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Sambaso is a dance began as offering to god to pray for a good harvest. But now, it is rather danced at wedding ceremonies or New Year celebration, etc.
After Yoshitsune, Samurai leader, was banished by his elder brother, the Army General Yoritomo Minamoto. He and his men fled from Kyoto to Omono beach of Amagasaki. Yoshitsune’s lover Shizuka accompanied with them, but he could not take her with him any further and unwillingly decided to return her to the Capital Kyoto. Shizuka, hiding her sadness in mind, dances “Miyako-Meisho” (beautiful places of the Capital Kyoto).
A girl doll wearing a Japanese wedding dress and an umbrella in her hand is the incarnation of a white egret who appears on the snowed border. She expresses her lovesick by dancing. Then she changes her clothes to a gorgeous dress and dances vividly. Once again she changes her dress and expresses her torture. At last, the agony drives her mad and she freezes to death.
A Female fox saved by Yasuna Abe transformed herself into Princess Kuzunoha and got married with him for repayment. They made a child. One day, the genuine Princess Kuzunoha showed up to their house and the female fox had to return back to the forest, leaving a lovely child behind. The child became a famous diviner, Seimei Abeno. This performance is based on the folklore tale of intermarriage between human and non-human creature of Nara.
Yakichi left home at 15 years old and went to Edo to become a carpenter. 10 years later reaching 25 years old, he decided to return home to see his parents with 50 Ryo (Unit of money in Edo era) saved by his hard working. On the way home he first time dropped in the famous red-light zone Yoshiwara with an idea to talk about his experience there to his home town people. He met Tamagiku Oiran (top ranking service girl in red-light zone) there and fell in love with her at sight. They firmly engaged to marry each other. Yakichi went home and told his parents that he wanted to marry Tamagiku, but his mother severely rejected it and send Tamagiku a letter telling that Yakichi had been dead home. Tamagiku visited Yakichi’s home with deep sorrow and committed suicide in front of his fake tombstone.
A female crane injured in the field was helped by a man called Yohyo. The crane transformed herself into a young beautiful girl named Tsu to repay for his help. Yohyo and Tsu got married and made a child. Yohyo was a poor farmer and Tsu wove beautiful fabrics with her own crane feathers secretly in a hidden room for their living. Yohyo was happy but became greedy asking for more fabrics to sell. One day Yohyo looked into her hidden room and found she was a crane. After finishing the last fabric that evening, Tsu went out and died in the snow.
Chozaburo Tsuba, samurai, came down to become an Otoko-Geisha(male Geisha) Rancho. Although he had a wife Miya, Chozaburo fooled around with Konoito, a prostitute, and neglected his family. Miya visited Konoito and begged her to part from him. Konoito agreed with Miya and promised her to keep her own word, but later she met Chozaburo again and decided to commit suicide together.
This is the play performed by Nakamuraza as second act of Kaomise-Kyogen on November 1784. Tatsuhime, daughter of Landlord Yasuchika Ito gave up love with Yoritomo Minamoto. In her place Masako Hojo fell in love with Yoritomo. Tatsuhime watched over them and helped them to meet in secret. However while combing her hair Tatsuhime was consumed with jealousy.The color of women's hair is not permanent. It turns from dark to white as women get older. This play implies a view of life as something transient and empty by using the color of women's hair as a metaphor.
While the priest Anchin was traveling, he met a lady called Kiyohime and fell in love with her. However, love was a taboo for priests. Anchin changed his attitude and sought refuge in the temple Dojoji. Kiyohime was furious with him. She transformed herself into a serpent and pursued him. Women were forbidden to enter temples. Anchin hid in the big bell of Dojoji, but was noticed by Kiyohime and burnt with fire of wrath. I perform the scene where Kiyohime dives into the river of Hidakagawa to pursue Anchin.
Written by Saburobeh Takemoto and others. The first performance was held on December 1772. There was a man called Hanhichi who was a son of the owner of the Sakaya(Japanese alcohol shop) "Akaneya". He didn't care about his wife, Osono. His father and his father-in-law worried about his bad behaviors. He even had a mistress called Sansho who bore his daughter. At last he commited a murder and was driven to commit double suicide with Sansho. It is a story dramatized on the base of a real incident. It has three acts. The latter half of the play is often performed as 'Osono'. How Osono worries about her husband, the relationship between Hanhichi's father and his father-in-law, and how Hanhichi was driven to commit double suicide with Sansho are performed in this part of the play.
During New Year days, a girl apprentice(of prostitutes) in Yoshiwara (the biggest red-light zone in Edo) wearing pretty clothes dances to drive away her gloom.
Okichi, Geisha in Shimoda, was engaged with Tsurumatsu, a boat carpenter. When American Consul Mr. T. Harris came to Shimoda, Okichi was forced by the government to become his mistress. After he went home, she lived with Tsurumatsu. But people in Shimoda looked down on her and laughed at her for her past of foreigner’s mistress. She drank much to forget her sadness and later parted from Tsurumatsu. She finally committed suicide by drowning in the river late in her life.
At night of the first full moon in autumn, it is said that the girl once committed suicide in a lake comes up to the surface to see the moon light and dances with her pathos to this world. After dancing, she goes back to the bottom of the lake…
On New Year days, Manzai people visit houses to sing and dance praying for the happiness and luck in the coming year. Each house gives them money of gratitude.