Teruko (a beautiful but deformed Lady)
A Wealthy Man
His Pregnant Wife
This is one of the most important and difficult programs in the Mibu Kyogen comic repertory. Teruko's manner of walking is very difficult to preform as she must express the esoteric Sanskrit character for "Buddha" as found in the sutras. The story is about the eternal conflict between men, women and love. It may be one of the oldest plays.
A maid named Teruko lived near Mibu-dera Temple. Unfortunately she was born with only three fingers on her left hand. She is ashamed of this disfigurement and daily prays at the temple to be reborn whole in the next world. Every day she would scoop sacred Akasui water from "Amaga-ike" (Nun's pond) and bring it in a bucket as offering to Jizo Bosatsu.
Teruko purifies herself then goes to the temple carrying the bucket of water with her three fingered hand. A Wealthy Man who lives nearby falls in love with Teruko. She treats him curtly but finally Teruko relents and consents to teach dancing to the man.
The Wealthy Man's pregnant wife sees them dancing intimately and becomes angry with jealousy. While the man and his wife quarrel, the man has Teruko run away. He tries to console his wife, but she asks him to return while pushing him with her large pregnant belly. He cannot give Teruko up and, reluctantly, runs away to be with her. The wife laments over how ugly she is She tries various cosmetics but is not satisfied with the results or the situation she is in. Finally, she losses all hope and goes mad.