Nō Drama – Atsumori & Nonomiya

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Nō drama plays an important role in Japanese literature. It was an important entertainment in the old days. It also was significant in reflecting the Buddhist view of existence.1 Most of the Nō dramas were written according to popular novels or prose works. In this essay, I would like to introduce two Nō dramas, Atsumori and Nonomiya, as well as the respective sources references. Atsumori is a Nō play written by Zeami. This is classified as the second category of Nō drama, which talks about warriors. The plot of this play is base on the Heike Monogatari, and the story happens in the late 12th century at Ichinotani, the place where Atsumori was killed by Kumagai no Jirō Naozane. In the Heike Monogatari, two large clans of Minamoto and …show more content…
So elements of the story such as place and characters were pretty much fixed. However, the personalities of the main characters are presented differently in the Nō play, which tend to depict emotions more exquisitely. In Renshō’s case, since he was changed from a warrior to a monk, it is no doubt that the depiction would have been quite different. For Atsumori, in the original work, Atsumori was not described in very detail. He was just depicted as a high born young man, talented with musical skills, and brave when encountering enemies. But in the play, there are more emotions shown through the songs, as well as the conversation between Renshō and the Villager. Atsumori was suppose to leave for home with the clan, but because he left his flute in the battlefield and he hated if the enemy would have take it, so he went back to take his flute. That made him missed the crew, and he was left behind. “…he was riding into the sea, hoping to swim his horse out to the ships…” This showed that he actually would love to chase his companions, he wanted to join them and go back home together after the victory. “…reining in my horse, I halted, at loss for what to do…” I could imagine a picture of a young boy looking panic because of being left behind. But Kumagai called him at the same time. As an elegant courtier, he should never escape, even he know he might lose his life. Therefore, he ended up died in a foreign land. This was so sad for a warrior who had already won

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