mjj (flemmings) wrote,

More Onmyouji geekery

So I think about translating Kanawa, the iron ring, which Whatserface in the movies wore on her head. But it's full of poetry in medieval Japanese. Odd poetry, not in tanka form, with repeated lines. I google the first line, find two mentions in Japanese, relating either to Izumi Shikibu (but it's *not* in tanka form...) or noh plays. Google Kanawa itself and get much info on Dame Kiri until I add 'noh', and bingo. Noh play, hence the repetition, about a jealous woman, based on a story in Konjaku Monogatari. (Very clearly I need a copy of that thing, preferably translated into modern Japanese.) Seimei appears in the play and, we may assume, in the Konjaku story. I'd bet money Hiromasa does not, even if he plays a major role in Yumemakura's rendition.

There are no online copies of the play that I can find, but there's a line by line translation and commentary of the plays in the Kanawa grouping, Troubled Souls from Japanese Noh, by one Chifumi Shimazaki. Another useful link lets me search libraries for copies, and of course UofT has one. I can't get it, natch, but I bet my bunnies' father can, thus saving me much spiritual wear and tear. Konjaku I'll wade through in the original but Zeami is bloody poetry.

Yet another link reveals that my old ukiyo-e dealer has a webpage and a modern illo of an actor in the Kanawa role. I am so happy to live in an age that has google.
Tags: onmyouji

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