Please do not reuse or repost this translation without the author’s permission. Thank you.

 

Translator's Note 1:
I'm going to start this with a caveat, because this poetic, somewhat classical style is really can be difficult to translate. Usually written Japanese can have at least two layers of meaning: The phonetic word and the kanji itself. Throw in all of the other layers of poetic metaphor and you can quickly start to lose meaning in a simple translation.

For example, Yukariko is written
紫子. The first kanji is "murasaki", which is a violet or purple color. But "yukari" written in hiragana refers to kinship or an association. So there is a lot of wordplay on purple flowers or having a kinship with flowers, and so on. Another example is Fubuki (風吹), whose kanji literally mean "wind" and "blow". The phonetic sound also brings to mind the word 吹雪, which means snowstorm but is also used with "flower" to mean a shower of flower petals. You can only imagine the fun you can get out of using these two names together.

As an addendum to that, there's the ever present
(hana) itself, which means flower, but can also be used to refer to that vital something which makes some people great. I've never been entirely certain how to translate 花がある, because it feels a bit like charisma, a bit like that essential spark of personality, a bit of inner beauty, and everything that makes us special.

Add in the poetic metaphors like "damp sleeve": A damp sleeve means someone has been crying. Or the many lines of poetry that classically educated people would know so well that hearing one line would evoke a whole poem with all of its associated meanings.

You can see how I'm going to be missing a lot of things, either deliberately or accidentally. So when you read this and listen along you might think: "They didn't say that at all!" Often this is because I chose to change words completely to get at some other, less obvious meaning. Translator's prerogative.

But there are also going to be lots of mistakes, so my apologies for that.

Translator's Note 2:
This translation is from the script in a volume of collected scripts by Shibata Yukihiro, published in 1989. So there may be differences between this script and the one used in the 2010 production. I'm trying to catch them and fix them as I go but I may miss some.

Yukariko

Script by Shibata Yukihiro


Prologue // Beauty and Truth, Both...

It's night. Yukariko emerges, dressed as a man, walking down the center of the audience. Just then, the tie on her sandal breaks.

Fubuki appears on the opposite side of the stage, dressed for travel.

Yukariko: Hey! You over there, have you got something that could be used as a tie...?

Fubuki: Hm? I'm afraid not.....

Yukariko: I see. That's too bad. Sorry for stopping you.

She tosses aside her sandals and walks away barefoot.

Fubuki: (watching her go, thinking to himself) Like someone painted in a picture..... Like that man in the capital.....

Chorus:
Pining for this violet flower
Blown in the wind
Will it cause a shower of dreams?
They dance in all splendor



Scene 1 // A Kind of Flower

Various characters dance.

A Kind of Flower

A flower, riding on the wind
A flower, lifted by dreams
A flower dressed in violet kimono¹
A spring dream dyed in the many colors of love

Damp blue dayflower sleeves
Inked with safflower fingers
This violet is kept apart
Bursting into a bloom of colors deep and pale
A faint fragrance wafts about it
Flowers trembling, love trembling
Let's go to the field, let the wind decide our resting place

A flower, riding on the wind
A flower, lifted by dreams
A flower dressed in violet kimono¹
A spring dream dyed in the many colors of love


(1) 裾模様 (susomoyou) - a kimono with design on the skirt

(A) Fan dance

(B) Yukariko emerges in male dress.

Mirage

The silver moon speaks
An old story inscribed on stone
Echoing a downpour of love
Months and years of dreams lying thick
Wind and clouds and flowers
All together

Echoing a downpour of love
Months and years of dreams lying thick


Yukariko, Fubuki, Sadatsugu, and Maizuru dance together.

(C) Another dance to A Kind of Flower, more up tempo.

A flower, riding on the wind
A flower, lifted by dreams
A flower dressed in violet kimono¹
A spring dream dyed in the many colors of love

A flower, riding on the wind
A flower, lifted by dreams
A flower dressed in violet kimono¹
A spring dream dyed in the many colors of love


(D) Young men and prostitutes dance.


Scene 2 // Yukariko and Fubuki

(A) The setting is a brothel called "Ichimonjiya" in Kyoto. The young men and prostitutes strike a pose to end their dance, then disappear a group at a time.

Temari: We've gotten busy very early today, and our elder sisters are all occupied.

Kurumi: That's true. Oh, Missus!

Ofuji, the proprietress, enters and calls out to stop Temari from leaving.

Ofuji: Ah, wait a moment, Temari. Osai and Akemi are free right now, aren't they?

Temari: No, they're with guests, the two of them.

Ofuji: Oh my.... I thought I'd have the choice of them...... Is everyone occupied?

Temari: Yes, everyone......

Ofuji: Kurumi, what about Chiho and Akiba?

Kurumi: Not possible. Right, Temari?

Temari: Yes, I just went to check on them, and everyone is occupied.

Ofuji: Oh, this is a problem, it really is.

Yukariko (voice): I'll go.

Yukariko emerges, dressed as a prostitute.

Akemi: Please wait a moment.

?: You can't yet.

?: We've only told you half of it.

Ofuji: Ah, um, but.....

Akemi and Komatsu, two prostitutes, enter behind her.

Akemi: Um, do you really understand.... Ah, what it is that we....?

Yukariko: You mean the job?

Ofuji: You haven't told her yet?

Komatsu: Well, we summarized most of it for her......

Ofuji: Well, that's no good! That's irresponsible....

Yukariko: Don't worry, I have a rough understanding.

Ofuji: Well, that's-- A rough.....

Akemi: My dear, my dear it really would be impossible for you.

They mutter among themselves, a mix of "This is a problem" and "What should we do?"s.

Yukariko: What are you all muttering about? I told you I'm prepared, so where is this man?

Kurumi: (coming in from another room) Sisters, the customers are calling for you....

Ofuji: Ah, please go.

Chiho: Will it be alright?

Yukariko: It'll be fine.

Akemi: I guess there's nothing for it.

Chiho: Let's go.

Looking worried, the prostitutes leave the room for their own customers.

Ofuji: All right, my dear. I'll bring the customer to you here. Please talk with him for a while.

Yukariko: All right.

Ofuji: All right, Kurumi.

Yukariko stands waiting with her arms crossed.

Ofuji: Temari, Usagi, that will be all. .... This way, please.

Kurumi: Sister, if you please.

