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What is gKabuki-tic sentimenth?EU

`Following@to@the@grave@and@Sacrificing oneself instead for someone

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PjFollowing to the grave and Kabuki-tic sentiment


At first, Following to the grave that is to commit suicide upon the death of onefs lord is picked up as the act arising from Kabuki-tic sentiment. In 1663, Ietsuna (ƍj) the 4th Shogun issued a ban on Following to the grave. According to this ban, Following to the grave was the act that was gunrighteous and useless" and severe disposals have been done when someone broke this ban and followed his boss to the grave. However, Following to the grave have originally been considered to be Samuraisf good custom indicating their loyalty to their lord. Why has it been prohibited with severe punishments?


There are convincing theories that impure reasons like forcing Following to the grave by people or suiciding according to gGirih that means social duty increased and able human resource was lost. If it was true, the ban was surely the open, liberal and right judgment. However, there was a never-ending string of cases in which Samurais were willing to suicide or gSeppukuh and followed their bosses in defiance of the ban as facts.


The novel "Abe clan" (ꑰ) by Ougai Mori iXOj is the novel which took up the theme of Following to the grave. gGosukeh who was a servant was one of those who followed their lord to the grave. He has been in favor with his lord at the time of the lordfs hunting. That was why he followed in spite of the warning of those around him. This act was the one to show off the strength of the bond between lords and low-class people. But this relation was unlikely by nature. Gosuke tried to find the ground for his identity on the strong bond with his lord. When we touch Gosukefs feeling, we will recognize gKabuki-tic sentimenth that Kabuki-mono did not regret to throw their own lives for the object they devoted themselves to. This was gIndividual assertionh that was intrinsically different from the relation between lords and servants.


For the feudalism the ground of which was hierarchical ranking, such an act was very obstructive. Edo Shogunate thought that these feeling would have collapsed the feudalism from the inside if it did not take measures. Therefore Edo Shogunate prohibited Following to the grave as a harmful act.


This situation could be understood by the fact that the ban on Following to the grave and the oppression togKabuki-monoh were carried out at the same time. Edo Shogunate arrested them before the ban. It was the next year 1664 of the ban when the oppression was strengthened remarkably and Jurozaemon Mizuno who was the chief of representative hooligans called as gHatamotoyakkoh was ordered gSeppukuh.



2) Action as a substitute ` The Case of gMastuouh at gTerakoyah

Introduction:gSugawara@Denju Tenarai Kagamih`gTerakoyah


In other words Following to the grave was the outcome of Individualityfs claim and was obviously the act of gKabuki-monoh. This moral sense of Edo era backed by Kabuki-tic sentiment penetrated as concepts of gTaimenh or gIitbunh that mean gfaceh or ghonorh in Samurai world, of gGirih that means social duty or gVindicating onefs honorh in Townspeople world.

For example, we look at gTerakoyah(The Village School@q) which@is@Fourth@Act@of@gSugawara@Denju@Tenara@Kagamih@(Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy@`K). Kan Shusai, the son of Kan Shojo (告) who lost his position was chased strictly by Shihei Fujiwara who was Kan Shojofs political adversary. Although Kan Shusai i告j@was sheltered in the house of Takebe Genzou () who had been Kan Shojofs pupil, the pursuit was already close to there and he was in a desperate situation. Therefore Mastuoumaru (ہj@who felt a favor for Kan Shojo secretly sent Kotaro (Y), his only son and made him a sacrifice as the substitute of Kan Shusai. This act can be interpreted@by@gKabuki-tic@sentimenth.@When@Mastuoumaru confessed his feeling to Takebe Genzou and his wife, he said as follows.


gMy master Kan Shojo thought of my feeling and wrote the tanka poetry which meant ethere is no the reason why Mastuoumaru could be insincere for me.f However people interpreted this by mistake which meant Kan Shojo grieved and wrote ewhy Mastuoumaru was insincere for mef. And those criticized me. Please understand my chagrin, Mr. Genzou.h


