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TAMAMONOMAE

The Beautiful Fox Witch

fox
Characters:
Tamamo-no-mae ( Lady Tamamo, disguise of the evil nine-tailed Fox spirit)
Tachibana Toyonari, the Kampaku (Chief Court Advisor)
Abe Yasunari (Court Astrologer and Diviner)
Miuranosuke (Warrior)
Kazusanosuke (Warrior)
Messenger
People eaten by the Fox

A real stone, in present-day Ibaragi pref., Chausudake, Higashifumoto, standing near a volcanic vent giving off poisonous gases is responsible for some of this story.

The highlight of the performance is the leaping fox, who even jumps off stage. The Emperor is of course never shown but is understood to be behind the screen. Everyone must remove their weapons before coming into the room where he is.

A thousand-year old nine-tailed fox, who has done evil all over India and China, comes to Japan and transforms herself into a beautiful young lady. The Cloistered Emperor Toba (12th cent.) falls in love with her. He gives her the name Lady Tamamo-no-mae. Soon after falling in love with her, he becomes ill.

The Chief Court Advisor (kampaku) Tachibana Toyonari and Tamamo-no-mae pay a sympathy visit. Tachibana has the Astrologer divine the cause of the illness. Yasunari discoveres through a magic mirror that Lady Tamamo-no-mae is a nine tailed fox. He waves a sacred paper wand at her where upon she shows her true form and escapes.

A Messenger appears saying that the fox has been seen in Nasuno in the Kanto district, where she is eating people. Tachibana sends two warriors to slay her. She is beheaded and the warriors return with the head.

The Noh play Sesshoseki, is of the same source. Synopsis here.

red and black kimono
blue whisteria kimono