Yukariko: Sure, leave it to me.

Ofuji: Please come in. Thank you for waiting.

Fubuki enters.

Yukariko turns and Fubuki sees her face to face for the first time.

Fubuki: Oh, you.... Before....

Yukariko: This is an unexpected meeting. (she shoves Fubuki down onto the cushion) Well, let's have a glass.

Fubuki: Wait, what are you doing here?

Yukariko: "What"? You're my customer.

Fubuki: You can't be my partner....

Yukariko: That's right..... Do you dislike me?

Fubuki: Is the proprietress gone? .... It doesn't matter if she's not the most beautiful, but a woman is what I want, a woman.....

Yukariko: I am a woman.

Fubuki: Huh? Where? ...... No, you can't trick me. All I have to do is listen--

Yukarikoi: .....Ah, that's because there was no male heir, so I was raised as a boy. My father passed away last month, so now it's my turn to provide for my sick mother. I heard this job would be the best way to earn money. And you're my first customer.

Fubuki: (drawing away without realizing it) Hey, wait, wait a minute......

Yukariko: (grabbing him) Why are you running away?

Fubuki: Hey, this is all backwards, our roles are reversed. Why am I getting into such a panic? (running away) Thanks, but I think this job isn't right for you.

Yukariko: (faltering and dejected) Is this job really that hard....?

Fubuki: Hey, don't be so dispirited, it's difficult for everyone at first. Hm? But now that I know you're a woman, somehow you're not a bad woman at all.

Yukariko: (brightening) Really? I think so too!

Fubuki: (laughing) I'm Fubuki.

Yukariko: I'm Yukariko.

Fubuki: Yukariko? That's a nice name.

Yukariko: Fubuki, there's a strange connection between us....

Fubuki: Yes, there is.

Mirage of Love

Yukariko:
Meeting, then meeting again by chance
A connectedness, an awareness of the other's mind
Floating in the sky, in the sky
I am elated
Dancing playfully in the waves
Bittersweet, a sweet sadness
This is the mirage of love

A flower, a flower falling in the wind
A flower, a flower drunk on love


The two disappear behind a screen for some time, and come out a bit disheveled.

Fubuki:
A flower, a flower falling in the wind
A flower, a flower drunk on love


Both:
A flower, a flower falling in the wind
A flower, a flower drunk on love


Yukariko: What is this feeling? ... My chest feels hot.

Fubuki: Yukariko, me too.

Yukariko: Will you come again tomorrow?

Fubuki: Tomorrow.....

Yukariko: If you come, I can tell the missus and wait for you without any other customers.

Fubuki: I would like that, but....

Yukariko: Do you have a sweetheart?

Fubuki: No, you?

Yukariko: Will you be mine? .... My first man......

Fubuki: Of course I will, but.... I'm not a good man.

Yukariko: You looked at me before and saw beauty.

Fubuki: Hmm? (begins coughing)

Yukariko: But, hey, don't you cheat on me!

Fubuki: S-sure......

Temari enters, followed by Ofuji.

Temari: Excuse me, I'm very sorry. Someone has come on urgent business to see Lady Yukariko.....

Yukariko: They gave my name?

Temari: Yes.

Yukariko: I have no idea who it might be and I'm in the middle of work right now....

Ofuji: I'm quite sorry. Excuse me, sir, would you happen to be Fubuki?

Fubuki: Yes....

Ofuji: Someone has also come looking for you, sir.....

Fubuki: For me? What fool would come here?

Yukariko: What will you do?

Fubuki: You have a guest as well, so why don't you meet with them for a moment?

Yukariko: All right.

Temari: Lady Yukariko, this way, to the little room next door....

Ofuji: Fubuki, I'll lead you to the garden.

Yukariko: Well, I'll be back soon, so don't take too long.

Fubuki: Agreed.

The two part and exit.

(B)

The Saeki Clan chief retainer, Umezawa Sandayuu, and Chief Attendant Kanai Sadatsugu are seated, waiting. Yukariko enters.

Yukariko: Are you the guests who have urgent business with me?

Sandayuu: Oh, you are.... Lady Yukariko....

Sadatsugu: Exact, like two peas in a pod. .... Ah, excuse me.

Yukariko: What on earth? Who are you?

Sandayuu: Forgive us. I am Umezawa Sandayuu, and this is....

Sadatsugu: I am Kanai Sadatsugu.

Sandayuu: I am the chief retainer of the Aki-Saeki Clan.

Yukariko: The Saeki of Aki? My father said he served that clan long ago.

Sandayuu: That is correct, however, I have come here today to talk with you about your true parents, Lady Yukariko.

Yukariko: What do you mean, my true parents?

The light changes, revealing the other side of the stage.

Fubuki is talking to a ninja named Tanba.

Fubuki: What do you mean, samurai service? What daimyo would have me as a samurai?

Tanba: That's right. We've been hired for small pay, and instead of walking around in search of odd jobs, this will be a much better pay-off.

Fubuki: Tanba, if it's so wonderful, why am I the one taking it?

Tanba: Unfortunately, you're the only one who can, so you were nominated and I came to tell you. Of course I'll help you....

Fubuki: Oh? Then I gather this is a special job. Who is the daimyo?

Tanba: Saeki of Aki.

Fubuki: Hm, a small land, but the silver and iron mines there make it a prosperous domain.

Tanba: A ninja in the Saeki employ is coming to aid us.

As Tanba explains, a female ninja named Okou arrives.

Okou: Greetings. I am Okou.

Fubuki: What's my part in all this?

Okou: You aren't listening. You will enter as a subordinate of one of the Saeki Clan's chief retainers, Amano Geki, but not as a member of the ninja clan. You will take on the cover of a vassal. Your name will be Noumi Ukyounosuke.

Fubuki: Noumi Ukyounosuke? I'm changing my name?

Okou: Do you want to be discovered immediately?

Fubuki: There's time for me to say goodbye to my woman, isn't there?

Okou: Go ahead.

Fubuki: Thank you.

Fubuki moves alone to the other side of the stage.

Ofuji: You see... I'm so very sorry. She had something come up suddenly which had to be taken care of, and she told me to apologize to you most sincerely.....

Fubuki: She's gone?

Ofuji: Yes.

Fubuki: What's with her? Where has she gone?

