Chichu-no Renge (lotus flower on a pond): Tenjiku Tokubei. The drama entitled Tenjiku Tokubei
Ikoku-banashi (story of Tokubei in India) is derived from a tale about Tokubei, a boatman who drifted as
far off as Tenjiku (India). He became a town topic after making a miraculous return home. In the drama, Tokubei,
assumed to be a son of deceased Korean warrior, Mokusokan, is a supernatural and ambitious character. Pursuing his
father's will, Tokubei attempts to invade and seize command over all of Japan by skillfully resorting to witchcraft
that conjures a monstrous toad. Disguised as a blind masseur from Echigo Province, he visits the fort of Umezu
Kamon, a provincial lord. Upon being suspected of his true colors, he jumps into a lotus pond in the garden, out of
which he immediately emerges in the guise of a shogun's official envoy. This instant costume
change under water is truly a highlight scene of the play. The drama, ever since its premiere, was a specialty of
the Onoe Kikugoro family.
This picture shows Ichimura Uzaemon XIII, later named Kikugoro V.
Overall dimensions: 13" by 13-1/2" (approximately)
James T. Steichen
Date Last Modified: 28-Jan-2013