Written by Hanji Chikamatsu and Saburobei Takemoto, this play was first staged at the Takemotoza Theatre in 1767.
Two men, Reizaburo and Kuheiji, are each trying to raise sufficient money to redeem Nishikigi, a courtesan, from the house of ill fame in which she serves. Reizaburo is the patron of a sumo wrestler named Inagawa and Kuheiji likewise the patron of Tetsugadake. Both wrestlers are anxious to help their respective patrons win the lovely Nishikigi.
The two wrestlers are drawn to fight each other and Tetsugatake is so set on winning this contest in spite of his fear that he may prove the weaker that he proposes to Inagawa that the latter should allow himself to be defeated. In return Tetsugadake pledges himself to devote all his power to assisting Inagawa's patron in his attempt to redeem Nishikigi.
Out of gratitude to Tetsugadake, Inagawa is tempted to agree to this plan but his wife is shocked at the possibility of her husband losing his professional reputation. The only way she can prevent this is to find sufficient money to enable Reizaburo to redeem his love. The raises the necessary sum by secretly selling herself to a brothel. Just when the two wrestlers grapple on the ring, Inagawa hears an announcement that someone has offered to present him with 200 ryo. The encouraged Inagawa ignores Tetsugadake's proposal and beats him in a fair fight. After the match the victorious Inagawa is introduced to the generous donor who turns out to be his own wife.
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