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Noh: The Well-Curb

On a chilly autumn night under the full moon, a traveling monk (waki) visits the ruins of Ariwara Temple, where, according to legend, Ariwara no Narihira long ago lived with his wife, Ki no Aritsune's daughter. He offers prayers for the repose of their souls. Then, an unfamiliar village woman (mae-shite) ) appears, places flowers upon an old mound, and begins to pray. When the monk asks if she has some connection to Narihira, the woman replies that she has neither connection nor karma, and proceeds to tell him the tale of the ancient lovers. There were once two youngsters who were secretly in love with each other, and they would often come and stand together by the well-curb and gaze at their reflections in the water. When they grew up, they exchanged poems and experienced the bliss of first love. When she finishes relating the tale, she confesses that she herself is the ghost of Ki no Aritsune's daughter (nochi-shite), the lady of the well-curb-and then disappears. That night, after the monk falls asleep, she appears to him in a dream, in her true form as Ki no Aritsune's daughter. She then dons a court robe and cap, keepsakes of Narihira, and looks at her own reflection in the well―which reminds her of Narihira, for whom she longs. As the sky begins to brighten with the coming dawn, the dream comes to an end and she fades away.

* From: Introduction to Viewing Noh: Watching "The Well-Curb" (A film planned by the National Noh Theatre and produced by Nippon Eiga Shinsha Co., Ltd.)

Main Cast: Shite : Umewaka Rokuro; Waki : Hosho Kan; Flute: Matsuda Hiroyuki; Shoulder drum: Okura Genjiro; Stick drum: Kunikawa Jun; Chorus: Yamamoto Nobuyuki, et al.

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1) Entrance of the main actor (shite)
 
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2) Dialogue with the supporting actor (waki)
 
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3) Lyrical high-pitched song
 
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4) Kuse dance
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5) Jo-no-mai (elegant
dance)-1
 
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6) Jo-no-mai (elegant
dance)-2
 
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7) Looking into the well
 
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8) Dawn breaks
 

Kyogen: Tied to a Stick

A Master becomes aware that his two servants (Taro Kaja and Jiro Kaja) drink some of his rice wine (sake) whenever he is gone. Thinking to thwart them, he ties both arms of one to a long stick, and ties the hands of the other behind his back, and then goes out. The two rascals, determined to have some drinks, finally finagle a way in which they can both enjoy some wine, and begin enjoying themselves while drinking it up. They are drinking and singing and having a rowdy time when the Master comes home and finds them. He chases them off the stage, threatening punishment.

* From: Introduction to Viewing Noh: The Daily Life of Taro Kaja (A film planned by the National Noh Theatre and produced by Iwanami Film Production Co., Ltd.)

Main Cast: Taro Kaja: Shigeyama Sensaku; Jiro Kaja: Shigeyama Sennojo

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Kyogen: Tied to a Stick
           
 
 
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Copyright 2004, by Japan Arts Council. All rights reserved.