This is a play based on a real crisis within the Date clan that ruled Sendai. In the play, the lord of the Date clan is lured by evil advisors into spending all his time with a top-ranking courtesan and is ordered to retire, making his young son the lord of the clan. The young lord is protected in the women’s quarters of the clan’s mansion by his nurse Masaoka. She keeps her son Senmatsu with them, both to keep the little lord company and as a poison taster. Masaoka throws away all the dinner trays sent in and uses her delicate tea implements to cook rice for the young lord. The young lord is visited by two high-ranking women who are plotting to take over the clan and who bring a gift of cakes. Senmatsu eats one of the cakes and realizes it is poisoned and is killed by the villain. Masaoka shows no emotion when her son is killed and protects the young lord. The villains believe that she must have substituted the two boys and give her a scroll with a list of the conspirators. Alone, Masaoka can finally give in to her grief as a mother and she praises her son for sacrificing his life in place of his lord and for giving her the scroll as evidence against the conspirators. But the scroll is taken by a rat, actually the leader of the conspiracy, Nikki Danjo, who has magical powers. An aragoto hero named Otokonosuke has been trying to protect the young lord from the floor below, but Nikki Danjo escapes. He exits triumphantly along the hanamichi runway as though walking on the clouds.
Please see Key Kabuki Words - Plays mentioned in the program page of "Charming Villains"