 

 

Scene 3 // The Warring States Period

Tanba:
Siding with the West
Watched by the East
Joining forces with the North
Betrayed by the South


Okou:
Force against force, plot against plot
Trickery all jumbled together


Tanba: This is the Tensho Era, the Warring States Period.

Okou: All of Japan, in an unending war.

Tanba: The rivalry of local warlords, the survival of the fittest.

Okou: A disordered world slipping into chaos.

Men and women come out to form a chorus.

Chorus:
Siding with the West
Watched by the East
Joining forces with the North
Betrayed by the South


Tamaki: Power alone isn't enough.

Hazuki: Justice alone won't prevail.

Tanba: It calls for clever strategy. In other words, using your head.

Daisaburou: Your outer face and inner in conflict.

Chorus:
Force against force, plot against plot
Trickery all jumbled together


Tanba:
This is the home of the Aki-Saeki

Okou:
A small land, but bountiful

Tanba & Okou:
All the neighboring warlords are eying it

Chorus:
Siding with the West
Watched by the East
Joining forces with the North
Betrayed by the South


Daisaburou:
Even so, their family precepts are to make no move
and preserve their neutrality


Tamaki: At that time Oda of the Azuchi had become the strongest force, and decided to try to gain control of the entire country.

Hazuki: Mouri was the power to be reckoned with in the central part of the land, and Oda waited for his chance to defeat him.

Shinbachirou: And caught between this Oda and Mouri was the Saeki clan's land.

Daisaburou: Both sought Saeki as an ally...

Tanba: In other words, both wanted Saeki for themselves.

All Three: They wove their plots.

Okou: Fubuki, sent into service as a samurai for Aki-Saeki.

Tanba: First, he was summoned by Amano Geki, one of the Saeki clan's chief retainers.

Geki: I am Amano Geki. I was the one to hire you.

Fubuki: What is it that you want me to do?

Geki: I want you to kill my lord, Saeki Midorio. It will be seen as Oda's doing, and Saeki and Oda will go to war.

Fubuki: I see, while still serving as Saeki's chief retainer, you have sold yourself to Mouri.

Geki: Weell, to be lord of a castle. I'll see you appointed as military commander. Are you interested?

Fubuki: The job doesn't interest me, but I do want money....

Geki: (laughs)

Tanba: Now then, let us take a look inside the castle of the Saeki in the province of Aki.


Scene 4 // Their Third Meeting

Saeki Castle, in Aki Province.

Geki, Fubuki, young samurai, and young ladies are seated in the hall. Sandayuu and his wife Tazu are also there.

Sandayuu: Ah, Lord Geki, this is the Noumi Ukyounosuke that you told us had returned from his travels?

Geki: That is correct. Ukyounosuke, this is Chief Retainer Umezawa Sandayuu, of my clan, and his wife Lady Tazu. Lady Tazu had the honor of being our Lord Midorio's nurse.

Fubuki: I am Ukyounosuke.

Sandayuu: I had heard that Noumi's son had run away from the temple he was given to, and his whereabouts were unknown.

Fubuki: Yes, our samurai clan had too many sons, yet I turned my back on my father's express wish that I become a monk, and instead ran from the temple so that I could live my life as I chose....

Geki: When he had a change of heart and returned, his parents had passed away. So he came to me about his desire to revive the Noumi Clan.

Sandayuu: Tazu, you often visited with the Noumi Clan, so you would know him by sight?

Tazu: Yes.

Sandayuu: It's not that I have any doubt, but please take a look and see.

Tazu: Yes, I did see him once or twice, even after he had been sent up to the temple. .... I've been studying his just now face, but it's so changed from how he looked before--

Geki: .... He couldn't be an imposter?

Fubuki: Of course not!

Geki: Lately there have been spies assuming other people's names....

Fubuki: Chief retainer! What are you saying?

Geki: Oh, quiet, thieving cur!

Fubuki is surrounded and Kanai Sadatsugu draws his sword. The other samurai follow Sadatsugu's lead.

Sadatsugu: You great fraud! Stand up! Kojirou, Harunosuke, make no mistake! .... He's good with a sword.

Kojirou & Harunosuke: Right!

Tazu: I remember! Seeing his furious, sulky expression, he looks exactly like he did back when he was a naughty little boy.

Sadatsugu: My lady, that's not proof!

Tazu: Ah, there! I remember this scar behind his ear. He cut himself here after he fell climbing the persimmon tree in our garden, and cried.

Sandayuu: Did that really happen?

Tazu: Yes.

Sadatsugu: You can't really call that firm evidence either. Chief retainer.....

Geki: Hm? Mmm. Well, I suppose it's all right.

Katsura: Chief Retainer, Lord Midorio has arrived.

Azusa: He has come to grace Noumi with an interview and greeting.

Katsura: My lords and ladies, please make room.

Everyone rearranges themelves and bows. Yukariko enters in her guise as Midorio, with her pageboy Senmaru in attendance.

Sandayuu: My lord, I am terribly glad to see you in such good health.

Yukariko: Sorry to have troubled you all.

All: My lord!

Surprised by the voice, Fubuki moves as if to look up, but Geki keeps his head down.

Geki: My lord, as you can see, we have employed a new man today..... Noumi Ukyounosuke.

Yukariko: Hm, have no fear, raise your head.

Fubuki: (Raises his head and is so startled he can't think) Ah!

Yukariko: (Unmoved) Ukyounosuke, thank you for your time. Strive for faithful service.

Fubuki: (Bowing) My lord!

Yukariko stands and moves to exit.

Fubuki: (In his head) He looks just like Yukariko.....

Yukariko: (Pausing, in her head) Fubuki you fool, what have you come here for? ..... Did you follow me? It's not that I dislike it, but it's a problem right now.

She exits.

The curtain closes, leaving only Fubuki and Geki on stage.

Fubuki: That was terrible of you. You really showed your methods there. I'm a cheap enough assassin that there are plenty to fill my shoes, then?

Geki: It's an art of self-protection to survive in troubled times; don't be so angry. The head attendant, Sadatsugu, won't give up, so be on your guard.

Fubuki: I know. Though I'd like to see him try......

Geki: Ahh, (Claps his hands hands and Okou emerges) Okou will always be with you. You can relax for now.

Geki exits.

Okou hands Fubuki his sandals and sword and follows behind him.

