—From “Twelfth Night”—
Raikouya Takagorou / Otaka: Ayaki Nao
Mouri Mari: Hisato Rie
Fukunaga Ousuke: Asazumi Kei
Marui Yae: Miya Erika
Andou Shingorou: Matobu Sei
Iriya Shigeyoshi: Tsukasa Yuuki
Mouri Shintarou: Natsumi You
Mouri Shige: Mari Yuzumi
Aizawa Kenichi: Asamiya Mayu
Mimasuya Kirizou: Nishiki Ai
Kisaragi Juushirou: Ohiro Ayumu
Kobori Samon: Mizushiro Rena
Okada Kenkichi: Mine Saito
Genji: Ayase Saki
Oroku: Hara Miteki
Osei: Ayame Hikaru
Koganei Kimiko: Marino Yui
Arai Tama: Hiiro Moe
Gonpachi: Yuuho Satoru
NOTES: As usual, this script translation is a little different from the one I ended up using for the subtitles, for space restrictions, for clarity, and because I tend to make small, last minute changes as I’m working on the subs.
This show was the
first by the young director Ōno Takuji. It is a tale about the birth of
actresses in Meiji Era
The show opens with a young Mari reading from the beginning of "The Dancing Girl", which is used as the back-story for the character of her father, Mōri Shintarō. "The Dancing Girl" is a story of a young Japanese man who goes to study abroad in
Kabuki also plays a large role in this show. Kabuki is a type of Japanese performance staged with all-male performers. Although kabuki had its roots in female performers in the early 1600s, the prostitution of its actresses led to women being banned from the theater. Since then, kabuki performers have been entirely male, with onnagata playing the female roles.
Scene 1 – Prologue
A girl is sitting on a desk, reading a book while her father listens.
Child Mari: The Dancing Girl of Kloster. Mouri Shintarou. They have finished loading the coal, and the tables here in the second-class saloon….. †
† NOTE: “The Dancing Girl” by Ogai Mori (1890) begins with this same sentence.
Shintarou: It’s still difficult for you, isn’t it, O-Mari?
Child Mari: Father, what is a “dancing girl”?
Shintarou: …It means someone who sings and dances on a stage. And they also act.
Child Mari: Someone like Hanshirou?
Shintarou: Your grandmother took you to see kabuki, did she? Hanshirou is a man. An actress is a woman who works on the stage in foreign countries. They wear beautiful costumes.
Child Mari: Hmm. But Hanshirou’s Red Princess is beautiful too.
Shintarou: (laugh) I see.
…..But, you know, when you’re all grown up, Mari, there will probably be
actresses singing and dancing on the stage in
Child Mari: Oh, father. I want to go see a play again.
Shintarou: Ask your mother. Your father and plays are not
exactly… Although I did attend them quite frequently when I
was studying abroad in
Child Mari: Hmmm.
Shintarou: … Come now, it’s late. Your mother will be getting worried, so to bed with you.
Child Mari: Yes, father. Good night.
In a crowd of people dancing in his memory, one woman stands out.
Mari’s Voice: Seven years have passed since then. I still haven’t seen an actress, but I’ve grown up, and….
Scene 2 –
(To the proprietress) …And then we received a favorable reply from the proprietor
of the Enouza Theater. In any case, speaking of the Enouza, the young master’s
father, Raikouya Takashirou, was called to
The young master also had enthusiasm, and so I am going to
Okami: I see.
Suketaka: This is… this is…. How could this happen?
Okami: ….. Sir.
Suketaka: I, Suketaka, have served his family faithfully for generations, and without one word to me, he….
Suketaka begins weeping. A young man in the inn uniform appears, carrying a lantern.
Okami: Ah, you’ve returned. How is it? Any clues….?
Yes, ma’am, we’ve searched. He doesn’t know the area around
Man#2: Most importantly, at this hour.
Okami: Shunkichi, did you check in Takashima’s red-light district?
Shunkichi: Yes, I spoke with the gate-keeper, but he doesn’t seem to have been there. It was past closing time in any case, so I don’t think he was wrong…
Suketaka: At any rate, in the end you learned nothing?
Okami: Well, it’s impossible. The night is growing brighter already. (To Suketaka) … What more can we do? For the moment, let’s return to the inn. Everyone else, thank you for your hard work.
Suketaka: But…. Miss, what do you think?
Otaka: … She’s right, Suketaka. For now, let’s go back. (To Okami) I’ll wait at the inn until dawn.
Okami: I see… If you wait until dawn, and he doesn’t return…
Shunkichi: I’ll go to the public office.
Otaka: We have caused you trouble.
Okami: It’s all right, when you run an inn you become accustomed to these kinds of things happening. …More importantly, miss; keep your hope strong as you wait.
Otaka: I will….
Okami: At best, he’ll come back without our searching, yes? There’s no reason to think of death—
Suketaka: Impossible. ….There’s been no omen of it.
Otaka: Yes… But, it’s so. The inn mistress is correct. My brother is not the type to pass away…. Although he’s nowhere to be found here, I’m certain that wherever he is, he is safe.
Okami: That’s so.
Otaka: Thank you. I feel slightly calmer now.
Okami: I’m glad to hear it. Shunkichi.
Shunkichi: … Yes. Watch your feet as you go, please.
Man #1: Well then, miss.
Suketaka: Miss, how are you faring?
As they watch, the horizon brightens.
Suketaka: Ah, it’s dawn already. The rising sun is a good omen for your house. †
Birds cry as they watch the sun rise. The old man stirs.
Suketaka: Now then, miss—
Otaka: Suketaka, my brother will certainly…
Otaka: He will certainly come back.
But, when father passed away, the role of providing for the family dependents
fell on him immediately, and he was the one who suffered the greatest loss. …
He even had to leave the
Suketaka: …Yes. He spoke to me of wanting to know his own, true, strengths.
Otaka: We forgot the crucial point of how upset he was at being forced to leave. For him to give up the stage…..
Suketaka: …. Certainly that’s true. It’s in his blood…. No, the young master has been a child of the stage since he was a baby. That’s right, for that young man to—
Otaka: (smiles) Yes.
Suketaka: ….Only, the appointment with master Iriya of the Enouza is tomorrow- no, today.
Otaka: That’s right… I wonder if there’s any way he would wait?
Suketaka: That would be difficult. To make someone wait, perhaps for a long time—
Otaka: But then when my brother returns, the stage that is so crucial to him will be gone. Why have we come so far….?
Suketaka: …..It can’t be helped. Come now, miss.
He turns and begins to leave.
Otaka: Yes, that’s true…. But…
She suddenly adopts a lower tone and barks out:
Otaka: ….Hey, Suketaka!
He whirls around.
Suketaka: Young master!
Otaka: I fooled you, didn’t I?
Suketaka: Miss, to play tricks at a time like this…
Otaka: That’s so….
Oh, Suketaka. ….. Let’s go. To
Suketaka: The Enouza? ….You mean to meet with the master there and convince him somehow to wait?
Otaka: No, not that. …Look, if I met him as my brother, as Raikouya Takagorou—
Otaka: It will be fine; we’re twins after all. Even my father said he couldn’t tell which was Otaka and which was Takagorou when brother and I were dancing at rehearsals together. And even now—
Suketaka: B-but what about the vital acting?
Otaka: I’m the daughter of a kabuki actor. So long as they are the ordinary sorts of accomplishments—
Suketaka: It’s different from an ordinary dance rehearsal. …To start with, a woman on the stage—
Otaka: It won’t be a woman. The one on stage will be Takagorou.
Suketaka: You can’t possibly…
Otaka: And there’s no other way. (She looks at the inn-keeper) Mistress, about what we’ve said.
Okami: I understand. Watching and pretending not to see is the job of an inn-keeper…. Miss, Okami of Masagoya Inn has heard nothing.
Suketaka: But, to truly do this….
Otaka: We’ll deal with it as things become necessary. … But, Suketaka, I can do it well. I expect that much.
The cold wind from the seashore
Gently strokes my cheek and cheers me
I wake up
As if the dawn has called out to me
This hope came in a flash
Now it catches hold
I don’t know what is waiting
But I am not afraid
Because the night has brightened
When I am born anew
Surely a new future is waiting for me
Scene 3 - Prologue
Otaka is joined by dancing actors and changes into her male disguise.
I believe that
I will make it if I struggle on
A ceaseless heart
Has taken root
Only my hope in my breast
Certainly I am struggling on
To a new future
The characters from the kabuki play “Imoseyama Onna Teikin” come out onto stage and dance.
† “Raikou”, or “rising sun” is part of the family name that Otaka’s father and brother use in their stage name “Raikouya”.
Scene 4 – Backstage at the Enouza
Backstage of the small theater, the Enouza. The proprietor of the theater, Iriya Shigeyoshi, is standing among a clutter of props, near a tree. He is holding a love letter with a pained look on his face. The sounds of a performance on stage can be heard.
Iriya: The sound of the shamisen pains my heart terribly…
The patrons shout out.
Patrons: Mimasuya! Both of you!
Iriya gazes at the actors as the audience calls out.
Iriya: It looks good. But to watch an impossible love right now is too painful for me.
“The Glorious Path of Man”
He sings the story of how he became estranged from his teacher, Mouri, while the events are acted out behind him.
I inherited this playhouse
From my parents
And on that night,
I became anathema
Mouri: Kabuki and its ilk are, after all, no more than relics from ancient times. That’s why you became my pupil in the first place.
Iriya: That’s… I wanted to learn the new Western cultures.
Mouri: I see. You can’t make modern Japanese culture a priority yet. …. And because of that, there are things which you have to go and throw away.
Iriya: No, sensei.
Mouri: Enough. You’re already no longer my student. You should leave, now!
Leaving everything behind
Mari: Father, what happened?
Going on the glorious path of man
Mari: Where are you going, Iriya-san?
But I do it with painful reluctance
Iriya: So difficult to forget the face of Mari, the professor’s daughter. Nonetheless, this love letter….
He pulls off a bit of a fake tree in frustration. The actors appear, coming from the stage, including the lead actor Mimasuya Kirizou and the onnagata Kisaragi Juushirou.
† NOTE: “Zamoto” is the title of the proprietor of a theater.
Iriya notices them.
Juushirou: (spots the letter) What’s that?
Iriya: Ah, it’s nothing.
He hides the letter in the tree.
Kirizou: Hey, were you watching?
Juushirou: ……How was it? I wanted to seem like I was scheming with Kirizou.
Kirizou: It was good, wasn’t it?
Iriya: Yes. It delighted everyone who was watching!
Kirizou: Well of course; it was “Imoseyama” performed by Juushirou and Kirizou. …..Or so I’d like to say, but, well, as you’re always saying, Iriya-san, the audience is getting very, very tired of it. It’s a play that seems to be preaching from the authorities.
Juushirou: ….. Good grief. All these petty government officials, who know nothing about theater, acting self-important.
