Famous Plays

Famous Plays: NohHagoromo(The Feather Robe)

Category: Third Number of scenes:One Location:Miho, Suruga (Present-day Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture)
Source:Lost work from “Tango no kuni Fudoki,” The Legend of Hagoromo Season:Spring

SummaryAbout a graceful dance performed by an angel wearing a feather robe

A fisherman finds a feather robe of an angel at Miho no Matsubara. The angel (shite) asks to have it back, and the fisherman responds that he will return the robe if she performs a dance. The angel wearing the robe dances a graceful and beautiful dance with Mt. Fuji in the background. Then numerous treasures fall to the ground, and the angel returns to heaven.

This work is based on “The Legend of Hagoromo” which has been passed down in various regions of Japan. In some versions the fisherman asks the angel to marry him in exchange for the feather robe. In this play, the fisherman has suspicions about the angel, and she admonishes him that doubts belong to the human world and deceptions do not exist in heaven. He is ashamed of himself and returns the robe to her.

Watch videoA dance by an angel who is overcome with happiness upon getting her feather robe back

The fisherman is admonished for harboring suspicions and feels ashamed. The angel wearing the feather robe begins to dance to an utai (chanting) that is full of spring spirit, with both elegance and grace, and gradually transitions to performing a spectacular dance.

Depicted location

Miho along Suruga Bay is a cape with white sand and green pine trees facing Mt. Fuji. This scenic area has long been praised for its beauty by many people and has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
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Depicted season

A spring scene from the terrestrial world covered with haze is depicted beautifully in contrast to the celestial world. It offers a picturesque view of a cape with blooming flowers, tideland with the moon’s reflection, and snow-covered Mt. Fuji, together with wind blowing through the pine trees and waves on the water.

Relevant culture

The highlight of this play—the dance of the angel—is said to be the beginning of the “Suruga dance” from “Azuma Asobi,” one of the Gagaku song-dance pieces that are inherent to Japan.

September 17, 2013
National Noh Theatre
“Hagoromo (The Feather Robe), Maikomi variant,” Kita School

Characters and Performers

Angel (shite): Tomoeda Akiyo
Hakuryu, fisherman (waki): Hosho Kinya
Fisherman (waki-tsure): Obinata Hiroshi
Fisherman (waki-tsure): Mikuriya Seigo
Koken (stage assistant): Kagawa Seiji, Shiotsu Akio, Nakamura Kunio
[Hayashi musicians]
Flute player: Isso Hisayuki
Shoulder drum player: Hayashi Kichibe XIII
Hip drum player: Kamei Tadao
Stick-drum player: Kanze Motonori
[Jiutai chorus]
Rear row: Awaya Yoshio, Nagashima Shigeru, Izumo Yasumasa, Awaya Akio
Front row: Uchida Shigenobu, Tomoeda Takehito, Kano Ryoichi, Kaneko Keiichiro