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Full text of "A spectator's handbook of Noh"

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A SPECTATOR'S 
HANDBOOK OF NOH 



by 
Mr. and Mrs. Murakami Upton 




Tokyo 
WANYA SHOTEN 



^( JUN24 1968 



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7 33 



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DEDICATED 
TO 

Noriyuki Takahash i 
Our Noh Teacher 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We wish to express our heartfelt indebtedness to the book A GUIDE 
TO NOH by P. G. O'Neill (IIINOKI SHOTEN, Tokyo & Kyoto, 
1953), without which this book could never have been made as it is; 
it gave us the inspiration and confidence to dare undertake such a 
forbidding task. 

The three volumes of JAPANESE NOH DRAMA (The Nippon 
Gakujutsu Shinkcjkai, Tokyo, 1955, 1959, and 1960 respectively) were 
invaluable for the thirty Noh which they include, with the only full 
translations available in present-day English, detailed stage directions, 
voluminous notes on the complex background references, and superb 
introductory material. We recommend their perusal by anyone 
seeking the fullest appreciation of Noh. 

Arthur Waley's THE No PLAYS OF JAPAN provided a valuable 
balance as a somewhat different point of departure and intention. 

These are the books on Noh in English which have helped us 
enrich our knowledge and understanding of Noh. 

In Japanese, the definitive masterpiece of Noh research YOKYOKU 
TAIKAN by Sanari Kentaro has been always at our side. We have 
mined a wealth of useful information from NOHGAKU KANSHO 
JITEN by Maruoka Akira. 

The staff of Wanya Publishing Company have given full measure of 
their energy, enthusiasm, and inexhaustible knowledge accumulated 
through generations of Noh practice and scholarship. 

All photographs are by Wanya, of HOSHO performances. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 

Noh As A Stage Performance 
The Structure Of A Noh 
Classification Of Noh By Theme 

MASKS (Illustrations) 

THE NOH STAGE (Illustration) 

NOH 

I. OKINA 

II. A TRANSLATION: TOmOE 

III. FULL SUMMARIES 

AKOGI 

AMA 

AOI NO UE 

ARASHIYAMA 

ATAKA 

ATSUMORI 

AYA NO TSUZUMI 

CHIKUBUSHIMA 

DOJOJI 

EBIRA 

EGUCHI 

FUJITO 

FUNA BENKEI 

HACHI NO Kl 

HAGOROMO 

HANAGATAMI 

HASHITOMI 

IZUTSU 

KAGEKIYO 

KANTAN 

KAYOI KOMACHI 



page 

V 

vi 
vii 
vii 

viii 

X 



7 

8 
10 
12 
12 
14 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
22 
24 
26 
28 
29 
30 
32 
34 
36 
38 



IV 



KAZURAKI 

KINUTA 

KIYOTSUNE 

KOKAJI 

KOSODE SOGA 

KURAMA TENGU 

KUROZUKA 

KUZU 

MATSUKAZE 

MIIDERA 

MOMIJI GARI 

OHARA GOKO 

SAKURAGAWA 

SHAKKYO 

SHOJO 

SHUNKAN 

SOSHI ARAI 

SUMIDAGAWA 

TADANORI 

TAKASAGO 

TAMURA 

TENKO 

TOBOKU 

TORU 

TSUCHIGUMO 

TSUNEMASA 

YASHIMA 

YOROBOSHI 

YUYA 

CONCISE SUMMARIES 

ASHI KARI 

FUJI DAIKO 

GENJI KUYO 

GENJO 

HANJO 

HIBARIYAMA 

HYAKUMAN 

KANAWA 

KOGO 

KOTEI 



40 
41 
42 
44 
44 
46 
48 
49 
50 
52 
54 
55 
56 
58 
60 
61 
63 
64 
66 
68 
69 
70 
71 
72 
74 
75 
76 
77 
78 

79 

79. 

79 

79 

80 

80 

80 

80 

81 

81 



KUMASAKA "" 

MAKIGINU ^ 

MAKURA JIDO °X 



MANJU 

MATSUYAMA KAGAMl 

MITSUYAMA 

MIWA 



OMINAMESHI 
RAIDEN 
RODAIKO 
SAIGYO SAKURA 



SENJU 

SHICHIKIOCHI 

SHOZON 

TAMAKAZURA 

TEIKA 

TOGAN KOJI 

TOSEN 



UKAI 
UKON 
YAMAMBA 
YORIMASA 



83 
84 
84 
84 



MORIHISA ^ 

MOTOMEZUKA °^ 

NOMORI °Z 



86 
86 
86 
87 



SANEMORI ^'^ 

SEMIMARU ?Z 



87 
88 
88 
88 
89 
89 
89 



TSURUKAME ^^ 



89 
90 
90 
90 



\-. SENTENCE SUMMARIES 

Shrine Noh, Etc. 91 

APPENDIX I. SOURCES 93 

APPENDIX II. PERSONS 93 

APPENDIX III. MAP 94 

INDEX OF NOH 95 



INTRODUCTION 



Noh is the oldest living dramatic form in the world. Its 
true origins are lost in antiquity, among the siii-itgakii and more 
primitive shrine troupes, imported Chinese Court Dances, and 
other classical dance forms derived from Central Asia ; but it 
was cast in its present mold in the fourteenth century, during 
the Muromachi (Ashikaga) Period, by Kanami and his son 
Zeami, who wrote a large number of the greatest and most 
popular Noh performed today. The songs and music, dances, 
and details of staging have been handed down unchanged to the 
present. In most cases even the standard variations permitted 
for specific Noh have a history of at least several centuries. 

Noh has been favorably compared with classic Greek drama 
but the remarkable difference is not only that Noh has continued 
as living theater as well as being preserved as literary master- 
pieces, but also is thoroughly enjoyed by ordinary people of 
the present day as an aesthetic pastime. It is impossible to 
estimate how many thousands of people in Japan are practicing 
the chanting of the Noh songs {iitai) and the performing of 
the short dance sequences (shiinai) under the tutorage of 
professional Noh performers. They take up Noh with the same 
enthusiasm that they play golf, or go to the racetrack or base- 
ball stadium. Unlike Kabuki or any other form of classical 
theater, anyone who is interested can become an active participant 
in amateur performances of Noh as well as being a critical 
spectator of professional performances. 



This does not mean that Noh is a simple art to master; 
quite to the contrary, it requires a lifetime of intensive practice, 
for Noh is a most exacting art, including elements comparable 
to opera (chanting), drama (miming), ballet (stylized dance 
forms), and orchestration (three, or four, instruments), plus 
the totally different art of impersonation in female, warrior, 
old-age, spirit, animal, demon, or heavenly-being roles. It is 
thus not surprising that a professional may be still considered 
immature at the age of fifty ! 

The purpose of Noh is neither the portraying of a storj' nor 
the teaching of a moral, but simply the expression of beauty. 

This basic principle is called YUGEN, the highest ideal of 
the aesthetic concept of Noh. From Zeami to the present all 
interpretive writing about Noh has revolved around YUGEN 
which, as a Zen term, has never been — and cannot be — actually 
defined. Suffice it to say that YUGEN is conceived of as the 
most gracefully refined expression of beauty : beauty which is 
felt — as the shadow of a cloud momentarily before the moon, 
and an echo of a softly flowing brook, are felt. 



NOH AS A STAGE PERFORMANCE 

rraditionally participants in a regular performance are male. 
PERFORMERS 

Every production of a Noli requires : actors, chorus, and 
musicians. In addition, stage attendants (KOKEN) are present. 

The actors are divided strictly by groups, independent of each 
otiier. each with its own tradition, training, and discipline : 

SHITE— the main actor; with TSURE ('accompanying") to 

till subsidiary roles ; and KOK.ATA. child actors. 

WAKI— the secondary actor ('beside'— to sit aside) : with 

WAKI TSURE, usually just 'walk-on' parts. 

KYOGEN -performers of the INTKRIA'DES ( AI KYOGEN). 

and KY'OGEN, the farces put on between Noh ; also, to fill 

in as servants to announce an arrival, a Local Person to 

inform the traveler about the place, etc. 

These three types of performers are in turn grouped under 
traditional family troupes or 'schools" (RYU), each headed by 
an lEMOTO who is responsible for carrying on the traditions 
of the art. training the members, and maintaining the necessary 
discipline. (The lEMOTO SY'STEM comes under periodic 
attack, mainly from outside— or young— critics, as a feudalistic 
anachronism but remains an irreplaceable necessity.) 

The CHORUS is made up of members of the SHITE group. 

MUSIC 

A Noh is performed to the accomfaniment of one each of 
three or four types of instruments (except OKINA which takes 
several of the same drums) : 

FL^E — a transverse bamboo flute 

KOTSUZUMI— a hand drum held at the shoulder 

OTSUZUMI— a hand drum held at the hip 

TAIKO (not used for all Noh)— comparable to a snare drum, 
held horizontally on a low frame before the player. 



STAGE PROPERTIES 
The Noh stage is never encumbered with nicirc llian the 
barest suggestion of a set, depending upon the singing and 
the conventionalized gestures of the actor (a slight movement 
of the hands, a faraway glance) to stimulate the imaginative 
sensibility of the spectator to feel the setting, which is after 
all more a poetic state than a physical place. 

NOTES 

Sliii/iai (dance sequences) and iitai (the whole sung part 
of a Noh) are often performed independently, especially on such 
occasions as BEKKAI (Special Spring and Autumn Perform- 
ances) or Memorial Performances, and by amateurs. 

The music can also be played as solo performances but 
such recitals are few and seem to be more for the practice and 
enjoyment of the musicians than for public entertainment. 

KYOGEN parts are recited in an entirely different manner 
than Ktai ; they wear yellow tab! (divided socks) ; a funny 
little white cap with a long sash hanging loosely down on 
either side of the bare face indicates a feminine role. 

The stage properties (tsiikiirimono) are carried on and 
off the stage — often during the performance— by the KOKEN, 
members of the SHITE group, who must adjust the SHITE"S 
costume, hand him the necessary implements {kudogu) or pick 
up the ones cast away during the performance. 

The costumes have in general been standardized for the past 
several centuries but the infinite variations in color and pattern 
of the fabrics permits pleasing adjustments to changing popular 
taste and personal predilections of individual actors. A more 
limited range of choice is also permitted for the masks to be 
used for many of the Noh. 



THE STRUCTURE OF A NOH 

Actually, no two Noli are of identical construction, but most 
follow one of several standard patterns. — 

The most common is a play of two balanced parts, consisting 
of MAE ("former') and NOCHI ('latter'), separated by the 
AI ('between'), with a MAE SHITE for the first part and 
NOCHI SHITE in the last part, usually with one or more 
TSURE; a WAKI, often with WAKI TSURE— usually remain- 
ing on the stage through the AI (INTERLUDE), during which 
the AI KYOGEN fills the time while the SHITE changes 
costume. This type usually employs a stage property. 

A shorter type, constructed essentially as of two acts, has 
only a short introductory prelude followed by the main play; 
though the long INTERLUDE is not used, a KYOGEN actor 
may open the play with an explanatory introduction, or fulfill 
the same function just before the main part. In this type 
there are some odd moments of waiting while absolutely nothing 
is happening on stage. 

The true one-act play is as a rule more intense and vigorous, 
with the main participants (usually two) remaining actively on 
the stage from their first appearance to the end. 

An infinite number of variations of construction are possible. 

In addition, many variations are possible in staging : certain 
dance sequences, or even whole sections of a play, may be 
dropped ; additional roles may be added ; the NOCHI of a 
two-act play is often performed alone, as a HAN('half')-NOH. 

In some few Nob the WAKI role is almost as important 
as the SHITE, but a small number of Noh have no WAKI, 
many Noh have no TSURE, or WAKI TSURE. 



CLASSIFICATION OF NOH BY THEME 

All Noh except OKINA, which stands alone, are classified 
technically into five groups (though this is variable) ; 

FIRST GROUP 

WAKI Noh. Auspicious performances for congratulant 
occasions, with at least one Divine Being or similar person 
who performs a Kciiiii Mai ('(iod Dance') or other dance 
of equivalent dignity. C^oi. "-'^■'^ V>'-^ 

SECOND GROUP 

WARRIOR PIECE (SHURAMONO ASURA Noh.) 
The SHITE role is the spirit of a famous warrior of old, ,o.j.vjf"> 
in most cases from the Genji-Heike Wars (12th century) ; 
including a vigorous dance with a sword or other weapon. 

THIRD GROUP 

KAZURA ('wig") Noh. Expressing feminine gracefulness; ^^j-^'' 
the tempo is exceedingly slow, movements are sublimely 
restrained, the dances are yugen (p. v) personified. These 
are the core of Noh ; and a typical program of three Noh 
has one of the Third Group as the central piece. 

FOURTH GROUP 

A miscellaneous group includin.g all Noh not in the other 
classifications, the majority being either MONOGURUI ^^i^^'*^- 
('lunatic') or GENZAI MONO ('living persons'). In most 
MONOGURUI the lunacy is induced by the loss of a son, 
husband, or lover, the deranged searching for the lost one, 
expressed by Kiind or an equivalent dance ; GENZAI 
MONO have more dramatic conflict and relatively realistic 
action than other Noh. 

FIFTH GROUP 

KIRI ('ending') Noh. Generally a demon, ogress, or 
malicious spirit appears before or attacks a priest or warrior 
who utterly defeats it ; or a diety or iir\aginary creature 
performs a vigorously entertaining dance. 




MASKS 

The SHITE (particularly in the NOCIII) wears a mask 
except in a few Noh. 

The TSURE in a female role wears the standard TSURE 
MASK, a simple KO OMOTE lacking indivitlual personality or 
expression — unless the role is important in the Noh. 

A KOKATA does not wear a mask. 

The WAKI does not wear a mask: nor do WAKI TSURE. 

A KYOGEN in a Noh does not wear a mask, even when 
portraying a female role ; but an AI KYOGEN (performing for 
the INTERLUDE) may, especially as a supernatural being. 




I Li. ■•Ill III iiw 





Chiijo 










Hannya \\^ 



Shiuja 




Ayakashi 




Komachi 



Obeshimi 




Oakujo 



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THE NOH STAGE 



©The stage proper ©Gurtairi 
© Where chorus sit © Mirror Room ( I back 
©Where masician^ sit ® pebbles 
©HASHKiAKARI ©Audience 




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OK I N A 




OKINA 

OKINA is a ceremonial Noh for an auspicious occasion, such 
as the first performance of the year, or a commemoration 
performance. It consists of several songs and three dances: 

The Senzai's Dance 

The Okina's Dance 

The Sambas5's Dance 





OKINA MASK 




— 3 — 



A IhLWSLATlON 



TOMOE 



Setting 

Awazu Field, in Cimi Province (on the shores of Lake Biwa) 
Persons 

Tomoe (SHITE) 

A traveling monk (WAKIi 



WAKI & CHORUS: 

If I fry, faraway mountains ore not so far ; 
If I tread on, faraway forests can be traversed. 
I journey on the KIso Highroad. 

\\ .\KI : I am o monk from the remote mountain district of Kiso. 
As I hove never seen the Capital I have decided to go there. 
Crossing the pass, journeying on 
Farther and farther, unto the end. 
Since the day I set out through the provinces 
Unscheduled days have passed till now 
I look upon a sea that must be Lake Biwa. 
Hastening onward, I have arrived at Awazu Field in Omi Province. 
I shall rest a while. 



SHITK : {s/'iril of Toiiiot', as a i-llluiiV iiuiicl) How pleasant ! 
At the shore of Biwa, calm and peaceful. Under the pines of 
Awazu Field enshrine a diety and be governed well. It is a happy 
reign blessed with grace divine. (^ccrpnii;) 

WAKI : It is strange that this woman worships at the shrine, 
shedding tears. . . 'Tis strange indeed. 

SHITE is it I of whom you speak ? 

WAKI ; Yes, I wonder that you worship at the shrine and 
weep. 

SHITIi : Think not it strange ! 'Tis said that when the priest 
Gyokyo worshiped at Usa Hachimon he composed the poem : 
Though this god I do not know 
Reverence mokes the tears to flow. 

And the diety was so moved he blessed him by showing the 
images of Buddhas on his kimono sleeves. It was the same diety 
who later appeared at Otokoyama neor the Capital, and has since 
been a patron diety of the country. So do not think it strange if 
I weep before the shrine. 

WAKI ; It is a pleasing answer. Women near the Capital are 
accomplished. 

SHITE : Where are you from ? 

WAKI: I'm from a mountain hamlet of the Kiso district in 
Shinano. 

SHITE : If you are from Kiso it is not surprising that you 
do not know who the diety is enshrined here— it is Yoshinaka Kiso, 
who is from your district. Pray do reverence to him, sir. 

WAKI : What a marvel for Yoshinoka Kiso to be enshrined here! 
(they kiiccl rcvcroitly in turn) 

CHORUS: (for SUITE) This lord is still renowned and now 
appears as a buddha and local diety guarding our world. Since you 
from some mystical cause stopped here as a traveler, if it please 
you now remain beneath this pine tonight and say prayers for him. 



See day is done 

By the lowering sun ; 

Hear the evening bell 

The vespers tell 
On ripples that run 

'long the v/ater's edge. 

All things around are under a spell 

As I forth from 

The netherworld come — 

And if my name 

Unknown remain 
Enquire of some 

folk of the village. 

Then to her place returning again ; 

In the glooming shadows 
Fading from sight 
Among the grasses 
In the falling night. 

In the INTERLUDE the priest asks a Man of the 
Place about Yoshinaka Kiso and the woman warrior 
Tomoe. The man narrates at length Yoshinaka's 
final battle and death and Toinoe's escape. 

\^'AKI : Darkness has already fallen. I pass the night here on 
the dewy gross to pray for those who fell in battle on this field. 



<aiii 



(Tomoe reappears, in battle attire) 

SHITE : Falling flowers life's vanity show forth ; 

Flowing waters do purify themselves. 
So now I escape the ever-flowing cycle 
CHORUS : Of suffering sin and folly's retribution. 

Insentient plants and land may be saved by the sutra — 
Much more a mortal may attain Nirvana ! 
How filled am I with gratitude and joy I 
Filled to blessed overflowing I 
WAKI ; Staying here the night, I see the woman whom I saw 
before, but now she is armed a; prepared for battle. It is strange. 
SHI IE: Yes, I am the woman warrior Tomoe. Because I am 
a woman I was left behind at his death, and my bitter grievance 
binds me to this world. 

WAKI : Your attachment to this world makes you visible. 
SHITE ; I'm waiting on my lord but the resentment diminishes not. 
CHORUS: (far SIIITK) At that time I wanted to die on 
that shore and follow him into the after-life. Unwillingly I was 
left behind at the last moment because I was a woman. 
(zcccps) 

Everyone accepts that one's strength should be used for favors 
received, and life should be cost aside for honor. A warrior's 
achievement at death is respected by everyone. 
{iits on stool) 

CHORUS: Yoshinaka left Shinano with a host fifty thousand 
strong to flght against the Heike. In the battles he was distinguished 
for victories and bravery. Such things are all done for honor after 
death. But when the fatal time came no more could he retreat 
and met his end here on the shore ot Awazu Field. You are a 
monk from the same district as YoshinaKu, so please pray for him. 
WAKI: Please tell me of the end of Yoshinaka who was killed 
here. 



— 5 — 



SI 11 11-! V.V: ellOKlS: If was January. He fled along ths 
snow-patched woy to this shore, his life dependent on his horse, 
which falling into o mudd/ ics-coated rice poddy, cojid move 
neither to right nor left. (mliiiiiiii his i.ulitm) Stirrups sinking 
into the mud, no way to alight, he grasped the rein; and whipped 
up the horse but it didn't move, and not knowing what to do he 
stood still. In ostonishement I hurried my horse to him {Diiiniiiii 
lur tiwii i/i7;ii;;) and found that he was bodly wounded. I put 
him on the other horse and followed him to this fi3ld of pine, 
urging him to kill himself, vowing to die with him. Th3n Yoshinoko 
said : " As you ore a woman there must be some way for you 
to live undiscovered. Here is my guardian tag and my KOSODE 
(i^aniii'iit). Take them to KIso. If you disobey me the relation 
of lord and retainer for three lives be severed forever." Knowing 
not how to a.nswer but in tears, I stood up to leave him I u'l'i'J'iiiii), 
when the enamy attacked, shouting: "It is the woman warrior 
Tomoe, don't let her get away!" Now there was no escape 
even if it were sought. Lucky for me that I could fight I Calmly 
I pulled up my halberd and looked frightened to draw the enemy 
closer. {iiiliiling the cnnihat ) Whsn they fell upon me I handled 
the halberd to its best use, like a raging storm ; the enemy were 
pushed back and fled afar. "This is the end," I thought then, 
and came back to my master, but he had already killed himself 
under this pine tree, leaving his tag and garment beside him. 
Weeping, I took them up and bode farewell to my dead lord. 
Though too striken with grief to leave the place, I had to go in 
obedience to his will ; so ta'<ing off armor and hat at the shore 
and putting on Yoshinaka's keepsake garment (liiiiiigi/lg cas/iii/ic) , 
armed with a short sword hidden beneath it, fled alone to Kiso. 
(ii'('t'/>;;;.tf) The regret of being left at that time still clings to 
me as an attachment to this world. 
{Pcrfoniii Li sliart claiici') 

I beg of you, please pray for me. 




Othsr Noh of Yoshinaka: 

KANEHIRA. A priest enroute to Awazu (sea TOMOE above) talks with 
a boatman, who after he arrives there comes to him in a dream as 
the warrior Kanehira and describes the battle in which he and 
Yoshinaka died. 

KISO. On a military campaign Yoshinaka seads petitions attached to 
an arrow to the nearby Hachiman Shrine, then takes part in an 
entertainment arranged for him by the local people, during which 
white doves fly out from the s'lrine in an auspicious omen for his 
future victories. 



AKOei 

When a priest (WAKI) on a pilgrimage to Ise Shrine stops at 
Akogi Beach, an old fisherman (SHITE) appears, lamenting 
that his clothes are wet not only from the sea but also by 
the tears he sheds when he thinks about his sin as a fisherman — 
the taking of any life transgresses Buddha's commandment. 

After they both quote poems about poaching on forbidden 
fishing grounds, he tells how the beach got the name Akogi. 
Since the founding of Ise Shrine the fish from this beach have 
been used for offerings. Perchance by that god's blessing, the 
fish were plentiful, so fishermen wanted to fish there, but were 
forbidden. Then a fisherman called Akogi poached there night 
after night till he was finally caught and punished by being 
drowned in that very sea. His life was sinful as a fisherman 
yet more than that he fished illicitly. He left the name Akogi 
notorious in this world and in the other world he suffers cease- 
lessly. He is coveting prayers for his soul. The priest pities 
him, understanding that the ghost of Akogi has appeared to tell 
his story. The fisherman asks him to wait there. A misty 
dusk settles down and the fisherman hurries to finish his fishing, 
but a sudden gust sweeps over the sea, making the waves rise ; 
the fishing lights go out. The old fisherman calls out as he 
disappears among the waves. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place (KYOGEN) 
at the priest's request narrates the story of Akogi. 

^^ hile the priest recites scriptures Akogi reappears, carrying 
a fishing net. Though repenting his past he still cannot give 
up his illicit fishing. Blessed prayers come to his ears but, 
alas ! his heart still attached to fishing, he is in instant 
torment again. After describing his sufferings in Hell he 
sinks again into the sea, begging the priest's help. 




SHITE; Jr, 

NOCHI SHITE: Kawazu 
Stage Property 

Fishing pole and net 



3. For a similar theme see 
UKAI, p. 89. 



— 7 



AMA 





BACKGROUND 

Minister of State Tankai Fujiwara's younger sister was married to 
the Chinese Emperor Koso, who presented three treasures to her 
family temple, the Kufukuji in Nara. A Sea Dragon, hearing of this 
and desiring them, succeeded in making off with one, a jewel, enroute 
(near Fusazaki Beach, at Shido, in Shikoku). Minister Tankai went 
privately to retrieve the jewel, and while there had a child by an 
ama (girl diver). On condition that this child should succeed to the 
Minister's position, she recovered the jewel, but at the cost of her 
life; and in due time the son became the Minister Fusazaki. 



NOH 

The Minister Fusazaki (KOKATA) goes with his atlendaiils 
(WAKI and WAKI TSURE) to the beach at Shido where his 
mother died, to offer Buddhist services for her soul. When 
they arrive at Shido they are met b)' a fishervvoman (SHITE), 
who relates to them the dramatic recovery of the purloined 
jewel ; (rcidistically inliin'/iii /lie arlion) 

The AMA ( diver ) receives the solemn promise of Minister Tankoi to 
make their child his successor if she recovers the jewel. Declaring : 
" I would gladly forfeit my life for my child's happiness," she ties 
a rope about herself, so the people on shore con pull her up when 
she signals, and jumps into the sea, armed with a sharp dagger. 
Arriving at the Dragon Palace she sees a towering structure formed of 
jewels. Eight big dragons guard the jewel in the tower, with other 
fiarce fish and crocodiles about. It seems impossible that she can 
escape with her life. The thought causes her to yearn for her family 
her child and his father the Minister beyond the waves. She is 
momentarily overcome with grief and stands weeping, but, resolved to 
carry out her mission, clasps her hands in prayer for help of 
Konnon of Shido Temple, and leaps upon the stronghold. At her 
sudden ottack the guards draw back and she seizes the jewel 
and flees with it. Hotly pursued, she cuts her breast, as she hod 
planned to do if necessary, and pushes the jewel into the wound. 
Casting aside her dagger she collapses. (Now the Undersea Dragons 
won't come near a deed body, so hey don't close n. ) When 



8 — 



she tugs at the rope the people on the shore rejoice at the signal 

and pull her out of the water, her body all gory from her wounds. 

The Minister laments: "Now both the jewel and the girl are lost," 

but she bids him with her dying breath to probe beneath her breast, 

and there he finds the radiantly sparkling jewel. 

The fisherwoman turns to the Minister; "So now you are 

the Minister Fusazaki according to promise— named from this 

beach. I have revealed all; I am your mother, the diver's 

spirit. Read what is written here {handing over a scroll — 

represented by a fan), never doubting; and pray for my soul. 

It is now time for me to go back but I will come to you again 

at night;"' and disappears below the waves. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place 
(KYOGEN) reviews the background. 
The Minister reads his mother's letter (Note 1, a) aloud 
{holding the fan as a representation of the scroll), then recites 
prayers for her soul during which she comes as a Dragon 
Woman, carrying a scroll (Note 1, b) from which she reads. 

She dances in the happiness of salvation obtained through 
his prayers. 

Since then this temple at Shido has prospered. 