 

 

Scene 5 // Fubuki's Confusion

In the castle, on a small path near the inner keep. Fubuki and Okou and Tanba are walking along.

Fubuki: (To Okou) And the lord of this castle, Saeki Midorio, has been lord for a long time, without change?

Okou: Hm? Yes, that's right. ... Is there something-?

Fubuki: Mm, no.

Tanba: So, have you skillfully managed to worm your way into his service?

Fubuki: ... I think so...

Tanba: And this special job they want you to do?

Fubuki: Well.....

Okou: It's etiquette not to speak of a personal task. (There is the sound of a horse approaching.) ... Ah, here comes my lord. Fall back .....

Fubuki comes across the stage, while Okou and Tanba withdraw into the shadows. Fubuki also moves to draw back, but doesn't manage it. Their eyes meet.

Fubuki: Yukariko! Yukariko..... Do you know a girl by that name..... in the capital... my lord?

Yukariko pretends not to hear the question, instead moving close to snatch something from the top of Fubuki's head.

Yukariko: Hey, you've got a flower on your head. (laughs)

There is the sound of another horse approaching. Sadatsugu enters.

Sadatsugu: My loooord! My lord Midorioooo....!

Yukariko: You're so slow, Sadatsugu. So then, do you give up? (laughing, she begins to walk away)

Sadatsugu: You've got me.

Yukariko leaves. Without realizing it, Fubuki begins to follow.

Fubuki: A moment-!

Sadatsugu: Hold! Ukyounosuke, is it? It's rude for some newcomer to call out and stop the lord. Stand back.

Fubuki: It's just an accidental resemblance to someone else. No, but he looks exactly like the prostitute that I know well....

Sadatsugu: Ukyounosuke, are you comparing our lord with a prostitute, of all things? Insolence!

Sadatsugu passes him with a scowl and hurries after Yukariko.

Tanba: Hey, Fubuki (He checks whatever he had been about to say) .... Felt like my blood was freezing, there.

Okou: Sadatsugu is always by the lord's side.

Fubuki: I'll remember. There's something I need to look into alone. I'll leave you here.

Fubuki leaves.

Tanba: Call us when you need us!

Okou stands silently, watching him go.


Scene 6 // Yukariko and Midorio

Inside Joutokuji Temple, the Saeki temple. Stage left there is a wooden gate. Stage right there are steps leading up to a building. Lady-in-Waiting Miyano (Sadatsugu's younger sister) enters by the wooden gate. Nurse Tazu exits the building onto the covered walkway surrounding it.

Tazu: Ah, Lady Miyano, thank you for your hard work.

Miyano: I've just returned.

Tazu: Were you followed?

Miyano: I took care to watch behind me as I came.

Tazu: Was Honorable Doctor Gensai at home?

Miyano: Yes, I've brought back the medicine.

Tazu: And was there anything about Lord Midorio's condition?

Miyano: Yes, he said that he has been improving considerably, and that he should be cured soon....

Tazu: I see. (She looks towards the building.) No matter what it takes, he must recover.

Miyano: (Heading inside) Lady Nurse, an iris or two were blooming in the pond in Doctor Gensai's garden.

Tazu: Oh?

Miyano: The irises at the castle are also probably....

Tazu: Miyano, it's a shame that you've also been cut off here for a month.

Miyano: Oh, no....

Tazu: We cannot let the other provinces know of our lord's illness. That's why not anyone could nurse my lord, but if it were you, my lady, Sadatsugu's sister, that we asked for aid, we wouldn't worry....

Miyano: I am so very happy that I could stay by Lord Midorio's... by my lord's side and nurse him! (At Tazu's surprised expression, she calms down.) Excuse me.

Miyano is quiet, embarrassed. Yukariko and Sadatsugu enter by the wooden gate. Yukariko carries two or three wild yams tied in a bunch.

Yukariko: Tazu!

Tazu: Oh my, Yukari.... (She closes her mouth and looks around carefully) My lord, you shouldn't be here....

Yukariko: Don't look at me like that, Sadatsugu tried to stop me too, but I thought my brother should eat these yams and I just had to bring them myself.

Tazu: But they're all covered in mud....

Yukariko: Don't be silly, he won't be eating the mud. He'll eat them after they've been washed clean. (She smiles at Sadatsugu) I'll cook them, too.

Tazu: Someone who is the acting lord of the castle...... And moreover, to have come here.....

Yukariko: Oh, I get it. (To Sadatsugu) I'll go and take care of these, so tell her what we spoke of earlier and put her mind at ease.

She enters the building.

Sadatsugu: Yes. (He watches her go). Actually, my lord is passing this off as a visit to see the chief priest of the temple, who taught him as a boy, and who is said to be ill, and the other retainers have all been sent back.

Tazu: Oh, well then, in that case..... Oh, Lord Sadatsugu, wait! When I last saw the chief priest, just before noon, he told me that he was just stepping out to visit three families in the area. If an extremely ill man is walking about....

Sadatsugu: Lady Nurse, this is trouble.....!

Tazu: You must stop the high priest, Lord Sadatsugu!

Miyano: Sadatsugu!

Tazu: You must stop the high priest, Lord Sadatsugu!

Sadatsugu: Yes!

Miyano: The entrance with all the roses, hurry!

Sadatsugu runs off. Sandayuu steps out onto the porch.

Sandayuu: What's all this? You're so noisy. I hear that the lord came flying into the temple kitchens, causing an uproar, and here you are outside clattering about.

Midorio exits onto the porch, with Miyano behind him.

Tazu: Lord Midorio!

Sandayuu: Oh, my lord, you've woken....

Midorio: I napped and feel much better, so I wanted to step outside and breath the fresh air.

Tazu: That's very good. But the wind outside can still harm you.

Sandayuu: I am so sorry to ask you to keep yourself shut away at such an inconvenient time....

Midorio: I know. If the other provinces learned that a lord had collapsed from illness in this war-torn era, we'd immediately fall prey to the other provinces. And it's the lords duty to hide, even if it is from family members. I must thank you for finding and bringing Yukariko.

Sandayuu: My lord. More importantly, please forgive us for keeping your sibling's existence a secret from you for so long.

Tazu: Our most sincere apologies.

Midorio: Yukariko also suffered for it. But she has become very good at playing me, hasn't she?

Sandayuu: Yes.

