The main theme of Aotozoshi hana no nishikie（青砥稿花紅彩画），usually called Benten-kozo or Shiranami gonin otoko, by Mokuami is the strange and unhappy life of Benten-kozo, a changeling, who committed suicide when a young man. The so far hidden story of Benten-kozo comes to be known in the scene of “Hamamatsu-ya oku-zashiki”, which therefore should be regarded as occupying the central position of the whole play. However, this scene of “oku-zashiki” follows that of “Hamamatsu-ya mise-saki”, and is rarely put on stage, though the latter is one of the most frequently performed scenes of kabuki today. The reason for this seems to be the fact that “oku-zashiki” is a sort of dark and sorrowful scene in opposition to the preceding “mise-saki”, a bright and cheerful scene, where Beneten-kozo in disguise of a young princess reveals himself and surprises not only the characters in the play but also the audience itself.
In this paper the play is analyzed from the viewpoint of the dramaturgy of pairing darkness and brightness and a new evaluation of the play is suggested.