Momo Yogiku Iro no Yo no Naka
|Authors||Sakurada Jisuke I (lyrics)
Namizaki Tokuji, Tomimoto Toyoshidayű (music)
The fantastical Kiyomoto-based dance "Higaki" (literally "the Cypress Fence") was created by Ichikawa Ennosuke II and premiered in May 1949 at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘ [casting]. It was a revival of an old Sakurada Jisuke I's dance, which was entitled "Momo Yogiku Iro no Yo no Naka", and it combined the N˘ play "Higaki" with the spectacular resurection scene of "Kotsuyose no Iwafuji", where the scattered bones of a dead evil woman reassemble into a skeleton, before taking the form of a human being. The dance Tomimoto-based "Momo Yogiku Iro no Yo no Naka" was originally staged in the 11th lunar month of 1776 at the Ichimuraza, as part of the kaomise drama "Sugata no Hana Yuki no Kuronushi" [casting].
Ono no Komachi
This eerie dance is about a beautiful princess, Komachi, who flees from Ky˘to to Edo in search of a treasure. She disguises herself as a courtesan, but there encounters Sh˘sh˘, her lover from Ky˘to. As they try to escape to safety, they encounter a mysterious old woman. In fact, Sh˘sh˘ recognizes her as Higaki, the old woman that gave him a drink of water many, many years ago when he was on a secret mission. She says that Sh˘sh˘ was so beautiful that she fell in love with him and has come all this way hoping to see him. Higaki is anxious to get rid of Komachi so that she can have Sh˘sh˘ to herself and excitedly goes to draw water for him, copying that scene of long ago when she first fell in love with him. But in fact, she is the ghost of the old woman and in her true form, reveals the torments of hell that she is suffering for her passion.
Source: Earphone Guide website
"Though drawn from the N˘ play "Higaki", which focuses on the obsessive love of an old woman, elements from the legend of the renowned Heian poetess Ono no Komachi have been added to make the work more exciting." (Sasaguchi Rei)
The old woman Higaki
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