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MOMIJI GARI

The Maple Viewing Demon

demon
jizo
Characters:
Taira Koremochi (12th c.; Heike family general)
Koremochi's Servant
Beautiful Lady ( Really a witch-demon )
Her Female Attendant
Jizo - bosatsu (Bodhisattva Guardian )

This play states the dangers of drink-induced lust and untruthfulness.

On Mt. Togakushi there lives a witch who disguises herself as a beautiful woman. Taira no Koremochi is deer hunting on the mountain in autumn. He is overcome by her charming behavior and accepts her invitation to attend a feast. She serves him drugged sake, which he first refuses to drink. She presses him until he finally does then he passes out. Before he passes out the "lady's" attendant takes the servant away.

In a dream Koremochi is told the truth by a Divine Being that the lady is a witch-demon. The Divine Being gives him a sword of truth. Even though he is weakened by the poison he manages to kill the witch-demon.

At the climax the witch - demon gnaws on a maple branch in agony as she dies.

In this play the Jizo - bosatsu (who is the principal deity of Mibu-dera Temple) replaces the Divine Being. In the original Noh version of Momiji-Gari, the Divine Being is the God of War, Namu-ya Hachiman Dai-Bosatsu, who gives Korimochi his sword. Synopsis here.

blue tatsuta river kmono
yellow taysuta river kimono