Iriya: It’s true. Officials from the Ministry of Culture say to learn by observing the noble foreign plays, but what is this “Tsubaki-hime” †, where the plot is about a love affair between the heir of a large store and a prostitute….. It’s simply ridiculous to say that that’s the kind of reform that kabuki needs……
† NOTE: A version of “La Traviata”.
He grabs the poor tree in two fistfuls.
Juushirou: It’s painful.
Otaka appears, now passing herself off as Takagorou.
Iriya: I have no intention of running a fragmented show on the stage of this Enouza. ……In any case, leave the government officials to me. Everyone—
Otaka: “Everyone should continue to show the plays as you’ve done before. For more than three hundred years these dreams have been spun for Japanese people by Japanese people.” Right?
Juushirou: (to Okata) Takagorou-chan, you’re done already?
Okata: Yes. I’m going to practice the nagauta now.
Kirizou: I see. When you first came to the Enouza I wondered what kind of amateur had come.
Okata: Truly, back then…. It’s completely embarrassing.
What? Perhaps that was for the best. It’s true, Juushirou
got a shock from the
Kirizou: And then when I see how your rehearsals are now—
Kirizou: —All because he’s desperately learning what you teach him.
Juushirou: ….What’s wrong with that? I didn’t abandon him.
Iriya: (smiling) How like you, Juushirou.
Otaka: Yes. Thank you very much, Juushirou-san.
Juushirou: (moved) …. Well, he seems to be becoming popular, so didn’t it all work out?
Iriya: Yes, the young ladies are all at the stage entrance making a huge racket.
Otaka: Eh? I’m so very sorry.
Iriya: It’s not something to apologize about.
Kirizou: You’re just hopeless over those kinds of things. And you say you grew up in a theater environment…. I know! I’ll take you with me next time I go to the pleasure distri—
Otaka: (flustered) I couldn’t possibly!
Kirizou: It’s a good thing! Don’t be shy.
Kirizou: I get it. You’re just really happy.
An actor dressed as Tsubaki-hime appears.
Actor (Tsubaki-hime): Oh? Sir. It’s almost time for the scene where you return to the princess.
Kirizou: Oops, that’s no good. Well then, Iriya-san…
Kirizou: (to Okata) You’re looking forward to it, aren’t you?
He heads off at a fast pace.
Juushirou: He’s just teasing you. If anyone’s going to make a play at the amateur, it would be me….
Laughing, Juushirou leaves as well.
Iriya: (bursting with laughter) Geez, they’re a bad lot.
Otaka: (looking as if she’d like to forget it all) Yes…. And how was I, today?
Iriya: Hm. Today’s Koganosuke was—
Iriya: As I told you the day before yesterday—
Otaka: Embracing with only the heart, something like that?
Iriya: Yes. ….. It wasn’t bad, it was a good appearance.
Otaka: (happily) Thank you.
Iriya: Of course, as the Daimyo Koganosuke your performance still has a way to go. … But you truly look as if you’re a young boy in love; you have that mood.
Otaka: Yes, sir. ….. I consulted my feelings again and again – To not be able to even take the hand of the one you love because of the enmity of your own parents. Today, somehow, I could feel the press of Koganosuke’s pain on my heart.
Iriya: The gallantry and fragileness of the maegamidachi†….
† NOTE: A phrase referring to a hairstyle worn by boys before they attained manhood.
The stage hands suddenly appear. One of them moves to pick up the tree.
Stage Hand 1: Iriya-san, excuse me a moment.
Otaka: …..Well then, I’ll take my leave.
The second stage hand discovers the love letter and begins reading it.
Stage Hand 2: “Surely, my heart loves thee—“
Iriya snatches it away.
Stage Hand 1: (to Stage Hand 2) What is it?
Iriya: Ah, it’s nothing…… (he hands them the torn off branch of the tree) Sorry.
Stage Hand 1: (to Stage Hand 2) Hey, let’s go.
Stage Hand 2: Sure…..
They take the tree and leave. Iriya turns to Okata, who is leaving.
Iriya: Takagorou-san, wait a moment.
Otaka: (turns back) What is it?
Iriya: Actually, I have a favor to ask you. It’s a shame I bear….
Otaka: (bewildered) Yes, sir.
Iriya: Ah, you who understand Koganosuke’s pain, surely you won’t sneer at this love beyond my control. (as he hands Otaka the letter) Won’t you deliver this to Professor Mouri Shintarou’s daughter, in Hongou Sendaki?
Otaka: To his daughter…. Iriya-san, what is this?
Iriya: …… It’s a love letter.
Otaka: A love letter….
Scene 5 – The
Mari and her two friends, Koganei Kimiko and Arai Tama, are sitting at a table set for tea in the inner garden of her house in Hongou Sendaki.
“Love In April”
Gentle sunbeams streaming through the leaves,
And the voices of the birds
I’ve found one flower
Different from yesterday’s
I have a premonition
That something is going to happen
An encounter is waiting
It’s the season of love
Someone will find me
And take my hand
The wind that slips through my fingertips
Is still cold
But in the sunlight
The flower buds unfurl
The fragrance builds up
Spring is coming
Don’t let your smiling face
I’ll always be with my friends
Don’t forget this vow
We made together
We dreamed the same dreams
Since long ago
The time to part
I’ll meet someone new
The three of them are 17 and 18 year old girls, but Kimiko has just gotten married, and Tama will be leaving soon for a women’s school. Marui Yae arrives.
Yae: Ladies, the tea has arrived.
Mari: Thank you, O-Yae.
Mouri Shintarou and his old friend Aizawa Kenichi arrive, along with the student Kobori.
Mari: Father, Uncle Aizawa.
Shintarou: (to her two friends) Welcome. (to Kimiko) …. Ah, I didn’t recognize you.
Tama: It’s true!
Kimiko: It has been quite a while.
Shintarou: You’re completely the young wife. ….. How is Yuuzou-kun these days?
Full of plans for the hotel in
Aizawa: That’s hard. His study abroad is next year, isn’t it, around New Year’s?
Kimiko: Yes. So I’ve come to see if I could ask uncle about his experiences studying abroad.
Shintarou: My study abroad is a story from more than twenty years ago. You can’t use it as a reference. But, let’s see….
It’s no good, Kimiko, if you listen to what my father has to say. He’ll say
that Yuuzou-san will probably fall in with a bad crowd in
That’s true. A tragic love story like “The Dancing Girl” at
Mari: Everyone knows your tale when you go so far as to write it into a short story.
Kimiko: It won’t do. After all, Uncle, you have a previous conviction.
Mari: That’s right, what if you influence Yuuzou-san?
Tama: (to Aizawa) Ah, and even the villain who tore him from the dancing girl….
Aizawa: Hey, that’s cruel.
The three girls giggle.
Shintarou: ….. All right, let’s knock it off, lady-killer. (to Kimiko) It’ll be fine. It’s best not to worry.
Kimiko: Yes, sir. It’s Yuuzou-san.
Shintarou: (laughs) I see.
Aizawa: …. Ah, O-Yae-chan. A man from the Ministry of Home Affairs, called Fukunaga, is coming, so when he comes could you tell him we’ve gone to Miyakezaka on business?
Yae: Yes, sir.
Mari: (as an aside) Fukunaga-san……
She hands him a bag he looked like he was about to forget.
Aizawa: We’re going to be late, so if you have something to say, it’ll have to wait.
Shintarou: (to Mari’s friends) Well then, ladies, take your time.
Friends: Yes, sir.
Yae: Safe journey.
Shintarou and Aizawa go to leave.
Mari: (without thinking) Father.
Shintarou stops and turns.
……. You loved that
Shintarou: Where did that come out of the blue? Hm….. Why did I? I’ll let you find the answer, O-Mari.
The two men leave, along with Kobori.
Tama: ……Hey, by any chance, is that “Fukunaga-san” that Uncle Aizawa just mentioned…?
Mari: Oh? Yes……
Tama: That’s right, you don’t know. A graduated student who has gone down in history in French, English, and Japanese girls’ schools. And at last he has come to the reigning beauty, Mari-sama—
Tama: —to propose…..
Tama: It seems that Uncle Aizawa couldn’t say enough good about him in the bureaucracy at the Ministry of Home Affairs. And now he’s back from overseas.
Mari: ….. But I haven’t even met him yet.
Tama: Isn’t it good that you’ll see him?
Kimiko: Hey, then what about that other one? You know, the one who was a student here, who inherited the theater….?
Kimiko: That’s right, Iriya-san.
Mari: Even worse!
Tama: He was thrown out, by Uncle.
Mari: It wasn’t like that….. But he was a student here for more than five years. To look at someone I’ve seen in such a way is…
Tama: What are you saying? Someone you’ve never met is no good, and someone you know is no good. At this rate you won’t be able to get married at all.
Mari: ……. Wouldn’t it be better not to?
Tama: So you say…..
Kimiko: (laughter) How extreme.
Tama: At any rate, if you have a Minister of Home Affairs, an actor isn’t going to work. Well, for now that’s a good enough reason. If you could only have an arranged meeting—
Mari: What’s a good enough reason?!
The student Kobori returns.
Kobori: ….. Miss. I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation.
Yae: What is it, Kobori-san?
Kobori: Just now someone arrived who said he must see the young lady.
Mari: I wonder who it could be?
Kobori: Well….. a young man.
Mari: Did he say what about?
Kobori: He said he needed to talk with you directly, but I didn’t ask.
Tama: (teasingly) Could it be Fukunaga-san?
Mari: That’s true. ….O-Yae, Uncle Aizawa’s message. And after that, please. Tell him I’m entertaining guests and politely send him on his way.
Yae: Yes, miss.
She begins to leave, but Tama calls her back.
Tama: Wait a moment. (to Kobori) How was he?
Kobori: Well, he was a very good-looking man, like a young man from a picture book.
Tama: (gleefully) Oh my. …. Hey, Mari. Why don’t you meet him?
Tama: What, no good again? …. Ah, I see. You’re scared.
Mari: …..That’s not it.
Tama: Then what?
Mari: I just….. Well, we three haven’t been together like this in so long. Right, Kimiko-?
Kimiko: Oh, I don’t mind.
Mari: Oh, you….
Kimiko: Think of it as practice for the arranged meeting.
Tama: That’s right, we two will act as the match-makers.
Mari: … All right, I see how it is. If we do this, you two will enjoy it. ….. Kobori-san, bring the guest to the addition. O-Yae, please prepare some tea.
Yae: Yes, miss.
Kobori: Yes, miss…….
Mari: (to her friends) You’ll be able to see him before long.
Tama: …… So you say.
Scene 6 – The Addition of the
The addition is a billiards room. The ladies settle at a table to wait for the guest.
Yae: Please, right this way.
Yae leads Otaka into the room. All three girls look at her expectantly, and no one gives her a clue as to who is Mari.