Midorio: (Looking out) The sea is beautiful today. How nice it would feel to ride a horse along the water's edge....

He wavers towards the wooden gate. Miyano is startled.

Miyano: Lord Midorio.... What's wrong?

Midorio: It's been so long since I stepped out into the garden, I'm a little dizzy.

Tazu: Come, Lord Midorio, back inside.

With Tazu and Miyano supporting him on either side, Midorio is led back inside. Sandayuu looks anxious. Sadatsugu returns from inside the building.

Sadatsugu: Ah, my lord, is the lady nurse...?

Sandayuu: She has just gone to help Miyano help Lord Midorio back inside, towards the kitchens....

Sadatsugu: (In a lower voice) By Lord Midorio, do you mean Lady Yukariko?

Sandayuu: No, not the Lady Yukariko Lord Midorio. I mean Lord Midorio Lord Midorio. (He shakes his head.) It's all getting tangled, isn't it? I mean, the one who has always been Lord Midorio. No, wait, that sounds strange, hmm....

Sadatsugu: You mean the real Lord Midorio, my lord?

Sandayuu: Yes, that's right, the real one. (He grumbles a bit.) But this is a rather rude way of putting it. No, I'll have to get used to it or I'll get lost in the tangle. We'll have to decide on the words that fit best so that we don't make a mistake....

Sadatsugu: (Changing the subject.) Why and where were they taking our ill Lord Midorio? And where is the Lord Midorio who is Lady Yukariko? Still in the kitchens?

Sandayuu: (Starting to walk) .... Our problems are piling up too quickly. Walk with me a moment, I'm going to check on Lord Midorio....

Yukariko comes towards them from the kitchens.

Yukariko: Where is Lord Midorio? ..... He's not in the inner rooms.....

Sandayuu: (In a big voice) It can't be! (Realizing his mistake) Oh, Lady Yukariko.....

Yukariko: What are you angry about, Sandayuu?

Sandayuu: My apolo-

Yukariko: Who's there? (Looking to stage left)

Kojirou and Harunosuke arrive at the wooden gate.

Kojirou: Ah, my lord, here you are.

Harunosuke: This is my first time in this inner garden.

Sadatsugu: What are you doing? You must know you're not allowed to enter here without permission.

Kojirou: Yes, I'm sorry. Forgive us. (The two enter.) We were on our way back to the castle when we met Tokimura Shinroku coming in search of us.

Harunosuke: It seems a messenger has come from Mouri.

Sandayuu: And the messenger said?

Kojirou: He came to inform us that on the 15th, Lord Midorio's fiancée Lady Maizuru of the Mouri will be coming to Saeki castle to pay her respects.

Sandayuu: Who was the messenger?

Harunosuke: One of the Mouri generals, Kawadera Gyoubu.

Sadatsugu: There's five days remaining until the 15th.... My lord....

Yukariko: I will accept her greetings. Is it correct that I should speak directly to the messenger to give my answer, Sandayuu?

Sandayuu: Yes, that is correct...

Yukariko: All right, all of you, back to the castle! Bring the horses!

Kojirou/Harunosuke: My lord.

Yukariko, Sadatsugu, Kojirou, and Harunosuke exit through the wicket gate. The sounds of four or five horses leaving can be heard.

Fubuki stealthily emerges from the shadows near the wooden gate.

Fubuki: (Looks left and right) I see, so that's the trick. Yukariko, you-! Deceiving people with a completely innocent look upon your face..... "A flower on your head...." Yes, hateful, abominable (He seems miserable) Yukariko, weren't you my lover? Isn't this the only time I've ever been infatuated with any woman? (Uncertainly) She is a woman, isn't she? .... How is it that I fell for her? When we met in the capital, I was captivated by her freshness, like a young bamboo. And now that I know that he's Yukariko's older brother, I can't accept assassinating him. .... In any case, I won't kill a sick man. I'll hold off for now.

Suddenly, Miyano appears with a spear leveled at Fubuki.

Miyano: Halt, ruffian!

She moves to cut him, and he draws a fan and blocks her. Tazu appears.

Tazu: Miyano!

Miyano: Lady Nurse!

Fubuki: I know you!

Tazu: You are Noumi Ukyounosuke, are you not? Miyano, he is a new retainer.

Miyano: Ah.... But, Lady Nurse, even if he is a retainer....

Tazu: That's true, what are you doing here?

Fubuki: (Thinking of a plan) My lady. In truth, the Noumi family grave is here at Joutokuji Temple. Today I thought to convey my joy for being granted my wish of returning home, and came to visit the grave of my father who has passed.

Tazu: Oh, you came to visit a grave?

Fubuki: Yes. I couldn't help overhearing. About the siblings.....

Tazu: What! So you did hear the secret?

Fubuki: Please, please, include me as your ally.

Tazu: Impossible....

Fubuki: Lady Nurse, I have an excellent plan. Lady Nurse, there is a way to nurse Lord Midorio openly inside the castle. A way for brother and sister to live together.....

Tazu: How..... For such a thing to be possible.....

Fubuki: I have read an old tale, "The Changelings", and this quite resembles it. It brings to mind the tale, where the girl excels at being a man and becomes the older brother, while the boy is gentle and becomes the younger sister. In other words, they change places. Right now the "change" is only half complete, only Lady Yukariko has taken on the form of a man....

Tazu: Oh, I see! Lord Midorio can dress as a woman, and then he can enter the castle as Lady Yukariko!

Fubuki: Exactly.

Miyano: (Happily) Lady Nurse!

Fubuki: And then the "change" will be complete.

Note: During Sandayuu and Sadatsugu's confusing talk over "which witch is which" (so to speak), I used the script without change, although there are some small differences they're talking so fast and on top of each other so it was difficult to make out. But the conversation is essentially the same.

 

 

Scene 7 // Princess Maizuru

A room in the castle. Yukariko enters with Senmaru and sits down on the dais. The elders, retainers, and ladies are seated in rows, awaiting her.

Geki: Princess Maizuru will arrive soon at our castle to greet our lord and speak about the bridal procession. I will lead them here shortly, so please do not be careless.

Vassals: My lord.

Yukariko: Before that, I have an announcement for everyone. My twin sister, whom I was separated from at a very young age for certain reasons, has returned to the castle and will be living here with us.

Vassals (all at once): I never heard a word of such a thing.

