Atsumori (敦盛): Final Scene

Video of the final scene from the takigi noh performance of “Atsumori,” Bloomsburg Town Park August 3, 2012. Performed as part of the Noh Training Project under the auspices of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (and the cooperation of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and the Bloomsburg Town Park Improvement Association.)

This portion of the play immediately follows the dance (otoko-mai in the Kita school, chu-no-mai in others.) The spirit of the young samurai Atsumori recounts his own death: the Heike warriors had fled to their boats in Suma Bay in order to escape the Minamoto onslaught at Ichi-no-tani – but he was left behind. Alone on horseback, he was helpless and indecisive. Suddenly the warrior Kumagae no Jirô Nazoane (now the monk Renshō) began to pursue him. Atsumori unsheathed his sword and the enemies exchanged blows. They grappled with each other while still on horseback, but the more experienced warrior Kumagae knocked Atsumori to the ground and killed him.

Filled with anger and resentment, the spirit of Atsumori readies to kill the monk, but then comprehends that Renshō has been praying for the peace of his soul. Atsumori realizes that the two are no longer enemies. He asks Renshō to pray for him, and states that he believes they will both reborn in Paradise on the same lotus flower.


Taira no Atsumori: Naoko Meashiba
Otsuzumi: James Ferner
Kotsuzumi: Joyce S. Lim
Nohkan: David Surtasky
Jiuatai: Men’s Chorus (NTP participants and TN members)


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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1 Response to Atsumori (敦盛): Final Scene

  1. Pingback: Haunted. | Theatre Nohgaku Blog

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