|Dance title||Ninin Dôjôji
Kyôganoko Musume Ninin Dôjôji
Wake Futatsu Ninin Dôjôji
Edoganoko Musume Ninin Dôjôji
"Ninin Dôjôji", a spectacular version of the classic dance "Musume Dôjôji" with two leading dancers instead of one, was premiered in the 1st lunar month of 1835 in Ôsaka at the Kado no Shibai, under the title "Wake Futatsu Ninin Dôjôji". It starred Nakamura Tomijûrô II and Nakamura Shikan II in the roles of the shirabyôshi.
According to the famous legend of the Dôjôji Temple in the province of Kishû, Princess Kiyo fell in love with the priest Anchin. He tried to flee from her love and took refuge under the giant bell (tsurigane) of the Dôjôji Temple. Princess Kiyo transformed herself into a monstrous giant serpent, pursuing the priest across the Hidaka River and finally wrapping herself around the Temple bell. Her fire breath melted the bronze of the bell and the flesh of Anchin together.
The scene of the dance is set at Dôjôji Temple some time later, when a new bronze bell has been built to replace the one, which was destroyed by the serpent. The ceremony for the new bell is expected to start today and the abbot has strictly forbidden the presence of any woman in the precincts of the Temple today. Two shirabyôshi dancers, Hanako and Sakurako, arrive at the Dôjôji. They implore the priest to allow them to enter the temple to take a look to the new bell. The priest forget the abbot's warning and agree on one condition: Hanako and Sakurako have to perform a dance for them. They do not notice that one of the dancers, who is in reality the avenging spirit of Princess Kiyo, casts revengeful dark glances in the direction of the bell. After taking off their ceremonial golden hats (eboshi), the priestesses reveal themselves as beautiful maidens and they take turns in dancing, going through the usual series of dances as in the classic "Musume Dôjôji". Their gracious movements express various facets of women's experiences in love and the priests are in trance. Unfortunately for them, at the climax of the dance, the true nature of the dancers is revealed when Hanako rushes toward the bell, which falls to the ground in a thunder noise. The confusion is complete for the priests and the two women climb onto the bell, striking dramatic mie and displaying their true identity: they are the serpent!
The dance "Ninin Dôjôji" was shot twice for the Cinema:
The actors Nakamura Fukusuke I and Onoe Kikugorô IV playing the roles of Sakurako and Hanako in the dance "Edoganoko Musume Ninin Dôjôji", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1860 at the Nakamuraza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)
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