Kan Shojo was the godparent of the three brothers including Mastuoumaru who felt the obligation Kan Shojo. However at that time Mastuoumaru unfortunately served Shihei Fujiwara who was Kan Shojofs political adversary and therefore people thought Mastuoumaru a bad guy. Kan Shojo wrote the poem gthere is no the reason why Mastuoumaru could be insincere for me.h Mastuoumaru understdood that poem which was the message to him saying gKan Shojo beleaved that Mastuoumaru would show his loyalty someday although he looked a villainh. Kan Shusai was in a desperate situation and Mastuoumaru thought that it was the time to show his loyalty and he made Kotaro his son a sacrifice as a substitute. The acting as a substitute was to prove the strong bond with Kan Shojo. This was because there was Mastuoumarufs identity on the strong bond with Kan Shojo.


At this point we have to consider the question gto whom did Mastuoumaru show his identity?h If the acting as a substitute was open to public, the acting became meaningless. So we realize that his act was to satisfy his ethical demand in his mind. This feeling is the foundation of gKabuki-tic sentimenth.


In the case of Mastuoumaru, his identity was related to the family which he belonged to. If Kotaro refused the substitute with saying "your identity may be saved but how do you deal with my identity?" the play could not stand up. But such a thing would not happen. Mastuoumarufs problem was Kotarofs one because each individual identity was related to his family. The father and his son confronted this problem together.


When we consider Terakoya as a play which described a substitute, the important point is the fact that Genzou said that Kotaro had submitted his head with a good grace and died with smiling when Genzou explained to him that he was a substitute of Kan Shusai. The action as substitute was not only the will of Mastuoumaru and his wife but also Kotarofs one. The mean of substitute (sacrifice) in the case that parent killed their child who refused with saying gI do not want to die!h is different with the case that their child became a substitute voluntarily. Although both actions as a substitute are the same, the mean is different completely. The fact that Kotaro became a substitute voluntarily shows that this action was carried out by Kotaro and his parents and they were comrades in a sense. Interpreting that Mastuoumaru and his wife cried thinking their dead gsonh led to the feeling that Mastuoumaru and his wife could be like victims. Interpreting that they cried thinking their dead gcomradeh led to the feeling that parents were sad but they accomplished their purpose with their son. This difference is huge. It is important to consider Terakoya@through Kabuki-tic sentiment and we understand that their action was cooperating by comrades who shared the same value. By the way Yukio Mishima iORIvj@the novelist wrote the following sentence.


gWhat I usually think of comrade union is not clinging to my comrade when he died in front of me. It is being able to testify that he is another person I do not know even in the court. This situation is possible by only keeping mindfs strain called as heartless solidarity. (middle omission) If there is the guarantee that death can be used effectively at the best time produced by own action that is the dramatic climax, it is not dying in vain.h

(Yukio Mishima hmy sense of being comradsh,1970)


In the scene of Kotarofs gKubi jikkenh ij@that is to confirm whether dead person is Kotaro or not, Mastuoumaru met the head of my child who became a substitution. If Mastuoumaru cried to see his sonfs head then, the acting as a substitute is found by gShuto Genbah who was a prosecutor and Kotarof death becomes wasted. Although it was natural to cry through the parentfs feeling at this scene, Mastuoumaru had to declare that there was no doubt that this neck was Kan Shusaifs. This is equal to declaring "this is not a head of Kotaro" coolly and is a terrible act as a parent. There is the situation where Mastuoumaru was torn up, and there is gTerakoyahfs drama.



*Note: Giri is a thing like a promise which is hold inside oneself and have to be executed in relationship with a partner. It sometimes happens to be a burden and tie oneself up mentally. If in it there is a relationship with the institution or community that oneself belongs to and it coincides with his identity, it is called Giri. Giri is one form of Kabuki-tic sentiment


Written by@Yamamoto@Kichinosuke
Translated by Rakunosuke
All rights reserved.

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