September 23, 2002: Evening Noh play in Yufuin
I got two tickets of Noh play from my friend in Yufuin.

The ninth evening Noh play in Yufuin starts at Hanano-shou hotel's stage.
An good Noh signboard suggests a wonderful performance.
The helpers wear Noh-style Happi coats.
This is the Noh stage on the pond.
The audience watches the play on the lawn of the spacious garden.
A straw thatched roof is visible beyond the red-and-white curtain. This is a really good scene of Japan.
The torches are lighted like this.
The Noh play started at last.
The first play was "Two Shizuka", a Noh dance in plain clothes.
In the dusk, the Noh play takes us into a world of delicate beauty.
The next play was a comical play of "Onigawara."

A local feudal lord goes back to his fief after a long public service in Kyoto. On his way home he visited a shrine to say thank you. He found a large ridge-end tile on the roof. The design of the tile looked like his wife in the fief. he laughed at it through his tears.
After a pause, the main play "Hashi Benkei" was performed.

When a passenger crossed Gojou Bridge, he was attacked by a boy and barely escaped. He asked his friend to check if his back was cut by a sword. The friend laughed and poked fun at the victim, saying you were deeply cut or not injured at all.
At that time, Ushiwakamaru was playing a flute on the bridge.
A schoolgirl in Oita city plays Ushiwakamaru.
Benkei showed up to punish this small attacker and fought. The attacker, Ushiwakamaru, moved so quickly and was stronger than Benkei who at last surrendered to Ushiwakamaru. Benkei became a servant in the end.

The story is very famous and the Noh play created a quiet beauty.
It is rare to see an actual Noh play. I enjoyed a wonderful performance tonight in Yufuin.