Otaka: Um…. Which of you might be the young lady of the house?
Yae: You’ll speak to me. First, what is your business?
Otaka: ….. I understand, well then. (Begins to recite) Ah, lovely Mari-sama. Thy art more beautiful than beauty. Thy face like the color of milk is reflecting a flame and the faint crimson tide flows over it; your thin, graceful limbs—
She is interrupted by a peal of laughter from the girls, but doggedly continues.
Otaka: —A pale, pure maiden’s. ….Please, don’t laugh. I went to a lot of trouble to memorize this love letter, but if I’m nervous I’ll likely forget the rest.
Kimiko: I’m sorry, but…. Who on earth are you?
Otaka: Ah….. Pardon me, I’m really so nervous. I’ve come as a representative for Iriya Naruyoshi, proprietor of the Enouza Theater. I am Raikouya Takagorou.
Tama: Whaat, you’re one of those theater people? Are you a kabuki actor?
Otaka: Yes. And it is an actor’s job to continue his lines. …. May I continue?
Mari: (decisively) ….That’s good.
Otaka: (misunderstanding) All right. …..A pale, pure-
Yae: That’s good.
Mari: O-Yae, please inform the guest.
Yae: The master has already spoken about Iriya-san.
Tama: Hey, this would be a good chance to practice as if you were at an arranged meeting. What are you hobbies, your friends, etc…..
Otaka: But, really, after this we get to the good parts of the love letter.
Tama: That’s right, after this….
Mari: I don’t want to listen to any love letter from Iriya-san. …… My brown eyes are like this, my long eyelashes like this. If he likes such beautiful women, if beauty is all that matters to him, then a doll or a geisha will do just fine. … Yes, you would do just fine too.
Otaka: ….. I’m a man.
Mari: First of all, don’t you think it’s rude? Staring at a person, as if you’re evaluating them….. I won’t listen to it. Please, leave.
The clock chimes three o’clock.
Otaka: So you’re the young lady? You certainly are as beautiful as the love letter paints you to be. …. However, miss. Miss, I think you misunderstand.
Mari: I do?
Otaka: I don’t know what the other love letters have been like. But, yes, surely…. Please, read them again. Hidden between those lines you must be able to read what he thinks of you, his honest attachment.
Mari: Is that so?
Otaka: To begin with, men, it stands to reason that they’ll stare at the woman they’ve fallen in love with. To be rejected from the beginning…. After all, it takes courage to accept someone, doesn’t it? Above all, for a woman to—
Otaka: But, for some, they are never accepted—
Tama: What are you talking about?
Otaka: Ah, uhm…. That’s right, I’m talking about plays. In the play “Imoseyama”, the young man Koganosuke—
A voice is heard from offstage.
Fukunaga: ….. I see, it was modeled on a country house.
Fukunaga appears, along with his man Okada and the student Kobori.
Okuda: (makes a note) It’s called a country house.
Kobori: (to Mari) I’m sorry, I told them to stop, but….
Fukunaga spots Mari.
Fukunaga: Ahh, this must be….. (he takes her hand) I’m Fukunaga of the Ministry of Home Affairs. I know your father has spoken of me…..
Mari: (she reclaims her hand) ….. Father has gone out.
Yae: Yes. The master and Aizawa-sama have gone to Miyakezaka on business. If it’s an urgent matter, perhaps you should go there.
Fukunaga: Hm. ……Okada-kun.
Okada: Yes, sir!
He pulls out a notepad and begins writing.
But, truly, this is the house you would expect of Professor Mouri. It’s
different from those countless imitation Western houses. When I sojourned in
Mari: Fukunaga-san, as you can see, we have a guest right now, so couldn’t you…..
Otaka: No, I’ll take my leave now. …. Miss, this is the love letter I’ve brought, but I’ll return with it so.
Fukunaga: Love letter?
Otaka: Certainly you’re as beautiful as the love letter paints you. However, so long as your heart remains closed, all you will do is scorn this love letter and the honest love of the proprietor…. That’s something that I would never do. When you find someone to love, I’m certain you will understand. And when you feel that way, a time will come when you are also treated coldly. Excuse me.
Yae: Ah, sir….
Fukunaga: Hey, you, wait!
Otaka: What is it?
Fukunaga takes her hand.
Fukunaga: It’s all right, I’m aware of just about all of it. … Okada-kun.
Okada: Yes, sir.
He pulls out his notebook once more.
Okada: To conjecture, the proprietor was a former student of Professor Mouri’s, one Iriya-kun….
Fukunaga: That’s right. (he turns to Otaka) So what are you to that man Iriya?
Otaka: ….. An actor. I work at the Enouza.
Fukunaga: What, a kabuki actor? … Hey, you. Don’t you think you put things rather rudely?
Otaka: …..It’s nothing to do with you.
Fukunaga. This is it. This is why the actors in
Otaka: (to Okada) “Sir”?
Okada flips through his notebook, then shrugs.
Okada: No idea….
Fukunaga: … Ah, never mind. Go back and tell that man Iriya this: He’s not to reach out to Professor Mouri’s daughter again, or else I, Fukunaga of the Ministry of Home Affairs, will take away his theater’s permit.
Otaka: You couldn’t…..
Fukunaga: Your job here is finished. …. Now, go. (he raises his voice) You won’t leave?
The room is completely silent, and Otaka seems for a moment as if she will say something, but then she leaves.
Fukunaga: How was that? He won’t approach you again. Good grief, how shameless. …. More importantly, Mari-san (he takes her hand), what do you think, shall we commemorate our meeting? There is going to be a concert at the Public Hall.
Mari: (distractedly) Yes…
Fukunaga: You can forget this ridiculous kabuki business.
Mari: … That’s true.
Fukunaga: That’s right. I have here two tickets (he goes to pull them out from inside his jacket)
Mari: That’s right! ….. Kobori-san, please prepare a seat.
Fukunaga: No, if you need a seat, I have here….
Mari: Go to the theater and get them for tomorrow’s performance at the Enouza.
Mari: But, it’s so mortifying, don’t you think? He got to say everything he wanted to, but I didn’t get to answer back at all….. And on top of that, he got to read that love letter!
Tama: That’s right! Now the town beauty has been disgraced.
Kimiko: You too, Tama?
Mari: If that’s decided, I need to investigate… Kimiko, Tama, come on!
Fukunaga: Ah…. Mari-san?
Mari passes by him and leaves. The other girls follow her out.
Kimiko: What? Mari!
Tama: Ah, Kobori-san, a seat for me too. A theater box, and lunches too.
Tama: Now, run!
Kobori: Y-yes, miss!
He takes off running, and she turns to the female servants.
Tama: You all too!
Female Servants: Yes, miss!
They begin cleaning up the room.
Fukunaga: Uh, what about me…..?
He tries to follow after Tama, but the cleaning women get in his way. They finish and leave the room. Fukunaga, Okada, and Yae remain.
Fukunaga: …. Okada-kun.
Okada: (flipping through his notebook) …. Lunches.
Yae bursts out giggling.
Fukunaga: …. What?
Fukunaga: Never mind….. Okada-kun, Look into that actor who was here earlier. Somehow, the young lady seems to have become interested in him.
Fukunaga: Now, run!
Okada: Y-yes, sir!
He begins to rush off.
Yae: Hey! Before you do that, take away their license.
Fukunaga: Who are you, anyway?
Yae: You said it earlier, didn’t you? “I, Fukunaga of the Ministry of Home Affairs.” If you do that, the play itself won’t be possible, right?
Okada: That’s probably true….
Fukunaga: ….Ridiculous. It’s not like I can do something like that.
Okada: (surprised) Eh?
Yae: What, you were lying?
Fukunaga: Call it a bluff. ….. Of course. If I smash such a popular theater there’ll be a huge uproar.
Yae: You’ve surprised me.
But I plan to smash it someday. … I’ll push aside the vulgar shows and
establish a new theater more suitable to present day
Okada: I see now.
Fukunaga: It’s an unparalleled opportunity for promotion. ….However, everything has a sequence. The situation is different than the Restoration.
Okada: I see.
He jots this down in his notebook.
Fukunaga: Are you listening? First, it’s necessary to polish up a plan discreetly in order to make public opinion your ally. Yes, for example….
I’ll apply Professor Mouri
Yae: The professor?
Use the name of a popular writer
Yae: Oh my.
If it’s something I can use,
I’ll use it
Yae: Good grief.
Fukunaga: Well, the pressing objective is the Theater Reform Conference which will be held next month.
Okada: I see.
Professor Mouri will be called to attend
Fukunaga: That’s right.
A tailored figurehead
Could this mean that the young lady is also-
Okada: It couldn’t be!
To shoot a general you shoot the horse
They’ve said it since long ago
Fukunaga: And if all I’m going to do is join in with the horse, that’s not so bad, is it?
Yae: You’ve surprised me…. But should you be letting me hear such an important conversation?
Okada: ….. Ah.
Yae: You are an idiot. Here.
She holds out her hand.
Yae: A fee for keeping my mouth shut.
Fukunaga: You’re a bad one.
Yae: Who is? Despite appearances, the young lady tends to trust heavily.
But, you know, now I’ve become worried
Hardships won’t suit the young lady
Yae: After all, she’s been sheltered all her life. Certainly, the partner her father chooses for her….
Well then, help me
I’m a member of the Ministry of Home Affairs
I can keep her sheltered
Okada: Of course.
Open it, the inside is gorgeous too
It can’t be helped
I’ll join with you
Let’s advance the plan
Yae: ……Is this really all right?
Scene 7 – A Throughfare in
A throughfare in
Shingoro: I see. You’re leavin’ tomorrow….?
Takagorou: Yes…. What I owe you, Shin-san, I shall never forget as long as I live. Truly, thank you.
Shingorou: Forget it, it’s embarrassing! What, Takagorou and Shingorou. The both of us “gorou”s, as if we were brothers. (puts on airs) Saying thank you alone would be boorish.
Takagorou: No doubt about it. (laughs)
A distant fog horn.
I have to part from
Shingorou: Meaning your sister?
Takagorou: And also the household.
Shingorou: That’s right, you’re the distinguished son of a house of actors…..
Takagorou: Yes. After father died, when the weight of restoring the house fell on me, and I came to the head, I couldn’t bear the weight and ran away…. That’s fine for me—so long as I run away I don’t have any burdens. But how deeply did it hurt my sister? And how discouraging was it to the pupils?
† NOTE: Shingorou’s nickname for Takagorou is literally written “The Letters Taka”.
Takagorou: When I think of that, I can’t stand how cowardly I’ve become. Just to forget it I’ve drowned in alcohol and become addicted to gambling. In the end, I was caught in a gambling cheat….. If you hadn’t saved me then—
Shingorou: What, I couldn’t just ignore it. Actually, Takanoji, there was a time when I destroyed myself too.
