. Kasane was not aware of the change, however, as Yoemon forbade her to use any mirror at home.
- snip -
Dobashi - The Earthen Bridge
When she arrives at the river bank near the earthen bridge, Kasane notices the approach of Kingorô and Princess Utakata. So she hides in a bush and overhears their conversation in which Kingorô persuades Princess Utakata to marry Yoemon. Yoemon arrives and asks Kingorô to hand over Princess Utakata. As he has not brought the 100 ryô, however, Kingorô refuses to comply and, being convinced that Yoemon is in fact Kinugawa Tanizô, threatens to betray him to the magistrate's office. As Kingorô runs off in the direction of the magistrate's office, Yoemon follows him in hot pursuit.



Kasane appears from the bush and, jealous of Princess Utakata who is going to marry her husband, attacks her with a sickle. Yoemon comes back and tries to stop Kasane and in so doing accidentally cuts her wife's throat with her sickle. When she dies her face miraculously recovers its original beauty.

The tôfu maker Saburobei, Kasane's elder brother, who has been hiding in a bush, appears and goes near his sister's body. Yoemon attempts to kill himself with the sickle to atone for the horrible murder of Kasane but is dissuaded by Saburobei. He cuts off Kasane's head and takes it to the magistrate's office to pass it off as that of Princess Utakata, who is wanted by the magistrate.
- source : kabuki21.com/kasane2



Utagawa Kunisada

「与右衛門 - 松本幸四郎」Yoemon - Matsumoto Koshiro
「累 - 尾上菊五郎」Kasane - Onoe Kikugoro


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source : mfa.org/collections/object/unuma-yoemon ...

Unuma: Yoemon and His Wife Kasane,
from the series Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô Road (Kisokaidô rokujûkyû tsugi no uchi)
「木曾街道六十九次之内 鵜沼 与右ヱ門 女房累」
by Utagawa Kuniyoshi 1852


. Nakasendoo 中山道 Nakasendo Road - Kiso .
Gifu Prefecture
52. Unuma-juku 鵜沼宿 (Kakamigahara)


- quote -
Unuma-juku 鵜沼宿
was the fifty-second of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō.
It was also the last post station on the Inagi Kaidō. It is located in the present-day city of Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The eastern and western portions of the old post town joined together to become a formal post town in 1651. Unuma-juku is approximately six kilometers from the preceding post town, Ōta-juku.


print by Keisai Eisen

The old post town contains such historical treasures as Kuan-ji Temple, the ancient tomb of Ishozuka, and haiku-engraved monuments left by Matsuo Bashō.
- source : wikipedia -

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. Edo Kabuki .

. Welcome to Edo 江戸 ! .


. Famous Buddhist Priests - ABC-List .

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

Kasane カサネ / かさね
On the 11th day of the 8th month in 1647, Kasane was killed by her husband Yoemon at the river Kinugawa.
He later married again, but his wives were all killed by the jealous Yurei ghost-spirit of Kasane. His 6th wife bore him a child named 菊 Kiku, but this wife was also killed in September of 1671.



When Kiku was 13 years old, Kasane tried to possess Kiku, but was finally enlightened, healed from her jealousy and could pass on to the Buddhist Paradise.

- reference : nichibun yokai database -




死霊解脱物語聞書 - 江戸怪談を読む
小二田誠二 Konita Seiji (1961 - )

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rui, kasane 累(るい、かさね)

Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide
By Hiroko Yoda, Matt Alt
O-Rui (Orui) お塁 (another reading for Kasane)
- Read the story at google books :
- source : Matt Alt, google books -

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- Reference - 累と与右衛門 -
- Reference - kasane yoemon -


. Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets .

- - - #kasane #yoemon - - -
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