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Kunijo Kabuki Ekotoba

[p. 3] Scene on the entrance of a Kabuki theatre

[p. 4] Text

Blossoms, blooms, full of cherry blossoms!!
Now on, we shall have a Kabuki Party!
Well, I'm a priest of Izumo Shrine. Kuni, a daughter of mine, has learned Kabuki dance.
A peaceful time like now, I'd like her to dance in Kyoto (Capital at that time).
Today is her departure day, so I'll pray for her peaceful journey.
The following story is about her.

[p. 5] Picture of the priest of Izumo Shrine: Kuni's father

[p. 6] Text

[Kuni sings]
To Nagato, to Ohno, far from Izumo,
To Hiroshima, to Akashi, in a spring day,
To Naniwa, to Fukushima, and to Osaka,
Soon will be at Kyoto!

[p. 7] Scene on Kuni's journey

[p. 8] Text

Here I am in Kyoto now.
Look at the people singing and dancing joyously under cherry-blossoms!

[p. 9] Scene on Hanami: flower viewing

[p. 10] Scene on Hanami: flower viewing

[p. 11] Text

There're so many places famous for their cherry blossoms here. What could be a difference between the cherry blossoms at Mt. Hiei and Mt. Reuju (a holly mountain in India)?
At Ohara and Oshio-yama, you'll be sure to find heavenly blossoms.
It's the 25th of January, Kitano Fes. day, isn't it!
I shall go and dance in front of the visiters there. Starting with Nen'butsu dance.

[p. 12, 13] Text

[Kuni dances]
Namuamidabitsu Namuamida,
life is such a pitiful thing.
Namuamidabutsu Namuamida,
light is in the Amida spirit.
Namuamidabutsu namuamida.

[p. 14] Scene of Kuni's Nen'butsu dance

[p. 15] Text

[Nagoya]
"Your Nen'butsu song led me here from the sinful other world. Aren't you familiar with my face, Kuni?"
[Kuni]
"Excuse me, Sir. I don't recognize you in this crowded spectators. Would you please give me your name?"
[Nagoya]
"You ask me who I am? I'm an old friend of you. I can't forget the days we used to dance together; That's why here I am."

[p. 16] Scene on the appearance of Sanza Nagoya

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[p. 17] Scene on the appearance of Sanza Nagoya

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[p. 18] Text

Oh, the dead spirit of Nagoya Sanza had appeared from the other world.
[Nagoya]
"Can't you realize who I am from what I told?"
[Kuni]
"Oh yes, oh yes, now I've got it. You must be a famous Kabuki actor, Mr. Nagoya!"
[Nagoya]
"That's right, Kuni. I lost my life in a trifling quarrel. Now I hope to sing and dance with you like before. Let's start Kabuki dance!!"

[p. 19, 20] Text

[Kuni dances]
What a hard world we live in!
A waterwheel is turning in the rapids of the River Yodo;
Is it waiting for someone?
If you want to marry a tea-stall girl,
You 've got to pay seven visits to Ise Shrine;
Thirteen to Kumano; and once a month to Atago.
So, you've closed the door already?
The wind is not blowing, though.
You can shut the door all you want,
But don't you think that's pitiless?
Let me remain standing at the gate thinking of you.
No cold wind stirs me;
I'm far too warm with the passion for you.

[p. 20] Scene on the crowd of outlookers

[p. 21] Scene on Sanza and Kuni dancing joyously

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[p. 22] Text

[Nagoya]
"O,Kuni, I ask you. Show me the peculiar Kabuki; The song you've sung just now is really out of fashion."
[Kuni]
"Let me, then, sing you a song called 'Quasi-Joruri.'"
Kuni started beating time with a kozuchi (hand drum) for the song.
My love never succeeds.
When the moon shines, clouds always gather.
When the cherry blossoms, the wind always blows.
I suffer thus in my unfortunate affairs.

[p. 22] Picture of willows

[p. 23] Picture of Kuni singing and dancing with Sanza Nagoya

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[p. 24] Text

If you marry someone, don't get deeply involved with him.
Better to have a shallow but long-lasting relationship.
Look at autumn leaves.
Deep red ones fall first, but light-coloured ones hang on.

[p. 25] Text

The Kabuki dance went on for a while, and the crowd of outlookers went home.
Nagoya Sanza kept urging on Kuni to continue the song and dance, however.
Still, the time finally came for them to part. Kuni sang a fare-well song.

[p. 26] Text

So you really are leaving, Nagoya.
Well then, let me see you off at Kobata.
Even if I spent eight thousand nights with you,
I would still feel the sorrow of parting.

[p. 27] Picture of Cherry Blossoms

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[p. 28] Scene of Kabuki dance among many people

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[p. 29] Scene of Kabuki dance among many people

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[p. 30] Text

We must realize that Kuni was actually the God of Izumo Shrine, who had generously come down to this world in the shape of the maiden to start the Kabuki dance. The god came to show some Kabuki to all living things to remove evil thoughts and feelings from them.
O, let us truly be thankful.

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