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Ichimura Uzaemon XV (十五代目 市村羽左衛門) as the fireman Tatsugorō of the Me(gumi) company in Megumi Tatsugorō (め組辰五郎)

Identifier: 1951c Ota Uzaemon XV

Tatsugorō is a major figure in a play written in 1890. "A band of Edo firefighters called the Megumi, enjoying themselves in a room at the Shimazakuro brothel in Shinagawa with their leader, Tatsugorō, are patiently enduring the raucous behavior of a bunch of drunken wrestlers in the next room. Suddenly, things get out of hand; a wrestler knocks over a shōji screen onto one of the firemen, Fujimatsu, and an angry quarrel is sparked, leading to a fight with the wrestlers Yotsuguruma and Aranami. But, realizing that if the fight goes on there will be hell to pay with the brothel, Tatsugorō bites the bullet and apologizes, calming things down. But he continues to seethe and soon after ambushes Yotsuguruma at Yatsu Yamashita, only to be defeated, losing his tobacco pouch in the process. Afterward, Kisaburō, an official who supplies food to the samurai, passes by in a palanquin and finds the pouch.

At a theatre on the grounds of the Shinmei Shrine, another altercation erupts between the drunken firemen and the wrestlers, with Yotsuguruma and Tatsugorō about to go head to head; but Aruji Kitarō, head of the acting company, intervenes, and both sides leave without further commotion. But Tatsugorō's rage keeps growing.

Tatsugorō's wife, Onaka, learns about the fighting and castigates him for his fecklessness, hoping to incite him to action, but Tatsugorō knows he must protect the honor of the firemen, even if it costs him his life, and he plans to take action that night when the wrestling matches are concluded.

The firemen, assembled in two places, converge on the sumō arena and begin a big rucku,s [sic] but Kisaburō rushes there with other officials, one of whom oversees the firemen while the other has jurisdiction over the wrestlers. Both sides agree to stop fighting, and all ends peaceably."

Quoted from: Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre by Samuel L. Leiter.


The zohan (蔵版) after the publisher's name in the left border means that they held the copyright.

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