Dojo-ji Temple (Noh play) (道成寺 (能))

"Dojo-ji Temple" is a Nogaku piece that is based on the Legend of Anchin and Kiyohime which has been passed down in Dojo-ji Temple, Kishu Province (present day Wakayama Prefecture). It is said that the piece is a shortened version of "Kanemaki" (Coiling around a bell) thought to be composed by Kojiro Nobumitsu KANZE, reconstructed mainly with Ranbyoshi (mad rhythm). Later, the Kabuki (traditional drama performed by male actors) "Kyo Kanokomusume Dojoji" (The Maiden at Dojo Temple), the Joruri (dramatic narrative chanted to a shamisen accompaniment) "Dojo-ji Temple" and the Kumiodori (combination dance) "Syushin Kaneire" were composed based on Dojo-ji Temple (Noh).

Shite (main role): Shirabyoshi (actually the ghost of a vengeful woman)
Waki (supporting role): Chief priest
Ai (role of a kyogen actor):

According to gojitsu monogatari (stories written later) of the Legend of Anchin and Kiyohime, Shirabyoshi visits Dojo-ji Temple in Kishu Province for its kane kuyo (memorial ceremony of temple bells). Although this ceremony prohibited women, Shirabyoshi sings and dances, and seizes the opportunity to jump into the bonsho (large temple bell).. Then the bell falls with a loud crash, and when the bell is lifted by prayer Shirabyoshi appears in the form of a snake. The snake breathes fire and thrashes violently, overcome with rage at being deserted by a man, but unable to stand the prayers of the priests, jumps into a river and disappears.

This Noh pieces contains many interesting essences, including the dynamic change from the ranbyoshi (dancer takes measured steps in triangular formation to match the beat of the kotsuzumi [shoulder drum] – the lengthy pauses have caused radio broadcasting incidents, due to the maximum time of silence allowed being exceeded) which is a contest of nerves with the kotsuzumi to the kyu no mai (high-tempo dance), the superb timing for the koken (stagehands) to drop the bell after the shite jumps into it, and the shite changing costume inside the bell unassisted to appear as the nochi-jite (lead role of latter half).

[Original Japanese]