Home
SITE MAP
FEATURE
Introducing the world of Noh
The words of Zeami
Noh and International Cultural Exchange
Trivia
DATABASE
Plays Database
Masks Database
Noh Terminology
Noh theater map
PEOPLE
People behind the scenes
Great Masters
essay : Noh and Me
INFOMATION
Performance Schedule
TV Schedule
Other Noh-related sites
Credit
Japanese only

Sponsorship

the-noh.com Google

 

 

Plays DataBase Kanawa (Iron Trivet) StoryPlays DataPhotoStory
 


Please click top right button for detailed information, photo story.


Noh Photo from National Noh Theatre
Photo from National Noh Theatre

synopsis
One night, a low-ranking Shinto priest serving Kibune Shrine (in present Kurama Kibune-chō, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto) receives a divine revelation in his dreams. The oracle says that he should give a divine message to a woman from Kyoto who visits the shrine for worship around two o’clock in the morning [Ushi-no-toki (Ushi-no-koku) Mairi]. In the wee hours, the woman appears at the shrine. She has walked a long distance to Kibune Shrine every night to curse her ex-husband because she cannot forgive him for abandoning her and taking a new wife. The priest gives the woman a divine oracle, which says that if she puts on a red kimono, spreads red powder on her face, puts an iron trivet on her head, which burns with three flames, and holds rage in her mind, she will be able to turn into a demon as she wishes. While communicating the divine message and exchanging words with the woman, the priest begins to be frightened and runs away. As soon as the woman swears to follow the oracle, her countenance changes, her hair stands on end, and thunder rumbles. The woman leaves the words of curse to let her former husband pay for her bitterness and runs away in the thunderstorm.

Meanwhile, the woman’s former husband, living in the Shimogyō area, has been suffering from nightmares every night and thereby visits Abe no Seimei, a famous onmyōji, or yin-yang diviner. Seimei predicts that the husband and his new wife will end their lives tonight due to the curse by his former wife. Responding to the request of the man, Seimei sets up an altar at the man’s house, places human-size dolls which represent the couple to transfer the curse into the doll, and starts exorcising the evil spirit. Then, his ex-wife appears, wearing a lit iron trivet on her head and transformed into a demon. Just as the divine message says, she puts an iron trivet with lighted candles on her head and puts thick red pigment on her face. The female demon laments her bitterness caused by being abandoned, beats the hair of the doll representing the new wife, and attacks the husband’s doll. Seimei however exorcises the demon with his spiritual power. The demon disappears while swearing to seek another chance for revenge.

highlight
This piece expresses the horror of the resentment and jealousy of women through the evil figure of a demon. This is also a piece to express magic power, which beats off the curse imposed through “Ushi-no-toki (Ushi-no-koku) Mairi” , which is the style of worship of visiting the shrine around 2 a.m. every night. However, even Abe no Seimei, the onmyōji with extraordinary magical power, is overshadowed by the demon obsessed by jealousy. Although the female demon is fought off, it seems that she lost her power only temporarily. She will wait for another opportunity and might appear again some time in future. The grudge of an abandoned woman is strong enough to overwhelm the existence of the powerful diviner. This Noh drama delivers this strong emotion by sharply changing the speed of vocal and instrumental music as well as by vivid forms of movement.

Kibune Shrine is located on Mount Kurama, which sits in the northern outskirts of the city of Kyoto. It is quite a distance to travel to the shrine for a woman who probably lived in the city center; even walking such a distance is abnormal. The audience will grasp her deep resentment.


STORY PAPER : Kanawa (Iron Trivet)

Story Paper presents noh chant stories in modern speech, with story outlines, highlights and more using Adobe PDF format, which can print out and zoom in. Print out the pages and take them with you when you see the actual noh performance.

pdf [Kanawa (Iron Trivet) : Story Paper PDF : 490KB]
Kanawa (Iron Trivet) Story Paper PDF Sample

The copyright of Story Paper is held by the Noh.com. Story Paper is for individual use only. It is prohibited by the copyright law to distribute or publish printed-out Story Paper pages without prior consent. For more information, check the credit and disclaimer pages.

 | Terms of Use | Contact Us | Link to us | 
Copyright© 2017 the-NOH.com All right reserved.