Saigyo-zakura (Saigyos Cherry Blossoms) (西行桜)

Saigyo-zakura is a Noh play written by Zeami. It was written in the Muromachi period. For more details, see the right column.


Saigyo's hermitage in Kyoto. When the spring has come, the beautiful cherry blossoms bloom and many people come to see the flowers. However, this year, Saigyo had his reasons and prohibits the cherry blossom viewing. When he was admiring the cherry blossoms alone, many people came to see the flowers as they had done in the past. Saigyo who was enjoying the cherry blossoms invited people because he couldn't turn away the visitors who traveled great distances. Saigyo composed a poem, expressing that the beauty of the cherry blossoms attracts people, and that is the sin of the flowers. He rests in the shade of the tree to admire the cherry blossoms throughout the night.

In his dream, the spirit of the old cherry tree appears, asking "What do you mean by the sin of the cherry blossoms?"
The spirit says, "The cherry blossoms just bloom and there is no reason to blame." The spirit admonishes Saigyo, saying "It is human mind which creates the feeling of troublesome." The spirit of the old cherry tree takes him to some places famous for beautiful cherry blossoms and performs a dance. In the meantime, Saigyo awoke from his dream. The spirit of the old cherry trees disappeared and just the old cherry tree bloomed quietly.

[Original Japanese]