4/01/2020

Kyogen theater

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. Famous Places and Power spots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Kyoogen 狂言 Kyogen Theater - Legends


. Kyogen 狂言 Introduction .

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What Really Happens in the Kyōgen Backstage
This material offers explanations mainly through picture on the tools and works, which were used for backstage devices of Kabuki. This helps us to learn about dramaturgy of Kabuki, including stage sets and theater properties.
With the growing popularity of ghost story-related plays since the Bunka and Bunsei periods (1804-1830), the large scale devices were developed by Hasegawa Kanpei, a professional set designer/producer, who handled all the stage sets at three officially recognized Kabuki theaters of Edo. This page is one of the scenes of "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" and describes the devise of "takiguruma (waterfalls wheels)" that expresses the Yoshino River. Usually, pale blue cloth is used to express the flow of a river. In this play, however, this devise was used to make it appear as if the water flew from the back of the stage to the audience seats.
In addition, this work includes the burning lantern entrance (chōchin nuke), the revolving door panel (toita gaeshi), the garden lantern entrance (tōrō nuke) of "Ghost Story at Yotsuya on the Tōkaidō", and the disclosure of a trick for a midair stunt feat of Ishikawa Goemon. The books for trick disclosure were a popular project to satisfy the curiosity of the audience, and many other books based on similar ideas were also published.
- source : Tokyo Metropolitan Library

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. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

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kamanari 釜鳴 the kettle makes auspicious noises
A 刀鍛冶 sword smith named 国員 Kunikazu wanted to make mochi 餅 rice cakes for the New Year at the end of December, when suddenly his kama 釜 kettle begun to make auspicious noises. Since then Kunikazu became famous.
If a kettle makes noises the family will become prosperous. Kunikazu changed his name store name to
Kamanariya 釜鳴屋.
If a kettle begins to make noise in the kitchen, the womenfolk use new underwear and place it on the kettle to make it quiet.

. Narikama 鳴釜 Narigama yokai / Kamanari 釜鳴 .


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. saru 猿と伝説 Legends about monkeys - Affen .
A ship carrying Kyogen actors from a tour to Yamaguchi became shipwrecked and the people, rescued on land, did not know where they are. There were no human houses on the island. But the monkeys on the island found the humans and many came to the beach to look at them. Since it was a ship carrying actors, the monkeys asked them for a performance of a 狂言 Kyogen. So one of them danced 三番叟 the Sanbaso. The monkeys liked that very much and threw some food at them. Then they climbed on a high tree and showed the actors the direction. When the actors started rowing that way, they finally reached 長門国 the Nagato province.
Sanbaso by Masayuki Kunisaki
. Sanbasoo 三番叟 The Sanbaso Dance .
It started in the ninth century as a dance to avoid earthquakes.
Later it was performed in Noh, Kyogen and even Kabuki.




................................................................................. Kyoto 京都府
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中京区 Central ward

. Mibudera 壬生寺 Temple Mibu-Dera .
During the Kyogen performances in April at the 大念仏会 Great Nenbutsu Rituals there appear performers with masks.
The masks are of 牛若 Ushiwaka, 弁慶 Benkei, 土蜘蛛 Tsuchigumo, the Ground Spider, 鬼 Oni demons, 地蔵 Jizo Bosatsu and others.




................................................................................. Nagano 長野県
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. Horaijima 蓬莱島 a mythical island of eternal youth .
In a Kyogen performance for 節分 Setsubun rituals in Spring, an Oni 鬼 demon comes from Horaijima Island. He is tricked by a woman who snatches his kakuremino 隠れ蓑 straw raincoat (which makes him invisible). Then she throws Setsubun ritual beans at him to drive him out.




................................................................................. Nara 奈良県
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月ヶ瀬村 Tsukigase village

. Mount Konoyama 神野山 and koedame 肥溜め an area for fertilizer .




................................................................................. Osaka 大阪府
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Osaka 堺市 Sakai city 少林寺町 Shorinji town

釣狐 Tsurigitsune (‘Fox Trapping’) - 狐釣り狂言 Kitsune tsuri

tsuri kitsune 釣狐 Tsurigitsune, Tsuri-gitsune "fox trapping"

- Tsuri-Gitsune - kyogen-in-english text -
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. The Fox Hakuzosu 白蔵主 / 伯蔵主 .
The legend of Hakuzōsu became a Kyōgen play "Fishing for a fox", 釣狐 Tsurigitsune (‘Fox Trapping’) / Konkai (‘The Cry of the Fox’)
In Tsurigitsune, an old fox who has lost all of his relatives to a hunter's trap assumes human form to try to convince the hunter to stop killing. In this story, a hunter is visited by his uncle, the priest Hakuzōsu, who lectures his nephew on the evils of killing foxes. The hunter is nearly convinced, but after the priest departs, he hears the cry of the fox and realizes it wasn't his uncle at all but a fox in guise.
The fox resumes his natural form and reverts to his wild ways, takes the bait in a trap and is captured.
- quote wikipedia -

sanbon ashi no kitsune 三本足の狐 a fox with three legs
Hakuzosu was a strong believer in 稲荷神 the Inari fox deity.
One day he found a fox with three legs. He thought this was a present of the deity and he brought it up with great care.
The fox became a wise animal and helped the priest to forecast disaster and bad luck.
The staff of the priest used in the Kyogen performance is made of bamboo taken from the bamboo grove at 少林寺 the temple Shorin-Ji.


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- reference : nichibun yokai database -

. Edo, Tokyo 江戸 - 東京 - 伝説 Legends Index .

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. Kaido 街道 Highways - ABC Index .

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .

. Edo bakufu 江戸幕府 The Edo Government .

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

. Japanese Architecture - The Japanese Home .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


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