The Love Suicides at Amijima

The Love Suicides at Amijima (Shinjū Ten no Amijima or Shinjūten no Amijima 心中天網島) is a domestic play (sewamono) by Japanese playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Originally written for the bunraku puppet theatre, it was adapted into kabuki shortly after its premiere on 3 January 1721. It is widely regarded as one of his greatest domestic plays[1][2] and was hailed by Donald Keene as “Chikamatsu’s masterpiece”.[3]


The Japanese new wave filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda directed a stylized adaptation of the story as Double Suicide in 1969.

Milwaukee, WI-based Dale Gutzman (book, lyrics) and Todd Wellman (score) debuted the musical adaption AmijimA in 2007. Listen to the WUWM interview with the creative team.

The Australian National University's Za Kabuki performed a version of the play in 2005, directed by Mr. Shun Ikeda.


  1. ^ Shirane, Haruo (2002-07-10). Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600-1900. Columbia University Press. p. 313. ISBN 9780231507431.
  2. ^ Nichols, Robert (2010-10-18). Masterpieces of Chikamatsu: The Japanese Shakespeare. Routledge. p. 42. ISBN 9781136913426.
  3. ^ Keene, Donald (1999). World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-modern Era, 1600-1867. Columbia University Press. p. 258. ISBN 9780231114677.
  • pg 170–208 of Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu
  • Chikamatsu Monzaemon, The Love Suicides at Amijima, in Haruo Shirane, ed., Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600–1900 (Columbia University Press, 2002), pp. 313–47. ISBN 0-231-14415-6.

Further readingEdit

  • Major Plays of Chikamatsu, translated and introduced by Donald Keene (NY: Columbia University Press. 1961/1990), pp. 387–425.

External linksEdit