Takagorou: You did?
Shingorou: Sure. We’re sayin’ goodbye tonight, so I’ll tell you the plain truth. When I was in Shinbashi, they called me Weasel Shingorou, and I was a pickpocket.
Takagorou: A pickpocket…
Shingorou: Yeah….. I was cruelly betrayed and I became disgusted and stopped. And even after that there are dark moments in my history. That’s why, when I see someone sinking down into the bog…. How about it—goin’ to scorn me now?
Takagorou: What are you saying? You’re a rickshaw man now, going down a splendid road of life, aren’t you? … Besides, no matter what life you’ve led, I truly owe you thanks. That will never change.
Shingorou: Really? You really think so?
Takagorou: Hey now, have you forgotten already? (pompous voice) Saying thank you alone—
Shingorou: No doubt about it! (laughs)
Takagorou: Okay, let’s go.
He runs off stage.
Shingorou follows him.
Scene 8 – Mouri’s Study
“The Dancing Girl”
Mouri Shintarou’s mind he has gone back to the days of his youth when he was
Voice: I met the dancing girl of
see the figure of
young Mouri appears and takes
Voice: But I, who had gone to study abroad in order to become a military
surgeon, intended to return to
young Aizawa appears, and a young Mouri runs off stage, leaving a devastated
spotlight goes out above
The one who separated me from
Mari: Oh, father…. Do you love mother?
Mouri: Of course. She’s very important to me. You as well.
Mari: I don’t understand. But, mother does… You, and the student in the book you’ve disconnected from.
I see. But my love for
Mouri: Yes. To love someone that much—it’s not something that will happen again. And… I betrayed her.
Mari: (worriedly) Father…..
Mouri: Don’t worry, I’m looking to find you a groom who isn’t so lacking. So that your gently smiling face won’t be clouded with tears….. That’s right, you’ve met Fukunaga-kun. It seems he’s an adopted son to Aizawa.
Mouri: …. Well then, it’s gotten late. O-Mari, it’s time for bed.
Mari: No, father. I’ll be up a little longer…..
Mouri: I see. …. Well then, good night.
Mari: Good night.
Mari: Somehow….. Yes, surely. Somehow he’s different from everyone else, that actor Takagorou. He melted my wariness, and those words seem to be ringing directly at me. Until I feel as if my chest hurts….
“Could This Be Love?”
I want you to tell me, could this be love?
It’s painful but I know something is different
It’s the first time I’ve had such a dangerous feeling
I step forward in a halting way
I don’t mind if I get hurt, I don’t need anything
I’m dashing forth, so hold me back
Hold my trembling hand
The scene changes and we see Otaka standing alone.
Someone tell me
Is this perhaps love?
It’s only misery, the pain of a heart alone
It’s the first time I’ve had such a dangerous feeling
I don’t want to watch his sad face
I don’t mind if I get hurt, I don’t need anything
Mari finishes singing and disappears, leaving Otaka alone on stage.
I’m playing a heart-breaking role
I can’t do anything for him
Scene 9 – Backstage at the Enouza
Backstage at the Enouza, Iriya is standing among the props as he was in scene 4.
Iriya: …. It was no good?
Iriya: I thought if it was you, surely…. I see….
Otaka: I’m very sorry.
Iriya: I knew it from the beginning. Takagorou-san, thank you.
Otaka: No, I wasn’t any help at all. …… If you don’t mind, one more time—
Iriya: …. No, it’s no use. And perhaps it’s too much for a woman to take, this true, intense love, as if the man were holding her—
Otaka: Oh, no…!
Iriya: There will come a time when you’ll understand too, when you fall in love.
Otaka: That’s…. But, I know.
Iriya: You “know”? What do you know?
Otaka: How a woman in love feels. …. Yes, my father had a daughter, and that daughter fell in love with a man.
Iriya: In other words, your sister?
Otaka: Yes. But she never told anyone about her unrequited love, she just went on smiling. She continued to keep it a secret in her breast until it wore her down, and it ate into her heart while she patiently endured the pain…. Certainly a man’s love is intense. But to be able to take that intensity, isn’t a woman’s love a very deep thing? Still more, if it’s such an honest love as yours, certainly you have to implore the woman to want to accept it.
Iriya: Your sister is certainly…..
Otaka: …..I don’t know where she is right now.
Iriya: I see. Takagorou-san, thank you. (he takes Takagorou’s hand) …. How about this? It’s no match for how the Koganosuke that you play takes the hand of his lover, but I’ll take your hand thus as a friend.
Iriya: Taking your hand thus, it’s as if that kindness will be transmitted from your fingertips. Without a word escaping from those lips, I understand. That’s right, isn’t it? If you were really a woman, I would—
Iriya hastily releases her hand.
Iriya: …. Ah, no. What on earth? What am I doing?
Otaka: (without thinking) Uhm, I’m—
The two stage hands enter.
Stage Hand 1: Iriya-san. The curtain is going up.
Iriya: (aside) Good grief, what is going on?
Many people appear, running around getting ready for the show. Iriya runs off. As he leaves, Juushirou and Kirizou enter, both in costume.
Kirizou: (to Otaka) Hey, your makeup isn’t on yet?
Juushirou: You’d better hurry, it’s almost time.
Suketaka and one of the students arrive, carrying a bouquet of flowers.
Student 1: (to Otaka) Ah, sir. The landlady of the Shiomiya just brought these.
Otaka: The theater tea house?
Student 1: Yes. They’re all from someone named Mouri—
Otaka: The young lady….
She takes the bouquet.
Student: There’s a message: “I really want to see you.”
Suketaka: What will you do?
Otaka: I see…… If it’s a message coming from the Shiomiya master….
Suketaka: Yes, but…
Student 1: Ummmm…
He looks at the message card attached to the flowers. Kirizou grabs the card away.
Kirizou: Where is it?
Otaka: (embarrassed) Kirizou-niisan!
Kirizou: (joyfully) ….. Hey, you’re a smooth operator after all?
Otaka: No, this is—
Kirizou: It’s a good thing; it’ll enrich your performance.
Otaka: … You’ve got it wrong.
Kirizou: What are you being so shy about? I’m praising you!
He playfully throws his arms around Otaka.
Suketaka: (without thinking) Miss!
Student 1: —How shall you reply to the miss?
Otaka: …… After my performance is finished, I’ll meet with her.
Student 1: Yes, certainly. Suketaka-san, let’s go.
The student drags Suketaka out with him.
Kirizou: (to Otaka) …..Hey, when you’re more trained… How does it go?
Kirizou hands the card to Juushiro.
Kirizou: (to the hairdresser) Oh, Yoshimasa.
He begins working on Kirizou’s hair.
Juushiro: Tsukiji Seiyouken….. A Western restaurant?
Kirizou: Western restaurant? ….. They say that if all you eat is beef you become thickheaded.
Juushiro: Like a cow? That’s not very seductive. (he gives the card back to Otaka) Let me recommend a place to meet. Someplace tender…
Kirizou: It’s good to have a shamisen player in the tatami room next door.
Juushiro: Are you listening, Takagorou-chan? It’s crucial to have that sense of distance of a shamisen and tatami room. The woman won’t be suspicious, and also it enlivens the atmosphere—
Kirizou: You can’t do it that way!
Juushiro: ……. You shouldn’t talk!
Hairdresser: …. It’s finished.
Kirizou: Thank you. (he heads for the stage) Well then, Lady Uneme.
Juushiro: Coming! Tenderly on the stage…
Hairdresser: (to them) You’re unbelievable!
They depart. The shouts of the audience can be heard.
Audience’s Voices: Sumasuya! Ningyocho! Both!
The hairdresser also leaves, and Otaka is left alone. She looks at the bouquet.
Otaka: She sent me a bouquet. It couldn’t be that what happened…. Ah, but a woman’s heart is a soft thing, like wax. It wouldn’t be odd if something made an impression on it. But, in that case it would be natural to fall in love with a dream.
The music begins.
Otaka: No, that’s what happened to me… When I think of it now, I’m envious of the Koganosuke on stage. Because even without clasping hands their hearts embrace each other…
“Only the Hearts Embrace”
He took my hand, held it warmly
Melted my heart, like water thaws the snow
He took my hand, gazed at me
But right now I am
Simply like one dead
My heart remains closed
On stage, Koganosuke and Hinadori of “Imoseyama” dance.
Only on the stage do we understand each other so well
Something we dream—an example, an illusion
Tell me, what can I do?
Other than continue to dance like this
Otaka reaches for Koganosuke and Hinadori, but they disappear. Men and women come out and join her. They dance.
If I could
I want to confess
This painful love
So that our hearts can embrace
The men and women run offstage, leaving Otaka alone.
Otaka: This love letter… should have been mine!
Scene 10 The Enouza Dressing Room
Open the window in the early afternoon
And when I put up my hair
It’s as if I’m concealing a blushing cheek
The fragrance of fresh leaves
Exhilarated by the blue sky,
I want to step out
The season which smells of the wind always
Makes my chest swell
April has passed;
Bring out the new outfits
A sweet fragrance for you
So you must wait, okay?
With arms spread
When you address me with those lips
My heart trembles
Although my heart should be decided
My breast is setting up a clamor
However, I can become unaffected
Like a white lily
Trusting in love, an elegant beauty in flower
I give this to you
When the lily opens
A love which grew brightly
Catch it in your gentle hand
Wrapped in something sweeter
Than the fragrance of the lily
Scene change to behind the Enouza. Kirizou is listening to Kobori, the student from Mouri’s household, play the violin. Juushirou comes in.
Juushirou: What’s all the racket?
Hey, Juushirou. If you look back here right now, it’s because this young man is
Juushirou: Oh…? That’s the sort of noise that will move you to tears, isn’t it?
Kirizou: Yeah…. It’s not Tokiwazu or Shinnai†, and it’s still good.
† NOTE: Japanese traditional styles of music, which often accompanied kabuki performances.
Juushirou: Young man, are you a professional?
Kobori: No, my main occupation is as a student. This is just to pass the time.
Kirizou: What, but aren’t you wonderful? Yes, let us hear one more song.
Kobori: Yes, sir. Well then…
He begins to play another one.
Juushirou: Isn’t it nice? It’s like it’s washing clean your heart.
Kirizou: Truly. …With this, a woman or two—
Juushirou: … Yes?
Kirizou: It’s very tender…
Juushirou: You can’t be thinking of Takagorou-chan’s—!?
Kirizou: Well, it’s a Western restaurant, after all. Shamisen would be out of place.
Juushirou: I see. … No, no. That’s not the point.
Kirizou: What do you mean?
Juushirou: Because, in other words…
Kirizou: What? You intend to desert your cute junior?