NOTES 

1. a 



a. Mother's Letter; She begs him for prayers for her soul: 

having lain these thirteen years in desolate loneliness, 
b . HOKEKYO ; Book of Parables of the Lotus Sutra. 
Masks and Headcear 

SHITE; Fu'kai 

NOCHI SHITE; Hasluhime with dragon headgear 
Dances 

Tama no Dan (miming the narrative) 

Havatnai (expressing joy) 
For use of KOKATA, see ATAKA, NOTE 5. p. 13. 
AMA_ is unique among Noh in the realistic actions and gestures 
executed in th e miming of the story, in contrast to the con- 
•^ntional relian ce upon abstract, sy mholic riiovements: 





— 9 



AOI NO UE 

BACKGROIND 

Aoi no Uc. the wife of Prince Genji (in GENJI MONOGATARl), 
has been stricken with a strange illness, due to the jealousy and hatred 
of Lady Rokujo. a neglected lover of Prince Genji. As the play 
opens, a high Court official, an attendant of the retired Emperor, 
announces that a sorceress renowned for her powers of exorcism has 
been called to the bedside of Aoi no Ue— who is represented by a 
folded robe lying at the front of the stage. 

NOH 

A Court official (WAKl rSURE) enters, introduces himself and 
explains that, all other cures having failed, he has been sent 
to bring a sorceress renowned for birch-bow divination, to 
identify the pernicious spirit causing Lady Aoi's deathly malady. 
The sorceress (TSURE) chants an incantation, plucking the bow. 
Rokujo (SHITE) appears as an apparition, invisible to the 
Court official, riding in a dilapidated carriage, singing of the 
fraility of life, and her own disconsolate state. 

The sorceress describes the pitiful sight ; a lady of the 
nobility in a broken-down coach, weeping copiously. 
{Rokujo making the conventional Noh gesture of ■weepi7ig') 
The Court official asks her name. 
Rokujo sings : 

But don't you yet know ? 
I am Rokujo 

Who loved this world long years ago. 
With many another Imperial guest 
Viewing each season at its best. 

- The cherry trees in springtime bloom, 
Among the maple the autumn moon — 
Luxuriously those days I spent, 
In bright apparel, and pleasant scent. 
How different now I hove become ! 
A morning-glory withered by the rising sun. (NOTE 1, a) 





— 10 



Rokujo, overcome with intense jealousy, attacks Aoi {striking 
her fan ut the folded robe'), undaunted by the sorceress' stern 
reproof. (Note 1. b) {stepping back, gazing at Aoi) 
Rokujo expresses her hatred, ending : 
I will put Aoi in my tattered coach 
And secretly carry her off 

And quietly bear her away. 

As Aoi's condition is .growing grievously worse, a messenger 
(KYOGEN) is sent for the holy man of Yokawa (WAKI), who 
performs effective exorcism in the mode of En no Gyoja, 
originator of yamabnshi mountain asceticism. (Note 2) 

Rokujo's jealousy now takes the form of a demon. 
{taking a defiant stance, then siting in an arrogant pose) 

The holy man continues his incantation (Note 3), finally 
subduing the demon, who then dances : 

With heart grown gentle. 

Entering Nirvana 
Out of life and death 

All praise be to Buddha. 

NOTES 

1. Literary and classical references 

a. Quoted from a ivaka in HORIKAWA HYAKUSHU : 
i see the morning-glory in bloom 

When I get up at dawn 
When the sun has begun to shine 
Its beauty all is gone. 

b. Uzvanari Uchi 

In her rebuke the sorceress refers to iizcanari uchi, a 
custom among the lower classes in the Muromachi Period : when 
a wife was cast out for another, she and her female relatives 
or friends would force themselves into the husband's house 
and beat her supplantor. 

2. See ATAKA, NOTE 4, p. 13. 

3. Calling on the five most powerful incarnations of Buddha. 
See Benkei's prayer against the phantom in FUNA BENKEI, p. 24. 

4. Masks 

SHITE : Deigati 

NOCHI SHITE: Hannya 

TSURE : tsure mask 




Another Noh of Rokujo : 

NONO.'^IYA. A priest viewing the ruins of Nonomiya Palace is told by 
a woman that Prince Genji, on this same day many long years ago, 
came here to visit Lady Rokujo, who then appears and tells the story 
of the carriage fight : When Aoi no Ue arrives at the Kamo Festival 
to watch the parade, in which Genji is taking part, her footmen 
scuffle with those of another carriage (which turns out to be, 
unknown to Aoi no Ue, that of Rokujo) which is blocking their way, 
and jostle it aside so Aoi no Ue is moved up ahead into a fine 
position ; such an incident naturally rankles Rokujo deeply and is 
presumably the immediate cause of the episode in AOI NO UE. 



U 



ARASHIYAMA 

BACKGROUND 

ARASHIYAMA is one of those Noh (Cf. EGUCHI, p. 20) which 
was worked up from several irrelevant legendary or fictional sources, 
related by cognate names to a famous scenic or historical place. 

NOH 

An Imperial Envoy (WAKI) goes with his attendants (WAKI 
TSURE) to view the famous cherry blossoms at .Aj-ashiyama. 
as proxy of the Emperor. 

Two old people meet them there ; the woman (TSURE) 
representing the goddess Katsute. the man (SHITE) the god 
Komori. each carrying a besom for sweeping under the cherry 
trees : explaining that, being guardian dieties of the Yoshino 
cherry trees, they have come to Arashiyama as these trees were 
transplanted from the famous Yoshino district. After some 
song and dance they retire, telling them to wait there. 
In the INTERLUDE a minor diety of Yoshino 
(KYoGEN icearing mask), sent by the two dieties 
to thank and entertain them, sings and dances. 

The two dieties (NOCHI TSURE) reappear in their true 
form, carrying sprays of cherry blossoms ; they perform a dance 
together, then are joined by the Yoshino diety Zao Gongen 
(NOCHI SHITE), who inspired En no Gyoja, the founder of 
mountain asceticism in Yoshino. 

NOTES 

1. The NOCHI TSURE play relatively important roles, for they 
perform a Mai (dance) while the SHITE does not. 

2. Masks 

SHITE: Jo 

TSURE : I'ba 

NOCHI SHITE: Otobide 

NOCHI TSURE: Kantan Otokn and tsure mask 

3. Dance Out no Mai (by NOCHI TSURE together) 

4. TSUKURIMONO Cherry trees 




ATAKA 

BACKGROUND 

Yoshitsune, under proscription by his elder brother Yoritomo, the 
Shogun at Kamakura (NOTEl), flees northward with his band under 
Benkei in the guise of yamahushi priests (NOTE 4). They know 
that check-points along the way have been alerted. 

The Kabuki version of this Noh is called KANJINCHO. 

NOH 

Togashi (WAKI). the Keeper of the Ataka Barrier, cautions 
his men to be on guard for the fugitives. 

Yoshitsune (KOKATA) enters with Benkei (SHITE) and the 
others (TSURE). They confer on how best to get past, and 
Benkei puts Yoshitsune in their rear, as their porter. 
(wearing a large ha! hiding /lis features) 



12 



Stopped under grievous threat, Benkei first breathes dire NOTES 

imprecations against whoever dare harm a vaina/ti/shi. then, ^■ 

2 
to prove they are bona fide yaniabuslii on a legitimate mission 

of collecting funds, purports to read from a scroll the 3. 

Subscription Roll, making it up as he goes along, at the same 

time skillfully preventing Togashi from checking it. ^ 

But as they pass, Yoshitsune is recognized. In an attempt to 
allay their suspicions, Benkei strikes the " porter," heaping 
abuse upon him for getting them into trouble. Then in awesome 5. 

mien they pass the trembling guards. 

Safely through the barrier, Benkei expresses his shame for 
having been forced to such an outrageous act but Yoshitune 
praises the gods for supplying Benkei with such wit as the 
occasion demanded for their escape. A servant (KYOGEN) 
then announces that Togashi wishes to offer a present of sake 
by way of apology ; and Benkei entertains them with a dance. 



Sec FUNA BENKEI, BACKGROUND, p. 24. 

Dance 

Otoko Mai Benkei's congratulatory dance at the end. 

Costumes 

All the band (except the porter, who is a KYOGEN) wear 
the conventional costume of YAMABUSHI priests. 

YAMABUSHI 
The YAMABUSHI priests were loosely affiliated itinerant 
mountain ascetics, followers of En no Gyoja, an ascetic hermit 
in Yamato in the seventh century. (See KAZURAKI, p. 40) 

KOKATA 
Child actors (KOKATA) serve several functions in Noh ; i.e. : 

a. A child's part 
The ghost of the lost child in SUMIDAGAWA : the child 
in MIIDERA, KURAMA TENGU, etc. 

b. Portrayal of persons of nobility or imperial rank when 
such roles are incidental to the Noh; e.g., Yoshitsune 
in this Noh and in FUNA BENKEI ; the Emperor in SOSHI 
ARAI, KUZU, etc. 




■^^ 







»*.4 




13 — 



ATSUMOPI 




T -i~ 




BACKGROUND 

At the decisive Battle of Ichinotani on Suma Bay, during the Genji- 
Heike Wars, Atsumori, scion of the Heike Clan, fell by the hand of 
the Genji warrior Kumagai. Beside the dead body lay a bamboo flute, 
which Kumagai later returned to Atsumori's son. 

NOH 

Kumagai (WAKI), having renounced this world, in remorse 
for the death of the youthful Atsumori, to become a priest 
under the name Rensho, journeys from Kyoto to the scene of 
the Battle of Ichinotani on Suma Bay. there to offer prayers 
for the repose of Atsumori's soul. 

He hears the sound of a flute, and four reapers (SHITE and 
TSURE) appear, singing a mournful song (Note 1). As he 
engages one of them in conversation, the others leave. When 
he remarks on this, the young man makes a request for prayer 
"as one of the family of Atsumori." He joyfully complies, 
{kneeling in pniyer) and the youth vanishes. 

In the INTERLUDE, a Man of the Place 
(KYOGEN) recapitulates Atsumori's death. 

In a dream as it were Atsumori reappears in his true form 
as a young Heike warrior. Then follows an interminable sing- 
ing of pious expressions of the vanity of life, (as he dances) 
interwoven with the story of the fate of the Heike Clan : 

Like leafy green branches of a spreading tree 
Stretching over the earth for all to see; 

But fortune that lasted for only a day — 

Like flowers of the field soon fading away. 
They knew not that darkness that was soon to be ! 



14 



As flashes of flint-sparks are but briefly seen 
Surely, the life of man is wretched and mean ! 

In their arrogant pride they oppressed the poor 

Thus haughtily ruling twenty years and more. 
A life-time is passed in the space of a dream. 

Their scattered ships floated on the Suma sea — 
Wild geese in broken ranks on doubtful journey. 

Like autumn leaves driven before the wind 

Not even in dreams to return again ; 
In sorrow they lay at Ichinotcni. 

Atsumori recalls the party the night before their last desperate 
battle, {perforniing a dance) mentioning the flute he carried 
when he died ; then recounts being left behind and his fatal 
encounter (nuDiing /he eonihat) with Kumagai. (Note 5) 

"My enemy!" he cries, and would strike. 
{raising his szvord against the priest ) 

But in the end he is reconciled through salvation attained by 
Kumagai's fervent prayers. 

NOTES 

1. Literary Reference 

The reapers sing : 

On the shores of Sumo 

I too live in sadness. 

(like Yukihira; See NOTE 2, b) 

2. Suma Bay is associated, in various Noh, with; 

a. The Battle of Ichinotani — The Heike's defeat by the Genji Clan. 

b. The exile of the poet Yukihira (See MATSUKAZE, p. 50). 

c. The exile of Prince Genji, in GENJI MONOGATARI. 

3. Mask NOCHI SHITE: Juroku 

4. Dance Chu no Alai 

5. The popular Kabuki of KUMAGAI tells this part of the story. 



Another Noh of Atsumori: 

IKUTA ATSUMORI. The orphaned child of Atsumori meets his father's 
ghost at Ikuta Forest. 




— 15 — 



AYA NO TSUZUMI 

BACKGROUND 

An old gardener at an Imperial palace chanced to sec one of the 
Emperor's Ladies walking in the grounds, and fell disconsolately in 
love with her. Hearing of it, she set him the impossible task of making 
sound from a drum of damask. When he failed, he drowned himself. 

NOH 

A Court official (W.^KI) enters with his servant (KYOGEN) 

and explains the old gardener's love for the Lady, who 

responded, " Ah, love knows no coste of high or low. . . " then ordered : 

"Have him beot the drum that hangs in the branches of the laurel 

tree by the pool. If it makes a sound that can be heard at the 

Palace, he will see me once more." 

He has the servant call the gardener (SHITE) to whom he 
conveys the instructions and retires. 

The old gardener gazes long at the drum in an ecstasy of 
hope : '■ I will strike this drum again and again, harder and 
harder, that I may see her." He strikes the drum with all his 
energy, unaware that it is covered with damask. There is not 
a sound from the drum. Is it because of his aged ears ?. . . 
He vainly beats it— listening, listening. . . He sings and dances 
in bitter disappointment, and, overwhelmed by self-pity at his 
unparalleled misery, casts himself into the pool and drowns. 
In the INTERLUDE the servant sympathizes with 
the old gardener, whose death he at once reports 
to the official, who in turn tells the Lady. 
The Lady (TSURE) stands transfixed before the tree, 
possessed by his angry spirit as he comes forth as an embittered 
demon. In a frenzy, he commands her to strike the damask 
drum and when no sound comes out rails upon her till she 
utters an agonized cry- for mercy, but he turns into an evil 
snake and sinks back into the pool with unabated malice. 




NOTES 

1. Masks 

SHITE: Jo 

NOCHI SHITE: Oakuio 

TSURE: Ko Omote 

2. The TSURE, though actually on the stage from the first, is not 
" present " until spoken to at the beginning of the second part. 

3. This ending is unique in Nob, for the bound or angry spirit 
which appears is ordinarily released or appeased at the end. 

A similar Noh : 

KOI NO OMONI is an almost identical Noh, varying in but two points: 

1) the task set is to carry an immovably heavy stone "a hundred 
or a thousand times around the garden." 

2) the anger of the gardener's spirit is appeased in the end. 



— 16 — 



CHIKUBUSHIMA 

BACKGROUND 

Chikubushima (chikii— ' bamboo ' ; shima — ' island ') is an island shrine 
in Lake Biwa dedicated to Benzaiten, popularly known as Benten 
Sama, originally a Japanese (Shinto) goddess, syncretized into 
Buddhism as an incarnation of Amida Buddha (NOTE 1). 

NOH 

An Imperial Court official (WAKI) and his attendants (WAKI 
TSURE) on their way to Chikubushima arrive on the shore of 
Lake Biwa. They sit down to wait for an approaching boat 
carrying an old man (SHITE) and a woman (TSURE). 

The Court official asks to be taken to Chikubushima. The 
old man objects that his boat is not a ferry, but agrees to 
take them as an act of religious service since they are going 
to the shrine. They go aboard and he rows, describing the 
scenery. Arriving at Chikubushima, they disembark and the 
old man takes them to the Benten Shrine. The Court official 
asks about the woman, as he has heard that the island is 
forbidden to women. He is told that since this shrine is 
dedicated to the worship of Benzaiten, a feminine incarnation 
of Amida Buddha, of course women should worship here. 
The woman then disappears into the shrine. 

In the INTERLUDE a shrine priest (KYOGEN) 
shows their treasures : a key to the storehouse, a 
rosary, a forked branch of bamboo and a ball by 
which fire and water can be controlled. 
As the shrine quakes, the woman reappears as a goddess 
(NOCHI TSURE). Then a Dragon God (NOCHI SHITE) 
appears as another manifestation of Buddha. He carries a 'fire 
globe", which he gives to the Court official, along with silver, 
gold, and other treasures. 




He performs a dance before the shrine. 
(co/icliidiiig zvith a vigorous inoTpiiiciit before the curtain) 

NOTES 

1. Classical reference 

As the SHITE (the old man with the boat) explains on their 
arrival at the shrine, this goddess, Benzaiten, is the reincarnation 
of gracious Kujo Nyorai, for it was one of Amida's 48 prayers 
that women might attain salvation. 

2. Masks 

SHITE: Jo 
TSURE : tsure mask 
NOCHI SHITE: Kurohige 

3. Dances 

Te/iftyo nu Mai 

Alaibataraki 

KIRI 

4. TSUKURIMONO 

A representation of a boat. {Sec FUNA BENKEI, NOTE 3, p. 25) 
A covered framework representing the shrine. 

Other Noh of Benten: 

UROKO GATA. Benten on Enoshima gives a warrior his battle banner. 
In ENOSHIMA the origin of the island is told, with its patron diety 
Benten and a dragon-god. 



17 



DOJOJI 

BACKGROUND 

A beautiful girl was in love with a young priest, who fled from 
her to a temple. The spurned woman, furious at being unable to 
follow him over a swollen river, changed herself into a huge snake 
and swam across. Her terrified quarry had hidden himself under the 
temple's bell so she coiled herself around the bell and in a burning 
passion melted it into a molten mass. In due time, a new bell is 
cast to replace the one thus destroyed and is now about to be installed. 

NOH 

The head of the temple (WAKI) gives directions that special 
care be taken that no female be allowed in the temple com- 
pound, as he fears the same woman may attempt to destroy 
this new bell about to be hung. 

But in spite of his warning, when a beautiful dancer (SHITE) 
appears at the gate and begs permission to perform in com- 
memoration of the new bell, the temple servants (KYOGEN) 
have not the will to refuse, and allow her to enter. In the 
ensuing dance, one of the most engrossing in Noh, the dancer's 
true nature is gradually revealed; till in a frenzy, she leaps 
directly into the bell, as it crashes to the ground, the terrified 
young men tumbling about acrobatically. 

In the INTERLUDE the priests confer and decide 
it is the same woman who destroyed the original 
bell, who came in the form of a snake. 

The bell quakes and she emerges as a snake ! 

Then follows a dramatic conflict between the priests and the 
demonic passion, with the power of their prayers prevailing in 
the end. 



NOTES 

1. Masks 

SHITE: Shim Shakumi 

NOCHI SHITE: Shinja or Ilannya 

2. Dances 

Ranbyoshi an exceedingly exacting dance of slow turnings 

and foot movements. 
Kvu no Mai 

3. UNIQUE TSUKURIMONO 

The bell is unlike any other stage property in Noh, and is 
used only for this Noh. The large ring hanging above the 
center of the stage and a similar one on the pillar at the 
rear are installed on every Noh stage, solely for the purpose 
of manipulating the bell for Doioji. 

4. The HIGH POINT of the Noh is reached as the dancer's true 
nature is revealed, just before leaping into the bell. 




18 



EBIRA 

BACKGROUND 

In the great battle between the Heike and Genji clans, at Ikuta, the 
Genji warrior Kagesue Kajiwara broke off a bough of a plum tree in 
bloom to carry in his quiver (ehira) as his emblem. 

NOH 

A traveling priest (WAKI) and attendants (WAKI TSURE) 
arrive at Ikuta. A villager (SHITE) appears, singing: 

Time passes swiftly as 

An arrow shot from a bow — 
Swift OS the waters of 

This River Ikuta flow. 

When the priest asks about a plum tree there, he tells the 
story of the spray of blossoms from this tree carried in the 
warrior's quiver. 

The battle is then described in song. 

When he has revealed that he is the ghost of that warrior 
he disappears. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place (KYOGEN) 
recites the story of the plum tree and the battle. 

The warrior reappears as when he carried the spray of plum 
blossoms in his quiver. He describes by song and ^^jnce first 
the torments of the perpetual sword play in the Asura Hell 
(Dinning combat), then the battle at Ikuta. 

The priest awakes : it is dawn. Begging for prayers, the 
spirit returns to torment. 

NOTES 

1. Mask 

NOCHI SHITE : Hcula 

2. Dance 

Kakeri (expressing torment of the Asura Hell) 

3. For other Noh eulogizing the aesthetic sensibility of a warrior. 
see TADANORI, p. 66; and TSUNEMASA, p. 75. 




— 19 




EeUCHI 

BACKGROUND 

The story in EGUCHl is from an ambiguous synthesis of several 
obscure Uterary traditions; but it is a Noh with the exquisite unity 
of a thing of beauty. The references are to ; 

A famed courtesan of Eguchi in Settsu. (NOTE 1, a.) 
The Fugen Bosatsu. (NOTE 1, b) 
(Basho's later HAIKU on Eguchi the courtesan in Niigata is another 
facet of this legend with grosser implications.) 

NOH 

A traveling monk (WAKI), arriving at Eguchi with his 
attendants (WAKI TSURE), seeks the place where the Lady 
of Eguchi lived in bygone days, and is directed there by a 
Man of the Place (KYOGEN). 

Standing where she once lived he recalls the old tale, and 
quotes Saigyo's poem (Note 1, c). when a woman (SHITE) comes 
presenting an apologia for the action of the Lady of Eguchi. 
(Quoting her answer (Note 1. d), she points out that she had 
good reason to refuse a man of the cloth lodging in " such a 
house... a notorious place of pleasure," and begs the monk not 
to credit "that idle tale" that she begrudged a traveler shelter. 
Calling herself the Lady of Eguchi. she fades from sight. 
In the INTERLUDE the Man of the Place returns 
and tells another legend of the Lady of Eguchi 
as an incarnation of Fugen Bosatsu who appeared 
as a courtesan making merry on a pleasure boat 
on the river. 
Deeply impressed, the monk recites sutras for her spirit ; 
and, lo ! he too sees a captivating "lady of pleasure" (NOCHI 
SHITE) in a barge with her attendants. They sing of the sad 
state of a harlot's way of life, as she dances. 



— 20 



She performs another dance, then sings of "man's vain 
attachment to his temporary lodging " as she continues dancing; 
at last revealing herself as Fugen. (stamping repeatedly) 
ascending on "a milk-white elephant borne on fleecy clouds." 

NOTES 

1. Literary and classical references 

a. The courtesan of Eguchi is mentioned in connection with 
the hermit-poet Saigyo (in Saigyo's SENJL'SHO). 

b. The reference to a courtesan of Kanzaki as Fugen (a female 
BOSATSU pictorically represented as riding on a celestial 
white elephant) is in the JIKKINSHO. 

c. The poet complained : Even for one night, you begrude me 
your temporary lodging. 

d. The courtesan answered : As a monk, you ought to tal<e no 
thought for a tempDrory lodging. 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Zo 

NOCHI TSURE : tsure mask 

3. Dances 

KUSE 
Jo no Mai 
KIRI 

4. TSUKURIMONO 

A framework representing the roofed boat. (Sec FUNA BENKEI, 
NOTE 3, p. 25) 

5. For other Noh buih around a single literary allusion, see 
TADANORI, p. 66 ; and TOBOKU, p. 71. 




A similar Noh : 

MUROGIMI. Courtesans sing and dance in boats for a'^shrine festival 
at Muro, joined by the reincarnated Indian goddess" Idaike. 




21 — 



FUJITO 

BACKGROUND 

FUJITO is one of many Noh based on the Genji-Heike Wars. 
When Heike ships arrived at Kojima Island, the Genji in turn moved 
their army to Fujito on the other side of the strait. But lacking 
ships, the Genji could not cross the strait to attack. At last Moritsuna 
Sasaki, a Genji warrior, induced a fisherman to show him a way 
through the channel on foot which only a few of the fishermen 
there knew, because it was so changeable according to the tide. 
When Moritsuna learned it, he killed the fisherman to keep the 
information to himself, and sank his body in the sea. Moritsuna led 
his army by that ford to the island, for a Genji victory. He was 
therefore awarded the island of Kojima and has now come to take 
possession of it. 

NOH 

When Moritsuna Sasaki (WAKI) arrives at Fujito with his 
attendants (WAKI TSURE) he issues a proclamation that any- 
body who has any complaint may present it to the lord. When 
an old woman (SHITE) comes weeping. Moritsuna asks her 
the cause. She accuses him of having killed her son for no 
reason. At first he pretends bewilderment but, moved by her 
sorrow, he admits all, even telling where he sank her son's 
body. Despairing over the hopeless prospect of life without 
her son, she demands that Moritsima give her the same fate as 
her son. But instead he tells one of his attendants to take 
her home ; and announces that he is going to hold a religious 
service for the repose of the fisherman's soul, and give assist- 
ance to the bereaved family. 

In the INTERLUDE the attendant (KYoGEN) 
reports that he saw her to her home ; and Moritsuna 
tells him to arrange for the religious service with 
music, and also to announce there should be no 
fishing for seven days, as an expression of his 
intention. 





— 22 




While Moritsuna offers prayers the slain fisherman (NOCHI 

SHITE) appears, and they sing alternately ; 

Alas, it is more painful to try to forget than to try to hold in memory. 
Of course human life is uncertain. Punishment for o crime cannot be 
helped, but I was killed in innocence. Considering it now, M put 
my own head in the noose' when I showed him the shallow place in 
the sea. 

-How peculiar ! At almost dawn there is a strange figure walking 
on the water. Might it be his ghost? 
1 cm grateful for the prayers, but I have come to talk oway my 
resentment which fetters my soul in everlasting attachment to this 
world. 

-Come you over the night sea to this shore with an unforgetttng 
grudge to reproach me ? 
You told me to show you my crossing place ; and I showed you the 
ford. 

-i crossed as you showed me 
You received fame and also - 

-For from ancient times till now, to cross the sea on horse is 
An unheard of feat 

-So I hove been awarded this island 
The fortune came because of me 

-How very grateful ! 
You should be ! 

Chorus (for fisherman): Beyond reason, you took my life; that is 
more unusual than riding a horse through the sea. I cannot forget. 
You took me to the rock over there ; stabbed me in the chest with 
an icy sword. Being stabbed my life was ebbing away, then I was 
pushed down in the sea, sinking into the fathomless dork. 
Fisherman : The tide was at ebb-flow. 

Chorus : In the undertow of the ebbing tide the waves rising and receding 
washed round the body caught in a rift between the rocks. He determined 
in his terror to turn into a monstrous underwater demon of Fujito to wreak 
vengeance. But now by your unexpected prayers, led by Buddha's hand, 
he comes easily to Nirvana as he wished. 

NOTES 

1. Masks 

SHITE : Kanaiva Onna or Shakumi 

NOCHI SHITE: Hatachiamari or Yaie Oloko 

2. Costume 

NOCHI SHITE: Conventional fisherman's garb 



23 



FUNA BENKEI 

BACKGROUND 

Voritomo, who established the Bakufu Shogunate at Kamakura, 
became suspicious and jealous of his younger half-brother Voshitsune 
whose military exploits against the Heike had won him an honored 
place at the Imperial Court. After several unsuccessful attempts on 
his life (see SHOZON p. 88). Yoshitsune decided it would be prudent 
to leave Kyoto for Kyushu where he could await events in safety. 

As the Noh opens he is going to embark at Daimotsu Bay (Osaka), 
accompanied by his personal retainers and his faithful mistress 
Shizuka, a dancer noted for her beauty and art. whose vigilance and 
courage had saved him from one of the attacks upon his life. 

NOH 

Yoshitsune (KOKATA) and his retainers (WAKI TSURE), 
led by Benkei (WAKI). enter. Benkei identifies himself and 
explains the reason for their hasty departure. They sing, and 
arrive at Daimotsu Bay. 

