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Yakamochi

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Yakamochi is a Noh play by Konparu Zenpô revolving around the Heian period waka poet Ôtomo no Yakamochi.[1] Though the text survives today, records of the details of performance do not. The play is no longer performed in the current repertoire.[2]

In the play, Yakamochi's daughter (a tsure role) is upset that her father (the waki role) is still going to Court when her mother is deathly ill. Desperate, she summons a sorcerer, Hata no Yasukuni (the shite role), asking him to exchange her life for that of her mother. Yakamochi then returns from Court to find his wife recovering but his daughter dying. Messengers from Hell arrive to take the daughter, but ultimately spare her out of pity or sympathy. The play ends with Yakamochi asking what will become of his daughter, with the messengers from Hell replying that she will become Empress Kômyô, empress to Emperor Shômu; as this portion is chanted, the scene shifts into the future, not merely talking about her future, but actually transporting the scene through time to that point.

References

  • Beng Choo Lim, "Performing Furyû Nô: The Theatre of Konparu Zenpô," Asian Theatre Journal 22:1 (2005), 43-45.
  1. Lim writes "Ôuchi Yakamochi," but it seems likely this is meant to refer to Ôtomo, one of the Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry (Sanjûrokkasen) not Ôuchi.
  2. Lim, 46.
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