Product Description

Region Code 2, NTSC. Performed by two National Treasures of noh theatre, Kenzo Kondo (??-1988) and Kenzo Matsumoto (1899-1980) who were regarded as masters at conveying the atmosphere of noh from the Edo period. First broadcast on NHK in 1970. The superb noh play, Hachinoki (bonsai) is based on the story of a poor Ronin (ex-Samurai) and a visitor on a cold winter's night during the life of Tokiyori Hojo, who became governor of the Minato clan shogun. A travelling monk, comes across the meagre residence of Tsuneyo Genzayemon, who had once worked for Tokiyori and had lost his land through a relative's deception. Tsuneyo and his wife offer what comforts they can to the traveller and share their small meal of boiled millet. To provide heat for their guest, the old man cuts down his three precious bonsai trees of sakura (cherry) ume (plum) and matsu (pine) to burn in a hibachi. He tells his story of suffering and poverty and declares his loyalty to the shogunate. The second part of the play is set six months later. The travelling monk it is revealed was in fact Tokiyori in disguise. To test Tsuneyo's loyalty, Tokiyori spreads a rumour that war is about to break out. Tsuneyo arrives in old, battered armour with a rusty sword ready to fight. Tokiyori rewards him by restoring his lands, the names of these lands include the words ume, sakura and matsu in gratitude for the sacrificed trees.