Benkei secures lodging of a boatman (KYOGEN) ; then urges 
Yoshitsune to send Shizuka (SHITE) back. He agrees, and 
Benkei goes to tell her. (Shizuka appears, going to Yoshitsiaic.) 
Benkei announces her, and Yoshitsune tells her to return 
to the Capital. She reluctantly agrees {zveeping) reciting a poem : 
More than this sorrow at parting — 
For the hope of meeting again 
I shall live, to see my lord's return. 

At Yoshitsune's command Benkei serves sake to Shizuka. 

Benkei bids Shizuka sing a farewell song, and dance. After 
Shizuka sings, Benkei hands her a ceremonial hat (eboshi), and 
she dances a few steps, singing : 

Though I have no heart for dancing. . . 

She performs several dances, singing of an incident in ancient 
Chinese history, quoting Lao-tse: "When one has reached 
fame and attained success one should retire," as a hope that 



his brother's heart will soon be inclined toward him again. 

She sings a sorrowful song of parting. 

Yoshitsune and Shizuka bid sad farewell. 

Benkei and the boatman prepare to depart, despite Yoshi- 
tsune's misgivings. They all board and are rowed out to sea. 

There is a humorous touch as the boatman asks a boon : 
" When your master returns in pov/er to the Capital, might I hope to be 
appointed director of shipping for the v/estern seas?" Benl<ei promises it 
shall be so, but the boatman odds : " When one's lord is in danger, it's 
easy to promise anything, then afterwards forget — I hope you won't." 

The sea grows tempestuous, and towering waves lash the 

boat ; the boatman shouts and beats with his oar, explaining : 

You may think me noisy, but waves ore obedient — if we scold them 
they calm down. 

Suddenly Benkei sees the hosts of the defeated Heike chiefs 
rising on the horizon ; then one of them, Tomomori (NOCHI 
SHITE), draws near and, after several feints, attacks. Yoshi- 
tsune draws his sword " challenging him — as if he were 
human." Benkei prevents this futility, and instead rubs the 
beads of his rosary, invoking the five incarnations of Buddha. 

From the east... the south... the west... 

From the north... and in the center, calling on the Great King 

The avenging phantom is put to flight by Benkei 's prayers. 

Carried away 

on the receding tide — 
Nothing left 

but the white-capped waves. 
NOTES 

1. Masks and Headdress 

SHITE : Magojiro 

NOCHI SHITE : Ayakashi, with flowing black wig and 
golden horns 

2. Dances 

Iroe 

KUSE 

Chit no Mai 

Alaibataraki (the vigorous dance of the NOCHI SHITE) 



24 — 





TSUKURIMONO 

The use of a mere framework to represent a boat, not large 
enough to hold even the accompanying retainers (not to mention 
the 8 or 10 more who are supposedly present — but not repre- 
sented on the stage) is a typical example of the abstract 
representations used as stage properties for Nob. 
For tise of KOKATA, see ATAKA. NOTE 5, p. 13. 



Other Noh on Yoshitsune in flight: 

SETTAI. Yoshitsune and his party fleeing in disguise are given 

hospitality (settai) by the widowed mother and the son of the 

loyal warrior Tsuginobu who sacrificed himself to save Yoshitsune at 

the battle of YASHIMA (p. 76). 

TADANOBU. Tadanobu, brave warrior, brother of Tsuginobu (.sec SETTAI 

above) fights a daring one man rearguard action as Yoshitsune and the 

others escape from a tight spot at Mt. Yoshino. 

In YOSHINO SHIZUKA, Shizuka helps Tadanobu delay the pursuers. 

FUTARI SHIZUKA. Shizuka 's spirit takes possession of a woman gather- 
ing herbs for a priest, then appears herself and they perform a dance. 



25 — 



HACHI NO Kl 

BACKGROUND 

Tokiyori, retired regent in the Kamakura Bakufu, traveled about 
incognito as a priest to see the real state of the country. In this 
Noh. he is shown hospitality by Tsuneyo, a former lord unjustly 
dispossessed and reduced to abject poverty, but still possessed of the 
fiercest feudal loyalty. 

NOH 

Tokiyori (WAKI), in the guise of a priest, arrives at Sano 
during a severe snowstorm and asks a night's lodging of 
Tsuneyo *s wife (TSURE). She cannot take him in as her 
husband is away, so he stands outside to await his return. 

Tsuneyo (SHITE) returns, singing of the snow : 

Like scattered goose feathers 

Foiling to the ground 
The snow blows round ; 
People abojt ore clothed 
With a snowy gown 
As of a white crone's down. (NOTE 1, a) 

The priest is refused lodging, on the plea that they have 
scarce room for the two of them; so he plods on. But then 
the old couple decide they must somehow give him shelter 
from the storm, so he is called back. 

As they have nothing else to set before him, they serve 

coarse peasants' millet, with poetic reference to Rosei's millet 

at Kantaji. (Note 1, b) To build a fire to warm the guest, 

Tsuneyo must needs chop up his three treasured potted trees 

{hachi no ki) — a cherry, a plum, and a pine; singing: 

Brushing off the snow the tree's beauty 
Shows forth. How con I do this thing? Shall I 
Now first cut down this plum? — that's the first one 
To bloom among the deadened gloom of winter. 
Although the plum tree at the north window 
Blooms late by reason of the snow. 



I pitied the man who couldn't see 

Beauty in a flowering plum tree (NOTE 1. c) 

Must it be made into firewood by me ? 

I've been concerned about this cherry tree 
When its spring blossoms seemed to be delayed ; 
Carefully have I cared for it. But now 
To such depths of poverty have I sunk 
I chop this nurtured cherry tree in grief 
To moke it blossom red in flame. 

And now the pine ! 

Binding and clipping its branches 

I made a graceful form ; 
Yet all the care I exercised 

Is blown away in a storm. 

Now here's a fire I've mode ; 
Come closer and be warm. 

At the priest's insistence, he then identifies himself as the 
dispossessed Lord of Sano and tells the story of the usurping 
of his possessions by a relative. But he still has his halberd 
and armor, and an old horse, that if at any time Kamakura be 
in peril : 

I'd gird on my armor 

Tho' it be tattered, 
Take up my ha!berd 

Now rusty and battered, 
True, my steed is so lank 
Yet I'd ride with the first rank 

To write my name ot the top of the roll. 

When the fighting began. 

Though many the foes, 
I'd cleave their mossed ranks 

Exchanging blows 
With on adversary 
Who would not be wary 

Of dying in battle ! my own life-goal. 

But alas my fate ! 

It can never be done ; 
Worn out with hunger 

I'll die unsung. 



— 26 





The priest then suddenly takes leave of them, going on his way. 
In the INTERLUDE, some months later a herald 
(KYoGEN) announces the order for a general alarm 
which Tokiyori issued upon his return to Kamakura 
a few days previously, calling on all the feudal 
nobility to report there at once under arms. 
Tsuneyo rushes off to Kamakura with the others, but his 
old horse falls behind "" like a coach on wobbly wheels." 

Tokiyori, sitting again in the Seat of Authority, orders an 
attendant to bring the most unsightly soldier among the 
assembled warriors, and he quickly picks out Tsuneyo. 

Tokiyori gives Tsuneyo formal commendation for proving 
his words that he would answer a call to arms, even in his 
poor condition; and restores him to his rightful estate. He 
grants him, in addition, three fiefs as memorials for the three 
trees, his treasure, which he cut down 
great snowstorm. (Note 2) 

Holding aloft the deeds to his lands, 
joyfully to Sano. 

NOTES 

1. Literary references 

a. A poem by the Chinese poet Po Chu-i 

b. See KANTAN, p. 36. 

c. From a poem by Michizane. (Cf. RAIDEN, p. 86) 

2. The three fiefs given for his three trees — plum, cherry, and 
pine : Umeda — Plumfield (in Kaga) ; Sakurai— Cherrywell (in 
EtchCi) ; and Matsueda — Pinebranch, or Matsuida — Pinewell Field, 
(in Kozuke). 

3. HIGH POINT of the Noh : as he prepares to cut the trees. 

4. Special features of this Noh : 

No mask for SHITE 

No apparition, or strange creature 

No dream, or dream-like qualities— all earthy and natural. 

Another Noh about Tokiyori: 

In TOEI Tokiyori, traveling incognito through Ashiya in western Japan, 
restores lands usurped by Toei from his nephew, and reconciles them. 



for firewood in the 
Tsunevo rides back 



27 — 



HAeOROMO 



BACKGROUND 

The story of a celestial creature who lost her robe (hagoromo) 
and was therefore unable to return has many variations in the 
folklore of many countries. In one version in Japanese folklore, for 
example, the heavenly being is obliged to become the wife of the mortal 
who stole her cloak, and it is not until many years later that she 
is able to regain possession of it by persuading their child to tell 
where the father has hidden it ; whereupon she ascends by it 
immediately into the heavens. 

In the Noh the story is but a vehicle by which to introduce many 
classical literary allusions and traditional dance forms. 

NOH 

A fisherman and his fellows (WAKI and W.\KI TSURE) 

arrive at Matsubara on Mio Beach, singing of the scenery, 

when suddenly : 

There is music in the sky, 

A shower of flower petals — 

A divine fragrance waft all round. 

The fisherman finds a beautiful cloak hanging upon a pine 
tree. As he is about to take it home for a family treasure, a 
heavenly maiden (SHITE) calls to him, claiming the cloak. 
Learning that it is the robe of a heavenly being the fisherman 
stoutly refuses to return it, saying it shall be a national treasure. 
The heavenly maiden piteously bemoans in song the loss of 
her only means of returning : {gazing uptcard) 

1 look OS it were on the fislds of Heaven ! 

But the misty sky-way is hidden; 

Alas, the path is lost. 

As she and the chorus alternately express her deep despair 
{making the coynentional Xoh gesture ofv:eeping), she dances. 

The fisherman is so moved by her plight that he agrees to 
return her robe if she performs the dances of heaven. She 



agrees but insists he must first return her robe in order for 
her to dance. He demures, lest she fly away without dancing, 
but she chides : 

To doubt is human ; 

Heaven has no deceit. 

This so shames him that he hands over the robe and she 
performs several dances, finally ascending : 

Over Mt. Ashitoka, and lofty Fuji, 
Faintly visible among the clouds, 
Then lost to human sight. 

NOTES 

1. Dances 

KUSE 

Jo no Mai 

Ha no Mai (often omitted) 

KIRI 

2. Mask 

SHITE : Xakizo 

3. There are innumerable variations in the dance sequences. 




— 28 



HANAGATAMI 

BACKGROUND 

This Noh is based on the popular theme of a distraught woman 
searching aimlessly for her lover in a crazed frenzy. (Cf. HANJO, p. 80) 

NOH 

When an Imperial prince who has been living in the provinces 
is suddenly called to the throne, he sends to the lady who has 
been his lover a flower basket (Iiaucigatami) and a letter 
of farewell. The messanger (WAKI TSURE) delivers them to 
the lady (SHITE) as he meets her on the road to her home. 
Reading the letter, she sings her grief (iceepiiig) and returns 
home disconsolately. 

Later, crazed by her grief, she makes her way with her maid 
(TSURE) to the Capital, {canying the basket) arriving as the 
Emperor is going out to view the autumn maple. 

A courtier (WAKI), clearing the way for the Imperial party, 
jostles them roughly out of the way, knocking the basket to the 
ground. She remonstrates vehemently, singing and doing a 
frenzied dance. The courtier orders her to come forward and 
perform her mad dance for the Emperor's diversion. She does 
so, dancing a story from ancient China about heartbroken grief. 

The Emperor (KOKATA) recognizes the basket. Telling her 
to forget the horrid letter that was with it and return to 
sanity, he takes her back with him to the Palace. 

NOTES 

1. Masks 

SHITE: Zo 
TSURE : tsure mask 

2. Dances 

KURUl 

Iroe 

KUSE 




29 




HASHITOMI 

BACKGROUND 

This Noh is one of many based on an incident in the classic GENJI 
MONOGATARI. 

One night Prince Genji took a girl named Yiigao to a deserted 
house with amorous intentions but she was attacked there by the 
spirit of his jealous mistress Rokujo (NOTE 2) and died that night. 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) of the temiile of I'lirin In is jjerforming a 
Buddhist service for flowers, when a maiden (SHITE) comes to 
offer a yugao blossom. 

Priest : What kind of flower have you offered ? If is so unusually 
white and beautiful ! 

Maiden : A needless question ! This flower blooms in the evening so 
you should be able to tell its name. But it grows along the fence- 
rows of common people's houses so it is natural you do not know. 
It is YUGAO (Evening Glory). 
Priest : Ah, yes — and who then might you be ? 
Maiden : That should obviously be clear - coming from this flower. 
Priest : Then you must be coming forth from the other world to this 
flower service. But pray tell me clearly who you are. 
Maiden : I had a name though it is old and dead... 
Priest; There is a story like that at a certain temple... 
Maiden: My usual abode is there- -- 
Chorus ; In truth, it is YUGAO. 

And saying that she disappears behind the flowers to which 

he is performing the religious service. 

In the INTERLUDE, a stranger (KYOGEN) coming 
to see the flowers' service relates the story of 
Prince Genji and Lady Yugao, concluding that the 
girl who appeared may be the spirit of the yugao 
flower or the ghost of Lady Yugao. He suggests 
the priest go to the temple in Gojo, where she lived. 
At Gojo the priest finds the old mansion as dilapidated as 

that night Prince Genji made love to Yugao there. 



30 



The maiden (NOCHI SHITE), present in her true form as 
Yugao, (siting in the bamboo fnunezvork hung xvith yugao 
blossoms and gourds) sings a description of the old tumbled- 
down house, and quotes a short, sad poem of heartbreak : 

The moon, drawn wiily-nllly to the mountain. 
Not fully comprehending his true intent 

To be cast aside and fade away in the si<y. (NOTE 1) 

She asks for prayers, which the priest readily promises. 

Then lifting the door she comes slowly forth, looking so 
pitiable the priest can not but weep. 

As she dances. Prince Genji's liaison with Yugao is retold: 
One evening Genji found this house and ordered Koremitsu, his servant, 
to get a YUGAO blossom and I sent the flower on a pure white fan, 
deeply perfumed. ... At that time, when he asked about the flower, 
if I had not answered we might have passed on without ever knowing 
each other. 

She then performs a dance followed by more song, ending ; 
I have revealed my identity. Please pray.,, pray forme. It's almost 
dawn. I must go before the sun comes up. 

So saying she returns again into the house ; and it has all 
been but his dream. 
NOTES 

1. Literary reference 

YOgao's poem in GENJI MONOGATARI 

2. See AOI NO UE, p. 10. 

3. Mask 

SHITE : Zo 

4. Dances 

KUSE 
Jo no Mai 
KIR I 

5. TSUKURIMONO 

Bamboo framework hung with gourds. {See FUNA BENKEI, 
NOTE 3, p. 25) 




Other Noh about Genji: 

YUGAO. The same story (see HASHITOMI above) but follows more 

closely the original narrative in GENJI MONOGATARI. 

SUMA GENJI. The spirit of Prince Genji appears to a priest on a 

pilgrimage to Ise Shrine, first as an old man, and recounts his days 

in exile at Suma Beach. 

SUMIYOSHI MODE. At the Sumiyoshi Shrine Prince Genji by chance 

meets Lady Akashi, who was his solace during his exile at Suma. 

OCHIBA. A woman tells a priest the story of Princess Ochiba's love 

for Prince Genji's son Yugiri, afterwards appearing as the princess. 



31 



IZUTSU 



BACKGKOLNL) 

Narihira. known no less for his gallantry than for his poetry, is a 
legendary figure, but in this Noh the legend is modified : As children, 
he and a little neighbor girl used to lean over the wooden curb of a 
well (Iziitsu means 'well-curb') and peer down at their own faces. 
When they grew u? they married but were not happy for long; the 
sophisticated, fickle Narihira began to pay nightly visits to another 
woman. But his wife's unselfish devotion drew him back to her, and 
they lived happliy thereafter. 

NOH 

A traveling priest (WAKI) visits the temple built on the site 
of their house. An old wooden well-curb amongst siisiiki 
grass recalls their famous love story. A maiden (SHITE) 
comes to draw water, pourmg it into a small wooden bucket 
containing flowers, and offering it reverently before a nearby 
mound, which she informs the priest is Narihira's grave. 

She then obliges the priest by telling the love story of 
Narihira and Ki no Aritsune's daughter— of the two children 
in innocence at the well-curb, quoting the poems (Note 1) 
which later trothed their love. From this exchange of poems 
she was called the Lady of Izutsu. 

So filled with wonder is he at her charm in the telling of 
this tale that he begs to know her name ; she softly confesses 
to be the ' Daughter of Ki no Aritsune " and ' Lady of Izutsu,' 
scarcely after fading away behind the well-curb there. 

In the INTERLUDE, a Man of the Place 
(KYOGEN) repeats the story to the priest. 

The spirit (NOCHI SHITE) returns and performs a dance 
expressing the sharp melancholy of her longing, dressed in the 
princely robe and headgear of her beloved, so that when she 
looks into the well in her intense yearning she sees Narihira's 





32 




image in place of her own, reflected in its still water. But 
dawn breaks — and nothing remains with the priest but the 
reality of day. 
NOTES 

1. THEIR POEMS (In the ISE MONOGATARI) 
He wrote ; 

Beside the well-curb we compared our height ; 
I've grown up much in the interval. 
She answered ; 

The hair I parted when we stood 

Comparing our height beside the well-curb 
Hangs loosely dov^n ; by whom should 

It be tied up but you ? 
(It was the husband's place to tie up his bride's hair.) 

2. Mask 
SHITE: Zo 

3. Costume 

NOCHI SHITE: Ceremonial \\a\. {KAMVRl), and dancing 
robe (C Ho KEN) 

4. Dance 

Jo no Mai 

5. TSUKURIMONO 

Wooden well-curb, with a tuft of sustiki grass. 

Other Noh of Narihira: 

KAKITSUBATA. A traveling priest stopping to view the blooming 
KAKITSUBATA (iris) at Yatsuhashi meets a young woman, who 
explains that these flowers are specially famous — from Narihira's ISE 
MONOGATARI in which he made an acrostic poem from the word 
KAKITSUBATA, then invites him to lodge that night at her house, 
where she dresses :n a stunning robe and headpiece, both of which 
are remembrances, the robe being mentioned in the poem and the 
headpiece being Narihira's; finally revealing in song and dance that 
she is the spirit of the KAKITSUBATA, saved by Narihira's poem 
for he was a BOSATSU incarnation. 

UNRIN IN. In obedience to a dream, a man who has always loved 
the ISE MONOGATARI visits the Unrin In in Kyoto and meets a 
woman with whom he talks about the blooming cherry there; Narihira 
himself later appears and dances. 

OSHIO. A party viewing cherry blossoms at Ohara meet an old man 
who recites poetry Narihira wrot? about Ohara and Oshio ; then 
Narihira's spirit appears and dances. 



33 — 



KA0EKIYO 

BACKGKOtND 

KAGEKIYO is one of the numerous Noh about a warrior of the 
defeated Heike Clan. Though he was a real person, this episode has 
no known historical basis. Nor can the daughter here portrayed be 
identified with certainty. 

NOH 

Kagekiyo's daughter (TSURE) journeys with an attendant to 
the province of Hyuga where he is in exile, to meet the father 
she has never known, singing : 

The gentle breeze whispsred that he lives still — 

The whispering breezes said he is still alive 

But, oh, life is so like dew could he be? 
Kagekiyo (SHITE)— old, blind and destitute— unwilling for 
her to see his wretchedness, sends her away from his hut 
without revealing himself. But when a villager (WAKI) brings 
the daughter back he admits his identity, and agrees to tell 
his exploits at the Battle of Yashima (Note 1), on condition 
that she go as soon as it is finished: 






34 — 



We of the Heike were in our ships, 

The Genji armies spread 'long the shore; 

Each eager to bid for mastery 

Through force of arms in battle sore. 

Then thought Kogekiyo in his heart, 

" Yoshitsune is after all 

No god or demon an easy mark 

For one who loves not his own life dearly !" 

" It is I, Kogekiyo," he cried 

"The Guick-Tempered, a Captain of Heike men!" 

Swiftly pursuing, with bare hand grasping 

The helmet which his er.emy wore. 

He clutched at the neck-piece, then clutched again ; 

But it slid from him slipped through his fingers. 

TIM the reck-plece cracked and tore off in his hand, 

While the other, breaking free, ran a good way off. 

Then turning, he shouted, "O mighty Kogekiyo, 

How terrible is the strength of your grip !" 

Kogekiyo called back to him, 

"Nay, rather, how strong your neck is!" 




When the story concludes she leaves. 

"I stay," he said; and she answered, "I go." 
This word was all he kept of hers. 
Nor exchanged they more remembrances. 

NOTES 

1. See YASHIMA, p. 76. 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Kagekiyo 
TSURE : tsure mask 

3. TSUKURIMONO 

A bamboo framework representing Kagekiyo's hut. 

4. A high point in this Noh is the portrayal, by the SHITE — 
immediately after he comes out of the hut — of various and 
conflicting emotions ; i. e., anger, shame, hopelessness, etc. 
Another is the sad scene of the daughter's departure, at the end. 



Another Noh about Kagekiyo: 

DAI3UTSU KUYO. Kagekiyo. disguised as a temple sweeper, attempts to 
attack his enemy Yoritomo during the re-dedication ceremony of the 
great Buddha (DAIBUTSU) at Nara but is discovered and flees. 




35 



KANT AN 

BACKGROUND 

Kosei. a pious youth seeking "enlightenment" but loath to break 
"attachments to this life," comes to the village of Kantan (in ancient 
China), journeying to consult a great sage. At Kantan he finds what 
he sought and returns home satisfied. 

NOH 

An innkeeper (KYOGEN) explains that her " Pillow of 
Kantan," which was given to her by a holy man who passed 
there on a journey, has the power to enlighten one who sleeps 
on it by revealing past and future in a dream. 

Rosei (SHITE) arrives at the inn. 

Learning the purpose of his journey, she suggests he sleep 
upon the headrest, and orders a meal of millet for him. 

ROSEI'S DREAM: 

An envoy (WAKI) tells Rosei he has been chosen emperor, and takes 

him to the Palace i NOTE 1 , a i in a jewelled palanquin. 

A flowery description of its magnificent splendor is then sung. 

A Court Minister announces a party celebrating the fiftieth year of his 

reign. They drink "the wine of chrysanthemum dew." (NOTE 1, b) 

Then the Court Dancer ( KOKATA ) performs, as they sing. 

Rosei does a classical Court Dance, followed by more song and dance. 

The innkeeper calls him; his millet meal is cooked. 

Rosei awakes, bewildered; bereft of fifty years" glory: 

' Twos but the sighing pines that made the voice 
Of multitudes of queens and waiting-ladies; 
The palaces of splendor nought but this inn. 
His glory was for fifty years — his dream 
But time to cook the millet. O mystery I 
Even a hundred years with pleasure filled 
Are but a dream 
At Death. 
Gratefully enlightened by the Pillow of Kantan he turns 

homeward. 



NOTES 

1. Classical references 

a. Palace on the River Wei, of the First Emperor of Ch'in, builder 
of the Great Wall of China. 

b. "Wine of chrysanthemum dew" a legendary elixir of longevity. 
(See MAKURA JIDO, p. 83) 

2. Mask 

SHITE: Kantan Oloko 

3. Dances 

Cliu no Mai (by KOKATA) 
Gaku (Court Dance) 

4. TSUKURIMONO 

Dias with bamboo frame and roof, used to represent: 

1) A bed chamber of the inn at Kantan 

2) The Throne Room of the Palace, in his dream 

3) Again, his bed at the inn 




36 





37 — 



KAYOl KOMACHl 



BACKGROUND 

Ono no Komachi. famous beauty of the Ileian Period (see SOSHI 
ARM, p. 63) had a most persistent suitor, Fukakusa no ShCsho, to 
whom she made a coquettish promise— if he would come to her house 
for one hundred nights. He fulfilled the task by all but one— on 
which night, alas, he died ! 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) in religious training at Yase wonders about 
a wom£in coming daily with offerings of fruit and firewood. 

The woman (TSURE) comes, commiserating on her poor 
appear£ince, and when she arrives tells what she has brought. 

The priest asks about her. 

My name is Ono no... No, I can't say it an old woman of Ichiharano, 
where SUSUKI grass grows... 

Begging for prayers, she disappears. 

The priest muses: "It's very strange — when I asked her 

name she disappeared, quoting ; 

The autumn wind blows unmercifully 
Where SUSUKI gross grows ; 
Nothing remains of Komochi's beauty. 

" It is Ono no Komachi's poem. Then it must have been 
her. I will go to Ichiharano to offer prayers for her soul." 

The priest comes to the place and prays. 

Komachi reappears and thanks him for the prayers, begging 
for release. 

A man (SHITE) rushes in threatening the priest not to do so. 
She complains that he wants her to suffer. The man retorts: 
"I was in grief even with the two of us together; now if she 
leaves me alone it will be intolerable, and I must end up in 



hell, so then she must too. There's no need to be religious. 
You priest go away." 

The priest pleads with him to receive Buddha's mercy, which 
he refuses. Komachi insists on being freed from Shosho, but 
he swears that he will never let her go, and both weep. The 
priest, realizing that the man is Fukakusa no Shosho, asks him 
to describe the one hundred nights. 

As Komachi told him that she would meet him on the one 

hundredth night, he .came night after night. She told him to 

be inconspicuous, so he went on foot, while she expected him 

to give up some day. 

Disguised as a commoner 
In the moonlight 

it wasn't dark 
In the snow 

shaking snow ofF his sleeves 
On the rainy night 

in fear of a demon's attack 
Unclouded night 

I was always in tears never had a clear day 

(Pcrfi/niis ci dance) 

Truly the evenings moke one's heart wonder. 
In the evenings you must have waited for 
the moon in the sky, but not for me. 
At dawn things creep into one's mind. 

It isn't for me but for herself, birds should sing, 
bells ring, morning light should come, because 
it is better to be alone. 

Thus wearing himself out he counted the ninety-ninth night. 

Then in happiness he arrayed himself in his best apparel and 

started on his way. thinking Komachi would be waiting for him. 

If it is the command not to drink I would not, even if it be served 
in the most exquisite cup. 

Thus his steadfast will led him to Nirvana. 

Forgiven their many sins, Ono no Komachi and Shosho both 

attain release. 



38 — 





NOTES 




1. Dances 




Iroe 




KIR I 




2. Masks 




SHITE: 


Yase Otoko 


TSURE : 


tsure mask 



Other Noh of Komachi's old age: 

SOTOBA KOMACHI. Koraachi as a hundred-year-old beggar sits down 
ID rest upon a stupa marker and is reprimanded by priests from Mt. 
I~Cr>ya (seat of the strict mystic Shingon Sect) for sacriHge but in 
disputation she proves more than a match for them with her Zen 
sophism, composing a WAKA (31 syllable poem) justifying her sitting 
on the stupa (soloba), since what is forbidden in heaven may be all 
right outside (soto xva), making a neat play on words ; then she reveals 
her identity, soon thereafter becoming possessed of the distraught 
spirit of her persistent suitor Shosho, portraying the same story as in 
the Noh above. 