Yukariko: That's right, I only learned of her existence myself recently. The custom of detesting twins is a wrong one. They have committed no sin. To say nothing of the fact that my sister has a weak constitution and will be recuperating within the castle.

Tokimura Shinroku: My lord, this is the first time for us to learn of this as well, but it is beyond heartrending to hear of siblings parted and raised separately.....

Tanabe Ukon: I am glad that you brought her with you. The princess must be so happy.

Yukariko: Yes, my sister is also pleased. We have not yet been subjected to the pressures of society, but I intend to protect her.

Geki: But, what will we do about the Mouri?

Shinroku: Chief Retainer, the Mouri are out of the question. The problem is one for the Saeki alone.

Daisaburou: Exactly, it is a point of honor to the Saeki to be wary of the Mouri.

Masayuki: We may be a small land, but we have a strong pride.

Ukon: I, as well....

The vassals break into a babble of conversation.

Geki: All right, enough! You have no conception of the bitter haggling and diplomatic hardships we must undertake when the world is at war.

Yukariko: Geki, this is entirely my selfishness; I will speak to the princess and the Mouri clan.

Geki: .... My lord.

Kojirou: My lord, what is the princess's name?

Yukariko: Um, Mido.... Yukariko. It is written as "Violet Child."

Katsura: My, how lovely, a very refined name.

Harunosuke: "Violet" is read as "Yukari"?

Yukariko: It's been read that way from the start, have you got some complaint about my name...?

Daisaburou: (Coughing hard to conceal what Yukariko is saying) Harunosuke!

Harunosuke: As she is my lord's sister, I am certain she is lovely.

Yukariko: Don't you dare switch to sudden flattery.

Harunosuke: We surely must see you side by side....

Yukariko: That is impossible. .......

At that moment, Sadatsugu enters.

Sadatsugu: Princess Maizuru is joining us.

Everyone bows. Maizuru enters and takes her seat. Her nurse Sasajima and the Mouri General Kawadera Gyoubu enter and find seats as well. Fubuki also slips in and finds a seat.

Sandayuu: My, my, Princess Maizuru, welcome to the end of your long journey. We are thankful to have you here.

Yukariko: I am Saeki Midorio.

Maizuru: I am pleased to meet you.

Yukariko: Pleased to meet you. Do you find Saeki Castle to your liking?

Maizuru: Yes, very. Please accept me, humble though I am, for the bridal procession next month.

Geki: A scrupulously polite message, as expected from a princess of the Mouri. I am Amano Geki, a chief retainer of this clan, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance.

Sasajima: Belatedly, but I am Sasajima, the princess's nurse. And this is the leader of the wedding ceremony...

Gyoubu: Kawadera Gyoubu, I am in charge of three thousand Mouri warriors.

Sandayuu (to himself): Hmph, a haughty man..... (Aloud) A truly difficult job. I am this clan's--

Yukariko: Sandayuu, how long will this exchange of names go on? .... It's dull. By the time everyone is done the day will be over. So that we don't miss the day, I will bring the princess out into the gardens. Yes, don't mind us, carry on. Princess, shall we?

Maizuru: (Smiling) Yes.

Sasajima: Princess! ... This isn't right, princess.

Senmaru moves to follow them.

Yukariko: I don't want you.

Senmaru: Yes, but--

Yukariko: Senmaru, I'm telling you you'll be in the way. Leave us.

Tadayuki: Senmaru, he told you you would be in the way.

Senmaru: But this is so sudden! I need to be nearby for my lord. My lord!

Tadayuki grabs Senmaru by the scruff of his kimono and pulls him away. Yukariko and the princess leave the hall.

Yukariko: Take your time.

Gyoubu: "Take your time"!?


Scene 8 // The Iris Garden

(A)

Yukariko: Did I shock you, princess?

Maizuru: No.

Yukariko: Doing something unexpected is strategy.

Maizuru: Yes.

Yukariko: Why does everyone enjoy standing on ceremony so? Don't you think it really has no meaning?

Maizuru: I do. But here and there it serves a purpose.....

Yukariko: Mm, that's true. (To herself) Hmmm, she's quite smart, as well as cute. Anyway, she'll suit my brother.

Maizuru: (To herself) Hm, he has quite the spirit, and is good-looking....

Yukariko: Princess Maizuru, we both have intentions which are unrelated, yet it has been decided that we will marry.

Maizuru: Yes, a political marriage.

Yukariko: Right, it would make me angry, if I were you....

Maizuru:
But, I don't mind

Yukariko: (To herself) Ah, she'll brave the unexpected.

Maizuru:
Even if it starts out artificially
If the two of us permit
From that a faint happiness will rise


Yukariko: You are a great princess.

No matter how our meeting begins
If our hearts can speak to one another


Both:
Surely we will find
Kindness and gentleness


Maizuru:
So long as a small flower
Blooms in the endless wasteland
I'll keep going, dreaming of tomorrow


Both:
I'll keep going, dreaming of tomorrow

Yukariko: (To herself) For Midorio's sake, I will see that he gets the best bride. That's right, Midorio said something about.... (To the princess) Shall we go look for the white iris which has bloomed, so that you can see it?

Maizuru: My! I would be glad to.

(B) The Gardens

The set is one of many ladies posed among blooming irises. The two enter.

Iris

Chorus:
Aaaa

Yukariko:
Amidst the misty wild rice
Multicolored irises bloom
Meek violet
Bright mauve
Coquettish dark purple
Classical purple elegance


Chorus:
Aaaa

They dance.

Iris Singer:
Iris, iris, iris
The mist glows around their blooms
For whom are those flowing tears?
Iris, iris, iris
If a gentle wind were to blow among the flowers
For whom are you lined up?


Chorus:
One lonely white iris
It seems even an iris can love unconsciously

 

 

Scene 9 // Suddenly, Midorio-!

(A)

Fubuki and Okou enter.

Okou: Fubuki.

Fubuki: Okou?

Okou: Why are you not hurrying to do as you pledged the minister?

Fubuki: Haste makes waste. Wait a while longer.

Okou: What is there at Joutokuji Temple?

Fubuki: I couldn't say.

Okou: I see. That alone says something. If.....

Fubuki: If I cannot accomplish the pledge, you will kill me? (He turns to the shadows.) Tanba, is that why you were hired?

