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FUNA BENKEI

Benkei in the Boat

Tomomori
TOMOMORI
Benkei
BENKEI
Characters:
Yoshitsune (Genji family general)
Benkei (Yoshitsune's retainer)
Shizuka Gozen ( Lady Shizuka, Yoshitsune's concubine)
Sendo ( Boat Man)
Tomomori ( Ghost of a Heike Family warrior)

The sea scene makes good use of Mibu-dera Temple's stage and props. This is the well known story of Minamoto Yoshitsune and his retainer, the warrior-monk, Benkei. Yoshitsune falls out of favor with his older brother Yoritomo (the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate). During Yoshitsune's flight to the North, he is faced with the ghost of Taira Tomomori, a member of the defeated Heike clan. Yoshitsune is saved by the prayers of Benkei. The Noh play with the same name has the same plot. A synopsis can be found here.

The Mime

Benkei summons Lady Shizuka so that she and Yoshitsune can share a farewell cup of sake. Benkei convinces the reluctant Yoshitsune to have Lady Shizuka return to the capital on her own. He and Yoshitsune leave by boat. The sea becomes rough and Tomomori's ghost appears. Yoshitsune cannot defeat the ghost with his sword so Benkei intervenes with prayer and is able to drive the ghost away.

Waves and shore kimono