November 21, 2009

Kyogen


The Tokorozawa Minsho Koyo Festival was taking place in the outside stage at Koku Koen this weekend.

This was a Kyogen performance called 'Onigawara.' Onigawara is a Japanese gargoyle roof onament. The story is about a lord who sees this onigawara and is reminded of someone...only to realize that it was his wife! Pretty funny.

11 comments:

Vogon Poet said...

It's always nice to learn something new. An interesting story and a pair of beautiful photo.

Mo said...

Oh dear a wife that looks like a gargoyle

Leif Hagen said...

A very handsome kimono!

gogouci said...

I went to a kyogen performance earlier this year and just fell in love with the theatrics. Great photo.

Tall Gary said...

Here is one example of a “Demon tile.” But I think your description allowed us to see this already in our imaginations. Great caption.

Wiki on—Kyogen.

There is a bit of Kyogen at the bottom of this page. Although there is an English intro it is performed in Japanese. Still we can appreciate the resourcefulness of the two characters.

I didn’t know this before until I learned it at Paris Daily Photo but gargoyles are always only water spouts (kind of why they “gargle”). The demonic figures and such are chimeras or grotesques (like our friend’s wife?).

Amy said...

yes that does sound funny, what a story :-)

Hilda said...

I've never watched a Kyogen — sounds like a very interesting performance. And this one sounds funny too!

Babzy said...

Great story !

altadenahiker said...

Wonderful action photos.

Kaori said...

Thanks everyone! This was my first time seeing a Kyogen performance and it was really entertaining! Hope you all get a chance to see (again) too :)

Tall Gary said...

Today I got a copy of a book translated by Shio Sakanishi in 1960. The title is Japanese Folk Plays: The Ink-Smeared Lady and Other Kyogen. And guess what! Right there on pages 64 to 66 is a kyogen titled “Gargoyle.”

Toward the end it has this:

“I was a fool to get so wrought up over my homely wife in the country. Though I cannot care for her, she has given me many marvelous sons who are my wealth and future hope. That is wondrously lucky for me.”

By the way, twenty years ago there were not only performances of kyogen between Noh performances but, something like, on the third Friday of each month there would be a program of two kyogen from 1:00 P.M. at the National Noh Theater not so far from Sendagaya Station. The first time I went there we walked up to Yoyogi and had dinner at a Cambodian restaurant—Angkor Wat.

I wonder if they still have programs of multiple kyogen on certain days.

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