|Play title||ďeyama Shuten D˘ji|
Hagiwara Yukio's Nagauta-based matsubamemono dance-drama "ďeyama Shuten D˘ji" was premiered in June 1963 at the Kabukiza [casting].
The stage is patterned after the classic N˘ stage, with a painting of an ancient pine tree on the backboard. The warrior Minamoto no Raik˘ arrives with his followers, the famous shitenn˘, Sakata Kintoki, Urabe Suetake, Usui Sadamitsu and Watanabe Tsuna, disguised as a group of yamabushi, and announces that he has been dispatched by the emperor to destroy the demon of Mount ďe, northwest of Ky˘to in the Province of Tanba which terrorizes the capital, abducts beautiful maidens, kills them, drinks their blood from a large shallow bowl and eats their flesh. As it is growing late, they admonish each other to hurry on their way.
They come across a small wayside shrine on Senj˘-ga-Take, a peak on Mount ďe. Raik˘ thinks this must be the dwelling of the demon, which is said to be disguised in the form of a child called Shuten D˘ji, so fond of sake that it drinks all day and night. The followers produce a keg of sacred sake (shinshu) obtained from the sacred shrines of Iwashimizu Hachimangű in Yawata, Sumiyoshi Taisha and Kumano Gongen, said to possess the quality of causing any demon to lose its magic power. They plan to have Shuten D˘ji drink this sake.
As he seems to be absent, they settle down to wait for him. Presently, Shuten D˘ji returns. Raik˘ introduces his group as travelers who have lost their way in the dark, and requests a night's lodging, offering to share their sake with him in exchange. Shuten D˘ji, noting the keg of sake, is only too pleased to oblige, and soon they are all partaking of the sake together. Raik˘ asks their host to perform a dance for them, and Shuten D˘ji complies. But by this time the sake has begun to work on him, and he reels away. Suddenly a fierce thunder storm erupts. Three women in disarray come running to the site. The warriors think it is a trick of the demon and put themselves on guard, but the women, who are named Nadeshiko, Sawarabi and Wakasa, say they are from Ky˘to, and have been abducted by the demon. They explain in dance form the hardships they have suffered since their abduction.
Raik˘ explains that they have come to conquer the demon, and promises to escort them safely home after their mission is completed. With the women leading the way, they head for the demon's lair, approaching cautiously. As they attack the demon's lair, the demon comes out this time in its real form as a ferocious ogre. But it is thoroughly inebriated. A furious fight ensues, in which it is finally subdued and killed.
ďeyama Shuten D˘ji
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