Juushirou: “Desert”? That’s so…
Kirizou: Most importantly, how could you? … That time with Chokichi at the Itamiya, and then that time with Okami-san from Hamagurichou—
Kirizou: I prepared everything, didn’t I? What about that? …And the Hamaguri-chou matter with the public official where he kept it up, four times….
The violin stops.
Juushirou: (whispers) Your voice is too loud!
Kirizou: (to Kobori) Don’t stop; keep playing.
Kobori: Yes, sir.
Juushirou: …All right. Oh well, I have felt like I can’t leave it alone.
Kirizou: That’s right. Wait, Takagorou. Now Kirizou is coming to help!
“You’d Better Bring Us Along”
Just you wait now, Takagorou
We’ll create for you a tender mood
Because we will
Although you may be innocent, although you might be sweet
An actor needs to have sex appeal
We’ll teach you
The art of coaxing
It reflects on us
Women are simple things
If you have a grasp of the skills, simple things
We’ll make things tender
We’ll make things
We’ll follow after
We’ll do it reliably
You won’t have to do it alone
You won’t even see us
We’ll save you
Scene 11 Shinbashi Station
Evening at Shinbashi Station. There’s the sounds of steam locomotives. Yae appears, and hurries over to where Fukunaga and Okada are waiting.
Fukunaga: You’re late!
Yae: I’m sorry. I had a hard time getting away…
Okada: …About 15 minutes late.
He records it in his notebook.
Yae: I couldn’t leave until intermission. The young lady is still at the Enouza. …She was crying over that actor’s performance.
Fukunaga: Tears come out when you’re yawning. … More importantly, that thing from before—
Yae: The invitation to the Theater Reform Conference? …It was sent this morning.
Fukunaga: …Good. When Superintendent Aizawa puts in a good word for it, then the professor’s attendance is certain.
Okada: Superintendant Aizawa….
He flips through his notebook.
Fukunaga: … You know, he was in the novel too.
Ah, the one who separated the protagonist and
Yae: Today he should be dining with the master.
Fukunaga: …I know! If we invite the young lady as well to the Theater Reform Conference….
Fukunaga: Iriya is summoned… An old-fashioned theater owner who’s fixated on kabuki. And his unsightly appearance—
Yae: You intend to make the young lady see him like that?
Fukunaga: I’ll smash my competitors, one by one.
Yae: Hey, if it’s competitors you—
She breaks off as Takagorou enters.
Okada: Ah! Ah! How long has—?
Yae: That’s strange, the performance is still…
Fukunaga: It’s intermission, isn’t it? Here!
They hide. Takagorou has appeared, and he isn’t sure of his way, so he stops some school girls to ask.
Takagorou: Excuse me, do you know the way to the Enouza?
School Girl 1: Enouza? …It’s near Konparu, so, um…. Ah!?
School Girl 2: …T-Takagorou-sama!
Takagorou: Ah, is it up-town from here?
School Girl 3: We saw your Koganosuke yesterday.
School Girl 2: And I cried my eyes out. As you see, my eyes are still…
Takagorou: Y… You don’t say…
Station Attendant: Yes, those going to a lower car should be getting ready, please.
The attendant is startled. The girls start sniffling. A bell sounds, and the attendant starts off.
School Girl 2: That parting could be so hard…
School Girl 1: We’ll definitely be crying again tonight.
School Girl 3: Thinking of you. Ah, how embarrassing!
They all head off in a group.
Takagorou: Uhm, the Enouza…?
Shingorou: …That’s just like you, Takanoji.
Shingorou: You’re amazingly popular, aren’cha…?
Takagorou: …What on earth? Why are you here?
Shingorou: I-I came to see you along.
Takagorou: But, will you be all right? This is where you used to pick po—
Shingorou: Oops! Don’t finish that. This is a public throughway.
Takagorou: … Ah, sorry.
Shingorou: (laughs) What? I’ll have to go to a place like Shinbashi, ‘cause it’s large. …Anyway, is there some place you’re lookin’ to get to?
Yes. Originally I was going to
Shingorou: I see. There’s dishonor from running away, huh…
Takagorou: That’s right. How can I show myself at this late hour…?
Shingorou: … All right, I don’t know that place at all. How about this? We’ll both try and search, and then we’ll meet up at the Konparu tonight or sometime.
Takagorou: …Got it.
Shingorou: The Konparu is, yes, that way.
Takagorou: Right. … Shin-san.
Takagorou: I know! …”Saying thank you alone”…
Shingorou: (laughs) That’s right!
Takagorou takes off running, and Shingorou leaves as well. Two strangers follow them off, knocking into Fukunaga on their way and stealing his wallet.
Fukunaga: What the hell was that?
Yae: (mimicking the school girls) “We’ll definitely be crying again tonight.”
Okada: “Takagorou-sama!” ….Must be nice.
Fukunaga: …Hmph. I also used to be so popular. In my hometown in Ehime.
Yae: What, are you jealous?
Of course not. All right? As a young gentleman in
Ehime, just back from
Yae: Hey, more importantly, my mistress is going to meet that actor today.
Yae: At the Tsuiji Seigiken.
Fukunaga: Damn…! I was right to worry.
Yae: Oh? Surprisingly, you used your head.
Fukunaga: … Hey, what do you mean by that?
Yae: I’m admiring you.
Yae: Besides, I’m relieved. If you weren't like this, I wouldn't trust the young lady with you.
Fukunaga: …But, with that actor as her escort….
Okada: What can be done?
Yae: Don’t worry. The same scheme will work, won’t it?
Okada: How is that?
Yae: Of course the master doesn’t know that the miss is meeting that actor. If you take the master there…
Fukunaga: Of course. Naturally, the professor’s reaction to the actor will be….
Yae: That’s right.
Fukunaga: Good. All right, what’s left is some deceptive eloquence. …Okada-kun!
Okada: Yes, sir!
“Systematic Application” (Rep.)
Killing two birds with one stone
Well, leave it to me
Let’s set the plan in motion
Scene change to a back street in Shinbashi. Standing on stage are the leader of the band of pickpockets, Musasabi Genji, the female picpockets Oroku and Osei, and two of Genji’s men, the figures who had followed Takagorou earlier.
Gonpachi: Hooh, that looked like…
Genji: Weasel Shingorou?
Jisuke: No doubt about it.
Genji: I see… That bastard, why is he in Shinbashi? … Well, it doesn’t matter. Gonpachi, Jisuke, you know the area, that Shingorou bastard…
Oroku: … Genji, boss. If you’re looking for Shingorou, I can—
Genji: Interesting… You’d be the one who knows him best, Oroku, being you…
Oroku: … Osei, come on.
They turn to leave.
Genji: But don’t forget. Hachiman Oroku, you’re my woman now.
Oroku: … Of course.
Scene 12 Tsuiji Seijiken
A room in the Tsuiji Seijiken. There’s a violin playing in the background. Yae, Mari, and Tama are already there. Otaka arrives.
Otaka: I’m sorry I’m late.
Mari: Not at all, but…. I was a little worried that you weren’t going to come. After all, the other day I was so—
Tama: Well, that’s fine, isn’t it? Why are we standing around and talking?
Mari: Oh, yes.
She offers Otaka a seat.
Otaka: …All right.
Mari: Hey, O-Tama…
She hints at Tama, who is sitting at the table with them.
Tama: (looking disappointed) Oh? …Well then, I’ll leave you young people to it.
Serving Boy: Miss, shall I bring you something right away?
Mari: Takagorou-san, how about something to eat?
Otaka: No, I have to be leaving soon.
Mari: But you can’t…
Yae: (calling from the next table over) Boy-san.
Serving Boy: …Well then, when you’ve decided.
He moves away.
Mari: …Go ahead.
Otaka: …Thank you for the flowers.
Mari: Eh? … Oh, yes. It’s because I’ve heard it’s a custom in foreign countries to send flowers to the theater. From my father…. But, I think it might be unladylike, so—
Otaka: No, they were lovely lilies.
Mari: They’re my school flower. When I was admitted, I took a vow of chastity, and…
Otaka: …All that I can accept, is the flowers.
Otaka: I can’t accept your heart.
Mari: Oh no… But why?
Otaka: Because there is another whose heart you must accept.
Mari: The only thing I will accept is your heart, alone. …As you said that day, I’ve plucked up the courage to tell you—
Otaka: Even if you love me, it’s nothing more than an illusion. It’s the same as loving someone on the stage…. I’m an actor. My real form is….
Mari: No. Today, the Koganosuke that you performed was really enduring that pain. The pain of not being able to clasp the hand of someone you love…
Mari: And, right now my heart is enduring the same pain.
Otaka: …But, that’s not something I can give you. I understand how you must be suffering. … But, right now you’re causing him to endure the same suffering.
Mari: Wait. When can I see you again?
Otaka: No, never meeting again is… Excuse me.
She walks away, and Mari breaks down crying. At that moment, Kirizou, Juushirou, and Kobori (who has been playing the violin) appear.
Kirizou: …Hey, what’s happened?
Juushirou: Student, take care of it.
Kobori: Y-Yes, sir.
He begins playing loudly.
Tama: … Geez, keep it down! …Ah! Omiwa, and Motome!
Kobori: Ah! O-Yae-san!
He stops playing.
Tama: I’m not mistaken.
Otaka: …Juushirou-niisan too.
Juushirou: What should we do?
Kirizou: “What should we do”…? You take care of it.
He runs off.
Kirizou: I hate quarrels.
Juushirou: That’s how you always do it, leaving things to me…
Tama: Hey, what is this?
Juushirou: Hey, Takagorou-chan—?
Tama: Ah, I see. You’re employing wiles by appearing indifferent at first, hm?
Tama: (Looks at Kobori) To prepare even this; isn’t that just like an actor. Well, that’s fine, keep going. Since you were silenced.
He begins playing again.
Yae: What are you doing?
Kobori: Well, this is…
Yae: Good grief. What would the professor think if he saw this?
Kobori: O-Yae-san, please….
Fukunaga: Good grief, what a ruckus!
After him comes Shintarou, Okada, and Aizawa.
Shintarou: What on earth….
Aizawa: Hey there, Mari-bou.
Shintarou: …O-Yae, take Mari home.
Yae: … Come then, miss.
Shintarou: Kobori, see to O-Tama-chan.
Kobori: Y-yes, sir.
Fukunaga: (in a quiet voice) Hey, are you taking her?
Yae: It can’t be helped. (she looks at Mari) I wonder if she’ll be all right?
Shintarou: …What is the meaning of this?
Fukunaga: Professor, this man is a kabuki actor. (To Otaka) Right?
Otaka: Yes. From the Enouza.
Aizawa: Meaning Iriya-kun’s?
Shintarou: …The incompetent pupil.
Aizawa: You’ve banished him; so he’s not your pupil, is he? I never had a problem—
Fukunaga: But, after all, it’s what you’d expect from a bunch of kabuki actors.
Kirizou: Hey, don’t just butt in!