OMU KOMACHI. A Noh about a letter Komachi received from the 
Emperor, in the form of a WAKA which she answered by returning 
the same poem (omu means 'parrot') with just one syllable changed. 

SEKIDERA KOMACHI. Some priests and a child sit at the feet of an 
old woman, Ono no Komachi, who teaches them of poetry, quoting 
her own poems and reminiscing on her former splendor ; then ac- 
companies them to their temple, Seki Dera, where she and the child 
perform dances. 

Other old-woman Noh : 

HIGAKI. A priest meets a very aged woman daily bringing water who 
turns out to be the great dancer of long ago who composed a famous 
poem for Fujiwara no Okinori when she gave him a drink of water. 
OBASUTE : An exceedingly beautiful presentation of the legend about 
an old woman left to die on the mountain. 

{The subject is treated extensively by modern story-writers and movies, 
as well as by HAIKU and other forms of literature.) 



39 



KAZURAKl 

Three yanuibtishi (Note 1) priests (WAKI and WAKI TSURE) 
come to Mt. Kazuraki atid are given shelter from the snow by 
a woman (SHITE) who, after building a fire for them, asks for 
prayers. When the priest asks why, she reveals that she is 
the mountain's diety. and is suffering punishment for having 
failed to carry out an order to construct a stone bridge for 
Gyoja, a famous traveling priest. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place (KYOGEN) meets the 
priests, who ask him about the stone bridge on Mt. Kazuraki. 
He relates the story : This mountain is so rugged that it is 
almost impossible to climb. But since En no Gyoja climbed it 
priests have been going there. This Gyoja, from Yamato, lived 
here for thirty years during Emperor Mombu's reign and had 
complete mastery over the gods. Then he thought it was so far 
from Kazuraki to Omine going around mountains and through 
valleys that there should be a stone bridge, which he ordered the 
goddess of Kazuraki to make. The goddess worked only at night 
because she was so ashamed of her ugliness, so she couldn't 
complete it to his satisfaction. In anger he bound her with a 
vine. The goddess retaliated by denouncing him to an Imperial 
Court official who tried to catch him but, unable to do so as 
Gyoja could traverse heaven and the earth freely, caught Gyoja's 
mother instead. Then Gyoja came to take his mother's place 
and was exiled to an island. After that Gyoja transported his 
mother out of the country in a pot. But he still came to the 
mountains Kazuraki, Omine and Fuji, and the goddess suffers. 

The goddess (NOCHI SHITE) reappears in her true form and 
performs a dance in gratitude for being saved by their prayers 
from further punishment. 

NOTES 

1. See ATAKA, NOTE 4. p. 13. 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Shahani 
NOCHI SHITE: Nakizo 

3. Dances 

KUSE 
Jo no Mai 
KIR I 




— 40 



KINUTA 



BACKGROUND 

KINUTA is centered poetically upon the common household chore 
of women in olden days of beating cloth with a mallet on a wooden 
block {kinuta) to soften it. The sensibility of the sound of the 
beating is interwoven with the nuance of the poetry to express the 
wistful waiting of a wife for her husband long in coming home. 

NOH 

The Lord of Ashiya (WAKI), away at the Capital for three 
years while his wife waits yearningly at home (in Kyushu), 
sends their maid (TSURE) to say that he will be back at the 
end of the year. 

The wife (SHITE) complains bitterly to the maid of the 
husband's extended absence ; then in the autumn evening air 
they hear the sound of beating cloth and get out the wooden 
block to beat cloth together. This recalls to the wife a Chinese 
story (Note 1) and she dares hope the sound of their beating 
may reach her husband and bring him back quickly. 

But alas 1 it is not to be so : a messenger arrives with the 
news that her husband can not after all come back at the year's 
end as he had promised. 

The poor wife, losing all faith in her husband, feels deceived 
and so utterly neglected that she sinks into a melancholy illness 
and passes away. 

The shock of this brings the husband home at once, to hold 
religious rites for the repose of her soul. He offers up the 
wooden beating block and employs a medium for a birch-bow 
seance (Cf. AOI NO UE, p. 10). 

fier embittered spirit comes forth to rail upon him, giving 
vent to her long-accumulated resentment and disillusionment : 
Even in your dreams why did you not hear the sound of my mallet 
beating on the cloth those lonely chilly nights? O, heartless mon I 




But the chanting of the Lotus Sutra— so like to her the 
sound of beating cloth— leads the way to her soul's eternal bliss. 



41 



NOTES 

1. Literary reference 

While a Chinese envoy to the barbarians was being held by 
them for many years, he one autumn evening miraculously 
heard the sound of his yearning wife thousands of miles away 
boating cloth on the wooden block, and soon after was released 
and returned home. 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Fukat 
TSURE: isiire mask 
NOCHI SHITE: Deigaii 

3. Stoge Property 

Wooden block on which cloth is beaten, and small mallet. 



KIYOTSUNE 



BACKGROUND 

This Noh is built around an incident recorded in the HEIKE 
MONOGATARI. When the Heike army, in disastrous flight from 
the Genji, received an oracle from the local Hachiraan Shrine that 
there was no further hope for their cause, one General Kiyotsune 
eager to enter Nirvana, deciding to throw himself immediately upon 
the mercy of Amioa Buddha and thus insure his future bliss, one night 
leaped from his boat into the sea and drowned. A lock of his hair 
was found in the boat, for a keepsake to his wife at the Capital. 




Other Noh on a similar theme: 

AISOMEGAWA. A woman comes with her child to her former hus- 
band but by the jealousy of the present wife is led to drown herself, 
the child being prevented from following her, and she herself being 
brought back to life through the husband's prayers. 

TORI Ol. A landowner returning to his home in Kyushu after ten 
years in the Capital on a lawsuit finds his wife and son being made 
to work scaring away (oi) birds (tori) and flies into a murderous rage 
but his wife forgivingly intercedes for pardon for the evil steward who 
thus grossly mistreated them. 

KAMO MONOGURUl. A man who has been away for three years 
returns to the Capital on the day of the festival of the Kamo Shrine 
and there finds his wife who became deranged from loneliness ; although 
they finally recognize one another they go home separately to avoid 
curious onlookers. 



NOH 

Kiyotsune's faithful retainer (WAKI) announces that he has 
taken upon himself the task of bearing the tragic news, and 
the keepsake, to Kiyotsune's wife (TSURE). 

When he has delivered both he retires. 

The wife is shocked -and embittered at the news and casts 
the keepsake aside, going weeping to her lonely bed ; 

tonging, praying that even in a dream he might come to her. 

When Kiyotsune (SHITE) appears beside her pillow she knows 
she must be dreaming but is thankful all the same for the sight 
of him. 

They quarrel, tauntingly reproaching each other in mutual 
rancor, he for her spurning of the keepsake he had taken so much 
care to leave for her, she for his casting away of his own life. 

Kiyotsune relates the events leading up to his death : 
{sitting on stool) 

The Heike, in flight with the Imperial Court (NOTE 1), inquire at 
the Uso Shrine of Hochimon and are granted on oracle from the god 
which tells them to give up oil hope. Immediately they are forced 
to embark again in flight before their advancing foes. 

Kiyotsune {dancing) describes his death in a beautiful lyrical 
passage of blended poetic sensibility and religious piety. 



— 42 




The wife responds : 

I am dazed ; shaken by sobbing. Oh, tragic end to our wedded life ! 

Kiyotsune then describes his suffering in the Asura Hell 

{dratving his sword and dancing zcitli il), a torment of 

continuous combat ; 

The trees ore enemies, raindrops as arrows. 
Sharp swords strewn over the ground. The hills castles 
Of iron, clouds of bottle-banners, surrounded by 
Enemies blades and flashing eyes of hate. 

All is strife. 
The foe advance like waves. 
Then like the tide retreat ; 
All battles of the land 
Are fought again without end. 

' Til now at lost, these torments cease. 
Buddha's name the dying Kiyotsune invokes ; 
Kiyotsune, the Purified, enters Nirvana. 
All praise be to Amldo ! 

NOTES 



S 



OHARA GOKO, p. 55 

2. Masks 

SHITE: Chujo 
TSURE: tsure mask 

3. Dances 

KUSE (describing his death) 

KIRI (with sword, expressing suffering of Hell) 

4. This is a one-act Noh of unique structure, using almost no 
stage properties, and the WAKI being on stage only briefly. 
The effect is a high emotional tension throughout the play. 

Similiar Noh: 

TOMOAKIRA. The defeated Heike (Taira) warrior Tomoakira appears 
to a priest praying at a stone inscribed to him at Suma Beach, first 
in the form of a man to extol his father's military exploits, then as 
himself to describe his own death in battle at Ichinotani. 
MICHIMORI. A priest praying at Naruto for the souls of Heike (Taira) 
warriors who died there meets the spirit of one of them, Michimori, 
and his wife, who drowned herself upon news of his death. 



43 — 



KOKAJI 

Kokaji (WAKI), a swordsmith in Kyoto during the Heian 
Period, receives an order to make a sword for the Emperor, 
but as he does not have a good assistant, he demurs. But 
when the envoy (WAKI TSURE) from the Imperial Court 
explains that the order is being given in compUance with 
instructions received in a dream, Kokaji goes to the Fox Shrine 
to seek divine aid. The diety appears in the form of a lad 
(SHITE), who reassures him with a promise of assistance. 

Following the INTERLUDE, the god (NOCHI SHITE) comes 
and dances, then together they make a marvelous sword. 

There follows a dance of praise. 

NOTES 

1. TSUKURIMONO 

Dias representing the swordsmith foundry. 

2. Masks 

SHITE: Jido 

NOCHI SHITE: Kolobide 

3. Dances 

yiaibataraki (showing his divinity) 
KIRI (the concluding dance) 

4. HIGH POINT: pounding out the sword 




^ 



la 




KOSODE SOeA 

BACKGROUND 

The story of the Soga Brothers' Revenge is a classic vendetta in 
Japanese literature. Thousands of stories, plays, etc. have been 
written on the theme— especially for Kabuki. Their father was killed 
on a hunting party over a quarrel about land. (The traditional spot 
in Izu -a small, deep hollow visible from the highway betv/een Ito 
and Shimoda— is faithfully pointed out to tourists.) The mother put 
the younger son in a temple, where he did not stay long. 



NOH 

The Soga brothers. Juro (SHITE) and Goro (TSURE), go 
under arms to their mother's house with their servants. 

Juro announces that Yoritomo is taking out a hunting party, 
including their enemy, and he will join them with Goro ; so he 
hopes their mother will be reconciled with Goro before they go. 

Juro is welcomed by their mother (TSURE) while Goro waits 
outside commiserating himself, {zveeping) 



44 



Juro returns to tell Goro that, as their mother is in a good 

mood, he should go in ; but when he calls, his mother answers 

that she has disowned him because he didn't become a priest 

as she had willed, and closes the door against him. Juro is 

told that if he even mentions Goro he will also be disowned; 

(returns zveepi/ig) so he takes Goro in with him, complaining: 

Everyone knows about their enemy, and as he doesn't feel able to 
carry out their revenge against him alone she ought to scold Goro if 
he wants to become a priest, leaving his older brother alone. Even 
if he stayed in the temple to please her, people would say that it 
was to hide from their enemy not for religious motives and his 
fellow priests would despise him. To live unwillingly in shame would 
be worse than being in secular life. He learned the Hokekyo at 
the temple in Hakone and prayed for his parents every day. Such 
a filial son has been disowned for three years ! Unable to meet his 
mother, his longing has grown ever stronger. She should surely realize 
their danger, even in these peaceful times, on such a hunting or fishing 
expedition, remembering how their father was killed. 

Then they leave weeping ; but she calls them back, forgiving 
and giving them her blessing. The two brothers prostrate 




themselves, weeping for joy ; then celebrate by drinking a 
ceremonial cup of sake, {making the com<entional Noli gesture 
of pott ring) and performing a joyful dance together. 
NOTES 

1. Mask 

TSURE (Mother): Fukai 

2. Dances 

Otoko Mai (by two together, expressing their joy) 
KIR I 

3. This is a one-act Noh, and is unusual in having no WAKI. 



Other Noh of the Soga brothers' revenge: 

CHOBUKU SOGA. The younger of the two Soga brothers, seeing their 
enemy at a shrine at Hakone and burning with revenge is restrained 
from such rashness by his guardian, the governor of Hakone, who 
instead gathers priests and places a figure of the enemy on the altar 
to put curses upon him, whereupon the god Fudu My6-6 materializes 
and attests that the revenge will be achieved. 

GEMBUKU SOGA (an episode preceding their return home in KOSODE 
SOGA). The older Soga brother Juro performs the coming-of-age 
ceremony on the younger brother Hako-o (Goro), in preparation for 
their setting out on their vendetta; after which the governor of 
Hakone presents him with an heirloom sword. 

YOUCHl SOGA. The Soga brothers attack their enemy at night, on 
the Shfigun's hunting expedition (see KOSODE SOGA above), but the 
younger Goro, searching about in the dark for his brother whom he 
fears has been killed, is attacked by a large number of the Shogun's 
men and tricked by one of them masquerading as a woman and led 
away bound. 

ZEt^tJI SOGA follows the YOUCHl SOGA episode, their younger brother 
Zenji being taken captive before he can kill himself. 

Other Noh of revenge : 

DAt^PU. Another story of revenge, set on Sado Island during the 

Kamakura Period. 

MOCHIZUKl. Another story of revenge, by the victim's wife and son 

with the assistance of his loyal retainer. 

HOKA Z6. Two brothers, to avenge their father's death, disguise 

themselves as Hrjka priest entertainers to come into the presence of 

their enemy and slay him. 



45 




KURAMA TENGU 

BACKGROUND 

L'sliiwaka, wlio grt-w up to become the famous warrior Yoshitsune, 
was the ninth son of Yoshitomo, head of the Genji (Minamoto) 
family. He was spared, along with his older half-brother Yoritomo, 
when his father was killed, and his family all but annihilated by the 
Heike (Taira) victors. At the time of this Noh, Ushiwaka is at Mt. 
Kurama with children of the Heike Clan. 

NOH 

A tengu (Note 4) disguised as a yamahushi priest (SHITE) 
enters, announces that he is going to West Valley at Mt. 
Kurama to view the cherry blossoms, and retires. 

At East Valley a priest (WAKI) and his attendants (WAKI 
TSURE) going blossom viewing with Ushiwaka and other children 
(KOKATA) appear. 

A servant (KYOGEN) from a temple of West Valley brings 
a letter inviting them there, v^'here the cherry blossoms are 
now at their best : so they go with him. 

The priest calls the servant to entertain the children ; he does 

so with song and dance. The ycuiui/uis/u' comes uninvited. 

The servant would make him leave, but the priest decides they 

will have their party tomorrow instead, and all except Ushiwaka 

leave, the angry servant shaking his fist at the intruder. 

The yi!»ui/>itshi grumbles : 

I've heard that there is no discrimination in loving 
flowers but these people of Kurama Temple, though they 
have renounced worldliness and keep the image of the 
merciful Buddha, know not such mercy. 
Ushiwaka, sympathizing, kindly suggests they view the cherry 
blossoms together. Asked why he remained behind, Ushiwaka 
complains (zveeping) that the others, sons of Kiyomori Taira, 
the Heike ruler then in power, are always well treated but he 
is an outcast even for enjoying the moon or the flowers. 



— 46 



The yainahiishi laments that a Genji Hves thus : 

You are like cherry blossoms for from a town — nobody 
paying any attention to you -but after all other 
blossoms ore gone, there will be your time... 

On the quiet mountain the yainabuslii leads Ushiwaka through 

all the noted flower-viewing places amid the gathering dusk. 

When Ushiwaka asks the name of him who is so kind, the 

tengu reveals his identity, suggesting they return on the morrow, 

when he will reveal the secrets of military arts by which to 

defeat the Heike, then flies away up the valley among the clouds. 

In the INTERLUDE little tengu (KYOGEN) come 
to test Ushiwaka ; but prove to be no match for him. 

Little Ushiwaka boldly awaits the big toigii. 

The teitgu (NOCHI SHITE) reappears, boasting his prowess; 
then asks Ushiwaka, what he did to the little tengu he sent. 
LIshiwaka wanted to show off by inflicting a few slight wounds, 
but was afraid the teacher might scold him for that. The 
tengu thanks him, then relates {iiiiining the action) an old 
Chinese story about a famous military strategist. (Note 1) 

He assures Ushiwaka: "You will surely overcome the 
Heike;" then promising to act as his constant guardian and 
protector, he bids farewell — though Ushiwaka {holding him by 
the sleeve) tries to hold him longer--and flies off. 

NOTES 

1. Classical literary reference 

The story is portrayed in CHO RYO (below). 

2. Mask 

NOCHI SHITE: Obeshum (TENGU mask) 

3. Costumes 

SHITE: Conventional costume of YAMABUSHI 
NOCHI SHITE: Carrying the "Tengu fan" of feathers. 
NOCHI KOKATA: White headband, carrying NAGINATA 

4. TENGU: A fabulous flying creature of the mountains. 
YAMABUSHI: See ATAKA, NOTE 4, p. 13. 

5. For use of KOKATA (child actor) see ATAKA, NOTE 5, p. 13. 




The Nob CHO RYO portrays this story: The general Cho Ryo, in 

obedience to a dream, goes to learn the secrets of military arts from 

a great master, who, in the guise of an old man, first tests his patience 

by delays and affronts— Cho Ryo repeatedly picks up the boot which 

he kicks off, finally being obliged to leap into a swift-flowing stream 

and fearlessly attack a dragon-god to retrieve it. 

SEKIHARA YOICHI. Leaving Mt. Kurama (see KURAMA TENGU above) 

Ushiwaka gets into a fight with a party on the highway and rides 

away on their horse. 

Other Noh of TENGU: 

MATSUYAMA TENGU. The po?t Saigyo offers up a poem at the tomb 

of a former Emperor, who appears, and also many TENGU. 

KURUMA Z6 and ZEGAl are Noh of malicious TENGU in the guise of 

YAMABUSHI who contend with a priest and are overcome. 

DAIE. In repayment of a past kindness by a priest a TENGU 

magically brings up an image of Buddha preaching on Mt. Ryojusen 

for hira, but is punished by a divine being for doing so. 



47 



KUROZUKA 

BACKGROUND 

Stories of a man-eating ogress are common in most folklore. This 
Noh is from an old tale of a demon at Kurozuka in Adachigahara. 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) and his attendants (WAKI TSURE) set out. 
Arriving at Adachigahara, they are given sheUer for the 
night in the house of a poor woman (SHITE). She works at 
a spinning wheel, complaining that she is so poor that she has 
to work even in her old age. The priest exhorts that however 
busy her daily life, she can attain salvation if she believes in 
righteousness; she replies that she knows life is only a moment's 
dream but is unable to cut off her attachment to this world. 
(^spinning as she sings) 

Then she goes to collect wood in the forest to make a fire, 
charging them not to look into her room. They promise and 
thank her for her kindness. 

In the INTERLUDE, while the others are sleeping, 
the servant (KYOGEN), unable to restrain his 
curiosity, looks into her room. Horrified, he tells 
what he saw, and flees. Finding many skeletons 
there, they- are convinced it is the notorious demon 
of Kurozuka and rush from the house. 
The woman reappears as a ferocious demon (NOCHI SHITE), 
but is defeated by their prayers. 

NOTES 

1. Masks 

SHITE : Kafiazva Onna or Shakumi 
NOCHI SHITE: Hannya 

2. Stage Properties 

Spinning wheel and spindle. 

3. For a similar theme treated in a simpler manner but more 
striking setting, see MOMIJI GARI. p. 54. 




48 





KUZU 

BACKGROUND 

KUZU is a Noh of auspicious felicitation. Though action is simple, 
and dramatic at only one point, it includes an important dance. 

NOH 

The Emperor Temniu (KOKATA), fleeing to Yoshino with 
his followers (WAKI and WAKI TSURE) because of a revolt, 
meets an old couple (SHITE and TSURE) who are fishing. 
Asked for food, they offer fish and vegetables. After eating, 
the Emperor returns a fish left over, which the old man frees 
in the river {miming the action zvith fun) ; it returns to life — 
as an omen of the Emperor's restoration. When soldiers 
(KYOGEN) come pursuing the Emperor, the old man hides 
him in his boat and by cunning and courage deflects them 
from their purpose. Promising some entertainment for the 
Emperor, the couple leave, to return as a god (NOCHI SHITE) 
and goddess (NOCHI TSURE). who performs a dance for an 
auspicious reign by the Emperor. 

NOTES 

1. Dance 

Gaku (by NOCHI TSURE) 

2. Masks 

SHITE: Jo 

TSURE : Uha 

NOCHI SHITE: Olobide 

NOCHI TSURE: Isure mask 

3. TSUKURIMONO 

Boat 

4. The dramatic point occurs as the old man interposes himself 
between the pursuing soldiers and the refugee Emperor. 

5. For use of KOKATA (child actor) see ATA.KA, NOTE 5, p. 13. 
HOJOGAWA. When a priest asks two men carrying fish in a pail of 
water why they take life one of them replies that these are live fish 
they are taking to release in the Hojo River, later reappearing as a 
god to dance and quote seasonal poetry. 



— 49 



MATSUKAZE 

BACKGKOLND 

Yukihira. an Imperial Prince in the early Heian Period, is famous 
as one of the great poets of that time. He was banished to Suraa 
Beach but after three years returned to the Capital, where he later 
died. While at Suma he loved the two sisters Matsukaze and 
Murasame, who pined passionately for him the rest of their lives. 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) on a pilgrimage to I lie western provinces 
comes to Suma Beach, where he sees a beautiful pine tree. 
He asks a Man of the Place (KYOGEN) about it and i.s told 
that it is in memory of Matsukaze and Murasame of old. As 
he is offering prayers there evening comes on, and, being far 
from the village, he decides to stay the night in a nearby hut. 

Two girls (SHITE and TSURE) appear, bemoaning their 

hardships and the hard work of drawing salt water. 

At Suma Beach here 

Where waves come near 

Not only the sea's 

Wetting cur sleeves — 

The moon engenders such sadness that tear 

After tear adds dampness to our sleeves. 

The autumn wind "' that makes the heart grow sad "' recalls 

Yukihira's poem about the wind of Suma Beach (Note 1, a). 

In a hut like this so far from the village no one 
But the moon ever comes to keep you company. 

There may be no easy way of earning 
A living; but ours is especially lowly. 

It sounds easy to draw water, but for 

Weak girls even pulling the cart is difficult. 
The woves roll in and out upon the sands 
And up the re3dy shore, disturbing cranes 
That rise with noisy fijtterings and cries (NOTE 1, b) 
Mingled with the strongly-blowing gale ; 
How then to pass- this chilly autumn night? 



In the nocturnal sky the moon grows more 
Serene ; and is also in the brine I draw. 

Take core the solt-Idln smoke becloud not the moon ! 

To dip up the reflected moon how poetic ! 
On many a famous shore . 
Salt-makers boil brine to make a living. 

There is a moon in this pail ! Marvel ! 

Oh, joy ! In this one too there is a moon I 

There's only one moon in the sky but two 

Reflections on the cart. 
Carrying moonlight does not seem like hard work. 

After getting the sea water they go home, and the priest asks 
for a night's lodging. Matsukaze first demurs that their home 
is too mean a hovel, but she invites him in when she learns 
he is a priest'. He recalls Yukihira's poem : 

If there be someone who asks of me, tell him 

I'm living in lowly sorrow at Suma Beach. (NOTE 1, c) 

When he mentions that he prayed for the girls of the pine 
they weep, finally revealing that they are the spirits of those 
two girls, reminiscing : 

Yukihira was here at Sumo for three years. Boating or consoling 
himself viewing the moon, he chose us two sisters, noming us 
Matsukaze and Murasame (NOTE 2). We served for his solace, and 
grew ottached to him. Our clothes were changed from salt-soaked 
garb to flDwing gowns of perfumed silk. After those three years he 
returned to the Capital. Soon after that we heard he passed away. 
O Beloved ! 

Since he died, there was no way we could hear from him, and 
we lived a life of tears. But weeping helps not a whit I 
O dear old days ! tord Yukihira was here for three years and when 
he went bock to the Capital he left his headdress and robe as our 
keepsake, (holding up tite garments) But whenever we see these 
the longing for him but grows stronger and we ore unable to forget 
him for even a moment. 

Putting on the robe and hat Matsukaze weeps : 

The pain of love torments even after death. 

O joy ! Yukihira calls to me I I must go quickly ! 



50 



She rushes to the pine but Murasame holds her back: 

Whot folly ! That is why you are in torment ! Can you 
never sever such binding attachment to this world ? That is 
the pine Yultihira is not here ! 

Matsukaze responds : 

Hov/ cruel! That pine is Yukihira - his very self! He said 

that if he only hears we pine for him he will return. 

This is the pine where my beloved lord lived. If he really 

comes back according to his word, I wilt stand by this tree 

and talk with him... 

O My Beloved ! 

She expresses her passionate longing in a carassing dance 

about the pine. 




The wind in the pine tree is strong ; 

The waves at Sumo Beach ore high at night. 

We've come to you in a dream 

Because of our attachement to this world. 

Please pray for us. 

We bid you farewell. 

As they leave, 

Across the beach comes the clear sound 

Of the surf ; the morning breeze sweeps down 

From the hills behind; from yonder town 

A medley of crowing. 
The priest wakes, reality regains ; 
He wonders : Was it a dream Passing-Rain's 
Voice, and Wind-in-the-Pine ? There remains 

Nothing at all showing 
In morning's light ; for he only sees 
The tree hears just the soughing breeze 
Passing, the wind through the pine tree's 
Branches sofly blowing. 

NOTES 

1. Literary references 

a. Yukihira's poem on the wind at Suma ; 

The coastal wind from Suma 
Blowing through the pass 
Cools the travelers' sleeves. 
(Referred to in GENJI MONOGATARI) 

b. Allusion to a poem by Yamabe no Akahilo in MANYOSHU 

c. Another poem by Yukihira (See ATSUMORI, NOTE 1, p. 15) 

2. NAMES: 

Mutsiikaze — 'wind in the pine' 
Murasame— 'pzss'tng shower' 

3. HIGH POINTS 

Two scenes are famous for the beauty of their e.\prcssion of 

poetic sensibility and emotion : 

Pulling the cart "carrying the moonlight" 

The passionate yearning in the dance around the pine 

4. Dances 

KUSE 

Chu no Mai 

Ha no Mai 

5. Masks 

SHITE : Zo 
TSURE : tsure tnasK 



- 51 — 



MIIDERA 

BACKGROUND 

This is one of the many Noh on ilu- thomi' of a grief-crazed mother 
seeking her lost child. (Others are SUMIDAGAWA, p. 64, HYAKUMAN, 
p. 80 and SAKURAGAWA, p. 56. They generally end in a happy reunion, 
except SUMIDAGAWA, in which the mother finds the child's grave on 
the bank of the Sumida River.) 

