Kurozuka / Aoi no Ue

Kurozuka / Aoi no Ue

Product Description

Region Code 2, NTSC. Kurozuka is the only filmed record of the great noh actor Hideo Honda (1899-1966). National Treasure Michio Sakurama's (1897-1983) great performance is another highlight. Originally broadcast in 1957. Also a kabuki play, Kurozuka is a grave mound in Adachi ga Hara, where a demon lives. The noh version accentuates the loneliness of living in poverty, and the shame of the demon. A monk and his servant arrive at the village and spot a fire in a hut. The woman agrees to their request to stay the night, and later tells them her sad story while using her spinning wheel. She goes to collect wood and asks them not to look in her bedroom. The servant looks, sees piles of bones and limbs and when the woman returns realizes her secret has been discovered. She attacks them, they recite Buddhist mantras and she disolves into the night. Aoi no Ue is performed brilliantly by Yazaemon Teshima (1899-1978) together with other great actors including Iwao Kongo (1924-1998), Kinjiro Ezaki (1912-1987) and Sensaku Shigeyama (1896-1986). First broadcast in 1975. Aoi no Ue (Lady Aoi) is the wife of Prince Genji, the hero of Genji Monogatari, the source of many great noh dramas. Lady Aoi is pregnant with Genji's child, but now lies close to death stricken by a mysterious illness. A shaman is called in to exorcise the spirit. The living phantom of Princess Rokujo appears, one of Genji's past lovers, and who is filled with jealousy and rage. The shaman is powerless against the phantom of the Princess, and the Buddhist mountain ascetic, the Saint of Yokawa must be fetched. Once he begins his prayers, Rokujo's spirit becomes afraid. Hearing the sound of the scriptures, her soul is cleansed and she finds peace.