Fukunaga: The young lady was really in a dangerous situation. …Professor Mouri, it seems that immediate theater reform is really necessary, don’t you think?
Shintarou: Theater reform?
That’s right. Push aside the antiquated performances, and let a new, modern
theater take root in our
Kirizou: It’s not popular. Hmph, that’s because it’s dull.
Fukunaga: Have a little self control, you lot. These gentlemen here are Surgeon General Mouri and Chief Superintendent Aizawa.
Aizawa: (rebuking him) Fukunaga-kun. (to Kirizou and Juushirou) This isn’t official business now, so don’t worry.
Fukunaga: I apologize. Okada-kun.
Okada: Yes, sir.
He pulls out chairs for Kirizou and Juushirou.
Fukunaga: …In any case, professor, we really need your strength so that Japanese theater isn’t something to feel ashamed about in front of the West.
Aizawa: I see… This is what you were talking about previously. (to Shintarou) It seems that he wants you to write him a manifest.
Shintarou: A manifest…. A written declaration?
Aizawa: Well, to speak the unvarnished truth, a signed certification.
Fukunaga: Professor, I have already heard from Chief Superintendent Aizawa your criticism of kabuki, and above all your hatred of onnagata.
Fukunaga: And, so far as theater reform goes, the thing which gathers the most interest of people is certainly women actors, or actresses. And with your manifesto as our banner, I intend to sponsor the first theater with actresses in this country.
Otaka: Theater with actresses…
Fukunaga: First of all, if you think about it, there won’t be any talk of weirdness, right? Such as men becoming too intimate together on stage….
Fukunaga: That’s right, you’re an onnagata. …Really?
But to sponsor a theater with actresses – There aren’t any of those essential
Fukunaga: No, I’ve looked into that already. Okada-kun.
Okada: (flips through his notebook) Yes: There are countless geisha in Yanagibanashi.
Fukunaga: If we help them to stand forth, how colorful it would be.
Juushirou: … Hmph. Think you can do a theater with nothing but pretension?
Fukunaga: Professor, what do you think?
Shintarou: I see, a manifest…
Fukunaga: That’s right.
Aizawa: What is it?
Fukunaga: Chief Superintendent Aizawa, it’s not worth listening. After all—
Otaka: No, I also support the birth of actresses. …If it can truly be realized, I think it would be a very wonderful thing.
Otaka: But I can’t approve of Fukunaga-san’s thinking.
Shintarou: …What do you mean?
Otaka: I don’t think it would be a difficult thing to reform the theater world. But to create actresses only for that reason is too excessive. …. To say nothing of this “colorfulness”.
Fukunaga: There’s nothing to be done about that. If they don’t really exist….
Otaka: No, when I was allowed to appear in the Enouza, that’s when I realized for the first time what is claimed by the people who stand on those boards; how they live. …On that stage, we don’t just follow a role. Even if it’s the same lines and the same actions, each time we’re living that role. …Isn’t that why the audience which has come to watch can feel the pain and the joy of that character?
Juushirou: That’s right. That’s why we polish our art, and devote ourselves to improvement. That’s why we can, although we’re men we can play women as well….
Kirizou: Otherwise, could I hold a man like this?
Juushirou: Be quiet!
Otaka: And even if there are actresses, if there are women, that shouldn’t change. If I were an actress, more than being colorful, bathed in the limelight, I would rather wish to be in some corner of the stage, just being allowed to breathe. Yes, definitely….
Fukunaga: But, what are you saying we should do?
Shintarou: …I see, I suppose it would be like that.
Shintarou: If I’m not mistaken, you said you were “Takagorou”? Perhaps it’s as you say. It’s as if you yourself were going to become an actress.
Otaka: No, for me to be an actress—
Kirizou: That’s right.
Otaka: Although I am a woman…
Otaka: Nothing…. Ah, please excuse me.
She runs off.
Aizawa: Hey, you.
Juushirou stops her.
Juushirou: What’s wrong?
Otaka: …I’m sorry.
Scene 13 Karasumori, Shinbashi
A corner in Karasumori, Shinbashi. The pickpockets are following Shingorou. They race across the stage, then off again. Shingorou appears once more, having lost them.
Shingorou: …They’re closin’ in on me.
Oroku gets in his way as he moves forward, bumping into him.
Shingorou: Oops, I’m sorry.
He moves on without noticing that it’s her.
Oroku: You’ve really lost you touch.
Oroku: It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
She holds up his wallet.
Oroku: Ineptitude I wouldn’t expect from Weasel Shingorou.
Shingorou: …Give it back.
She opens it up and looks inside.
Oroku: What? You’re going through hard times.
Shingorou: I’ve gone straight. Leave it be.
Oroku: Don’t order me—!
Shingorou: …Well then, a trade.
He holds up her purse.
Shingorou: Or would you prefer this?
He now holds up a ring that he took from her. But when he sees it clearly, he’s startled.
Shingorou: ……This ring is—!
Oroku is embarrassed. He gives her her things back without a word, and she throws him his wallet in return.
Shingorou: It’s been two years since I did this sort of thing.
Oroku: Your skills haven’t changed at all, have they?
Although I’m now a stranger
In this town which I expected to lose
And I intended to forget
I miss it all – Shinbashi Karasumori
Our eyes met
We met on this street
Now we look away
To meet someone I expected to forget
Why do we pass by each other
In this place where we intended to make a vow together?
Although I should have hated you,
Why is it so painful?
Oroku: …Why did you come back?
Shingorou: Who knows? The only sure thing is that it wasn’t for you. …Are you still with that bastard Genji?
Oroku: Like you care.
Shingorou: That’s definitely true. But on the other hand, what you did to me—
Oroku: Do you really think you can escape so easily? In this world, when you can’t secure allies, it’s over.
Shingorou: He was the one who betrayed me and led me into a trap. And also—
Oroku: You’re saying it was me too?
Oroku: Genji knows you’re here.
Shingorou: I see…
…I’m just here as a messenger. Genji is always waiting in
Shingorou: So, am I supposed to care about your conspiracies? Or is this a warning?
He runs off.
Osei: Neesan, is this all right? After all, you still lo—
Oroku: You’re so annoying, be quiet.
Otaka: An actor lives on the stage… Poor young lady, because the role I can never play to the end, is me. Yes, I can’t live my brother’s role. But, what should I…?
“Love Which Tears You Apart”
The shadow of the moon is thick in the dark of May
Exposed in a rusty hand-mirror
Someone’s fading face
Melts into the darkness
My heart is pierced by that look,
Which yearns for someone
But now I’m in the hollow shadows
I can’t do anything, only avert my eyes
I float without being able to move freely
My heart can only tear
Oh, someone, listen to my voice
Even though I yell as I drift about
It vanishes into the darkness
I’m left behind, alone
As she sings, all of the people she has met appear around her, but no one notices her. Eventually they all disappear.
Otaka: And who will play my role…? Onii-sama….
Kirizou and Juushirou appear.
Juushirou: Takagorou-chan, what’s wrong?
Kirizou: …You seemed strange back there.
Otaka: I’m sorry, …I just got a little worked up.
Juushirou: I see. Well, you were treated so rudely.
Kirizou: Or was it the violin? (whisper) …He kept insisting on it.
Juushirou: …I can hear you.
While they’re occupied, Shingorou flies onto the scene.
Kirizou: Woah, what?
Shingorou: I’m sorry, Takanoji. There’s no time to tell you everythin’. Anyway, I’m being followed, and I’ve got to hide. Say somewhere we could meet.
Shingorou: Where to meet? Anywhere is okay, name it.
Otaka: …Uhm, who might you be?
Shingorou: …It’s me! Shingorou.
Otaka: Might you have me mistaken for someone?
Shingorou: Hey, have you forgotten the face of someone you spent three months with?
Juushirou: Hey, brother, when you make false claims, it’s a nuisance.
Shingorou: It’s not like that. …Who are you?
Juushirou: The actor, Kisaragi Juushirou. Would you listen to me if I said something? First of all, Takagorou-chan has been on the Enouza stage for five months.
Kirizou: That’s right, the Enouza.
I see, I can read it…. Yeah, Takagorou-san, I misjudged you. What on earth was
that pledge to be brothers in
Shingorou: No, I was a fool. I was taken in by your gentle face and betrayed again. I see, after makin’ up with the theater, the used-up criminal is a burden. Is that it?
Otaka: You, could you be—?
Shingorou: Don’t come near me!
He pulls out a knife.
…I’ll cut you up. Why not just put my life on the line or somethin’? Hey, if
you hear of a body floating in the river near
He runs off stage, and Otaka moves to follow.
Otaka: Please, wait….
Juushirou stops her.
Kirizou: What was that?
Otaka: I see. There’s no mistake…
Juushirou: What are you saying is going on?
Otaka: That man…. Yes, he’s Takagorou’s—
Kirizou: Aren’t you Takagorou?
Otaka: Yes, that’s right, my…. No….
What? What’s the big deal about the riverside at
Juushirou: Hey, he was talking about throwing his life away—
Kirizou: This is not good!
Scene 15 Tsuiji Seijiken
Some hours later, still at the Tsuiji Seijiken. Shintarou, Aizawa, Fukunaga, and Okada are there.
Aizawa: …It doesn’t look like he’ll be writing the manifest after all. Not before the real actresses have been born. …It appears that the actor had an affect on him.
Well, it’s just that the wounded heart from when he returned from
Fukunaga: Understood, sir.
Aizawa: What, did you see an old man’s Red Princess? The man who broke your dream of a dancing girl—
Shintarou: It’s not your business…
Aizawa: Bulls-eye, right?
Aizawa: (to Fukunaga) Well, don’t be in a hurry for an achievement. Wouldn’t it be better to write when you’ve found some real actresses and all that? (to Shintarou) Right?
Aizawa: All right, let’s go, Mouri.
…Aizawa, when I heard that actor Takagorou speaking, I truly recalled
Aizawa: I see… Meaning I’m still in the villain’s role.
Shintarou: (laughs) Sorry.
Aizawa: Fukunaga-kun, are you doing anything after this?
Aizawa: Then we’ll be at the
Fukunaga: Could you go on ahead?
Okada: …Yes. Then I’ll be at the
Chief Superintendent Aizawa and Surgeon General Mouri are…
Yae: Then for the present they haven’t gone home. I get it, thank you.
Okada: Yes. Well then….
Fukunaga: And? So what happened on your end?
Yae: That’s right, I’ve come to apologize. …I’m sorry.
Fukunaga: For what?
Yae: Well, because the young lady was so pitiful. So I’m going to that actor. And I’ll—
Fukunaga: …I see.
Yae: You’re not angry?
Fukunaga: I said it, didn’t I? Things might appear this way, but long ago—
Yae: (she smiles) You were popular.
Fukunaga: That’s right. And it’s not like I’m giving up. I’ll woo the professor again….
Yae: That’s right.