NOH 

While llie mother (SHITE) is praying at Kiyomizu Temple 
she dreams that she finds her lost child Senmitsu : an interpreter 
of dreams (KYOGEN) comes out and offers to tell her its 
meaning. She tells the dream : that she should go to Miidera. 
a temple in Omi, if she wants to see her child; as he urges 
her to go, she starts off happily. 

Meanwhile, the people of Miidera gather in the temple 
grounds awaiting sunset to view the Harvest Moon, with the 
boy Senmitsu (KOKATA) whom they have found and taken 
in. As they discuss how glorious is the beauty of the moon 
on this one night of the year — if it be not clouded over — the 
priest (WAKI) has the servant (KYOGEN) entertain the child 
with a dance. 

Hearing that a crazed woman is now wandering their way, 
the servant wishes to bring her in. hoping to see her dance ; 
when the priest flatly refuses, he opens the gates anyway, in 
hopes she may wander in, and she does. 

The mother comes, singing : 
{holding a tzvig of bamboo) 

Over the mountainous way I've come 
To Shiga, where 1 see 
Lake Biwa and the holy 
Mountain Hiei<zan beyond. 

(^■worshiping) 



Though I may appear to be quite sane 

To worship the holy mount religiously 

It is not strange that I have lost my mind 

Since my dear child was lost ; for even birds 

And animals know affection between parent and child. 

{I'crjonns a dame) 

As I hurry through the country, how I wish 

I could ask the trees along the way about my child. 

.•\nd so she arrives at Miidera. 

Both the priest and the mother quote poenl^ on the beauty 
of the moon ; and she sings of the scenery. 

The servant {niiinliig /he iictin/i <'ii;i>niiis/y) rings the bell, 
one of the three most famous in Japan. 

Impressed by the sound she determines to ring it herself, 
but the priest- would prevent her. She disputes with him. 
alluding to a poetic incident in ancient China. (Note 1, a) and 
approaching the bell, begs : 

Let me hear the bell and be freed from the cares 

Of the world and calmly hear the preaching of Buddha. 

She sings of various l>ells. with allusions to many classical 
poems {pulliiiii /lie hcllmpc) illustrating various feelings of 
bell sounds (Note 1, b) . 
(Perforins a dance) 

Watching her, Senmitsu wimders where she is from, so the 
priest inquires. She answers that she is from Kiyomigaseki in 
Suruga, Senmitsu repeats the name, and she realizes that the 
child is her own lost son. The priest rebukes her as insane 
for uttering such an idea but she retorts that having become 
insane by separation from her child, why should she therefore 
be insane when she again meets the child, who is indeed her 
real son ? The attendant is about to strike her, but Senmitsu 
prevents him. The priest in surprise asks the boy who he is, 
and Senmitsu answers that he is from Kiyomigaseki and came 
to this place through a dealer in children, but had no idea 
that his mother was wandering about the country looking for him. 



52 



The mother apologizes for breaking out so rudely, then : 
(as the priest places the hoy before her) 

I rang the bell and was reproved by the priest 

And then I found my son. Ordinarily 

For a man and woman the ringing of a bell 

Is not pleasant for it tells of time to leave. 

But we have found each other because of the bell. 

What gratitude I feel for the bell ! 
(looking up at the bell) 

She embraces her child, with tears of joy. 
(making the conventional Koh gesture of iveeping) 

They go home happily to become a prosperous family. 
NOTES 

1. Literary references 

a. The mother's defense: 

There was a poet (Chia Tao of China) who composed: 

The round full moon leaving 

The mountain near the sea, 
Rising in the sky. 
But it wasn't complete so the poet concentrated on rounding 
it out, gazing at the moon, and in inspiration added: 

The moon tonight is very full. 

There must not be any place unreached 
By this serene light. 
Beside himself with joy at this composition he climbed a 
high tower and rang the bell. When he was reproved, he 
answered: "I am crazed by poetry." If even such a great 
man was so excited by the moon, is it not much more so 
for a poor common woman like me ? 

b. One of the poems : 

The moon sets, birds cry out, 
Frost pierces the night air ; 
Fishermen's fires burn out, 
While on the anchored boot 
The midnight bell is heard. 

2. Mask 

SHITE : Shakum, 

3. Dances 

Iroe 

KIR I 
A. TSUKURIMONO 

Bell tower, with bell and lengthy bellrope. 
5. For use of KOKATA see ATAKA, NOTE 5, p. 13. 





53 — 



MOMIJI GARI 

BACKGROLXD 

This plot of a man-eating ogress of the forest appearing in the 
form of a beautiful lady to entice a young warrior is a story as old 
as literature. The beauty of the Noh is enhanced by placing it in a 
setting of autumn maple. (Momiji Gari means 'Maple Viewing') 

NOH 

A beautiful lady (SHITE) is having a maple-viewing party 
with her ladies-in-waiting (TSURE) deep in the Togakushi 
Mountains among the brilliant autumn leaves. When the 
renowTied warrior Koremochi (\V.-\KI) and his hunting party 
(WAKI TSURE) come upon them he courteously dismounts 
{indicated by handing his hozv and arroiv to attendant) and, 
to avoid intruding, takes another path around, but is accosted 
and enticed to drink (xcith the conventional Xoh gesture of 
pouring SAKE). By wine (Note 1) and her erotic dancing, 
he is captivated and seduced : 

Commit the sin of drinking and the sin 
Of lewdness and of falsehood then begin. 

As the woman performs a dance, she makes certain he is 

asleep ; then concludes the dance at a quickened tempo, and 

disappears into a nearby mound (represented by a covered 

bamboo frame). 

In the INTERLUDE, a god (KYOGEN) sent by 
the chief diety of the Otokoyama Hachiman Shrine 
of which Koremochi is a devout worshiper, warns 
him in a drectm and gives him a sword with which 
to kill the demon. 

As Koremochi awakes in shame from his drunken stupor, he 
is confronted by a fearful monster — ten feet high, with great 
horns and blazing eyes. 



Parrying her attack, lie calmly runs iier through. Slashing 
as she jumps ujion a rock, he ])ulls her down and valiantly 
stabs her to death. 

NOTES 

1. Classical reference 

The drink with which he is tempted is called the " wine 
of chrysanthemum dew" {Sec KANTAN, NOTE 1, b. p. 36.) 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Mambi 

NOCHI SHITE: Shikami 

3. Dances 

KUSE 

Chit no Mai 

Maihataraki 

4. For a similar theme sec KUROZUKA, p. 48. 




54 



OHARA GOKO 

BACKGROUND 

After the Heike Clan were destroyed at Dannoura, the former 
empress Kenrei retired to a Httle hut in the mountains with two of 
her former ladies-in-waiting, Lady Dainagon and Lady Awa, spending 
her days in prayers for the souls of her son the infant Emperor 
Antoku and her mother, drowned at Dannoura. 

NOH 

A Court official (WAKI TSURE) announces that Cioshirakawa, 
a retired emperor, is to visit Kenrei (SHITE). 
{Ohcira Goko means 'Visit to O-Hara") 

Kenrei "s hut (Note 2) is revealed (/;_v ii/icovcri>ig the /hutched 
framezvoi-k) and her way of life here is described in song. 
She leaves with Lady Dainagon (TSURE) to collect herbs of 
the mountain to use for offerings. 

Goshirakawa (TSURE) and his attendants (WAKI and WAKI 
TSURE) arrive by carriage, one of the attendants describing 
the quiet serenity and Goshirakawa reciting a poem. 

Informed as to where Kenrei has gone, they wait. 

Returning, the women pray for the Emperor Antoku and the 
Heike people who were killed. Goshirakawa's visit recalls her 
life at Court in contrast to the present, filling her with 
nostalgia. 

Again in her hut, she reminisces on the days when she 
lived a colorful and sophisticated life as Empress. She relates 
her flight with her mother and her infant son, the Emperor, 
in company with the Heike army, until they were driven into 
the sea at Dannoura. Her mother leaped from a boat with 
the infant Emperor in her arms and both were drowned. 

Kenrei also tried to drown herself but was rescued, so lives 
now like this in devotions and somber sadness. 




-**■ -'^  "" ■"■■"S 



NOTES 

1. Masks 

SHITE : Zo 
TSURE : tsure mask 

2. TSUKURIMONO 

The hut, represented by a bamboo framework. 

3. This is a relatively rare type of Noh which creates an at- 
mosphere of poetic sadness (MONO NO AWARE) and elegant 
gracefulness (Yl'GEN) — by appeal to the sensibilities of sight 
and sound only — through music, costumes, and solemnity of 
slow movement and restrained gestures. 

In IKARI KAZUKI the tragic death of the infant Emperor is related to 
a traveling priest, first by an old boatman, then by the spirit of the 
warrior Tomomori who died at that time by casting himself into the 
sea holding an anchor. 



55 — 




SAKURAGAWA 

BACKGROUND 

SAKURAGAWA is second only to SUMIDAGAWA (p. 64) in popularity 
among Noh with the theme of a distraught mother searching for her 
lost child. Others include: MIIDERA (p. 52), and HYAKUMAN (p. 80). 

NOH 

A child dealer (WAKI TSURE) from the East has been in 
Kyushu where he bought a boy called Sakurago, at whose 
request he delivers a letter and the money he paid for the boy 
to his mother (SHITE). 

She reads Sakurago's letter : His mother's life has long been 
so miserable that he has sold himself to the man-dealer and is 
going to the East with him, suggesting it would be best for 
her to become a nun ; she would call the man back but he was 
already gone. 

Praying the mercy of the local guardian goddess {see beloxv) 
on Sakurago she leaves her home, which has become unbearable 
without her son. and goes looking for him. 

Three years pass. 

The head priest (WAKI) of Isobe Temple in Hitachi (Ibaragi 
Prefecture) takes Sakurago (KOKATA) and attendants (WAKI 
TSURE) to the Sakuragawa for cherry blossom viewing, where 
the group are met by a village man (WAKI TSURE) who tells 
of a deranged woman gathering the fallen blossoms. 

At the villager's suggestion the woman (NOCHI SHITE) is 
called in. She expresses in dance her love for the cherry 
blossoms which is mingled with her affection for her son 
Sakurago. When the priest asks her why she has become thus 
she explains : 



— 56 



Separated from her son Sokurago in Kyushu, traveling after him by 
ship ond overlond, she has now come to this famous Soliuragawa. 
The name Sakuragawa meaning so much to her (NOTE 1), especially 
as it is now spring, she just wanders along the river, scooping up the 
floating petals, for — as the guardian goddess of her native place 
represents SAKURA her son was named Sokurago, and this is Sakura- 
gawa even fallen flowers are too valuable to be wasted. 

Realizing her deep sorrow the priest, after confirming her 
identity, informs her that Sakurago is with him. 

After their happy reunion she takes him home and becomes 
a nun — that in this world and for the life hereafter they^shall 
not want. 

NOTES 

1. Names 

Sakuragatva — 'cherry blossom river' 
Sakurago — 'cherry blossom child' 

2. Mask 

SHITE: Shakiimi 

3. Dances 

Kakeri (showing her madness engendered by the falling 

blossoms) 
Iroe (her mingled love for the sakura and her son) 
KUSE (to accompaniment of lyrics on the falling flowers) 
Ami no Dan (her longing for her son) 

4. Stage Property 

SUKUI AMI (fisherman's net), with which she scoops up the 
floating petals. 






57 




SHAKKYO 

BACKGROUND 

The Lion Dance exists in various forms, from India and Central 
Asia to China and Japan. Noh (like the Kabuki copied from it) 
simply expresses the spirit of playful lions gamboting about in a 
mountain wilderness. 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) oh a pilgrimage through India and China 
comes to the Stone Bridge (Shakkys) and he.sitates to cross it. 
A boy (SHITE) comes, singing of the scenery. The priest 
asks him if this is Shakkyo and the boy answers that it is 
and beyond the bridge is Mt. Seiryo, the Paradise of the Monju 
Buddha (Note 1, a). 

The priest is about to cross the bridge, trusting his life to 
the mercy of Buddha. The boy stops him, for from olden 
times even well-known priests crossed this bridge only after 
long and rigorous ascetic self discipline. He warns the priest it 
is a perilous act. referring to an old saying about the lion 
(Note 1, b). then describes the awesome bridge: 

This is not a man-made structure : it come out by itself connecting 
from rock to rocl<, so is coiled 'Stone Bridge'. Less than a foot wide, 
slippery, covered with moss, more than thirty feet long ; the valley 
more than a thousand feet below ; waterfalls hanging down through 
the clouds — below that may be Hell. The sound of svoter and wind 
resounding together would move rivers and mountains. Looking deep 
down into the valley below feet trembling, heart fainting who would 
dare to cross ? Truly none but those who hove the miraculous power 
of Buddha shall go ! But beyond it is the sacred land of Monju with 
everlasting music and flowers. Wait here for an Appearance. 

In the INTERLUDE demi-gods (KYOGEN, icear- 
i/ig /luisks) explain that it was Monju who appeared 
in the form of a boy. Feeling sorry for the priest 
whom he has prevented from crossing the bridge, 
he will let him see a marvelous sight. They have 



— 53 — 



come to watch too, drinking while they wait. But 
they become tipsy and afraid to watch the shishi 
('Hons") about to come, so they run ofi. 
The "lion' (NOCHI SHITE) comes and performs a unique 
dance, remarkably vigorous and active ; then a short closing 
number. 
NOTES 
1. Literary and classical references 

a. Monju is one of the two great BOSATSU of the Buddhist 
triad (the other being Fugen. See EGUCHI, NOTE 1, b, p. 21) 

b. The saying : 

A lion about to eat a flea 
First gets ready carefully. 



Dances 

Shishi Mai 

KIRI (to accompaniment of song referring to peony flowers) 
Masks 

SHITE: Jido 

NOCHI SHITE: Shishiguchi 
TSUKURIMONO 

Dias representing the Stone Bridge 

Peonies 
Variations 

1) Han Noh : Performances are quite often given of only the 
NOCHI (latter part). 

2) The number of 'lions' for the Shishi Mai varies. 

3) Performed without the INTERLUDE the SHITE role is 
played by a TSURE. 

4) Under some circumstances of programing, the SHITE role is 
portrayed as an old man instead of a boy. 



SHBH^ 


IT^'^X 


Ri* '" 


|PSr.'-- 


1 ^^m^r- 


WS^SSMX:^^!^^ 



Kojishi MASK 





Shishiguchi MASK 



— 59 



SHOJO 

Kofu (.WAKI) comes on stage and tells his story: 
(an old Chinese legend) 

Being told in o dream that os a reword for his filiol piety, if he 
would go to the town when there wos a fair ond sell SAKE he would 
become rich, he has been doing so and getting richer and richer. 
There is a man who comes to drink lots of SAKE at every fair. Curious 
as to the man's identity, because he never seemed to be affected by 
any amount he drank, he asked who he was. The man answered he 
was a Shojo. 
(an imaginary red-faced animal resembling the orangutan) 

Anxious to see him again, to find out more about him, Kofu 
is waiting at his regular place with scike for him. 

The Shojo (SHITE) appears and is happy to see him. After 
drinking convivially he dances on the waves under the clear 
moon and stars. After the dance he tells Kofu that his filial 
piety will be rewarded : the soke which he has given him will 
never run out. Then he drops off to sleep — Kofu ihought in 
his dream. 

Kofu awoke from his dream ; but the source of his sake truly 
never failed and his house prospered enormously. 

NOTES 

1. Mask 

SHITE : Shojo 

2. Dances 

Chu no Mai 
KIRI 

3. Variations 

The Shojo may be increased to two, or seven. 



MIDARE is a standard variation in which the Midare Dance is perform- 
ed instead of Chii no Mai. 

TAIHEI SHOJO is a variant of SHOJO. 





60 



SHUNKAN 

BACKGROUND 

This is one of the most emotional, and tragic, of all Noh. 

The priest Shunkan conspired with Fujiwara no Naritsune and Taira 
no Yasuyori- high officials, and others, against Kiyomori, dictatorial 
head of the ruling Heike (Taira) Clan. When the plot was discovered 
the three were banished to Kikaigashima ('Devils' Island'), a barren 
dot of land far off Kyushu — also called Iwogashima ('Sulphur Island'). 

NOH 

A Government Messenger (WAKI) announces that he has been 
appointed as the bearer of a pardon for Naritsune and Yasuyori 
granted under the amnesty proclaimed in connection with the 
prayers offered on behalf of the approaching childbirth of Her 
Majesty the Empress ( Kiyomori "s daughter) ; and orders a 
Sailor (KYOGEN) to make ready a ship for his immediate 
departure to their place of exile. 

Meanwhile, the two exiles (TSURE) are carrying on Shinto 

rites to the gods of Kumano, singing medleys of religious 

piety and gloomy despair over their forlorn state in banishment : 

Our tattered hamper garments must be mode 

To serve as holy vestments ; and white sand 

We throw Instead of rice to cast out evil. 

Shunkan (SHITE), a former priest in Zen Buddhism, has 
remained aloof but now comes to meet them with a bucket of 
water, saying he has brought wine to entertain them on their 
way home. They are incredulous that he could find wine on 
that desolate island and looking into the bucket, exclaim: 

Why, this is nothing but water. 

Shunkan then justifies, by lyrical exposition of well-known 
classical allusions, the identification of water with wine. (Note 1) 



I hey sit down to a mock banquet; Shunkan serves "wine" 
(usi/ig his fan. In /he conventional Noh gesture of pouring), 
invoking memories that but intensify their despondency. 

Suddenly the Messenger arrives (standing in the 'boat'), to 
deliver the jjardon, and the three are transported with joy. 

But when the document is read aloud Shunkan's name is not 
heard. As he grasps the scroll and scrutinizes it, incapable of 
believing his name is not mentioned, the Messenger confirms 
that the omission of his name was intentional. Shunkan shouts : 

Why ? Was not our crime identical ? and our place of 
banishment the some ? The amnesty should be likewise ! 

The horror of his despair is expressed in an exquisite lyric 

of classical quotations of poignant grief, ending : 

Hark ! Birds and beasts are crying out 
My anguish with me. 

Again he searches for his name, hoping against hope, taking 
even the paper wrapping of the scroll, turning it over and over, 
but there is nothing, not a word like his name, nor even 
resembling his title — nothing at all. 

The Messenger coldly orders the others to stop wasting time 
and go aboard at once. Shunkan, in a frenzy, grasps his 
departing friend by the sleeve, pleading for pity of the 
Messenger, quoting : 

Even official duty allows for individual kindness. 

But the Messenger, hardened to all sense of mercy, beats him 
off with the oar. When he seizes the mooring rope to hold 
back the departing ship he cuts the rope free and casts off, 
leaving him crying hoarsely midst the foaming surf. Hopelessly 
he throws himself upon the sand, sobbing out the heartache of 
his fathomless despair. 



61 





The companions of his exile aboard the ship, in heartfelt 
sympathy, shout encouragement to him again and again across 
the waves, promising that when they reach the Capital they will 
intercede on his behalf, till voices and figures grow faint, and 
then are hid behind the waves on the far-off horizon. 

NOTES 

1. Classical reference 

Chrysanthemum wine (Sec KANTAN, NOTE 1, b, p. 36. ) 

2. Mask 

SHITE: Shunka?i (used only for this Noh) 

3. TSUKURIMONO 

A bamboo framework representing a boat. 
{See FUNA BENKEI, NOTE 3, p. 25. ) 




62 



SOSHI ARM 

BACKGROUND 

Komachi ( Ono no Komachi) was the famous Heian beauty known for 
her poetry as well as her amours. (See KAYOI KOMACHI, p. 38) 

NOH 

The poet Kuronushi (WAKI) announces that the Emperor is 
holding a Poetry Contest on the following day, at which he 
will be pitted against Komachi. Lacking confidence in bettering 
her by fair means, he plans to do so by foul. 

At home, Komachi (SHITE) orally composes her poem, as 
Kuronushi and his servent (KYOGEN) eavesdrop. 

In the INTERLUDE the servant ruminates on his 
master's obsession to win in the poetry contest. 

The Emperor (KOKATA) presides at the poetry contest. 
When Komachi's poem (Note 1), is read Kuronushi accuses 
her of having plagiarized it, showing as proof a sheet of the 
MANYOSHU on which Komachi's poem is written; but 
Komachi knows that he has written the poem into the old 
collection. Receiving the Emperor's permission to test it, she 
washes the poem from the page, {luixiing the action) provmg 
that the ink was hardly dry. Kuronushi starts to leave in 
shame, intending to die, but is forgiven. Komachi then per- 
forms dances glorifying the love of poetry. 

NOTES 

1. Komachi's poem {waka) : 

(Appointed subject for the Poetry Contest: "Water Plants ) 
Unplanted, floating grasses grow 
From what seed I do not know, 
In furrowed waves, row on row. 




2. Mas/; and Costumes 

SHITE : Zo 

All wear conventional costumes of the Imperial Court. 

3. Dances 

Chii no Mai 

KIRI (glorifying poetry) 

4. THE HIGH POINT of this Noh is the action of the SHITE in 
miming the washing of the poem from the purported page of 
the MANYOSHf . 

5. For use of KOKATA see ATAXA, NOTE 5, p. 13. 

Another Noh of Kuronushi: 

SHIGA. A courtier is met by the diefied spirit of Kuronushi. 



63 



SUMIDAGAWA 

BACKGROUND 

SUMIDAGAWA is the most tragic among Noh on the theme of a 
grief-crazed mother seeking her lost child. 

NOH 

The boatman (WAKI) who operates the ferry across the 
Sumidagawa (Note 1) announces that a crowd is gathering for 
a solemn memorial service on the opposite bank of the river. 

A traveler (WAKI TSURE) from the Capital tells of a mad 
woman approaching who dances most amusingly, so the boatman 
waits to see her. 

The mother (SHITE) sings her grief, and parforms a dance. 
(currying a spray of bamboo) 

The boatman speaks roughly to her but she rebukes him 
with poetic reproofs, telling of her fruitless search for her 
child, and demands to be ferried across. The boatman declares 
her "the most sensible mad woman I've ever seen;"" and they 
all board the ferry. 

The boatman, as he ferries them across ip!y'"g '"■'' pole). 
tells the sad tale of what happened just a year ago this day: 

A dealer in children passing there with o tender lod of twelve 
deserted the boy when he fell mortally ill from the unaccustomed 
rigor of the forced travel, leaving him to die on the bank by the 
roadside. The good country people, judging by his appearance that 
he was of noble birth, tried to nurse him bock to health, but in vain. 
Just before he met his fate the boy identified himself clearly, naming 
his home and parentage, explaining that he had been kidnapped at 
the Capital. Then, like a man, he asked that he be buried there on 
the bonk "that at least the shadows of the travelers from the Capital 
may be cost upon my grave," and that they plant a willow tree in 
memory of him ; invoking Amida Buddha, he died. 
The mother ascertains by careful questioning that the stolen 
child was her own lost son. 





64 — 



The boatman, in heartfelt sympathy, leads her to the child's 
grave beneath the willow tree. 

She cries out in anguish : 

(kneeling in front of the mound) 

I had hoped against hope to find my child, and now 

He is no more upon the earth ; only 

This mound remains. O, cruel ! Was it that he 

Was born to be torn from his home and thus become dust 

Beside the rood ? 

Can my dear child be truly lying here 

Beneath this sod ? 

She would dig out the mound, " to gaze once more upon his 
mortal form;" and though the boatman urges her to join in 
prayers (striking a prayer gong in his hands) for the repose 
of his soul, she is at first too overcome with grief to pray, but 
finally takes the prayer gong and joins them as they call upon 
Amida Buddha : 

Namu Amida ! Nomu Amida ! 

The voice of the child comes faintly from within the mound, 
then an apparition of the child glides forth as a floating 
wraith, retreating, coming forth again, eluding her when she 
tries to embrace it, returning finally into the mound as she 
weeps inconsolably. 

NOTES 

1. The action supposedly takes place on both the banks of the 
Sumida River and the ferry boat, at a point near the present 
Asakusa in Tokyo. 

2. Dance 

Kakeri (expressing the mother's crazed frenzy of grief) 

3. Mask 

SHITE : Shakumi 

4. TSUKURIMONO 

A framework representing a boat. 

{See FUNA BENKEI, NOTE 3, p. 25.) 

A covered framework representing the burial mound. 

5. Though apparitions are common in Noh. the child ghost is 
unique; however, in a variation of this Noh the child does not 
appear — only a voice comes from within the mound. 




65 




TADANORI 



BACKGROUND 

This Noll is founded upon a touching incident in romantic history 
and built around a single literary allusion. 

The incident is the death of the young court noble Tadanori at the 
Battle of Ichinotani. The poem is a waka by Tadanori which was 
included in an Imperial collection (NOTE 1, a) unsigned (as his family 
was involved in a revolt). 

The theme is that his spirit cannot rest— is still attached to this 
world by life's desires, for fear his poem may remain anonymous. 

There are recurring references to the poem, and it is quoted in full 
three times: by SHITE, WAKI and Chorus and finally skillfully 
paraphrased for the closing lines. 



NOH 

A traveling monk (WAKI) and his attendants (WAKI TSURE) 
arrive at Ichinotani on Suma Bay where they meet an old man 
(SHITE) making an offering of flowers before a cherry tree 
that was planted there in memory of Tadanori. As they talk 
the sun sets and the man asks for a night's lodging. The old 
man retorts, " Is there better lodging than beneath these cherry 
blossoms ?" and quotes Tadanori's poem: 

Wandering into late twilight 

I lodge beneath a cherry tree 

Its blossoms are mine host this night. 

The monk in turn repeats the poem, identifying the poet. 

The old man explains that this cherry tree was planted where 

Tadanori fell in battle, so the monk offers prayers for his soul. 

Rejoicing for the prayers and promising to return in a dream, 

he vanishes from sight, {as the monk prays) 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place (KYOGEN) 
recites the story of the tree and of Tadanori's death. 



66 



As the monks sleep beneath the cherry tree, Tadanori 
(NOCHI SHITE) reappears in a dream as the Heike warrior he 
was, lamenting his attachment to this world because his poem 
does not bear his name, and seeking official recognition. 

The priest muses : 

The fairest fortune befalling one 

Must be to be born a poet's son {NOTE 1, b) 

And live in the love of poetry. 
For Tadanori how much more 
Highly skilled in arts of v/ar 

And honored by all for his poetry. 

Tadanori relates his fatal combat {iniiiii/ig the action of 
both xcarriors) and the victorious enemy's subsequent discovery 
and reading of the poem attached to an arrow in his quiver. 
{Performs a dance) 

The closing song and dance ends with the paraphrase : 

When you lodge belov/ 
The flowering bough 

The blossoms are your host. 

NOTES 

1. Literary references 

a. The poem appears anonymously in SENZAISHU. 

b. Poems by Tadamori, Tadanori's father, are included in 
anthologies collected under Imperial auspices. 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Jo 

NOCHI SHITE: Chujo 

3. Dances 

Kakeri 
KIRI 

4. THE HIGH POINT of the Noh comes as Tadanori's phantom, 
immediately following the miming of his own death, portrays 
the victorious enemy's discovery and reading of the poem, then 
reverts to the role of Tadanori as a disquieted spirit of the 
other world. 

