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During the 17th and 18th centuries, news of successful acts of revenge (katakiuchi) by samurai circulated fast among ordinary people in Japan. Many of these stories were highly dramatic and became sources of inspiration for kabuki and bunraku dramas.

The National Theater of Japan has chosen the katakiuchi drama “Tengachayamura (The Feat of Revenge at Tengachaya)” to celebrate its 35th anniversary this month. Written by Nagawa Kamesuke in 1781, this superb example of Edo kabuki is based on events that took place at Tengachaya village, located near Sumiyoshi in Osaka, in 1609.

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