Fukunaga: So, hurry up and go.
Yae: …Yes. Thank you.
Yae exits, leaving Fukunaga alone.
Fukunaga: The theater, hm? Hah.
He moves as if to leave, but the manager comes on.
Manager: Sir, are you returning home?
Manager: I see. Well then, here is….
He hands over the bill.
Fukunaga: What’s this?
Manager: The settlement. …Since everyone has departed.
Fukunaga realizes he’s been stuck with the bill and reaches for his wallet… only to find it missing.
The lights go out.
Konparu at night. Somewhere far off there is the sound of a shamisen. Takagorou is on stage, and several passer-bys appear.
Passer-By 1: Oh! It’s Takagorou.
Passer-By 2: It really is. He’s so beautiful.
Other people going past stare at Takagorou as they walk by.
Takagorou: Why? Why is everyone…? First of all, I played Koganosuke more than a year ago. And it was received terribly. They said that if Takagorou succeeded Takashiro, it would disgrace the name of Raikouya….
Passer-By 3: Look, that man—
Passer-By 4: Oh my, it’s Raikouya.
Takagorou: …Damnit, what’s with the Raikouya? What’s with the Takagorou? There was only one moment when I wanted that name. That’s it! If I went somewhere with things like this… At best I could get an appearance in some small theater. Yes, if I think of the dishonor waiting at the Enouza….
From off-stage we hear Iriya’s voice.
Iriya comes flying on stage.
Takagorou: Yes, if I…
Takagorou: What’s with the Takagorou!?
Iriya is startled.
Takagorou: It’s nothing… Excuse me.
Iriya: …Well, never mind. (He takes Takagorou’s hand.) More importantly, I’m so glad that nothing’s happened to you. When Kirizou-san and Juushirou-san came flying in with their faces all white, I couldn’t imagine what had happened…. Ah? (he lets the hand go in startlement.)
Iriya takes his hand again and studies it.
Takagorou pulls his hand free.
Takagorou: What on earth are you doing?
Iriya: It’s nothing….
He holds out his hand to be shaken. Puzzled, Takagorou clasps it and they shake slowly.
Takagorou: …Are you all right?
Iriya: No, but…. You really do seem all right. (He lets Takagorou’s hand go.) That’s right! More importantly, quickly, we need to get Kirizou-san and Juushirou-san and—
Takagorou: Kirizou… That young master from Mimasuya?
Iriya: Of course.
I’ve heard of him even in
Iriya: …Hey, don’t speak with such reserved manners. Kirizou and Juushirou came to say that one of the Enouza’s members was in danger of his life, and then they flew off again with insane energy.
Takagorou: The Enouza’s….
Iriya: That’s right, they said, “Takagorou is in danger.”
Takagorou: …In danger? Me?
Iriya: There isn’t another Takagorou, is there?
Takagorou: Certainly there isn’t ano… No, it couldn’t be—
Iriya: Well, I certainly wouldn’t believe it either. Nevertheless, this story of being in danger for your life is rather disquieting. As the proprietor, I couldn’t just let it go….
Takagorou: I see, that’s how it was?
Iriya: “That’s how it was”? Originally, you—
Takagorou: Yes, it was all because of me. But I didn’t really mea—
Yae: Ah, this is where you went! …Hey, don’t you think it was cruel, to say something so coldly?
Yae: You can tell just by looking at the young lady, can’t you? How seriously she feels about you. That—
Takagorou: Wait, please. Do you know Takagorou too?
Takagorou: Please tell me. Who is this Takagorou?
Takagorou: The face? ….And build?
Yae: …That’s right, although maybe a little diminished in size.
Takagorou: I see. There really is only one answer….
Yae: What is going on?
Takagorou: I’m sorry, Otaka. I really have been nothing but a disappointment.
He gets down on his knees.
Takagorou: Sir! I have a favor to ask of you.
Takagorou: Somehow, I must get to that place where the lives are in danger…
Yae: Lives in danger?
Iriya: …Then you are in danger after all?
Takagorou: …I don’t know. But the only thing I am certain of is that I’m the cause of everything. Yes, it’s all because of me…. And just now the same error was repeated. At least I can bring it to a close with my own hands.
Iriya: I see… Takagorou-san, I see. Shall we head for that place where lives are at stake, and you can tell me your reasons along the way.
…O-Yae-san, somehow or other, could you get a message to Aizawa-sensei at
police headquarters? Tell him that there seems to be a situation of unrest
along the river in
I don’t really understand, but… All right. The riverside in
Iriya: Yes, and the responsibility is all mine….
Yae: (to Takagorou) But after this we’re still going to talk!
Iriya: … All right, Takagorou-san!
They set off.
Scene 17 The
Shingorou: Hey, it’s me! It’s Shingorou! Where’s that bastard Genji?
The pickpockets that we have seen before appear, along with Oroku and Osei. Last to appear is Genji.
Genji: Well done of you to come where you can’t escape.
Oroku: …And I told him so clearly.
Genji: It’s a hazard of the trade. Hey, take care of him!
They surround Shingorou.
Shingorou: What, not one-on-one?
Genji: What a stupid thing to say; I’d be at a disadvantage, wouldn’t I?
Shingorou: Hah! Now I know why your turf has gotten so small.
Gonpachi: Don’t prattle! I—
Gonpachi steps forward, and the two face off. Shingorou disarms him.
Shingorou: Have you realized, then, candy-man?
Genji: You’re all talk now. …Come on!
The others close in, and Shingorou knocks Jisuke down and moves to stab him, but hesitates and pushes him away at the last minute, turning to face another man. Jisuke stabs him from the back.
Otaka comes running onto the scene.
Gonpachi: Who the hell are you?
Shingorou: Why bother now?
Otaka: But! This isn’t really—
Shingorou: Fool…! What can you do to help? You’re not up to this kind of thing.
Pick-Pocket: You’re not up to it. …Boss, I’ll….
He comes forward, brandishing a long pole. But Otaka disarms him and takes the pole.
Otaka: I’m fine! …I learned the naginata†!
† NOTE: The naginata is a blade on a long pole, and in this time period was primarily a weapon taught to women.
Shingorou: Naginata? Could you be—?
Shingorou: What, is that all?
Genji: Damnit, if things go on like this—
Genji grabs Oroku and shovs her forward, holding his sword to her throat.
Oroku: What are you doing, Genji?
Genji: …Hey, Shingorou, look over here at her.
Osei tries to stop Genji, and he shoves her to the ground.
Osei: Stop this!
Genji: Shut up!
Shingorou throws away his knife.
Genji: What, you still have some attachment to this woman? (he laughs) …Listen up, when you fell into that trap, the one who drew that picture was—
Shingorou: It was her, I knew that.
Kirizou’s voice comes from off stage.
Kirizou: Sorry to make you wait!
Kirizou and Juushirou appear dressed in costumes like warriors, and Kirizou threatens Genji with his sword.
Juushirou: Takagorou-chan, are you hurt?
Kirizou: We came to help you fight!
Genji: What are you?
Kirizou: A ninth generation descendant of Emperor Tenmu.
Genji: All talk!
Genji attacks Kirizou, who blocks, but his weapon is cut in two.
Juushirou: Niisan, wait! Ah!
Juushirou trips, and the pickpockets close in.
Genji: Too bad. I’m sure you know, but the price we take is a hand!
Shingorou kicks of his sandals and sits on the ground. He holds out his arm.
Genji: …I’ve got you, Shingorou.
Genji holds up his sword, when suddenly Yae comes running on stage.
Yae: This way!
A gunshot rings out and the sword goes flying. Okada and Fukunaga appear.
Fukunaga: A great feat, Okada-kun!
Okada: I—I hit it…
Aizawa: All right. Arrest everyone who is armed!
Aizawa and his police are there. Shintarou follows after them. The policemen draw their sabers.
Aizawa: (to the pickpockets) Come quietly!
Genji: Damn it!
His men follow him.
As Jisuke runs away, he drops Fukunaga’s wallet.
Fukunaga: My wallet!
Okada: Fukunaga-san, I’ll—
Okada grabs up Fukunaga’s wallet and runs after Jisuke.
Fukunaga: No, no, that’s my wallet…
From far away you can hear Okada’s gun shots.
Aizawa: Weasel Shingorou. Why did you come back?
Shingorou: …Sir, I’ll come quietly.
Aizawa: Hm, meek.
The policeman move to take Kirizou.
Kirizou: Hey, what?
Policeman: Chief Superintendent Aizawa, what about them?
Aizawa: …Just in case, check them out.
The policeman inspects Juushirou’s sword.
Policeman: It’s a bamboo sword.
Aizawa: Well then that’s fine.
Juushirou: Well, of course. As if we’d have real ones….
Kirizou: …Don’t laugh, you—!
Juushirou: We were really worried.
Otaka: Yes, thank you.
Oroku draws near to Shingorou, who has been captured.
Oroku: Shin-san… I’m sorry.
Oroku: I’ll be waiting. This time, really….
Shingorou: Don’t say stupid things. As if I’d believe a word you said!
Oroku: It’s not a lie!
Osei: That’s right! Neesan truly—
Policeman: Stand up.
Oroku: But that’s so. I did that, and…
Shingorou: …But you‘re the only pleasure I got from this rotten world. Thanks.
She begins to weep on his shoulder.
Shingorou: Don’t cry; it’s unseemly.
Shingorou: Hey, are you Takanoji’s—?
Shingorou: I see. I’m sorry for earlier; I said some pretty extreme things.
Otaka: Not at all…
Shingorou: I was certain that you were—
Otaka: I understand! My brother and… But it all began with me. Yes, the same mistake is going to keep happening over and over again, just as it is now…
At some point, Iriya has arrived.
Otaka: Kirizou-niisan, Juushirou-niisan.
Otaka: Professor Mouri, and the maid.
Fukunaga: Hey, what about me?
Otaka: Everyone, please listen. I deceived you all. I’ve been lying to you.
Juushirou: Takagorou-chan, what on earth are you talking about?
Otaka: I’m not Takagorou. I’m Raikouya Takagorou’s younger sister—
Otaka: I’m a woman.
All: A woman!?
Juushirou: A “woman”, meaning a woman?
Okada comes back.
Okada: I got him….
Yae: …This is surprising.
Otaka: Sir… Although I intended to keep the acting and the lying separate, I mixed them up. Because of me, everyone…
Iriya: …It’s fine, Otaka-san.
Otaka: No it’s not. It’s my fault that everything— Eh?
Iriya: Otaka-san. I’ve heard everything already from Takagorou-san…
Otaka: Takagorou? My brother?
Takagorou’s Voice: That’s right. It’s not your fault, Otaka.
Takagorou arrives, though we can only see his back.
Kirizou: Wh-what is this?
Juushirou: One face, two bodies…
Yae: It’s like a mirror…
Takagorou hugs Otaka.