5. For other warriors eulogized for aesthetic sensibility, see EBIRA, 
p. 19; and TSUNEMASA, p. 75. 

Another Noh : 

SHUNZEl TADANORI. The same story: discovery of Tadanori's poem, 

and his ghostly complaint. 





— 67 



TAKASAGO 

BACKGROLND 

In classical references the Twin Pines of Takasago and Sumiyoshi 
symbolize longevity and conjugal fidelity ; in this Noh they also stand 
for the MANYOSHf and the KOKINSHC anthologies, respectively, 
since the traditional role of poetry was to insure the peace and 
prosperity of the realm. 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) of a shrine in Kjoishu, on a tour with his 
attendants (WAKI TSURE), lands at Takasago Bay to see its 
famous pine tree. Beneath the spring breezes soughing in the 
Takasago Pine an old couple (SHITE and TSURE) are sweeping 
away the fallen pine needles {carrying a besom and a >-cikc). 
He asks them how it is that the Takasago and the Sumiyoshi 
Pines are called 'Twin Pines' though they are in different places. 

They sing : 

Though mountoins and rivers and thousands of miles 
Between them lie a man and wife in love 
Are ever together in heart. 
Eventually they reveal they represent the Pines, appearing 
in human form as man and wife. 

The old man then takes a boat {miming the action of hoard- 
ing a boat), saying he will await him at Sumiyoshi. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place 
(KYOGEN) tells the priest the legend of the 
Pines, and offers to transport him to Sumiyoshi. 
When the priest arrives at Sumiyoshi he is met by the diety 
(NOCHI SHITE) in his true form, who does a dance, singing: 
Thousand-year evergreen filling my hand 
Plucking plum blossoms to deck my hair 
Petals like spring snow fall o'er my robe. 
He then performs a 'god-dance" ; and closes with a song and 
dance of felicitation. 



NOTES 

1. The general popularity of TAKASAGO is attested by the fact that 
it is customary for several lines from this UTAI to be sung at 
a wedding party, ordinarily by the man who acts as 'go-between.' 
Also, representations of the aged couple, on scrolls, as figurines 
or dolls, etc. are very common. 
Dance 

Kiiiiii Mai 
Masks 

SHITE: Jo 

TSURE : Uha 

NOCHI SHITE: Kanlan Otoko 



2. 



3. 




— 68 



TAMURA 



BACKGROUND 

Tamura was a victorious general who, in devotion to Kannon, built 
Kiyomizu Temple, which has been for centuries one of the most 
popular temples in Kyoto. There is a shrine dedicated to Tamura 
within the grounds. A shrine of Jishu Gongen, a local diety, on the 
slope behind is referred to in the poetry below. 



NOH 

A traveling monk (WAKI) and his attendants (WAKI TSURE) 
arrive at Kiyomizu Temple on an evening when the cherry 
blossoms are in full bloom. 

A lad (SHITE) carrying a besom for sweeping under the 

cherry trees comes, singing of the beautiful blossoms : 

Behold the snowy garden of the shrine 

In dazzling white, eclipsing clouds and mist ; 

The boughs blurred with the voried-petaled flowers. 

The Capitol and the mountain ranges round 

Beneath Spring's sky show forth their radiant beauty. 

At the monk's request, he relates the history of the temple, 

pointing out nearby scenic spots and extolling its patron diety. 

When the monk asks his identity, he answers, "' Watch where 

I go," and enters the Tamura Shrine. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place 

(KYOGEN) relates the history of the temple and 

the exploits of Tamura. 

As the monk intones the Lotus Sutra, Tamura's spirit (NOCHI 

SHITE) reappears as a noble general of long ago, and tells by 

song and dance how he vanquished the 'demons' (barbarians) 

in the Suzuka Mountains through devotion to Kannon. 




NOTES 

1. Dances 

KCSE (Expressing the bi;auty of the spring evening in 

cherry-blossom time.) 

Kakeri (Suggesting his victorious encounter with the 

demons.) 

KIRI (Dramatic gestures and movements accompanying the 

song of .his victory.) 

2. Masks 

SHITE : Don 

NOCHI SHITE: Heida 

3. This Noh is unusual in that Tamura is a victorious general, of 
an age before the HeikeGenji Period, whereas the hero of this 
type of Noh (Second Group) is usually a Heike warrior killed 
in battle. (See YASHIMA, NOTE 1, p. 76) 



— 69 — 



TENKO 



An Imperial envoy (WAKI) lells: 

(an old Cliincsr ftary) 

A couple called Ohoku and Obo had a son they named Tenko because 
just before the child was born his mother dreomed that a drum from 
heaven fall into her womb. Then the boy got a real drum from 
heaven and it made such a marvelous sound the news of it reached 
the emperor, who wanted the drum. But Tenko hid himself in the 
mountains with the drum, only to be found and drowned. The drum 
is kept in the palace but has never made a sound. The emperor, 
realizing why the drum is silent, has sent for Tenko's father, 

Tenko's father (SHITE), living in grief and tears, follows 
unwillingly to Court, expecting he also is to be killed. He 
laments that, although a man should try to overcome his grief, 
looking for Nirvana, he cannot forget the loss of his son, whom 
he cannot make himself believe is no longer in this world. 

At the courtier's insistence he helplessly strikes the drum, 
and strangely it gives out a heavenly sound of lovely sentiment, 
moving the emperor to tears. 

The courtier tells the father that the emperor was so moved 
he shall be given treasures, and musical services are to be 
offered for Tenko. He orders a servant (KYOGEN) to see him 
home ; then has musicicins summoned for the services. 

When the ceremony is held in the presence of the emperor 
at the place where Tenko was drowned the boy's spirit (NOCHI 
SHITE) comes out of the river and expresses his gratitude, for 
he has now been saved from the torments of hell, and praises 
the Imperial reign. Then he plays his drum and dances in an 
ecstasy through the night till the rustle of people and the 
morning light fade his pheintom away. 




NOTES 

1. TSUKURIMONO 

Drum set on a bamboo framework 

2. Dances 

Gaku (a solemn dance expressing his pious ecstasy) 
KIKI (a dance of joy, and farewell to the drum) 

3. Masks 

SHITE: Jo 

NOCHI SHITE: Doji 



70 — 



TOBOKU 



BACKGROUND 

TOBOKU is designed to illustrate the romantic temperament of Lady 
Izumi, a poetess endowed with rare poetic sensibility, notorious for 
her love affairs with various princes, but remembered most for a 
plum tree she had planted at the Toboku In, under the eaves of her 
west window. Attaining enlightenment through her poetry, she 
became a Bosalsu of Song and Dance in the 'Western Paradise' upon 
her death. 



NOH 

Many years after the death of Lady Izumi, when the former 
palace has become a temple, with her plum tree still putting 
forth its exquisite blossoms as in days of old, a traveling monk 
(WAKI), guided to the place by a Man of the Place (KYOGEN), 
sits admiring the plum blossoms. Lady Izumi's spirit (SHITE) 
appears as a maiden, finally identifying herself as the mistress 
of the plum tree, then vanishing into the shadow of the tree. 
In the INTERLUDE, the Man of the Place tells 
the story of Toboku In and Lady Izumi's 'Plum 
Tree by the Eaves.' 
She reappears in her true form, performing dances £md 
singing in praise of poetry : 

Poetry is indeed a sermon... 
The memory of only poets lives on forever... 
Poetry moves Heaven and Earth 
And melts the Demon's heart. 

The Chorus alludes to an ancient poem : 

The flower returns from v^hence it comes 
The bird returns to its old nest. 

And as she glides back into the temple hall the monk 
awakens from his dream. 




NOTES 

1. Lady Izumi's tree is poetically associated with the beautiful 
plum tree of which it is said that a poetess, when it was 
requisitioned as a replacement for an Imperial tree that had 
died, attached the following poem to its branches: 

Honored by the Imperial command — 
Yet what shall I tell the nightingale 
When it returns. 

2. Mask 

SHITE: Zo 

3. Dances 

KUSE 
Jo no Mai 
KIR I 

Another Noh about Lady Izumi: 

SEIGANJI. Izumi appears to a man at her grave at Seigan Temple, 
in Kyoto, first as a woman, then as a diety of poetry and dance. 



— 71 — 



TORU 



BACKGKOLNU 

To writers of later times the Heian Period was the Golden Age. 
Such extravagant exaggerations of luxurious living as the story of 
Toru's seawater pool are not uncommon. 

NOH 

A traveling priest (WAKI) arrives at the Capital and comes 

to the ruins of Kawara no In on the night of the Harvest Moon. 

An old man (SHITE) carrying salt buckets slung over his 

shoulders comes and, viewing the ruins of the famous mansitm, 

laments : 

When the moon is in the sky, the tide is high, it's lonesome at 
Shiogoma Beach. This is a place of rare beauty, and enjoying the 
scenery, a lonesome old man like me feels the sensibility of the poem : 
As I count the days of the moon 
This evening is just mid-autumn. 

The priest asks him if he lives nearby, also wondering about 
the salt buckets. Then the old man answers that this place, 
Kawara no In, is properly called Shiogama Beach because many 
centuries ago Toru built his garden as a copy of Shiogama 
Beach on the northern coast (Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture). 

Meanwhile the moon has risen, moving them to recite poetry 
and ponder upon people of the past. 

At the priest's request he tells the history of Kawara no In 
in the early Heian Period. 

Minister Minamoto no Toru, son of Emperor Sago, built a mansion here 
and hod his garden patterned after the famous Shiogama Beach. He 
had the pool filled daily in imitation of the tide, with sea water 
carried up every day from Noniwo (Osaka), and indulged in the 
pastime of watching salt-burning I NOTE 1 ). After Toru's death nobody 
kept up the place so the pool dried up and dead leaves floated on 
the stognont rain water. The poet Tsorayoki ( NOTE 2 ) sow it and 
made a poem on the pathetic sight of the once elegant splendor. 





— 72 — 



When the old man finishes his story he is overcome by 
throbbing sorrow of yearning for the past. The priest consoles 
him by diverting his attention to the surrounding mountains in 
rich autumn hues. Then he remembers that he was going to 
draw salt water and approaches the shore of the pool where 
he disappears in the spray of the surf, as it were. 

In the INTERLUDE a Man of the Place 
(KYOGEN) tells the priest the history of Toru 
and his marvelous salt-water pools. 
The priest decides ; 

On this beach, on a rock bed with moss sheet I'll lie down expecting 
more wonders as if waiting for a dream. 
The spirit of Toru (NOCHI SHITE) returns, reminiscing: 

Though I have forgotten this world for a long time, I have now come 
back to see the moon. I'm the one known as Toru who loved the 
Beach of Shiogama many years ago. The beach so fascinated me 
that I used to spend the bright moonlight nights in a boat among the 
islands dancing and dancing 

A dancing figure is as beautiful as the falling petals of the laurel 

flower in the moon. 

He dances and sings exotic praises of the moon. 
In the early spring, why isn't the moon clear ? 

Because of the mist along the mountains far away. 
An eyebrow like faraway mountains is also like the new moon. 
The new moon may be likened to a sailing vessel. 

Fish in the water may wonder if it be a hook. 

Flying birds are frightened by it as of on arrow. 
The moon never falls from heaven 

Though water may evaporate it will return as rain. 

As birds start singing and bells ringing announcing the dawn 
he goes with the fading moonlight. 

NOTES 

1. See MATSUKAZE, p. 50, for references to salt making. 

2. Tsurayuki : poet of the early Heian Period. 

3. Masks 

SHITE : Jo 

NOCHI SHITE: Chujo 

4. Dance 




— 73 — 



TSUCHIGUMO 



HACKGROl NU 

TSUCHIGUMO is ihe most popular Noh of a fearful monster. It is 
basid on a primitive story from NIHONSHOKI retold in HEIKE 
MONOGATARI. 

NOH 

A maid (TSURE) bringing medicine to the mansion of 
Raiko. who is confined to his bed by a mysterious malady, is 
announced by a servant (TSURE). After she leaves, a priest 
(SHITE) comes and talks with Kaiko (TSURE), telling him 
that his illness has been caused by a spider (tsuchigumo.) 
When Raiko sees that the priest himself is the spider, it 
tries to emmesh him in a web, but Kaiko attacks it with a 
sword he has by his pillow. Wounded, it flees. 

Raiko's warrior Hitorimusha (WAKI) rushes in and is told 
what has happened. Finding a trail of blood, he announces 
that he will follow the monster to its lair and slay it. 

In the INTERLUDE his servant (KYOGEN) recapitulates. 

Hitorimusha and his warriors arrive at the mound where the 
spider (NOCHI SHITE) is hiding. Hitorimusha finally kills the 
monster in a fierce battle and returns in triumph to the Capital. 

NOTES 

1. TSUKURIMONO 

The monster's lair, represented by a bamboo framework 
covered with spider's web. 

2. Mask 

NOCHI SHITE: Shikami 

3. Dance 

Maibataraki 

4. The highly dramatic and comparatively realistic throwing out of 
paper streamers as the spider's entangling web is a type of 
action unique to this Noh. 




Other Noh about Raiko (Yorimitsu) 

OEYAMA. Yorimitsu (Raiko), under an Imperial Order to annihilate 
the demon Shutendoji, with his retainers disguised as YAMABUSHI 
(see ATAKA, NOTE 4, p. 13) locate the demon on Oe Yama through 
a woman made captive by him ; and after taking advantage of his 
unwilling hospitality attack him as he sleeps and kill him. 
RASHOMON. After returning from Oe Yama (see above) Yorimitsu 
and his retainers are drinking and discussing the rumor that Rashomon, 
one of the gates of the Capital, is haunted by a demon ; one of the 
men, Tsuna, on a dare goes to the place, where he is attacked by the 
demon whom he defeats by slicing off one of its arms, and returns 
proudly to his comrades. (The Kabuki IBARAGI follows this episode.) 



74 



TSUNEMASA 



BACKGROUND 

Tsunemasa, scion of the Heike (Taira) Clan, was granted high 
Imperial favor for his skill with the lute. After his death in battle 
his lord arranged to have the lute dedicated at his temple. 

NOH 

A priest (WAKI) has gathered musicians to dedicate the great 

lute, when unexpectedly the voice of Tsunemasa (SHITE) comes : 

Wind in the trees— rain sounds under cleor sl<ie5 ; 
Moonlight on sand, like frost on a summer night. (NOTE 1) 

His shadow falls dimly within the pale of their flickering 

candle light, then disappears; but his voice lingers, identifying 

himself as Tsunemasa, even through the wall of death his 

undying devotion to his lord thus declaring : 

Though the water in the garden's courses alter — 

Still I shall not weary of my lord's house. 

The priest expresses gratitude for the marvel of being able 
to converse with the dead, and Tsunemasa tells the story of 
this lute SEIZAN now being dedicated, which was given him 
by his lord. As the service proceeds with a concord of many 
instruments, Tsunemasa steals up, unseen, and plucks the 
strings of his beloved lute. 

Then he dances as the chorus sings of the sound of lute 
music. 

He performs another dance, still his shadow only visible. 

But the anguish of the Asura Hell begins to return upon 

him here where he has momentarily returned to this world : 

Though his heart is set on music, he cannot stay 

Wind snuffs the candle out and wafts his phantom away, 

In the darkness not e'en 

His shadow can be seen. 



NOTES 

1. Literary reference 

From a poem by the Chinese poet Po Chui, comparing the 
sound of the wind in the trees to that of rain, and sands 
bathed in moonlight to frost. 

2. Mask 

SHITE: Jiiroku 

3. Dances 

KUSE 
Kakeri 
KIR I 

4. For other Noh on a manly, courageous warrior imbued with 
aesthetic sensibility, see EBIRA, p. 19; and TADANCRI, p. 66. 







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75 — 



YASHIMA 

BACKGROLNl) 

The bay of Yashima was the scene of a great battle in the struggle 
between the Minamoto and Taira clans (the Genji-Heike Wars). 

NOH 

A priest (.WAKI) and his attendants (WAKl I'Sl'KK) arrive 
at Yashima and are given lodging at the house of two fisliermen 
(SHITE and TSURE), one of whom describes the scene of the 
battle in such vivid detail that the priest asks his name. He 
is made to understand that it is the ghost of the famous 
military hero Yoshitsuns, the (ienji commander in that battle, 
who then disappears. 

In the INTERLUDE a .Man of the Place 
(KYOGEN) relates background information. 
As the priest dreams, Yoshitsune (NOCHI SHITE) appears in 
his true form, singing : 

A fallen flower blooms not again 
A broken mirro' reflects no more. 

The dead cannot return. 
But anger, on a'loctiment to this world, 
Binds him in agony in the nether world. 
And pulls him bock to the battlefield. 

Then he does a song and dance, and tells {sitllitg on stool) 
how he rode his horse into the sea amongst the hostile craft to 
retrieve his bow which was being carried away by the tide, in 
danger of falling into the hands of the enemy. 

He dances again, describing poetically the glistening of arms 
on the field of battle. 

NOTES 

1. YASHI AA is one of the three Noh (with EBIRA, p. 19; and TAMURA 
p. 69) of this type (Second Group) based on a victorious warrior 
rather than a defeated Heike. 




llciJu 



2. Masks 

SHITE: Jo 
NOCHI SHITE: 

3. Dances 

Kaker'i 

KIRI (describing Yoshitsune's battli 

4. Variations of the INTERLUDE: 

1) The usual form — Kagekiyo's combat with 
story Kagekiyo relates for his daughter, in KAGEKIYO, 

2) The story of Y^oshitsune retrieving his bow. 

3) The story of the marvelous archery feat of Nasu no Y'oichi 
(with the KYOGEN performing a fascinating miming of the 
roles of Yoshitsune and Nasu no Y'oichi alternately) : Cora- 
missioned to do so by Yoshitsune, he shot down the fan carried 
as an emblem atop the mast of the enemy's ship, which was 
bobbing on the waves a great distance offshore. 



ith the Heike) 

Mionoya 
P- 



(the 
35). 



— 76 — 



YOROBOSHI 

BACKGROUND 

A father had cast out his son Shuntoku Maru because of a slander 
instigated by the boy's step-mother. The father, when he reaUzes 
the boy's innocence, does pennance by giving alms for one week at 
the temple called Tennoji, in Osaka. In the meantime the boy has 
become blind and wanders about as a begger. 

NOH 

On the last day of the almsgiving, Shuntoku Maru (SHITE) is 

among the throng of the poor, singing his loneliness as he 

comes. 

Well may all call me Yoroboshi, for bsing blind I weave about like 
a cart with one wheel off. (NOTE 1 ) 

As he receives the alms he becomes aware of the scent of 

plum blossoms in full bloom, and quotes exquisite poetry of 

their fragrance, as 

The petals fall upon his sleeves 

— Like spring snowfiakes floating down 

— In semblence of the alms being given. 

After receiving alms he tells the history of the temple, and 
describes the famous places of the vicinity. 

Then everyone goes to watch the sunset, as it is the day of 
the Vernal Equinox. The blind boy performs a dance, telling 
the story of his own life and suffering. 
{miming his blind running and stumbling) 

The father (WAKI), realizing it is his own son, embraces him 
(though the boy in shame tries to hide himself), and joyfully 
takes him home. 
NOTES 

1. YORO means 'stumbling' (or 'weaving') and BOSHI can mean 

'boy' (or 'beggar'). 

2. Mask 

SHITE : Yoroboshi 



Dance 
Iroe 
HIGH POINTS: 

1) The expression of his sensibility in smelling the plum 
blossoms falling on his sleeves. 

2) The sensitivity portrayed in hii running hither and thither, 
ashamed before his father. 




Other Noh of a similar theme: 

KOYA MC^OGURUl. A son grieving for his dead father runs away to 
become a priest, leaving a letter for the servant in whose charge he 
has been left, who becomes mentally unbalanced in searching for him, 
until he finds him with some priests at Mt. Koya. 

TSUCHI3U,^UMA. When a father, unbalanced by grief at his wife's 
death, abandons his son to become a priest, the overwhelming 
responsibilities that fall upon the boy's tutor so unhinge him he 
draws the boy about in a lowly vehicle (TSUCHIGURUMA 'earth 
barrow') from place to place until they are by happy chance reunited 
with the father at Zenko Temple. 

UTAURA. A boy whose father is missing is taken to a fortune-teller 
who turns out to be his father. 



— 77 — 



YUYA 

BACKGROUND 

Yuya is the concubine of Munemori, a scion of the governing 
Hoike Clan (NOTE 1, a) at the Imperial Court in Kyoto, the Capital. 
She longs to go to her mother who lies seriously ill at their home in 
the eastern part of Japan. 

NOH 

First Munemori (.WAKI) comes on stage to explain that Yuya 
has asked permission to return home hut he has refused 
hecause he is pleased to have her company during this cherry 
blossom time. 

Then a maid (TSURE) from Yuya's home appears, bringing 
a letter from Yuya's mother, which she delivers when Yuya 
(SHITE) appears. Yuya again begs leave of Munemori to return 
home, and reads him the letter, in which her mother says 
she wishes to see her face once more before dying. But 
Munemori still insists that she remain with him. A carriage 
is then brought and Yuya is taken to Kiyomizu Temple 
(Note 1, b) for the cherry-viewing party. There Yuya prays 
to Kannon to save her mother, but is called from her prayers 
to join Munemori and the others. She dutifully tries to appear 
gay. dancing as ordered ; but when a sudden shower causes 
many of the blossoms to fall, Yuya writes a poem and passes 
it to Munemori. who reads: 

I know not what to do ! ' Twould sadden me 

To quit the Capital in all its vernal glory ; 

Yet if the flower that I hold dear there in 
The East should fall...? 

This so touches Munemori that he immediately gives her 
permission to go to her mother. Yuya sets off on her journey 
at once before he can change his mind. 



NOTES 

1. References: 

a. For a description of the Heike in power, see the song in 
ATSUMORl, p. 14. 

b. See TAMURA, BACKGROUND, p. 69. 

2. Masks 

SHITE: Zo 
TSURE : tsure mask 

3. TSUKURIMONO 

Hanamiguruma : a framework poetically representing the 
carriage which carries Yuya to the cherry-viewing party. 




78 — 



ASHI KARI 



GENJO 



A man who left his wife because of poverty is now eking out 
a subsistence as a rushcutter. The wife meanwhile has been 
well employed at the Capital and comes for him but he is at 
first too wretched to show himself. However, when he has put 
on the new garments she has brought for him, he dances, and 
they then return happily together. 

FUJI DAIKO 

A musician named Fuji came up to the Capital when he 
heard that Asama, another drummer, had been called to play 
at an Imperial Court concert. Asama so resented this that he 
killed Fuji, whose wife arrives with their daughter shortly after, 
because of an upsetting dream she had. Grief -stricken, she 
puts on her husband's robe and beats the drum which is to her 
the cause of his death. 

In UMEGAE, priests see the drum and robe (see above) in the house 
at Sumiyoshi where they are given shelter by a woman who afterwards 
comes as Fuji's wife and dances, wearing the robe. 

GENJI KUYO 

A priest is asked by a woman to perform a service for the 
soul of Prince Genji of GENJI MONOGATARI because she is 
unable to obtain bliss, for breaking the Buddhist commandment 
against untruth by writing the romance. Though doubting her, 
he complies; whereupon Lady Murasaki, the writer of the book, 
appears again with a petition which he reads, at last under- 
standing that Murasaki was manifestly an incarnation of the 
Kannon Buddha who wished to show through the Tales of Genji 
that human life is in reality as empty a dream as is fiction. 



A renowned lute player about to enbark for China for further 
training plays his instrument for the old couple in whose house 
he is staying at Suma Beach, who so appreciate his music that 
when rain patters on the roof they quickly spread grass mats to 
deaden the sound. In turn, they play a lute named Genjo and 
a harp for him, so impressing him that he gives up going to 
China, learning then that they are the spirits of Emperor 
Murakami and his consort Lady Nashitsubo, who played for him 
for that very purpose. The Emperor later reappears, to call a 
dragon god up from the sea and retrieve another famous lute 
snatched away while enroue to Japan. (Cf. AMA, p. 8) 




Other Noh on the same theme: 

In KASUGA RYUJIN a man taking his leave at the Kasuga Shrine (in 
Nara) for a trip to China is informed by a messenger of the god 
there in the guise of an old man that all necessary Buddhism can now 
be found in Japan ; following which a dragon god descends to make 
him forswear the trip. 

HAKU RAKUTEN contains the most chauvinistic insularism in this 
pregnant myth: The Chinese poet Po Chu-i (HAKU RAKUTEN) 
enroute to Japan meets two Japanese fishermen offshore who amaze 
him by not only calling him by name but immediately capping a 
Chinese poem the poet composes extemporaneously; after which a 
Japanese god, Sumiyoshi Myojin, materializes from the waves and 
dances, then orders him to go back home at once, calling up a 
big wind with the help of other gods which blows his ship all the 
way back to China. 



— 79 



HANJO 



HYAKUMAN 



This is the outstanding love story among all Noh. 

Tlie "madame" of a road-side house discharges one of her 
girls, Hanago. who refuses to serve other men since she fell 
in love with one Yoshida from the Capital when he passed 
through. The unfortunate girl, distraught with love and lone- 
liness, wanders aimlessly from place to place. Yoshida comes 
back on his return trijj in the autumn, intending to make 
Hanago his wife, but finds her gone. So upon his arrival at 
the Capital he goes at once to worship at the Shimokamo 
Shrine. They are romantically reunited there through the two 
fans which they had exchanged in troth of their love. 

A Noh on a similar theme: 

MINAZUKI BARAE. Two lovers are reunited at the Kamo Shrine. 

HIBARIYAMA 

Minister Toyonari, believing the stepmother's slander, orders 
his men to take his daughter Chujo Hime to Mt. Hibari and 
kill her. Instead of killing her they hide her there and her 
nurse supports them both by selling flowers. One day Toyonari 
comes to Mt. Hibari where he meets the nurse, who has 
become crazed from worrjang over Chujo, and asks her to 
take him to his daughter, for he has come to repent of what 
he did. .After their reunion they happily return home. 

Another Noh : 

TAEMA. In a dream a priest meets manifestations of Amida and 
Kannon, who wove a marvelous tapestry of Buddha images for Chujo 
Hime (see above), who also appears and dances. 



A man and a lost boy attend a religious service of chants 
and dances. The boy's mother, Hyakuman, crazed with grief, 
also comes, leading in the worship, and dancing, then praying 
fervently that she may find her child. The boy tells the man 
that she is his mother, so the man inquires where she is from 
and the cause of her present condition. She replies that she 
is from Nara where, after her husband's death, she became 
separated from her only child, and now in her fruitless search 
for him her wanderings have brought her here, and expresses her 
grief in dance. She also dances the story of the founding of 
the temple, praying that she may find her son. 

The man is deeply moved and brings the boy to her. The 
mother praises Buddha and they return home in great joy. 

