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p. 59





THESE three plays deal with the boyhood of the hero Yoshitsune, whose child-name was Ushiwaka.

Eboshi-ori is a genzai-mono, that is to say a play which describes events actually in progress. In Kumasaka these same events are rehearsed by the ghost of one who participated in them. There are two other well-known Yoshitsune plays, Funa-Benkei and Ataka. In the former the phantoms of the dead Taira warriors attack the boat in which Yoshitsune and Benkei are riding; in the latter occurs the famous scene called the Kwanjinchō, in which Benkei pretends to read out from a scroll a long document which he is in reality improvising on the spot. (See Mr. Sansom's translations of these two plays in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, 1911.) The Kwanjinchō was borrowed by the popular stage, and became one of the favourite "turns" of the great Danjūrō (1660-1703) and his successors.

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