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Offering at the Great Buddha


Taira Kagekiyo ( Heike family Warrior )
Kagekiyo's Mother
Minamoto Yoritomo ( Genji family General)
Hatakeyama Shigetada (Yoritomo's retainer)
Two Daimyo (Feudal Lords)

The scene is Todai-ji Temple in Nara, 12th. Century. Minamoto Yoritomo,with his retainers will be paying homage to the great Buddha at Todai-ji. This is after the Heike family was defeated by the Genji family. The play is devided into three acts. Taira Kagekiyo has three costume changes. At first he is dressed as a monk with a straw hat when visiting his mother. Their tearful parting is the highlight of the play. Next he is disguised as a common worker. Finally he dons the robe of a warrior monk.

There is also a Noh play with the same name, Daibutsu Kuyo.

The Mime

Kagekiyo visits his mother to bid her farewell. Though she pleads with him to change his mind, his mother knows that he will not. She drinks to his courage, followed by a tearful farewell. While Yoritomo drinks with his vassals, Kagekiyo dressed as a workman tries to stab him. One of the vassals (Hatakeyama) spies his armor under the disguise and Kagekiyo flees.

Finally dressed as a warrior monk, Kagekiyo attacks only to be defeated by Hatakeyama and captured.