Kagetsu (Noh play) (花月 (能))

"Kagetsu" is a yukyomono (musical entertainment piece) Noh play. It describes a reunion of a hanzoku hanso (monk living as ordinary people) boy Kagetsu and his father, incorporating music and dances performed by Kagetsu.


Noh shite (main role): Kagetsu
No waki (supporting role): Shokoku ikken (taking a look at all the lands) monk (actually Kagetsu's father)
Noh kyogenkata (Actors who perform lighthearted plays that are often staged between the more serious Noh pieces): Man in front of the gate of Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Structure of the Play

The waki who has arrived at Kiyomizu-dera Temple is Zaemon, originally from Hiko-san Mountain in Tsukushi Province. He entered into priesthood in despair of the world as his seven-year-old son went missing, and is on a pilgrimage of various provinces. During his visit at Kiyomizu-dera Temple he asks a temple employee if there is anything worth seeing in the neighborhood, and is told that there is a boy (Kagetsu) in front of the gate who performs interesting music and dances. At the recommendation of the temple employee he sees the boy's dance, and realizes that the boy is his own son. Kagetsu says that he had been abducted by a Tengu (a mountain spirit with wings and a long nose) and traveled mountains of various provinces. The father and son rejoice in the reunion and together tread the path of discipline.

Geizukushi (display all (or many) of one's repertoire)

Nanori (announcement of one's name) of Kagetsu - He claims that he is a distinguished priest of Japan by playing on words from his name (Kagetsu uses the characters 花 [ka - flower] and 月 [getsu - moon]) using various things (such as flower, gourd, confectionery, fire and fruit, all pronounced 'ka').

Kouta (a short song accompanied by shamisen) - a song on the theme of love composed in the Muromachi period that has even been included in Kanginshu (Companions for the Journey – a compilation of poems).

Yumi no dan (Noh performance featuring a bow and arrow) – Japanese bush warblers were once targeted, but the practice was suspended by Sessho-kai (the Buddhist precept of the prohibition of indiscriminately killing living things).

Kusemai (music and dance with a fan performed to the sound of a tsuzumi, or Japanese hand drum) - The Origin of Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Kakko no mai (dance with a small drum) – the memories of traveling through mountains with the Tengu. Famous mountains from various regions are mentioned.

[Original Japanese]