Similar Noh: 

ASUKAGAWA. A child meets his lost mother planting rice. 
KASHIWAZAKI. The servant of a man from Kashiwazaki who died 
while on a trip to Kamakura with his son brings the dead man's 
belongings and a letter from the boy saying he will become a priest, 
both together so overwhelming the mother that she becomes deranged; 
but later she is reunited with her son at Zenko Temple. 

KANAWA 

A wife who has been cast aside by her husband for another 
woman, determined that they should suffer in this world for what 
he has done to her, goes to the Kifune Shrine for seven days 
seeking divine aid against them. On the last day she receives 
an oracle : go forth to her purpose wearing on her head an iron 
crown {kanawa) surmounted by three burning tapers, her face 
painted red, dressed in red and holding to a consuming wrath 



80 



in her heart. She is very much surprised at this but while she 
is considering going home to follow the instructions her features 
take on a demonic visage and she rushes forth to take revenge. 

The husband meanwhile consults the wizard Seimei about his 
nightmares. Seimei quickly warns him that his life is in danger 
on this very night because of a woman's hatred but Seimei 
promises that he will try his best to save his life by deflecting 
the imprecation. 

While Seimei prays with all his might to protect the cursed 
couple the ' living spirit " of the former wife's jealousy appears 
and approaches the altar where dolls of the couple are lying. 
She strikes them, expressing the agony and fury of a cast-off 
woman, but when she tries to carry off the man she sees thirty 
gods (protectors of the sutra) reprimanding her to desist. Her 
supernatural power deserts her and she evaporates into thin 
air, only her voice coming clearly — declaring that she will wait 
for another chance. 

Koeo 

An Imperial Court official sends a man to find Lady Kogo, 
the Emperor's favorite among the ladies-in-waiting, who has 
.left the Capital for fear of incurring the displeasure of the 
Heike (Taira) overlord Kiyomori whose daughter has become 
Empress. He finds her by hearing the sound of her koto 
(harp). And, after concluding his errand by delivering a letter 
from the Emperor and receiving her reply, shows his sympathy 
by drinking with her and dancing before he returns. 
In GIO, the dancers Gio Gozen, long a favorite of Kiyomori, and her 
protege Hotoke dance before him, but though he becomes enamored 
of Hotoke she promises Gio she will not accept his attentions. 
In HOTOKE NO HARA the spirit of Hotoke appears in a dream to a 
priest at Hotoke no Hara and tells how she, like Gio, become a nun 
and returned to her native village to die. 



KOTEI 

The emperor (KOTEI), in great anxiety over the illness of 
his favorite concubine Princess Yang (see YOKIHI below), is 
visited by the spirit of Shoki (see below), who committed 
suicide when he failed the government examination, but was 
posthumously appointed to court rank by the emperor's grace 
and given a grand funeral. So in gratitude he has now come 
to exorcise the penicious demon causing the affliction, for which 
he orders a mirror to be set up at the sickbed. When he has 
left, the demon appears in the mirror but simply vanishes when 
it is attacked. Shoki returns and vanquishes it in an amazing 
shadow-duel with its reflection. 

In SHOKI the ghost of Shoki appears to a traveler. 
YOKIHI. A medium who has been commissioned by the bereaved 
emperor to locate his beloved Princess Yang (Yokihi) in the other 
world locates her in the mythical Chinese Paradise HSrai Zan and 
visits her there, receiving from her a memento and a poetic pass-word 
for proof to the emperor that he met her. 

Other similar Noh : 

SHOKUN. An old couple, greatly agitated over the welfare of their 

beautiful daughter Shokun who has been sent from among the 

Chinese emperor's concubines as a peace offering to a barbarian king, 

set up a magical mirror in which her image appears and that also 

of the hairy barbarian, who is so hideous beside her fair beauty that 

he draws back in shame. 

KANYO KYU. A Chinese emperor deceived and captured by two men 

of an enemy state tricks them by his concubine's music and kills them. 

KOU. A ferryman reveals he is the spirit of the famous (General Knu, 

then appears in his true form with his wife. 



81 



KUMASAKA 



MAKieiNU 



In the evening a priest from the Capital on a pilgrimage to 

the East arrives at the village of Akasaka, where he is stopped 

by a local priest requesting prayers for a certain person whose 

tomb he points out but whose name he will not divulge. Then 

he invites the traveler to lodge the night at his house, which 

he does. And a startling place it is for a priest's house, with 

all kinds of weapons hung about — a veritable armory — but not 

a single religious implement. The host attempts by tricky logic 

of twisted religious reasoning to justify a priest's possession 

of such weapons. Then seeming to go to his bedroom to retire 

he disappears and the whole house vanishes, leaving the 

traveler to find himself spending the night under a pine tree. 

In the INTERLUDE the priest asks a Man of the 

Place about a bandit who once lived there, and 

is told the exploits of Kumasaka and his defeat 

by Ushiwaka (the boy Yoshitsune), concluding that 

Kumasaka must have appeared in longing for prayer. 

In the priest's dream Kumasaka reappears in his true form 

and relates his band's night attack on a merchant caravan 

staying at an inn, which ended in their being utterly routed by 

Ushiwaka, who happened to be accompanying the merchants, 

and in Kumasaka's death. 



Other N'oh on Yoshistune as the boy Ushiwaka: 

EBOSHI ORI 15 another N'oh of the defeat of Kumasaka by Ushiwaka, 
presented as a direct narrative instead of the dream-form. 
HASHI BENKEI. The well-known defeat of Benkei at the bridge (hashi) 
by the boy Ushiwaka in the guise of a girl, whereupon Benkei became 
his most loyal and proficient retainer. 

FUE NO MAKI is a variant of HASHI BENKEI differing in the first part. 



An Imperial envoy, on orders the Emperor gave in compliance 
with a dream to present a thousand rolls of silk to the Kumano 
Shrines, is sent to Kumano to gather the silk coming from the 
provinces. But the man bringing the silk from the Capital 
stops at the Otonashi Shine to worship, and offers up a poem. 

When he arrives he is tied up and about to be punished for 
being late. But the spirit of Otonashi no Tenjin, taking posses- 
sion of a medium, tells the envoy to release him because the 
poem he offered pleased the god. The possessed medium 
praises poetry and explains the religious significance of the 
Kumano Shrines, during which she dances more and more 
ecstatically till the moment the divine possession leaves her. 

Another Noh on the same theme: 

ARIDOSHI. The poet Tsurayuki (see TORU, Note 2, p. 73) angers the 
god by riding his horse into the shiine compound but appeases him 
by composing a fitting poem on the spot. 




82 — 



MAKURA JIDO 



MANJU 



In ancient China, an envoy is sent by the emperor to Mt. 
Rekken to find the source of miraculous water flowinf^ forth 
from there. Deep in the mountains he finds Jido in a hut, 
singing : " With the pillow of Kantan (see KANTAN, p. 36) you 
dream of a hundred years of luxurious life, but every time I 
look at my pillow I am reminded of my misconduct which 
caused me to be here." (He had inadvertently stejJiied over 
the pillow of the emperor, who was therefore obliged to exile 
him to this remote mountain fastness.) Jido discovers that it 
has been centuries since he was exiled, and understands then 
that the emperor from his sympathy wrote on the pillow two 
verses of Buddhist scriptures, which he faithfully copied onto 
chrysanthemum leaves round about, and the dew from those 
leaves became an elixir of life protecting him from wild beasts, 
disease and death. Jido dances and serves the elixir to the 
envoy, blessing the emperor and presenting him with his seven 
hundred years longevity. 

Other Noh of an elixir of life: 

FUJI SAN. Another story about an elixir of life, sought on Mt. l'"uji. 
KAPPO. A man pays a fisherman to release a strange fish he has 
caught, then its spirit comes as a child and gives him a jewel that is 
formed by its tears and will insure his longevity and health. 
NEZAME. An elixir of life is received from dragon gods. 
SEIOBO. A peach from heaven is given the emperor for longevity. 
TOBOSAKU. Another Noh relating the same story of the peach. 
YORO. A perpetual renewal in reward for filial piety; A young 
woodcutter who works hard and faithfully to support his old parents 
shows an Imperial envoy the waterfall from which he has taken water 
that renewed his strength and benefited his parents, and some is taken 
for the emperor; whereupon a mountain god appears and dances. 

A similar theme: 

HIMURO. A courtier is shown the ' ice cave ' by the local god and 
given a piece of ice to take to the Emperor. 



When a man named Manju recalls his son front the temple 
where he has been sent to study, to check on his progress, he 
flies into such a rage u])on discovering the hoy's utter ignorance 
that he is only restrained from striking him dead on the spot 
by the intervention of his servant Nakamitsu, whom he then 
orders to kill the hoy. Unable either to ignore the order or lo 
carry it out, Nakaniitsu instead kills his own son who willingly 
offers himself as a sacrificial substitute. When the father 
repents his rashness his son is brought back from the temple 
where he has been hidden. While Nakamitsu takes pari in the 
ensuing celebration his heart is with his dead son. 

NOTE: 

Only this Noh has this feudal concept of extreme self-sacrificing 
loyalty so common in Kabuki ; but in others a child suffers a similarly 
hard fate : 

TAKE NO YUKI. A boy mistreated by his stepmother, being sent out 
ill-clad into the wintery cold to clear out the snow (YUKI) from 
a bamboo (TAKE) grove, dies; but the gods, moved by the pathetic 
grief of his father, sister, and real mother, bring him back to life. 
TANIKO. An acolyte of a YAMABUSHI priest secures the permission 
of bis ill mother to accompany his master and others on a hazardous 
ascetic exercise of mountaineering but on the journey becomes ill and, 
in accordance with their immutable custom, must be thrown into the 
valley far below; but lin no Gyoja (see ATAKA, Note 4, p. Kt) 
so sympathizes with the priest in this unbearable disaster that he 
summons a diety to restore the boy to life. 



83 — 



MATSUYAMA KA6AMI 



MITSUYAMA 



A younn )»irl sits alone in her room. It is the anniversary 
of her mother's death. 

When her father approaches she slyly slips a small object out 
of his sight. He becomes greatly upset at this, jumping to the 
conclusion that the daughter has made a wooden figure of her 
stepmother, to put a curse upon her. But how grossly he 
misjudges her ! To allay his fears she is obliged to show it : 
a small hand mirror that had been her mother's, which she 
passionately insists still shows her mother's image. 

In actual fact it is the daughter's own reflection, for by her 
devotion to her dead mother she has become her living image. 

The mother's spirit then comes to console her. but is soon 

sent for to return to Hades. Before being led away she is 

told to look into the mirror to see her sins reflected there, but 

lo! there in the mirror her saintly image is beheld — sanctified 

by the daughter's pure heart of devotion. So she goes not back 

to purgatorial torment but passes on to paradise anon. 

NOTE: This lovely story has been sweetly retold in English by 
Lafcadio Hearn, among others. 




^9,^1 



•^^ 






A priest arriving at Yamato with attendants has the famous 

" Three Mountains " (Mi/sii Yanui) pointed out to him by a 

Man of the Place, then meets a woman who tells their story : 

A man living on Kaku Yama, one of the three mountains, conducted a 
liaison with Kotsurogo and Sakurago, women who lived one on each 
of the other two mountains. But he began to neglect Kotsurogo, who 
drowned herself in o pool. 

The woman, the spirit of Katsurago, then sinks into that 
pool. The priest prays for her. but the spirit of Sakurago 
comes to beg his help against her former rival's hatred, 
whereupon Katsurago returns and they quarrel, but their ill- 
feeling is at last assuaged. 



MIWA 



A woman who brings a daily offering of purification water 
and a sprig of anise to a priest at Miwa asks him for a cloak 
to protect her from the bitter autumn cold. He gives it to her, 
and is told that her home is at the two cryptomeria trees not 
far away, where the cloak is soon afterwards found hanging 
among the branches. When the priest goes there, the god of 
Miwa comes out as a woman and tells him an ancient legend : 

A woman whose husband visited her only at night, wishing to find 
out where he come from, tied a thread to the hem of his garment 
and followed it, only to find that it ended at the foot of this tree. 

The diety then performs the dance that was used to entice 
the goddess Amaterasu from the cave where she had hidden 
herself and relates that story too. 

As dawn breaks the priest awakes with pleasant thoughts. 



— 84 — 



MORIHISA 



MOTOMEZUKA 



The Heike (Taira) warrior Morihisa is being taken captive 
to Kamakura, but is granted permission to worship at Kiyomizu 
Temple. With the day of execution drawing near he reads the 
sutra continuously. Immediately after he has had a miraculous 
vision of reassurance he is taken out to be executed. But 
the executioner is so blinded by a dazzling light that shines 
suddenly from the sutra scroll which Morihisa holds in his 
hand that his sword falls to the ground and is shattered. 
Yoritomo, learning what has happened, summons Morihisa and 
when he tells his dream Yoritomo admits he also had the same 
dream, which so impresses him that he decides to spare 
Morihisa"s life. He serves him sake, and Morihisa performs 
a dance in gratitude. 

A Noh on a similar theme: 

SHUNEI. Among the prisoners taken in a recent battle is the lad 
Shunei, whose brother Tamenao then gives himself up to die with him 
whereupon Shunei tries to save him by denying their relationship until 
he threatens to kill himself; but all is happily resolved as a pardon 
for Shunei arrives just as he is about to be executed, and everyone 
celebrates. 



A priest is shown the burial mound he is seeking and told 
its story : 

A girl named Unai Otome, unable to choose between two ardent 
suitors, gave them trials of skill, but both their arrows struck the 
some mandarin duck on the Ikuta River ; so seeing no way out she 
drowned herself there and was buried in this mound. To the two 
young men life then was vain so they stabbed each other to follow 
her in death. So now their deaths, with that of the bird, she counts 
among her many sins. Oh, miserable soul ! 

And lo ! the girl telling it vanishes into the mound. 

As the priest reads the sutra for her soul and prays, she 
appears and thanks him, then describes (and niinies) in vivid 
horror her exquisite torments in hell, which ceasing she returns 
in groping darkness to her tomb. 

Other Noh on the same theme: 

FUNABASHI. Some priests meet a man and woman collecting donations 
for rebuilding a bridge — on which hangs the following tale : Two 
lovers living on either side of a river met nightly on the bridge until 
their parents, disapproving, took some planks out of the bridge to 
prevent their meeting, and both, unknowing, fell into the river and 
were drowned ; these two being of course the spirits of the lovers, 
who later reappear and attain salvation through the prayers of the 
priests. 

NISHIKIGI. A priest is shown a mound by a man and woman, later 
revealed as spirits of a broken-hearted suitor buried there, and the 
object of his affection. 

UKIFUNE. A woman tells a traveling priest the story of Ukifune, who 
drowned herself because she could not choose between two suitors; 
when he goes on to another village she comes to him as Ukifune, with 
an arresting story of how she was saved from the river and spent 
the rest of her days here. 



— 85 



NOMORl 



RAIDEN 



A traveling priest tinds a pond in Kasuga Field and asks an 
old man there about it. He informs him that it is called the 
Mirror of the Keeper of the Moors, but this is also the name 
of a mirror carried by a demon who guards the moors by day 
in the form of a man. Saying he has the mirror carried by 
the demon, he disappears into a mound. The priest prays 
there and the demon appears with the mirror. He shines it 
in all directions and stamps about vigorously, finally disappearing 
again into Hades. 



The avenging spirit of the Heian Court Minister and poet 
Michizane who died with malice in his heart against his enemies 
appears to a holy priest to whom he is indebted to warn him 
that he i^lans to take revenge by becoming a thunderbolt and 
striking the Imperial Palace, so not to go there even if sum- 
moned. The priest however will not heed the warning but 
goes when called, and succeeds in subduing the angry spirit. 

NOTE: 

In a variant NOCHI {Second Part) of this Noh, Michizane comes to 
the Imperial Palace only to express his gratitude for the honors 
posthumously bestowed upon him, and to bless the Imperial reign. 



OMINAMESHI 

A traveling priest sees some yellow flowers {oiiiimintcslii) 

blooming and would pick some but an old man stops him. He 

talks about the flowers and takes the priest to the burial mounds 

of a man and his wife, whom he explains have some connection 

with that flower; then disappears. The spirits of the husband 

and wife then appear and relate their story : 

Unable to bear her husband's lack of consideration, the wife threw 
herself into the river. Her husband burled her in a mound and from 
it grew this kind of flower. He then drowned himself and was buried 
in a mound beside his wife's. 

He then performs a vigorous dance expressing the continuous 

pain of torment in Hell ; and they disappear. 

A Noh on a similar theme: 

UNEME. A lady-in-waiting at the Imperial Court appears to a priest 
who prays beside the pond in Nara where she drowned herself after 
she lost the Emperor's affection. 



RODAIKO 

A man in detention for killing another man in an argument 
escapes, so his wife is confined in his stead. But she becomes 
seemingly crazed, with loneliness and yearning for her husband, 
and strikes the drum hanging on the wall, dancing madly. This 
so arouses the sympathy of her captor that he releases her, 
with a pardon for her husband. She then tells where he is 
hiding, and sets off at once to join him. 




86 



SAIGYO SAKURA 

When an old cherry tree beside the retreat of Saigyo, a 
famous hermit-poet, comes into full bloom he would enjoy the 
beauty undisturbed but a noisy group of people come on a 
flower-viewing party. Saigyo composes a poem in which he 
blames the cherry tree for the intrusion ; but while he is 
napping there, the spirit of the old tree comes forth to 
remonstrate that it is not to be blamed ; then dances, expressing 
the joy of spring blossoms. As the dream fades Saigyo 
awakes. 

Another Noh about Saigyo: 

UGETSU. At Sumiyoshi, Saigy') lodges with an old couple whom he 
helps compose a poem about a disagreement arising from their acute 
poetic sensibility ; then the god of the Sumiyoshi Shrine, patron of 
poetry, takes possession of an old man to sing of poetry, and dance. 



SANEMORI 

A Man of the Place explains that a certain priest preaches at 
that spot every day apparently to himself but an old man, 
visible only to the priest, comes daily to listen. The old man 
now comes as usual, and. after revealing he is the spirit of the 
old warrior Sanemori, vanishes at the nearby pond. The 
priest prays for him there all night and the old warrior comes 
back in his true form to describe his fatal battle with Yoshinaka 
(see TOMOE, p. 4), miming the episode of the washing of his 
severed head in that pond, by which his true identity was 
then discovered, for he had dyed his old gray hair lest he be 
put to shame for his hoary age. 



SEMIMARU 

Semimaru, fourth son of the Emperor, blind from birth, is 
taken at his father's order to Mt. Osaka. There his head is 
shaved and his clothes are changed to those of a priest ; he is 
supplied with a straw coat, a hat, a stick to walk with, and a 
lute. Though he accepts that it is his father the Emperor's 
wisdom to make him suffer thus now so he may be happier in 
the next life, he weeps when he is left alone and realizes what 
a great change has come upon him. 

A Man of the Place sympathizes with him, making a hut for 
him to stay in and also offering to wait on him. 

In the Capital his insane older sister Sakagami wanders away 
from the Palace and comes to Mt. Osaka. 

In his hut Semimaru plays the lute and recites a poem 
showing his resignation. The unusually noble tone of the lute 
draws Sakagami to the hut, and she finds her younger brother. 

After the affectionate and sorrowful encounter she leaves, 
Semimaru begging her to visit often, wandering heavily onward. 

SENJU 

Shigehira, son of Kiyomori, was captured at the battle of 
Ichinotani and has been sent to Kamakura, seat of Yoritomo's 
government, and is being held at Munemochi's house. 

Senju is sent by Yoritomo to keep him company with musical 
instruments. Shigehira asks her about his request to be allowed 
to become a priest but is told that Yoritomo has refused. 

Munemochi brings sake to cheer him up, as it is a dank, 
dreary evening. Then Senju sings and dances to entertain him 
and Shigehira joins in, playing on a lute till late ; then together 
they sleep. 

When morning comes Shigehira is sent back to Kyoto by an 
Imperial Order, and they say a last sad farewell. 



— 87 — 



SHICHIKIOCHI 



TAMAKAZURA 



After suffering a crushing defeat by the Taira (Heike) clan, 
Yoritomo is about to escape by boat when he finds that he and 
his companions number eight. This number having proved 
very unlucky for both his father and his grandfather in similar 
circumstances, he orders that one of the men be put ashore. 
The chief officer leaves his own son behind to face certain 
death; but he is 'captured" by a Taira commander secretly in 
league with Yoritomo, and returned safely. They all rejoice, 
drinking ceremonially, and celebrating with happy dances. 

SHOZON 

Yoritomo, head of the Bakufu at Kamakura. has become so 
suspicious of his younger brother Yoshitsune. that he sends his 
retainer Shozon to Kyoto to kill him. Benkel, hearing of this, 
goes to the inn where Shozon is staying and insists on taking 
him immediately before Yoshitsune. There he is closely ques- 
tioned about his intentions and to escape from the difficulty, 
gives his written bond of loyalty to Yoshitsune. At this they 
feast together and Shizuka Gozen entertains them with a dance 
before Shozon returns to his inn. Benkei, however, is far from 
satisfied and sends a serving-woman to see what Shozon and 
his men are doing. When she reports that they are making 
preparations for an attack. Yoshitsune and his men themselves 
make ready. In the fight Shozon and his men are defeated and 
Shozon himself captured and bound. 

A Noh on the same theme : 

NISHIKIDO. Bloody complications of suicides, attempted fratricide ; and 
conflicts of feudal loyalties in treachery against Yoshitsune instigated 
by Yoritomo. 



A traveling priest arrives at Hatsuse to worship the Kaniion 
of Hase. A woman comes up the river, singing of her 
loneliness and distressed condition. The priest, wondering at 
a woman all alone in a little boat rowing against the mountain 
current, opens a conversation with her. Enjoying the autumn 
scenery they go to w^orship at the Kannon Temple. Then she 
shows him two cryptomeria trees. Reciting an old poem about 
those evergreen the priest asks her about the circumstances of 
the poem. She tells the story of Tamakazura : 

Her mother Yugao (p. 31) died when she was a child, so she lived in 

Tsukushi, in Kyushu, where she spent unhoppy days till she finally 

returned to the Capital. But still she was so miserable that she went 

to pray at the famous Hase Kannon, and there she met her mother's 

former maid, Ukon. 

Buddha's mercy again led her today to see the priest. 

Begging, "Please help me attain spiritual peace," she reveals 

her name and disappears. 

As the priest prays, Tamakazura reappears, dancing as an 
expression of her yearning for prayer. 

She confesses that her attachment to this mortal life is 
clouding her soul from entering peaceful rest : 

I should not be angry at others, if I consider all my troubles, painful 
though they were, to be the natural recompence for my sinful nature. 
I am so ashamed that I was disturbed and much overwrought about 
trivial things. 

Freed from worldlv attachment she attains Nirvanna. 



TEIKA 

A priest and attendants visiting the Capital are enjoying the 
autumn scenery. When they take sheher from a sudden shower 
in a nearby cottage, a beautiful woman appears and asks them 
if they realize this is the cottage built by the Heian poet Teika 
who loved this scenery, especially in autumn, and used to write 
poems here. At her invitation, they go to visit a tomb which 
is covered by a tightly clinging vine. She explains it is the 
tomb of Princess Shokushi and the vine around it is called the 
Teika Vine. Finally she tells of Teika's secret liaison with 
Princess Shokushi; and how after her death Teika's spirit 
turned into the vine which has confined her in constant suffer- 
ing. Revealing that she is the spirit of the Princess, she 
requests prayers, then disappears into the tomb. 

As the priest recites the Lotus Sutra, the spirit of the Princess 
reappears out of her tomb to perform a joyful dance in gratitude 
for having obtained release through his prayers. 

TOGAN KOJI 

A lay priest named Togan entertains a traveler with preaching 
and song and dance, at Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. 

Other Noh including an entertainment : 

JINEN KOJI. The lay priest Jinen receives a robe as a gift from a 
girl, but in an accompanying letter she explains she has sold herself 
to buy it for him to hold services for her deceased parents, so he 
rushes after the men who have bought her and secures her release 
by entertaining them with song and dance. 

KAGETSU. A man who became a priest after his son disappeared meets 
a boy entertainer near Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto and recognizes him 
as his son, learning then that he had been led away by a TENGU. 

TOKUSA is a reverse story : A boy who had been enticed from his 
home recognizes his father when he puts on the son's garments and 
sings songs as the boy used to, and dances. 
SANSHO. Three old sages drink and laugh together. 



TOSEN 

Two Chinese children arrive on a ship from China to ransom 
their father who has been held in forced labor by a Japanese 
landowner who captured his ship thirteen years before, but the 
father is forbidden to take with him the two children born to 
him in Japan ; so he is torn between the two pulling him to 
leave and the two holding him to stay, till the landowner is 
so moved by his plight that he allows him to take them with 
him. and all five happily set sail. 

MINASE. A man who left his family to become a priest is reproached 
by the spirit of his wife, who has subsequently died, for hesitating 
to reveal himself to his children, and at last reunited with them. 

TSURUKAME 

An Imperial Chinese Court official announces that a New 
Year celebration is to be held. The celebration procedes with 
song and dance, the principal characters representing the crane 
and the tortoise, auspicious symbols of longevity. And the 
emperor himself then dances. 

UKAI 

The priest Nichiren determines to pass the night in a haunted 
temple. The ghost of an old cormorant fisherman who once 
sheltered him appears, explaining that for violating the strict 
prohibition against taking life in the nearby river by fishing 
there nightly with his cormorants he was punished by being 
drowned in the river. When the priest ijromises prayers for 
his soul he demonstrates how the fishing is done; then disap- 
pears. When Nichiren writes words from the Lotus Sutra on 
some stones and throws them into the river, Emma, the King 
of Hell, announces the fisherman's suffering is remitted and he 
will be sent to Paradise because of his kindness to the priest. 



— 89 



Other Noh of the priest Nichiren 

GENZAI SHICHiMEN. Nichiren, by the power of the Lotus Sutra, 
transforms a dragoness, who comes first as a worshiper then as a 
serpent, into a goddess protector of the mountain. 

MINOBU. A woman's spirit attains salvation through Nichiren's 
reading of the Lotus Sutra. 



UKON 

Some priests of Kashima Shrine (in the present-day Kanto 
district) have come to the Capital to see the cherry blossoms 
(at a place in Kyoto named Ukon no Eaba). When a lady 
comes there in a carriage, accompanied by her maid, one of 
the priests recites a poem by Narihira. the famous classical 
poet, which says that, though it is not a person whom he really 
knows, yet it is not someone he has never seen before — why 
should he be so captivated by her ? He will spend the day 
dreamily contemplating her 1 She, in turn, answers by reciting 
a poem which had been written in answer to Narihira's poem : 
Whether we know each other or not is beside the point ; the 
all-important question is the depth of your feeling. 

They continue thus, reciting poems and discussing the scenery. 
Finally she reveals that she is the goddess of cherry blossoms, 
who is enshrined as a minor diety at that shrine, and promises 
to return and dance that night, which she does. 

