Act Ten:

Dramatis Personae:

Amakawaya Gihei - a merchant of Sakai who is responsible for shipping the league's gear
Igo - the guardian of Gihei's child, Yoshimatsu
Yoshimatsu - son of Gihei and Osono
Hara G?emon - ex-retainer of Enya
Ôboshi Rikiya - ex-retainer of Enya, son of Yuranosuke
Ôta Ry?chiku - Gihei's father-in-law and Osono's father
Ôboshi Yuranosuke - ex-chief retainer of Enya, leader of the loyal league
Osono - wife to Gihei, mother to Yoshimatsu and daughter to Ry?chiku


Gihei has been in charge of ordering and shipping the league's equipment. The secrecy of this project has forced him to let go of all of his employees, and even send his wife home to her father, lest word Yuranosuke's planned revenge leak out into the world. Gihei's son, Yoshimatsu, and his guardian are all that is left of his once vibrant household.

Gihei has just finished sending the league's last shipment to Kamakura when G?emon and Rikiya arrive to inquire, among other things, about the steps Gihei took to ensure that no suspicion was aroused by his orders for weaponry and that his employees remained ignorant of the contents and destination of the packages. Gihei replies accordingly, informing them of his current situation as well as the respect he held for the Enya. G?emon and Rikiya are thoroughly impressed by Gihei's meticulous considerations.

As the two samurai leave, Ry?chiku, who used to be in the service of Ono Kuday?, approaches and, fully aware that Gihei's separation from his wife has some purpose behind it, asks Gihei for a letter of divorce. Should Gihei refuse, Ry?chiku would have no choice but to return her to the Amakawaya house immediately. Although Gihei realizes that Ry?chiku has some ulterior motive for making this request, he has no choice but to scribble off a letter of divorce, for allowing Osono to return would place Yuranosuke's plans in jeopardy. Indeed, Gihei is correct: as soon as Ry?chiku has his hands on the letter he reveals his plan to marry Osono off to a wealthy gentleman and receive a healthy dowry as compensation. Disgusted, Gihei throws Ry?chiku out of his house and curses his wife, assuming she has agreed to this plot as well.

Late that night, a number of policemen surround Gihei and accuse him of purchasing weapons at the request of Yuranosuke. The policemen produce a number of the boxes Gihei had shipped earlier that evening and demand that he open them and reveal their contents. The situation escalates until Gihei is forced to offer his own life as well as the life of his son in order to prevent the policemen from seeing the league's equipment and thereby discerning the plan for revenge.

Gihei's display of loyalty towards the r?nin does not go unnoticed, for the policemen are in fact Yuranosuke and some of his men in disguise. Yuranosuke, amazed at Gihei's determination and splendid character, apologizes for the harsh treatment, but explains that such a test was necessary to allay the fears of his men. Deeply gracious, Gihei invites the samurai in for food before they begin their long journey to Kamakura.

While Gihei is entertaining Yuranosuke and his men, Osono appears at the gate with the letter of divorce and summons Gihei to her. In the discussion that follows, Osono explains that she knew nothing of her father's plot to marry her and begs Gihei to take her back. Gihei, however, refuses and so Osono is forced to leave despite her pleas. She has gone no more than a few steps when an unknown man steals the letter of divorce and cuts her hair short.

Moments later, Yuranosuke approaches Gihei with two gifts, which, in his own words, express the gratitude he feels for the merchant's service: his wife's hair and the letter of divorce. With short hair of a nun it will be all but impossible for Ry?chiku to remarry his daughter, and by the time it grows back, the league will have accomplished their task and Gihei will be free to live with his wife once more.

As one final gift, Yuranosuke tells Gihei that the league will use the components of his name, 'ama' and 'kawa,' as passwords during the attack on Moronao's estate.