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Ōmori Kabuki

Location: Yokooka-Omori, Kisakata-machi, Nikaho City
Site(s) of performance: Ōmori Shinmei Shrine
Date(s): 3rd Sunday of July
Designation: City-Designated Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property
Category: Puppet Theater and Kabuki
Ōmori Kabuki is a rural kabuki that was performed at the annual festival of Ōmori Shinmei Shrine. The story is taken from Act 5 (Yamazaki-Kaidō) of one of the most famous kabuki stories, Kana Dehon Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers). The protagonist, Kanpei, is a masterless samurai who needs money to join the vendetta for his late master. His lover’s father, Yoichibei, prepared money for him, but was assaulted by Sadakurō. Soon after the murder of Yoichibei, Kanpei happened to shoot and kill Sadakurō without knowing the preceding murder. Kanpei now has money which was destined to him in any way, but he does not know of Yoichibei’s death or intention. He could not even see the face of Sadakurō in the dark (for which reason he later believes he killed Yoichibei). The story is about the agony Kanpei goes through thereafter.

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