Tanba: (emerges) Hehhehheh, don't think badly of me; a simple ninja has to work to eat. All you've got to do is your job, nothing complicated about it.

Fubuki moves as if to draw his weapon. Okou and Tanba immediately have their small swords drawn.

Tanba: Now, now, don't be too hasty! Hahaha. Okou, it's your master.

Tanba disappears.

Geki enters.

Fubuki: Minister, there is one thing I do not understand. Why would the Mouri marry their daughter to Saeki Midorio when they intend to have him assassinated?

Geki: The answer is simple. Because then no one will suspect that the Mouri were behind the assassination.

Fubuki: Their daughter's grief would not be a problem?

Geki: In this violent age, women are tools. Ah, forgive me, Okou, you are a very nice tool indeed.

(B)

Miyano is speaking to Sadatsugu.

Miyano: Brother, rejoice. Lord Midorio has recovered conspicuously, and Doctor Gensai was called and pronounced that tomorrow he will be completely recovered.....

Sadatsugu: Thank god! Tomorrow he will be recovered..... Miyano, you have done well. It is thanks to your and the nurse's tender nursing.

Miyano: Lady Yukariko also.

Sadatsugu: Yes, Lady Yukariko has done wonders by taking his place. Miyano, the lord must marry the Mouri princess next month. If it is painful for you to be near him, perhaps you should rest.

Miyano: Brother ...... (tearfully) I have never spoken to anyone about that, and I have done nothing to allude to it.

Sadatsugu: Forgive me, Miyano.

(C)

An inner room in the Saeki castle.

Chorus:
Changelings, changelings
Changelings, changelings
The change comes to an end
And Lord Midorio has regained his health

Still disguised as Yukariko
He takes light walks


Midorio emerges dressed as a woman.

Midorio: Yukariko, Yukariko! Ah, damn, I'm so happy I'd forgotten I'm supposed to be Yukariko.

Tazu: (following him) Please wait. You plow ahead.....

Kojirou, Harunosuke, Takechiyo, and the others come across Midorio.

Kojirou: Ah, Lady Yukariko, are you allowed to be walking so soon?

Midorio: (In a girlish voice) Yes, well.....

Harunosuke: How lovely you are. You must allow us to speak with you from now on.

Midorio: Thank you.

Takechiyo: Harunosuke, you are shameless.

Yumiwaka: Yes, let this strong Yumiwaka--

Takechiyo: What, you too? I am Takechiyo.....

They all clamor to introduce themselves.

Tazu: What is with all of you? It's an auspicious day, so I'll overlook it, but.....

Midorio: All of these beautiful young men are very kind......

Kojirou: Thank you very much.

Chorus:
Lord Midorio rode past

Tazu: Now then, Lady Yukariko, let us go inform your brother.

Midorio and Tazu cross out of sight.

Chorus:
Changelings, changelings
Changelings, changelings
The change has just come to an end
And Lord Midorio had regained his health


Midorio walks down the covered hall and slips. Tazu and the retainers gasp.

Tazu: Are you alright?

Midorio: Yes, I'm fine.

Kojirou: Even when she slips, she does it gracefully.

Midorio exits.

Sandayuu enters.

Sandayuu: Hey! What do you mean by mooning around since midday?

Chorus:
Changelings, changelings
When Yukariko heard the news--


Yukariko (dressed as Midorio), Sadatsugu, and Miyano enter.

Yukariko: Kojirou, why the slack face? Harunosuke, you're drooling.

Sandayuu: My lord, congratulations on the complete recovery of your sister.

Retainers: Congratulations.

Yukariko: Yes, it is a relief that she recovered before the wedding.

Tazu's Voice: Aa! Someone! Someone, come quickly!

Tazu comes running into sight.

Tazu: Ahh, the lord, the lord is in danger!

Sandayuu: Tazu, calm down, the lord is right here.

Tazu: (with a start) L-lady Yukariko has-- (she collapses)

Chorus:
Ah--ah-, ah--ah

Sandayuu: Tazu, what is it? Yukariko--?

Tazu: Quickly, quickly!

Yukariko: Sadatsugu.

Chorus:
Ah--ah-, ah--ah

Yukariko runs through the castle. Sadatsugu and Miyano follow her. Sandayuu and the retainers help Tazu to her feet and then follow as well. Ladies and retainers are running about. Fubuki and Geki enter.

?: Minister!

Geki: What is it? What is all this uproar?

Katsura: My lord, it seems that Lady Yukariko has just passed away.

Geki: What, Lady Yukariko? I had just heard that tomorrow she would be pronounced fully recovered.

Azusa: Yes, we were making the arrangements for tomorrow's celebration.......

Katsura: It happened in an instant.

Geki: My condolences.... Well then.

Fubuki: (to himself) Which one has died?

Chorus:
What a trick of fate!
A terrifying illness, influenced by an evil spirit
Lady Yukariko had worked so very
industriously
Now what, now what?
What will become of the Saeki now?


Sadatsugu: (quietly) Lady Yukariko, you have my sympathies.

Sandayuu: This is a terrible thing that has happened.

Yukariko: Sandayuu, Sadatsugu..... I will.... continue to live as Saeki Midorio......

Both: Lady Yukariko!

Yukariko: Sandayuu, you yourself told me. Saeki Midorio had strength, wisdom, and compassion, the three important traits of a great commander. My brother, who inherited this clan at the age of 12, has saved this land, has protected it from the daimyo of the neighboring lands. In this violent world, we Saeki preserve the peace. So, as Midorio is important for the retainers, so he must exist for them....

Sandayuu: Yes, that is correct. However.....

Yukariko: With Midorio so recently deceased, what will become of the Saeki Clan? The retainers will lose their swords, the Mouri, Oda, and the other neighboring daimyo will line up to dine and set up a howl. To protect the Saeki, no matter what has happened here, the Mouri princess will be arriving in five days for the marriage, and we must see it through.

Sadatsugu: I too think that this is what should be done, but Lady Yukariko, you are a woman.....

Yukariko: I know, it is impossible..... but we must, must we not, Sandayuu?

Sandayuu: My lady.

Yukariko: How far can we take it? For the sake of protecting the Saeki as my brother intended, let us find out.

Sadatsugu: (overwhelmed) My Lady!

Chorus:
Lady Yukariko, Lady Yukariko

Fubuki: (to himself) Yukariko, what will become of you? You, with a woman's body.... marrying a princess......... No matter how strong your will, it's not possible. There's no way you can escape exposure.

