Crossing Ikutagawa

Reflections on the journey of the monk Renshô from Kyoto to Ich-no-tani before his encounter with the spirit of Atsumori.

South
the Moon and
South
from the Capital
Renshô walks
through the dusk
of August heat
his shadow grown long
behind him.

Past the water mill
at Yodo
and Koya Pond
flush with cormorants,
finally crossing
the Ikutagawa
where Unai had drowned
her robes like petals
spread wetly across
the sand.

He arrives
at Suma
the crush of pounding
surf
reaching to him
as he nears the shore
of the sea
of grass
and reeds
and countless waves.

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About Theatre Nohgaku

Noh, one of the oldest continuing stage arts, combines highly stylized dance, chant, music, mask and costume with intense inner concentration and physical discipline, creating a uniquely powerful theatrical experience. Theatre Nohgaku’s mission is to share noh’s beauty and power with English speaking audiences and performers. We have found that this traditional form retains its dramatic effectiveness in languages other than Japanese. We believe noh techniques hold a powerful means of expression in the context of contemporary English language theatre.
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