Dance title Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori  In Japanese
Authors Matsumoto K˘ji I (lyrics)
Kineya Rokuzaemon X, Kiyomoto Saibŕ I (music)
Fujima Kanjűr˘ II, Nishikawa Senz˘ IV, Nakamura Katsugor˘ (choreography)

The dance "Henj˘" is the first section of the five-role hengemono "Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori", which was staged in the 3rd lunar month of 1831 at the Nakamuraza. It starred Nakamura Shikan II in the five roles of S˘j˘ Henj˘, Ariwara no Narihira, Bun'ya no Yasuhide, Kisen and ďtomo no Kuronushi. His stage partner in the role of Ono no Komachi was Iwai Kumesabur˘ II. "Henj˘" is performed with a Gidayű ensemble.

Key words Gidayű
Heian Jidai
Ono Komachi
S˘j˘ Henj˘

Scene: The interior of the Imperial Palace

A group of ladies-in-waiting (kanjo) are discussing the fact that a poetry competition has been arranged, and that some of the court ladies have been chosen to take part - most notably Ono no Komachi, whose beauty and whose talent as a poetess are both legendary. The rather foolish court ladies admit that they could never write a poem - or indeed do anything else very constructive at all!

The elderly abbot Henj˘, who is also an eminent poet, arrives - the first of Komachi's suitors to be shown. Although he is a learned priest, he admits to being overcome with desire for Komachi - something for which he is likely to receive eternal punishment in the afterlife. The court ladies bar his way, and inform him that Komachi is busy with the poetry competition, and that he will have to visit her at another time. But Komachi's voice is heard from within, reciting a poem she has written. This raises Henj˘'s hopes of meeting her, and she duly enters, commenting on the fact that Henj˘ is there yet again! She and Henj˘ indulge in a moral discourse, Komachi instructing the abbot that he must remember his vows, choose the path to salvation and return to his temple - which he reluctantly does. Komachi watches him leave, not without emotion, and then withdraws with her ladies.

Summary written by Marion Hudson (2015)


"Henj˘" is a short (a little bit below) 15-min long dance.

The actor Nakamura Fukusuke I playing the role of S˘j˘ Henj˘ in the dance "Rokkasen Sugata no Irodori", which was staged in the 5th lunar month of 1854 at the Ichimuraza (print made by Utagawa Toyokuni III)

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