(full title: Sukeroku yukari no Edo-zakura). Kabuki play. One of the celebrated kabuki pieces known as the kabuki jūhachiban ("18 kabuki plays" [see "Ichikawa Danjuro"]). Popularly called Sukeroku, it is a historical play by Tsūchi Hanemon (dates unknown) and was first performed in 1713. Sukeroku is named after the hero of the play, a chivalrous commoner who bests a vicious warrior for a courtesan's favors. In the process he recovers for his lord an heirloom sword stolen by the villain; it is revealed at the end of the play that he is actually a samurai disguised as a commoner to facilitate the search. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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