Maple Viewing

紅葉狩

Momijigari

A mysterious princess who appears at a maple-viewing party is not all she appears

A beautiful princess dancing in the autumn leaves suddenly reveals herself as a demon. A spectacle performed to a luxurious mixture of musical styles. It is a gorgeous piece symbolic of the emerging modernist Meiji Period.

Synopsis

by Iizuka Misa

Evening maples

The maples glisten in the evening light on Mt. Togakushi. Taira Koremochi, the shogun designate, comes to enjoy the maple leaves with his servants. He encounters a high-ranking princess who is having a party with her servants. She invites Koremochi to join them. He is reluctant at first, but eventually agrees to join.

Taira no Koremochi(Onoe Shoroku) December 2006  Kabukiza Theatre

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Beautiful woman and drink

Koremochi is entertained with alcohol and food, and drinks heavily. His servants perform comical dances to entertain the crowd.
Koremochi asks the princess to dance. She is embarrassed but, urged on by her senior chambermaid, eventually performs a dance with two fans. When she notices that the tipsy Koremochi has fallen asleep, her face changes. She disappears into the mountain with her party, leaving Koremochi and his servants alone.

【Left】[from left]Sarashinahime(Nakamura Kantaro)、Tagoto(Ichimura Kakitsu)、Taira no Koremochi(Nakamura Hashinosuke) August 2008  Kabukiza Theatre
【Righe】Sarashinahime(Nakamura Fukusuke) May 2012  Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre

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Warning by mountain god

A mountain god appears before Koremochi, who is still fast asleep. He warns that a man-eating demon lives in these mountains and that Koremochi is in danger. He tries to wake the group up, poking Koremochi with a stick, shaking him and stomping loudly, but nothing works. He finally gives up and leaves.

Sanjin(Bando Minosuke) August 2008  Kabukiza Theatre

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Appearance of demon woman

The party finally awakens to the evening breeze. Finding themselves alone, Koremochi goes into the mountains to learn more about the princess. The servants, left by themselves, become frightened and escape frantically down the mountain. The “princess” emerges, now transformed into a terrifying demon. Even the brave Koremochi is intimidated, but fends her off with the power of a legendary sword.

【Left】[from left]demon woman in Mt. Togakushi(Onoe Kikugoro)、Taira no Koremochi(Nakamura Baigyoku) May 2004 Kabukiza Theatre
【Right】[from left]demon woman in Mt. Togakushi(Ichikawa Ebizo)、Taira no Koremochi(Onoe Shoroku) December 2006  Kabukiza Theatre

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