My study centers on the novel Katakiuchi Kidan Jiraiya Monogatari (1806-1807) by Kanwatei Onitake (1760-1818). Jiraiya Monogatari was the first literary reading book to be adapted for the kabuki stage. It was also the prototype on which Mizugaki Egao, Kawatake Mokuami, Makino Shouzou; and others based their bound picture books, kabuki, and films. The tale is composed of two revenge incidents, both of which have the same structural framework and are didactic in tone. In my study, I analyze the two revenge incidents by examining their narrative structures. Each incident has the same three-act structure: setup, confrontation, and resolution. The setup of each revenge incident introduces the main characters and their relationships and establishes the dramatic vehicle, which is an unexpected incident that sets the revenge in motion. The confrontation contains myriad non-linear inserts, plot twists, and reversals of fortune, all of which have the effect of a narrative delay. This prolongation of the outcome of a simple revenge plot allows readers the necessary space in which they can form their own judgments regarding good and evil and consider karmic cause and effect. The resolution, including the climax as well as the ending of the revenge, demonstrates the didactic notion of punishing evil and karmic effect. The two revenge incidents embody two rules, kanzen chouaku and inga, which together highlight the didacticism of Jiraiya monogatari.
- The didacticism of Katakiuchi kidan jiraiya monogatari