THE ANGEL IN HAGOROMO.
THE story of the mortal who stole an angel's cloak and so prevented her return to heaven is very widely spread. It exists, with variations and complications, in India, China, Japan, the Liu Chiu Islands and Sweden. The story of Hasan in the Arabian Nights is an elaboration of the same theme.
The Nō play is said to have been written by Seami, but a version of it existed long before. The last half consists merely of chants sung to the dancing. Some of these (c. g. the words to the Suruga Dance) have no relevance to the play, which is chiefly a framework or excuse for the dances. It is thus a Nō of the primitive type, and perhaps belongs, at any rate in its conception, to an earlier period than such unified dramas as Atsumori or Kagekiyo. The words of the dances in Maiguruma are just as irrelevant to the play as those of the Suruga Dance in Hagoromo, but there the plot explains and even demands their intrusion.
The libretto of the second part lends itself very ill to translation, but I have thought it best to give the play in full.