Aoi no Ue (葵上)

"Aoi no Ue" is a work of nogaku (the art of Noh) which is based on the chapter of 'Aoi' (Hollyhock) in "The Tale of Genji." It seems Zeami adapted it.

Shite (main actor; protagonist) is a wraith of Rokujo no Miyasudokoro, while Aoi no Ue, whose name is also used as a title of this play, does not appear at all. The character of Aoi no Ue, who is haunted by the wraith and sick in bed, is expressed by laying a kosode (a kimono with short sleeves worn as underclothing by the upper classes) on the stage (which is called dashikosode).

Rokujo no Miyasudokoro, who could not bear the insult given by Aoi no Ue at the festival of Kamo, became a wraith (maejite (shite that appears on the scene before nakairi)), and is torturing Aoi no Ue. All remedies having proved ineffective, an ascetic Buddhist monk was called at last, and when prayers began, the wraith got angry and appeared in the form of an ogre (known as Nochijite, or the Shite that appears on the scene after nakairi)). However, the wraith is finally purified, remaining the form of hannya (female demon), by the power of Buddhist dharma.

[Original Japanese]