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Grand Kabuki, Evening Show

KAIDAN BOTAN DORO (The Ghost Story of the Peony Lantern)
One of the most famous ghost stories in Japan shows the ghost of a beautiful young girl who visits the man she loves nightly, her way lit by a lantern decorated with peonies. The clatter of her wooden clogs announces her appearance, "...karannn...koronnnn..." Originally a Chinese story, it became a Japanese classic when it was transformed into a long Rakugo story by Sanyutei Encho (1839 - 1900). Otsuyu the daughter of a samurai family falls in love with a young samurai named Shinzaburo, but she falls sick and dies when he stops visiting her. Her ghost begins to visit him nightly preceded by the ghost of her nursemaid carrying a lantern decorated with peonies and he welcomes these meetings, not realizing that she is dead. But a priest sees the signs of death and protects Shinzaburo with holy amulets and a powerful Buddhist statue. The ghosts then bribe Shinzaburo's greedy servant Tomozo (Nizaemon) and his wife Omine (Tamasaburo) to take the amulets away. The result is that Shinzaburo is killed by the ghosts and Tomozo and Omine run away with the money. But the money doesn't bring them happiness. This version of the story is not just a tale of ghosts, but shows human treachery and the revolving ironies of fate.

YAKKO DOJOJI (Male Dojoji)
Musume Dojoji is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at Dojoji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version the dancer is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Mitsugoro in a dance important to his family tradition.

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