Takagorou’s Voice: Otaka!
lights go out, ending the scene. Some hours later, still in
Yae: That was surprising. That that actor was a woman…
Fukunaga: Yes, indeed.
Yae: It’s creepy, isn’t it?
Fukunaga: Is it?
Yae: Hey, that’s a good thing, that she’s a woman.
Yae: “Why”? For your promotion.
Fukunaga: What about a promotion?
Yae: Well, this way you can get your achievement, can’t you?
Fukunaga: How, exactly?
Yae: …Idiot. With this, a theater with actresses….
Fukunaga: Ah, I see…
Yae: Geez, pull it together.
Fukunaga: That’s right, a theater with actresses.
Fukunaga: …It’s certainly an unique opportunity.
Yae: That’s right.
Fukunaga: All right then! …And what should I do?
Yae: Good grief. You’re useless. Well, nothing else for it….
“You Need to Follow Me”
You need to follow me, okay?
You’re useless on your own
Hey, what are you suggesting all of a sudden?
(looking at Kobori) And what’s up with him?
That grand manner
Is also cute
You’re intending to praise me?
I’m here. From now on—
Fukunaga: Hey, what’s going on?
It’s the season of cool light breezes in early summer
Don’t you want something to begin?
Fukunaga: Well, I guess.
It can’t be done alone
But with two people something should be possible
Fukunaga: I see!
If there’s two
Something will change
If there’s two, that’s right!
If there’s two, Take my hand
Something will be able to begin
two begin to dance. Dawn comes to
Dawn comes and we walk forth
Love beginning from hands clasped
Scene 18 Separation
A group of men use the rumors of a theater with actresses to strike up a conversation with some women.
“A Theater With Actresses Song”
Man A (Women):
Takagorou, you know?
(What? What? What?)
Man B (Women):
Is becoming a woman
(What’s That? What’s That?)
Woman A (Women):
What of it?
Of course there’s female roles to play too
What’s so unusual about that?
Man B (Women):
You’ve got it all wrong!
(Got what wrong?)
Man C (Women):
She is a woman
(A “woman” woman?)
Woman C (Women):
Really a woman
It’s unusual, isn’t it?
(It’s a first)
What’s the female actor doing?
An English play
They all leave the stage. The curtain rises to reveal the addition of the Mouri house, which appears to have been turned into rehearsal space for the theater. Otaka is there in the costume of Viola, and Mari, Kimiko, and Tama are also there.
Mari: …You can’t really be a woman.
Otaka: I’m sorry. You were hurt. If I had spoken frankly sooner, this wouldn’t have…. That’s right, because I knew how serious you were, miss.
Kimiko: …Hey, there wasn’t anything that could be done. After all, when we heard the story, there were all kinds of circumstances, weren’t there?
Tama: That’s right! To say you were playing a man at that late point was impossible, so it couldn’t be helped.
Mari: It’s not really about saying you were playing a man… I just….
Otaka: I understand. I can guess what’s in your heart. If there’s anything I could do, anything to atone—
Mari: Well then, become a man.
Tama: …Isn’t that what she’s saying?
Mari: That’s not it! I just…
Mari: …I don’t believe it.
Mari: That you’re a woman. I don’t believe it.
Mari: This is a dream. Because, if it isn’t, I—
Mari runs away.
Otaka moves as if to follow her, but Kimiko stops her.
Kimiko: It’s all right. We’ll do it….
Otaka: Yes, please…
Kimiko and Tama follow after Mari.
Iriya: …I see. Mari-san is still….
Iriya: It can’t be helped, there’s nothing you can do except show your sincerity.
Iriya: More importantly, you’re still in the middle of rehearsal, aren’t you? The most essential thing for an actor is rehearsal. Now, cheer up.
Iriya: It’ll be all right. Things are difficult for Mari-san now, but she’ll certainly overcome them. When the one comes along who can truly clasp her hand. Yes, like I did….
Otaka: But it’s unusual for you to come, Iriya-san.
Iriya: Because I heard from O-Yae-san that the professor won’t be here today. Anyway, you have the lead this time, don’t you? I had to come see rehearsals.
Iriya: So today is work. So don’t call me Iriya-san—
Otaka: I understand. “Zamoto”, right?
Iriya: That’s right… Now, rehearsals.
Otaka: (laughs) Yes, whatever Zamoto says.
Otaka goes to leave, while Kirizou and Juushirou appear in the costumes of Valentine and Curio.
Kirizou: (in passing) Yo, Taka-bou.
Juushirou: Ah, Sir.
Kirizou: (to Iriya) Hey, do you really think this too-small costume is all right?
Juushirou: You’re just imagining that it’s small. This is fine as is.
Kirizou: Really? … But it only goes down to here.
Iriya: Yeah, it’s fine.
Juushirou: Hey, did you even look?
Kirizou: Really? But it doesn’t seem to exactly fit. …But, Taka-bou, when I look now, she’s still disguised as a man.
Juushirou: I told you, that’s the kind of role it is. That’s a woman disguised as a man.
Kirizou: I see. But isn’t that a weird story? …There’s no way I can understand what the hairy barbarians are thinking.
Juushirou: Oh my, professor.
Shintarou arrives with his wife, Shige, and Yae.
Iriya: …Ah, this is—
Shige: Welcome, Iriya-san.
Iriya: Madame, it’s been a long time. I had thought that the professor would be out today.
Shintarou: Out? I spend every day in my house on the manifest…
Shige: I told O-Yae to call you.
Yae: (to Iriya) I’m sorry.
Shige: Iriya-san, he is the only one who has declared you anathema, so please don’t worry and come to visit when you wish. (to Shintarou) Right, dear?
Shintarou: …Do as you wish.
Shintarou: Hah. I’m surrounded by enemies.
Shige: You might as well stop this, don’t you think?
Shintarou: I can’t do that.
Kobori: Hey, it’s almost time for the fourth scene.
Juushirou: That’s my call. Excuse me for a moment.
Juushiro excuses himself from everyone. Reading his script in a highly flowery, almost feminine voice, Kirizou follows slowly.
Kirizou: “…so please your lordship that should sing it.”
Juushirou pulls him along. Kirizou stamps and then changes to a highly affected masculine accent.
Kirizou: It doesn’t fit! “He isn’t here, so you—!”
Kirizou, Juushirou, and Kobori leave.
Shintarou: Why, he’s a complete Tokyo-ish Curio.
Iriya: It’ll be fine – because he’s the kind of person who does his job on stage.
A clock chimes two o’clock.
Yae: …Ah, Madame, it’s time.
Shige: Ah, you’re leaving already? I’ll be lonely.
Shintarou: It can’t be helped. Fukunaga-kun is a very busy man, even if all he does is take vacations. It seems that his man got taken by Aizawa. Apparently he said he’s a genius with a gun.
Iriya: Then he entered the police force…
Shige: There’s nothing you can do. O-Yae decided to leave our household to be married. ….Enjoy your honeymoon.
Yae: I will, thank you….
As Yae leaves, Suketaka and the pupils arrive.
Suketaka: …Good morning!
Shige: Good morning.
Pupil 1: Ah, Zamoto. The play has just finished, and the young master will be here in a moment.
Iriya: Well done. How was it? Takagorou’s performance?
Suketaka: Well, sir, it gets better day by day. How should I put it? He seems to have lost strength in his shoulders, but….
Iriya: That’s good to hear.
Suketaka: Yes. …Speaking of, how’s the young lady?
Iriya: She’s in rehearsal now. It’s all right, she seems cheerful.
Suketaka: I see… So much happened, and it was thanks to you that she managed to stand so firm.
Iriya: Not at all…
Suketaka: No, Zamoto. For me, to have you married into the family—
Pupil 2: Suketaka, what are you saying out of the blue?!
Suketaka: No, this sort of thing needs to be said clearly—
Pupil 1: Let’s go…
They drag Suketaka after them.
Suketaka: H-hey. You won’t let me go?
Shintarou: Married into the family?
Shige: Is there talk of that?
Iriya: No, not…
Shige: It’s well. Wouldn’t it be perfect? Well, that would just leave our Mari… Well then, take your time.
Shige makes her exit.
Iriya: When Mari-san is married, it’ll be very lonely.
Shintarou: Not really.
Iriya: But Mari-san is quite her father’s daughter.
Shintarou: Why, I’m used to being left behind. Because you left! …An unworthy pupil.
Iriya: You’re not wrong.
Shintarou: But everyone eventually stands on their own; it can’t be helped.
Shintarou: Otaka-kun is rehearsing.
The truth is, Iriya, that I felt like collaborating
with this theater with actresses because I saw that girl. When I saw her, I
couldn’t help but think of
Iriya: I thought so.
Shintarou: You understand?
Iriya: Professor. Because I too am one of your pupils.
Shintarou: I see… Well then, let’s go see your dancing girl.
Iriya: Yes, sir.
Shintarou and Iriya leave. Mari comes flying onstage.
Mari: (to someone offstage) Just leave me alone!
She falls weeping to the floor.
Mari: No one understands me at all.
Takagorou arrives. He notices Mari, and comes towards her.
Takagorou: Miss, what has happened?
Mari: No, it’s nothing….
Their eyes meet.
Mari: … Ahh, this must be a dream.
Takagorou: A dream?
Mari: You’re her older brother?
Takagorou: Mari-san? I knew right away.
Mari: I’m sorry, it seemed as if I woke from a bad dream, and she wasn’t really a woman after all…. But you really are exactly alike.
Takagorou: …Could you find it in yourself, somehow, to forgive my sister? It all happened because of my cowardice. If you feel bitterness for my sister, then feel bitterness for me inst—
Mari: Not bitterness…
Takagorou: If not that, then please let me help to heal your wound somehow. Unfortunately, in reality my sister is a woman. However, because this is reality, and not a dream, shall it not remove this sorrow from your feelings, as if untangling a knotted thread?
Mari: Because this is reality….
Takagorou: That’s right. So let me take your pain as well. Someone like you, certainly, could change that pain into joy.
Mari: …So this really wasn’t a dream, was it?
Takagorou: No… Unfortunately.
Mari: …No, not unfortunately.
Mari: Because… If this were a dream, I—
Fukunaga and Yae appear from the dancers.
If you fell in love with my way of life
If you were dazed by my charm
That would be the end of us
It can’t be helped
I’ll take you with me
Kirizou and Juushirou appear and take their place.
Life is a comfortable thing
Throw out the worries and it’s all good
When you’re a child; when you become an adult
Rain or shine, you’ll have thought
When you get rid of them
You’ll be like us
Takagorou and Mari dance a duet.
The cold wind from the seashore
Gently strokes my cheek and cheers me
I wake up
As if the dawn has called out to me
This hope came in a flash
Now it catches hold
I don’t know what is waiting
But I am not afraid
Because the night has brightened
When I am born anew
Surely a new future is waiting for me