Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka (Money Takes Care of Everything)

Ichikawa Sadanji I, Nakamura Sōjūrō, Onoe Kikugorō V, Iwai Komurasaki III & Onoe Kikunosuke II in the premier of the play “Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka” (人間万事金世中), staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 28th February 1879

This modern Meiji play is a morality tale about the effects of money and greed on a family’s fortune, based on Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s play of 1840, “Money”.

This is the page on kabuki21:

From Toshidama-Gallery:

Rinnosuke and Okura are orphaned into the prosperous and comically greedy Seizaemon household. Seizaemon’s brother in law is gravely ill and Rinnosuke desires to visit him. The family don’t think it worth their while and refuse to loan Rinnosuke the money. When the uncle dies, he leaves his money to Rinnosuke in gratitude for his concern.

Rinnosuke sets up a small ceramics business (the brick shapes in the background?), and is approached by everyone with offers of their daughter’s hands in marriage. Tragedy strikes when Rinnosuke is obliged to sell everything he owns to cover an outstanding debt to a stranger, Keori Gorōemon, owed by his late father. At this, everyone withdraws their friendship and offers of marriage. The debt turns out to be a ruse, in order to smoke out the relative’s greed and Rinnosuke is given back his shop and he announces that he will marry his childhood sweetheart Okura.

Kunichika: Ichikawa Danjuro IX in the Play Ningen Banji Kane no Yo no Naka, 1879 (c) Toshidama-Gallery

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