A similar Noh : 

YOSHINO TENNIN. A goddess of Yoshino comes to a cherry-viewing 
party, first as beautiful woman, then in her true form as a diety to 
dance in praise of the cherry blossoms. 



YAMAMBA 

According to ancionl folklore, a weird old mountain hag 
called Yainamba, who is the embodiment of the mountain spirit, 
goes her eternal rounds of all the iimuntains. 

Hyakuma Yamamba, a dancer who has won fame as the 
composer of a dance on the mountain hag's wanderings, is on 
her way from the Capital to the Zenko Temple, when she is 
halted in a mountain pass by a sudden darkness, caused by the 
Yamamba, who comes as a village maid and intreats her to do 
the Yamamba Dance, then disappears. 

When Hyakuma performs the Yamamba Dance in the nocturnal 
solitude of the mountain depths the Yamamba comes forth and 
performs dances symbolizing her wanderings about the moun- 
tains in all seasons — flower bedecked, moon lighted, and silvered 
with snow. 



YORIMASA 

A priest who is sight-seeing at Uji has the places of interest 

round about pointed out to him by an old man, who then takes 

him to Byodo In to show him the patch of turf kept cut m the 

shape of a fan, on the spot where the old Genji (Minamoto) 

warrior Yorimasa chivalrously spread out his fan to sit upon 

when he killed himself there after suffering a crushing military 

defeat. As he disappears he reveals he is the spirit of the 

warrior, who then comes back to relate his fateful battle and 

final act. 

TOMONAGA. Tomonaga, also a defeated Genji (Minamoto) warrior, 
appears to his former tutor who is lodging the night at the house of 
a woman of the place where he killed himself. 



90 



SHRINE NOH 

Noh beginning as shrine troupes it is not surprising that 
there are a great many Shrine Noh : 

KAMO. A pilgrim priest sees the three dieties of Kamo Shrine : the 

god Wakeikazuchi, his mother, and the arrow which she found 

floating in the river just before she miraculously conceived him. 

KINSATSU. An Imperial envoy receives a golden tablet from heaven 

promising protection to the land, then the god brings a bow and arrow 

for subduing demons and keeping the peace. 

KUSENOTO. A pilgrim courtier taking part in a religious ceremony 

at Kusenoto meets a BOSATSU and a dragon god. 

MATSUNO-O. A courtier at Matsuno-o Shrine meets the god, first in 

the guise of an old man. 

MEKARI. The priest of Hayatomo Shrine performs an annual ceremony 

of gathering seaweed, with dragon gods. 

OYASHIRO. A courtier hears the story of Izumo Shrine from two of 

its priests, then two gods dance. 

In SHIRAHIGE and SHIRONUSHI the Diety of the Place performs dances. 

TAIZANBUKUN. Dieties extol the beauty of cherry blossoms. 

TATSUTA. A priest going to Tatsuta Shrine is stopped by a woman as 

he is about to cross the river and taken there by another way, to 

worship at a sacred maple ; the woman, reappearing as the goddess 

Tatsuta, discourses poetically on the beauty of the maple leaves. 

UCHITO MODE. An Imperial envoy to Ise Shrine is entertained with 

prayers and preaching, then by various types of dances. 

U NO MATSURl. An Imperial envoy attending the cormorant festival 

at Keta Shrine meets the goddess, with a child representing a sacrificed 

cormorant returned to life, and a god. 

YUMI YAWATA. The god of the Otokoyama Hachiman Shrine appears 

carrying a bow and arrow, reappearing to dance for a blessed reign. 

NOTE: These shrines are so-called Shinto, but by the time of 
Noh the syncretism of native gods (MYOjIN, KAMI, etc.) with 
Buddhist incarnations (BOSATSU) makes clear distinction impossible. 
DOMYOJI expresses this synthesis most clearly : an old man in a 
Buddhist temple explains Buddha and the gods (Shinto) as manifesta- 
tions of the same things, then reappears as Shiratayu, messenger of 
the gods. 

RINZO has a Buddhist theme, with a remarkable sutra stand (RINZO), 
a Buddhist divinity, and a great teacher (Fu Daishi) with his two 
children. 



There are many Noh of mythology and legends: 

AWAJI. Japan made by the drops of water from the spear that had 
been plunged into the sea by the god Izanagi. 

In SAKA HOKO a courtier meets an old man going to Tatsuta Shrine 
who informs him the spear (hoko) the god used (see AWAJI above) 
is enshrined there, then appears carrying it after a goddess has danced. 
EMA. An Imperial envoy enroute to the Ise Shrine stops to watch a 
local shrine's festival in which votive plaques of white or black horses 
are hung to foretell the fortune of the coming year ; the sun goddess 
Amaterasu and other dieties later depicting her withdrawal into a cave. 
MIMOSUSO. A delightful myth about the origin of the name of the 
River Mimosuso, from the washing of the soiled train of the goddess 
Yamato Hime— told by an old man who reappears as the god Okidama. 
OROCHI. The Noh version of the folklore about the god Susano-o 
who saved the Princess Kushiinada from an eight-headed dragon 
(orof/a— 'great serpent') by first getting it drunk on sake and then 
killing it, afterwards taking a sacred sword out of its tail. 
In KUSA^4AGI two gods appear, first as flower peddlers, to a pilgrim to 
Atsuta Shrine and tell how the sword taken from the tail of the dragon 
(orof/iz— see above) was used to subdue the barbarians. 
GENDAYU. At Atsuta Shrine two dieties in the guise of an old couple 
tell of the sword, other dieties afterward dancing. 

KUREHA. The spirits of Kurehatori and Ayahatori, the girls who 
introduced weaving to Japan from Korea, appear to a courtier. 
SAOYAMA. A nobleman at Kasuga Shrine finds a white cloud cover- 
ing Sao Yama, it being the wonderful gown of mist, neither cut nor 
sewn, of Sao Yama Hime, goddess of spring. 

DEMONS, DEVILS AND EVIL SPIRITS IN NOH 

There are demons of various types in the NOCHI (latter part) of 
a large number of Noh. In the cases representing a true demonic 
creature, the HANNYA mask is used; in other cases similar masks 
are used. Among other things, these demons represent : 
In AOI NO UE— a 'living phantom' jealousy (p. 10) Also YUGAO, p. 31 
In AYA NO TSUZUMI— the malice of a dead man (p. 16) 
In DOJOJI- a spurned woman's fury in snake form (p. 18) 
In FUNA BENKEI— an apparition of a defeated warrior (p. 24) 
In KUROZUKA and MOAAIJI GARl— a map-eating ogress (p. 48 and p. 54) 
SESSHOSEKI is a 'death rock' killing any living thing that comes neir. 
but the evil spirit within it is subdued by a priest's prayers. 



— 91 — 



Other Demon Noh : 

DAIROKUTEN. Dovil king Dairokuton is subdued by god Susano-o 

Uee OROCHI. p. 91V 

HIUN. A devil, appearing first as an old woodcutter, is subdued by 

priests warned by the local god. 

NOMORI. A benign Demon of the Place performs a vigorous dance with 

a mirror (p. 86). 

SHARI. A demon disguised as a villager makes off with a temple's 

shari (ashes of Buddha) but the holy relic is recovered by a divine 

being. 

DRAGONS 

The Noh dragons, or dragon gods (RYfJIN) and goddesses bear no 
resemblance to the antagonist of St. George, coming rather from old 
Chinese Rain Gods, or the magical Kingdom Under the Sea (RYUGC) 
of myths like Urashima Taro (see TAMANOI below); but the eight- 
headed orochi ("big serpent') of the Izumo legend does (see p. 91). 
TAMANOI. The god Hodemi, in search of his older brother's fish-hook 
which he lost while fishing, spends three years with two gorgeous 
princesses in the Dragon King's Palace, receiving the fish-hook when 
he returns, as well as a magnificent jewel, etc., from each princess. 
IKKAKU SENNIN. A horned (ikkaku) hermit (sennin) has imprisoned 
the rain dragons but is beguiled by a beautiful lady to drink, which 
is taboo, thus losing his magical power that the dragons escape to 
bring rain on the parched land. 

IWaFUNE. A benign dragon god brings in safely a treasure-laden ship. 
RYOKO is a strange story of priests from Japan in China witnessing a 
fight between a heavenly dragon (ryo) and a tiger {ko). 



A--^^ 





ANIMALS, BIRDS, AND POETIC SPIRITS 

The fabled beasts and birds portrayed in Noh are mostly reminiscent 
of such creatures as the unicorn and phoenix bird of Western myths. 
NUE -fearful bird with head of monkey, body of a badger, legs of a 
tiger, tail of a snake. In the Noh, killed by Yorimasa (p. 90) for 
threatening the life of the Emperor. 

SHISHI- mythical lion SHAKKYO (p. 58) 
SHOJO — mythical orangutan (p. 60) 
TENGU— a flying goblin (p. 47) 
TSUCHIGUMO 'earth-spider' (p. 74) 

Real animals are also the subject of Noh. 

HATSUYUKI. The spirit of a dead pet chicken appears as a woman and 
dances. 

SAGI— ' heron ' 

In the Noh, the bird is caught and performs dances for the Emperor. 

TSURUKAME — crane and tortoise, symbol of longevity (p. 89). 
U— 'cormorant' UKAl (p. 89) and U NO MATSURI (p. 91) 
UTO— an indeterminate bird immortalized for its devotion to its young. 
In the Noh the damned spirit of a hunter who had killed uto and 
other birds returns from Hell to send a memento to his wife and child. 
In MATSUMUSHl a regular customer of a wine dealer in the market- 
place turns out to be the spirit of a man who, long ago, wandered off 
after the chirping of crickets (rnatsiunushi) and was finally found dead 
by his bosom friend who came in search of him. 

Embodied spirits play an important role in Noh. 

KOCHO is the portrayal of the spirit of the butterfly. 
YUKI — spirit of snow, as a young woman 

Poetic spirits of insentient flowers and trees. 

BASHO— 'the plantain tree' 

The spirit of the tree, as a woman, rejoices that even plants and trees 

may attain salvation (Cf. KAKITSUBATA, p. 33). 

FUJI — 'wisteria' 

The spirit of the flowers appears as a woman and dances. 

MUTSURA— spirit of a maple 

NANIWA— praise of the plum blossom 

OIMATSU— divine spirit of an ancient pine 

SAIGYO SAKURA— spirit of a cherry tree, as an old man (p. 87) 

UME — spirit of plum blossoms 

YUGYO YANAGI — spirit of willow tree, as an old man 

UKON— goddess of cherry trees (p. 90) 



— 92 



APPENDIX I. 



APPENDIX II. 



SOURCES 

The KOJIKI and the NIHON SHOKI {Chronicles of Japan) 
suppHed many myths and legends for Kami Noh (of Shinto 
gods). 

The HEIKE MONOGATARI ( Tales of the Heike) not only 
gave the plots for many Warrior Noh, but also served as the 
model for the literary style and language of this type of Noh. 
Other sources of stories of warriors include : GEMPEI SEISUIKI 
(The Genji and Heike Clans) ; GIKEIKI (Yoshitsune) ; and 
SOGA MONOGATARI (Soga Brothers). 

The MANYOSHU and the KOKINSHU, the great repositories 
of classical Japanese poetry, have greatly influenced the theme 
and content of Noh. 

GENJI MONOGATARI {Tale of Genji). the classic novel 
of Japanese literature, gave Noh not only many characters, but 
also plots, descriptive passages, and an inexhaustable supply of 
quotations. 

The ISE MONOGATARI (by Narihira) and the YAMATO 
MONOGATARI supply plots and poems for many Noh. 

Legends from India, incidents and poetry from Chinese lore, 
as v^ell as Japanese, are derived from a great many sources. 
Such references and allusions in Noh are legion. 





PERSONS 






Benkei 






Soga Brothers pp. 


44 


45 


ATAKA 


p- 


12 


Tomomori 






FUNA BENKEI 


p- 


24 


FUNA BENKEI 


P- 


24 


SETTAl 


p- 


25 


IKARI KAZUKI 


P- 


55 


SHOZON 


p- 


88 


Yoshinaka 






En no Gyoja 






TOMOE 


P- 


4 


ATAKA, Note 4 


p- 


13 


KANEHIRA 


P- 


6 


ARASHIYAMA 


p- 


12 


KISO 


P- 


6 


KAZURAKI 


p- 


40 


SANEMORI 


P- 


87 


Genji (Hero of GENJI 






Yoritomo 






MONOGATARI) 






DAIBUTSU KUYO 


P- 


35 


SUMA GENJI 


p- 


31 


MORIHISA 


P- 


85 


SUMIYOSHI MODE 


p- 


31 


SHICHIKIOCHI 


P- 


88 


Kiyomori 






(Referred to in Noh 






SHUNKAN 


p- 


61 


about Yoshitsune) 






KOGO 


p- 


81 


Yoshitsune 






GIO 


p- 


81 


ATAKA 


p. 


12 


SENJU 


p- 


87 


FUNA BENKEI 


P- 


24 


Komachi (Ono no Koraachi 


) 




SETTAl 


P- 


25 


KAYOl KOMACHI 


p- 


38 


TADANOBU 


P- 


25 


SOTOBA KOMACHI 


p- 


39 


YASHIMA 


P- 


76 


OMU KOMACHI 


p- 


39 


As the boy Ushiwaka 






SEKIDERA KOMACHI 


p- 


39 


KURAMA TENGU 


P- 


46 


SOSHI ARAI 


p- 


63 


SEKIHARA YOICHI 


P- 


47 


Narihira 






KUMASAKA 


P- 


82 


IZUTSU 


p- 


32 


EBOSHI ORI 


P- 


82 


KAKITSUBATA 


p- 


33 


FUE NO MAKI 


P- 


82 


OSHIO 


p- 


33 


Yorimasa 






UNRIN IN 


p- 


33 


YORIMASA 


P- 


90 


Saigyo 






NUE 


P- 


92 


EGUCHI 


p- 


20 


Yugao 






MATSUYAMA TENGU 


p- 


47 


HASHITOMI 


P- 


30 


SAIGYO SAKURA 


p- 


87 


YUGAO 


P- 


31 


UGETSU 


p- 


87 


TAMAKAZURA 


P- 


88 



93 — 



APPENDIX III 




94 



INDEX OF NOH 



ADACHIGAHARA - other name for KUROZUKA 

AISOMEGAWA (under KINUTA ) 

AKOGI 

AMA 

AOI NO UE 

ARASHIYAMA 

ARIDOSHI (under MAKIGINU) 

ASHIKARI 

ASUKAGAWA (under HYAKUMAN) 

ATAKA 

ATSUMORI 

AWAJI 

AYA NO TSUZUMi 

BASHO 

CHIKUBUSHIMA 

CHOBUKU SOGA (under KOSODE SOGA) 

CHO RYO (under KURAMA TENGU) 

DAIBUTSU KUYO (under KAGEKIYO) 

DAIE (under KURAMA TENGU) 

DAIROKUTEN 

DANPU (under KOSODE SOGA) 

DOJOJI 

DOMYOJI 

EBIRA 

EBOSHI ORI (under KUMASAKA) 

EGUCHI 

EMA 

ENOSHIMA (under CHIKUBUSHIMA) 

FUE NO MAKl (under KUMASAKA) 

FUJI 

FUJI DAIKO 

FUJI SAN (under MAKURA JIDO) 

FUJITO 

FUNABASHI (under MOTOMEZUKA) 

FUNA BENKEI 

FUTARI GIO- other name for GIO 

FUTARI SHIZUKA (under FUNA BENKEI) 

GEKKYUDEN - other name for TSURUKAME 

GEMBUKU SOGA (under KOSODE SOGA) 

GENDAYU 



page 

42 
7 
8 
10 
12 
82 
76 
80 
12 
14 
91 
16 
92 
17 
45 
47 
35 
47 
92 
45 
18 
91 
19 
82 
20 
91 
17 
82 
92 
79 
83 
22 
85 
24 

25 

45 
91 



GENJI KUYO 

GENJO 

GENZAI SHICHIMEN (under UKAI) 

GIO (under KOGO) 

HACHI NO Kl 

HAGOROMO 

HAJITOMI - usual pronuciation of HASHITOMl 

HAKU RAKUTEN (under GENJO) 

HANAGATAMI 

HANJO 

HASHI BENKEI (under KUMASAKA) 

HASHITOMl 

HATSUYUKI 

HIBARIYAMA 

HIGAKI (under KAYOI KOMACHI ) 

HIMURO (under MAKURA JIDO) 

HIUN 

HOKA ZO (under KOSODE SOGA) 

HOJOGAWA (under KUZU) 

HOTOKE NO HARA (under KOGO) 

HYAKUMAN 

IKARI KAZUKI (under OHARA GOKO) 

IKKAKU SENNIN 

IKUTA - other name for IKUTA ATSUMORI 

IKUTA ATSUMORI (under ATSUMORI) 

IWAFUNE 

IZUTSU 

JINEN KOJI (under TOGAN KOJI) 

KAGEKIYO 

KAGETSU (under TOGAN KOJI) 

KAKITSUBATA (under IZUTSU) 

KAMO 

KAMO MONOGURUI (under KINUTA) 

KANAWA 

KANEHIRA (under TOMOE) 

KANTAN 

KANYO KYU (under KOTEI) 

KAPPO (under MAKURA JIDO) 

KASHIWAZAKI (under HYAKUMAN) 

KASUGA RYUJIN (under GENJO) 

KAYOI KOMACHI 

KAZURAKI 

KENJO - other pronunciation of GENJO 

KIKAIGASHIMA- other name for SHUNKAN 

KIKU JIDO -other name for MAKURA JIDO 



79 

79 
90 
81 
26 
28 

79 
29 
80 
82 
30 
91 
80 
39 
83 
92 
45 
49 
81 
80 
55 
92 

15 
92 
32 
89 
34 
89 
33 
91 
42 
80 
6 
36 
81 
83 
80 
79 
38 
40 



— 95 — 



KINSATSU 

KINUTA 

KISO (undor TOMOE) 

KIYOTSUNE 

KOCHO 

KOGO 

KOI NO OMONI (under AYA NO TSUZUMI) 

KOKAJI 

KOSODE SOGA 

KOTEl 

KOU (under KOTEl) 

KOYA MONOGURUI (under YCROBOSHh 

KUMASA<A 

KURAMA TENGU 

KUREHA 

KUROZUKA 

KURUMA ZO (under KURAMA TENGU) 

KUSANAGI 

KUSENOTO 

KUZU 

MAKIGINU 

MAKURA JIDO 

MANJU 

MATSUKAZE 

MATSUMUSHI 

MATSUNO-O 

MATSUYAMA KAGAMI 

MATSUYAMA TENGU (under KURAMA TENGU) 

MEKARI 

MICHIMORI (under KIYOTSUNE) 

MIDARE under SHOJO) 

MIIDERA 

MIMOSUSO 

MINASE (under TOSEN) 

MINAZUKI BARAE (under HANJO) 

MINOBU (under UKAI) 

MITSUYAMA 

MIWA 

MOCHIZUKl (under KOSODE SOGA) 

MOMUI GARI 

MORIHISA 

MOTOMEZUKA 

MUROGIMI (under EGUCHI) 

MUTSURA 

NAKAMITSU- other name for MANJU 



91 
41 
6 
42 
92 
81 
16 
44 
44 
81 
81 
77 
82 
46 
91 
48 
47 
91 
91 
49 
82 
83 
83 
50 
92 
91 
84 
47 
91 
43 
60 
52 
91 
89 
80 
90 
84 
84 
45 
54 
85 
85 
21 
92 



NANIWA 

NARA MODE -other name for DAIBUTSU KUYO 

NEZAME (under MAKURA JIDO) 

NISHIKIDO (uiukr SHOZON ) 

NISHIKIGI (under MOTOMEZUKA) 

NOMORI 

NONOMIYA (under AOI NO UE) 

NUE 

OBASUTE (under KAYOI KOMACHI ) 

OCHIBA (under HASHITOMI) 

OEYAMA (under TSUCHIGUMO) 

OHARA GOKO 

OIMATSU 

OKINA 

OMINAMESHI 

OMU KOMACHI (under KAYOI KOMACHI) 

OROCHI 

OSHIO (under IZUTSU) 

OYASHIRO 

RAIDEN 

RASHOMON (under TSUCHIGUMO) 

RINZO 

RODAIKO 

RYOKO 

SAGl 

SAIGYO SAKURA 

SAKA HOKO 

SAKURAGAWA 

SANEMORI 

SANSHO (under TOGAN KOJI) 

SAOYAMA 

SEIGANJI (under TOBOKU) 

SEIOBO (under MAKURA JIDO) 

SEKIDERA KOMACHI (under KAYOI KOMACHI) 

SEKIHARA YOICHI (under KURAMA TENGU) 

SEMIMARU 

SENJU 

SESSHOSEKI 

SETTAI (under FUNA BENKEI) 

SHAKKYO 

SHARI 

SHICHIKIOCHl 

SHIGA (under SOSHI ARAI) 

SHIRAHIGE 

SHIRONUSHI 



92 

83 
88 
85 
86 
11 
92 
39 
31 
74 
55 
92 
1 
86 
39 
91 
33 
91 
86 
74 
91 
86 
92 
92 
87 
91 
56 
87 
89 
91 
71 
83 
39 
47 
87 
87 
91 
25 
58 
92 
88 
63 
91 
91 



96 



SHOJO 

SHOKI (under KOTEI) 

SHOKUN (under KOTEI) 

SHOZON 

SHUNEl (under MORIHISA) 

SHUNKAN 

SHUNZEI TADANORI (under TADANORI) 

SOSHI ARAI 

SOSHI ARAI KOMACHl - other name for SOSHI ARAI 

SOTOBA KOMACHl (under KAYOI KOMACHl) 

SUMA GENJI (under HASHITOMI) 

SUMIDAGAWA 

SUMIYOSHI MODE (under HASHITOMI) 

TADANOBU (under FUNA BENKEI) 

TADANORI 

TAEMA (under HIBARIYAMA) 

TAIHEI SHOJO (under SHOJO) 

TAIZANBUKUN 

TAKASAGO 

TAKE NO YUKI (under MANjQ) 

TAMAKAZURA 

TAMANOI 

TAMURA 

TANIKO (under MANJU) 

TATSUTA 

TEIKA 

TENKO 

TOBOKU 

TOBOSAKU (under MAKURA JIDO) 

TOEI (under HACHI NO Kl) 

TOGAN KOJI 

TOKUSA (under TOGAN KOJI) 

TOMOAKIRA (under KIYOTSUNE) 

TOMOE 

TOMONAGA (under YORIMASA) 

TORI Ol (under KINUTA) 

TORI Ol BUNE - usual name for TORI Ol 

TORU 

TOSEN 

TSUCHIGUMO 

TSUCHIGURUMA (under YOROBOSHI) 

TSUMADO- other name for RAIDEN 

TSUNEMASA 

TSURUKAME 

UCHITO MODE 



60 
81 
81 
88 
85 
61 
67 
63 

39 
31 
64 
31 
25 
66 
80 
60 
91 
68 
83 
88 
92 
69 
83 
91 
89 
70 
71 
83 
27 
89 
89 
43 
4 
90 
42 

72 
89 
74 
77 

75 
89 
91 



UGETSU (under SAIGYO SAKURA) 

UKAI 

UKIFUNE (under MOTOMEZUKA) 

UKON 

UME 

UMEGAE (under FUJI DAIKO) 

UNEME (under OMINAMESHI) 

U NO MATSURI 

UNRIN IN (under IZUTSU) 

UROKO GATA (under CHIKUBUSHIMA) 

UTAURA (under YOROBOSHI) 

UTO 

YAMAMBA 

YASHIMA 

YOKIHI (under KOTEI) 

YORIMASA 

YORO (under MAKURA JIDO) 

YOROBOSHI 

YOSHINO SHIZUKA (under FUNA BENKEI) 

YOSHINO TENNIN (under UKON) 

YOUCHI SOGA (under KOSODE SOGA ) 

YUGAO (under HASHITOMI) 

YUGYO YANAGI 

YUKI 

YUMI YAWATA 

YUYA 

ZEGAI (under KURAMA TENGU) 

ZENJI SOGA (under KOSODE SOGA) 



87 
89 
85 
90 
92 
79 
86 
91 
33 
17 
77 
92 
90 
76 
81 
90 
83 
77 
25 
90 
45 
31 
92 
92 
91 
78 
47 
45 



— 97 — 



For information of the current schedules of Noh performances, call 



TOKYO 

Suid6bashi NSgakudo 

27, 2 Chome. Motomachi, Bunkyo-ku Tel. 811 -4843 
(Near Suidobashi Station) 

Kanze Kaikan 

10, 2 Chome, Shin Ogawamachi, Shinjukuku Tel. 260 9165 
(At Omagari, near lidabashi Station) 

Umewaka Nogakugakuin Butai 

2, Uenohararaachi. Nakano-ku Tel. 369—3050 
(Near Higashi Nakano Station) 

Yarai Nogakudo 

60, Yaraicho, Shinjukuku Tel. 341-7311 
(Near lidabashi Station) 

Kita Nogakudo 

245, 4 Chome, Osaki, Shinagawaku Tel. 491—9598 
(Near Meguro Station) 

NAGOYA 

Atsutajingu Nogakuden 

1, Shinmiyasakacho, Atsuta-ku Tel. 67 — 2912 
(Near Atsuta Station) 



Oe Nogakudo 

Higashiiru, Oshikoji Minamibaba, Nakakyo-ku Tel. 22 -7625 

OSAKA 

Osaka Nogaku Kaikan 

12, Michimotocho, Kita-ku Tel. 371 — 3330 
(Near Umeda Station) 

Otsuki Nogakudo 

2, Ue Honmachi, Higashi-ku Tel. 762-1467 
(At Uchonmachi) 

Y^aniamoto Nogakudo 

17, 1 Chome, Tokuimachi, Higashi-ku Tel. 941—5866 
(At Uchihonmachi) 

NARA 

Nara Konparu Nogakudo 

14, Horen Minamicho. Tel. 2-7929 

KANAZAWA 

Kanazawa Nogakudo 

80, Hirosakadori Tel. 2-2018 



KYOTO 

Kyoto Kanze Kaikan 

44, Enshojimachi, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku Tel. 77 — 6114 
(Near Kyoto Station) 

Kongo Nogakudo 

Shijoagaru, Muromachi, Nakakyo-ku Tel. 22—3049 
(Near Kyoto Station) 



FUKUOKA 

Sumiyoshi Nogakuden 

Sumiyoshijinja Tel. 3—2670 
(At Sumiyoshigumae) 



WAN YA 

The No It Spop 

Noh Masks 
Fans 
Dolls 
Books 
Pictures 




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GINZA SHOP 

8-4, Ciinza, Chuo-ku. Tokyo 
Tel. (571) 05 14 



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HEAD OFFICE 

3-9, .Tinbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku 
Tel. (331) 2 26, 77 16 

THEATER SHOP 

In Suidobashi Nogakudo 



BINDING SECT. MAY 1 1981 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 



UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 



PL Upton, Murakami 

735 A spectator's handbook 

U67 of Noh