(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Gihei, a rich man from the country, is trying to decide how to spend the evening in Osaka. Two friends urge him to hire O Hatsu, the famous geisha, or courtesan, for the evening. She begs off, however, and remains with her maids, meanwhile thinking about her lover Tokubei, a clerk, who has been neglecting her. To her great joy, he arrives a short time later, but he tells her that Kyemon, his uncle and employer, had arranged for Tokubei to marry to an heiress and that his aunt had already received and spent the dowry. Tokubei had refused to marry the young woman, but this meant that the dowry had to be returned. Tokubei managed to collect the money, but later he lent it to his friend Kuheiji. Now Kyemon wants Tokubei to leave Osaka.

O Hatsu, in spite of this disturbing news, is happy once more; she had feared Tokubei no longer loved her. While the lovers are talking, Kuheiji and a group of his friends appear. When Tokubei asks for the money owed him, Kuheiji pretends to know nothing about the loan. Desperately, Tokubei attacks Kuheiji, whose friends join the fight and overwhelm Tokubei. During the uproar, Gihei returns and compels O Hatsu to go off with him.

Later, not knowing what has happened to Tokubei, O Hatsu is afraid that he may have been killed in the quarrel. When Kyemon arrives, O Hatsu goes outside to speak to him. Saying that she is a bad influence on the young man and that she is not truly in love with him, Kyemon begs her to give...

(The entire section is 488 words.)