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Suzu City , Ishikawa Related category:
The Takojima Hayafune Kyogen    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 59 minutes
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At the autumn festival of Takakurahiko Shrine on September 11, when the mikoshi (miniature shrine) comes back to the shrine at a late hour, the hayafune kyogen starts on the maidono dance stage. A drum is hit on cue and clappers are beaten against the floor boards, and then a narrator appears and reads out the origin of the hayafune (fast boat). On the stage, a lacquer-painted boat of 4.5 meters manned by seven wooden dolls is displayed. After the narration, a deuta song is sung. Then, a boatman and a steersman come out and exchange comic dialogues. Finally they urge the boat to sail and the kyogen ends. It is not clear when this hayafune kyogen started, but according to the lacquer-painted, ornamented boat and to legend, the time of its origin may be thought to go back about 220 years. The plot of the kyogen is that an incredibly good-looking boatman, Chouemon, falls deeply in love with a geisha in the pleasure quarters, Takao Takasaki, and refuses to sail in spite of repeated urgings from the sailors. Finally there comes the day when he has a dispute with the steersman. This was designated an Intangible Folk Cultural Property by Ishikawa Prefecture on September 14, 1996.

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