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<<  -- 3 --  Keith Bramich    A JAPANESE 'RIVERDANCE'?


Kaguyahime (sung by soprano Emi Sawahata) systematically exposes her four untrue suitors:

The first man can't make it, and simply gives up.

Another, asked to bring a special bowl, delivers instead an ordinary stone bowl from the mountains. 'If it were the true bowl, it would be shiny', Kaguyahime exclaims, and the man is embarrassed.

The next suitor, asked to find a branch (of a tree) from the place called Horai (a 'spirit mountain' in China, known for eternal youth), decides that it will be easier to have a false one made. This is summarily dismissed because it has no flowers.

The cloth made from the skin of fire rats ... well it shouldn't burn, but this one actually bursts dramatically into flames, so again it's a fake.

Does Otomo-no-Dainagon, the fifth suitor, win his girl? What he doesn't know is that Kaguyahime is really the King of the Moon's daughter, and hence a Princess. 'Is he still alive, or what?', she asks her real father of Otomo-no-Dainagon. 'What can I do now?' 'You've fallen in love with him, haven't you?' says her father. 'I've only one thing to say to you, daughter -- follow your heart and your feelings.'

Emi Sawahata, soprano (as Kaguyahime, left) and Akiya Fukushima, baritone (as the King of the Moon)

Kaguyahime pleads with her father ... 'I want to tell him that a dragon does exist in this world -- I want to show him ... I'll be one ...'

'I'll think of you, whatever you do', promises the King.

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Copyright © 19 May 2002 Keith Bramich, London, UK




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