Piece

Piece Name Keisei hangonkō
Piece Alternate Name Domomata (Title for individual scene or act of piece) ,
Meihitsu domo no matahei (Earlier title) ,
Tosa Shōgen kankyo no ba (Title for individual scene or act of piece) ,
Matahei the stutterer (Translation) ,
Courtesan of the Hangon Incense, The (Translation)
Creation Date 1708
Creator Chikamatsu Monzaemon Playwright
Associated Performing Art(s) Puppetry, Kabuki
Associated Movement jidaimono (historical play)
Language(s) of Creation Japanese
Structure Divisions Three acts
Characters in Piece Ukiyo Matahei , Otoku , Tosa no Shōgen , Tosa no Shurinosuke , Kanō Utanosuke Ukiyo Matahei
Plot Matahei, a disciple of ex-court artist Tosa Shōgen Mitsunobu, has been making repeated calls on his master in order to get permission to use the respected Tosa name. By chance Mitsunobu, Matahei, and his wife meet a group of peasants in pursuit of a tiger. Mitsunobu, saying there are no tigers in Japan, realizes it must be a creature from a different dimension. So, Mitsunobu calls one of his disciples, Shūrinosuke, and orders him to draw the tiger and make it take on life. Shūrinosuke does as directed. As Mitsunobu expected, the tiger in the grove disappears. Mitsunobu rewards Shūrinosuke for this achievement by allowing him to use the name Tosa. Matahei is, of course, completely humiliated. Following this, Mitsunobu calls on Shūrinosuke to lead a group of men to go to the rescue of another of the disciples. Matahei implores Shûrinosuke to allow him to join in the rescue, but in vain. As the others leave, Matahei and Otoku are left in the garden. Matahei's dream has been completely shattered. Otoku says that now there is no choice left but to die, but suggests that first Matahei draw a picture of himself on the side of a stone basin in the garden as a memento. She prepares the ink and brush. Matahei then draws on the side of the basin. To their surprise, as Matahei does this, an identical painting appears on the other side of the basin. Mitsunobu, who has been observing everything from inside the mansion, praises Matahei for his great work, which could only have been achieved through a great passion for art. Mitsunobu, his master, then bestows upon Matahei permission to use Tosa as his professional name.
Reference(s) Kabuki jiten (p.158)
Notes A period peice (jidaimono) about an artist of Kano school, Kano Motonobu. It was first performed as puppet theatre in 1708. And then it was first performed as Kabuki in 1719. There are three acts but only the scene called "Do mata" is currently performed.
Piece Published in Kabuki Plays on Stage Volume 1: Brilliance and Bravado, 1697-1766

Associated Items

Associated Productions 2006May01, Kabuki Za, Keisei hangonkō ,
1978Jul07, Asahi-za, Bunraku, Natsumatsuri naniwa kagami ,
1978Jul07, Asahi-za, Keisei hangonkō
Performances of the piece 1004393, 1004402, 1006617
Components associated with piece 1004313