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A travelling monk, on his way from the Capital to Zenkōji Temple along mountain paths, stops at Tago-no-ura (Tago Bay) to admire the view. There, he notices some beautiful wisteria flowers, and quotes an old poem that favourably compares the late spring withered wisteria to the stately pine tree. A woman appears before the monk and scolds him for his choice of poem, because it describes the flowers as ‘withered’ in a place famous for the beauty and elegant fragrance of its wisteria, before suggesting that he choose a more appropriate one. When the monk asks who the woman so able to quote old flower poems is, she reveals herself to be the Spirit of the Wisteria, and vanishes.
Tonight’s ‘half-noh’ performance of Fuji’s second act begins later that night when, lit by the moon, the monk offers prayers for the Spirit of the Wisteria, who reappears and dances to celebrate the glorious passing of spring, before disappearing into the breaking dawn.
Noh Reimagined 2022 is supported by:
Agency for Cultural Affairs, government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Arts Council England, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, The Asahi Shimbun Foundation