Osono, Hadesugata onna maiginu-sakaya no dan, the act concerning "The House of the Sake Merchant", performed in UNESCO on 26 February 2004.

©UNESCO/Niamh Burke


TOYOTAKE Hanafusa dayu

Shamisen:TSURUSAWA Enjiro

Puppeteer: Osono: YOSHIDA Kazuo

Accompanied by : MOCHIZUKI Tameyuki, MOCHIZUKI Tamejuro



Hanhichi, the son of the owner of the Akaneya sake shop and the dancer Minoyano Sankatsu, are in love and have an illegitimate daughter. Hanhichi's wife, Osono, has left him and returned to live with her parents, but as she is overcome with grief and cries night and day, her father takes her to the Akaneya sake shop.


Alone in the shop, Osono contemplates the sunset. As she lights the lanterns, she thinks about her husband who has not yet returned home.


"What is he doing? Where is he? I know that it is too late now, but if I ceased to exist, Akaneya could pardon his son whom he banished from his home out of consideration for Otsuu. Yes, Akaneya could invite Otsuu's mother Sankatsu to live in his home. And Hanhichi would lead a better life. If only I had died when I fell ill last autumn, all of this suffering could have been avoided.


I knew that Hanhichi was not enamoured with me, yet I wanted to remain by his side even if we no longer shared the same bed. And in the end, this situation brought misfortune upon Hanhichi. I should have resolved to die last year, for my present suffering hurts me even more. Dear Hanhichi, from the bottom of my heart, I ask you to forgive me".


Osono is a decent woman who is overcome with guilt and sadness over her husband's illicit love. She does not blame him in the least even though it was he who deserted her.


But Hanhichi entrusted his young daughter Otsuu to his father before committing suicide with his lover Sankatsu.


(Text: © UNESCO, Intangible Heritage Section)



Manzai, The Celebration of the Four Seasons


The Secret of Sharing in Bunraku Theatre, the puppets's inner life, the Shamisen, the Tayu


Ningyo Johruri Bunraku Puppet Theatre


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