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Sukeroku (Sukeroku)
The Kabuki Eighteen
Sukeroku (Sukeroku)

The play focuses on a confrontation between the two lovers of Agemaki, the highest-ranked courtesan in the Yoshiwara licensed quarter of Edo ˝ the samurai ŰBeardedÝ Ikyu and the chivalrous commoner Hanakawado no Sukeroku. Sukeroku bombards Ikyu with a stream of insults, pricking his anger and goading him to draw his sword. Sukeroku is later revealed to be Soga no Goro in disguise, searching for the valuable sword Tomokirimaru that belongs to the Minamoto clan. The play features rich exemplars of the idols of Edo culture: the handsome and fearless Sukeroku, and the aggressively spirited courtesan Agemaki. Sukeroku is a dazzling festival of Edo popular culture, played out against the background of the pleasure quarters.

Premiere : Fourth month, 1713
Original title : The Flower Mansion & the Protective Cherry Tree (Hana Yakata Aigozakura)
Actor : Danjuro II
Theatre : Yamamura-za, Edo
Text : Hattori Yukio, Ichikawa Danjuro Daidai. Tokyo: Kodansha, 2002.
Photographs : Fukuda Naotake
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