 

 

Scene 10 // The Wedding Night

 

It is night. Into the darkness come servants bearing lanterns.

 

Chorus:

Five days since her heart was resolved

The Mouri princess enters the inner sanctuary

Saeki castle is brightly lit with lanterns

They enter and no one stands on ceremony

 

Several people pass by in the courtyard.

 

Yamaki Kurou: Now, the wedding ceremony is finished. Now we can relax all night.

 

Ryu Kumenosuke: It’s relaxed and no mistake. But as we’re still mourning Lady Yukariko we cannot drink for three days and nights as we usually would…..

 

Yamaki Kurou: Then we’ll drink three days’ worth!

 

They exit.

 

Mouri Lady 1: The banquet is only for a night? Then the princess cannot perform what she prepared so carefully.

 

Mouri Lady 2: Compared to Mouri, it truly is a small land. The castle is small, too….

 

Saeki Lady 1: (hearing as she carries sake past) Oh? Are you saying something is small?

 

Mouri Lady 1: Not at all!

 

Saeki Lady 2: No, I heard you clearly. You were mocking us Saeki…..

 

Her voice rises, and she moves to strike the Mouri lady.

 

Daisaburou: (coming near) Hey, there! What are you saying about the Mouri here of all places? How rude!

 

Saeki Lady 1: Yes, but…

 

Daisaburou: Hurry along to the banquet!

 

Masayuki: Ladies of the Mouri, thank you for all you have accomplished. Please relax and be at ease.

 

Mouri Ladies: Thank you!

 

They exit.

 

Masayuki: Now, those of higher rank are coming, please go!

 

Ladies: (still stewing) Yes!

 

They all exit.

 

Geki, Sandayuu, and General Kawadera Gyoubu enter, followed by Tazu and Sasajima.

 

Geki: Well well, well done on carrying the day successfully. I shall leave the drinking to the youngsters and retire soon….

 

Gyoubu: I as well. With my role in seeing the princess safely into the inner chambers complete, the more irksome aspects are now gone…..

 

Geki: You are quite right. Because of your hard work, the Mouri and the Saeki are tied together in bonds of friendship, and there is nothing more heartening.

 

Gyoubu: Certainly. Before this, Oda peeping in at your lands would judge them easy to break into… (laughs)

 

Sandayuu: Please look well on the young lord of the Saeki now…..

 

Gyoubu: In every particular. Ah, this is such a happy day, Lady Sasajima.

 

Sasajima: Yes. At long last they have shared the promised cup.

 

Geki: Please excuse me.

 

The three exit.

 

Sasajima: My, they are such a handsome couple, are they not, Lady Tazu?

 

Tazu: Yes, that you as the companion of your lady have chosen to remain with your lady in intimacy with us is a gift.

 

Sasajima: Likewise.

 

She stumbles as she bows. A Mouri lady, Mari, moves to catch her.

 

Mari: Oh my, Lady Sasajima, have you had too much sake?

 

Sasajima: Such a small amount of sake has affected me so much? (She stumbles again.) Your place is at the princess—no, the lady’s—side!

 

Mari: She said she was going to prepare for the bedroom…..

 

Sasajima: Oh, preparing for the bedroom? Ohohoho.

 

Sadatsugu, Kojirou, and Harunosuke enter.

 

Tazu: It is about time to lead the way, Lord Sadatsugu…..

 

Sadatsugu looks horrified and tries to protest, but his companions push him towards Tazu.

 

Sasajima: Lord Sadatsugu? …. Oh, Lord Sadatsugu will be leading the way? I am pleased, Lord Sadatsugu….

 

She leans coquettishly against him and clings, murmuring his name.

 

Sadatsugu: (to Kojirou and Harunosuke) Help me!

 

Kojirou, Harunosuke, hurry over and pry her off. They lift her together and carry her off.

 

Kojirou/Harunosuke: She’s heavy!

 

Still complaining, they lift Sasajima and carry her away, followed by Mari.

 

Tazu: Lord Sadatsugu, the medicine was very affective.

 

Sadatsugu: As it was mixed in with the wine, little will wake her.

 

Tazu: It was in the princess’s cup as well?

 

Sadatsugu: Yes, no mistake.

 

Yukariko and Maizuru enter. Seeing them, Sadatsugu and Tazu exit. Noh music can be heard from further inside.

 

Yukariko: Princess, are you tired?

 

Maizuru: Yes, a little, but I’m still all right. But it’s strange for you to call me “princess”—Please call me Maizuru.

 

Yukariko: Yes, all right.

 

Maizuru: My husband….. (After saying this, she seems embarrassed and glance at him from the corner of her eyes.)

 

Yukariko: You are bright and intelligent; it is such a relief.

 

Maizuru: Thank you. However, I still worry about this.

 

Yukariko: Yes, that is true. Anyone would feel the same.

 

Maizuru: Beyond coming to be a wife, I shall serve you with love. The irises in the garden that I saw with you, my husband, remain in my heart. They say that irises are the flowers of the samurai, but I was taught that long past, they represented devotion to someone.

 

Yukariko: I see. Devotion to someone? Maizuru, let’s get along well and preserve the peace of Saeki Clan.

 

Maizuru: Yes, my lord.

 

Yukariko:

Even in the midst of an endless wilderness

 

Maizuru:

So long as there are small flowers

 

Both:

I will walk on, dreaming of tomorrow

I will walk on, dreaming of tomorrow

 

Maizuru: (smiling) I look forward to it.

 

Mari and Yayoi enter.

 

Mari: My Lady, it is time to change your clothing.

 

Maizuru: Yes. (To Yukariko) I will retire first.

 

Yukariko: Of course.

 

With a small yawn, Maizuru exits with her ladies-in-waiting.

 

Yukariko: (looking around) Are you here, Fubuki?

 

Fubuki enters wearing a Hannya Noh mask. (Note: Hannya is a Noh mask of a grinning, horned demoness which represents a woman's rage and jealousy.)

 

Yukariko: What are you doing?

 

Fubuki: My expression is so terrible I couldn’t come bare-faced.

 

Yukariko: Hm, you’ll have to deal with it, since I’ve asked you to!

 

Fubuki: Be that as it may, acting as a substitute on a wedding night….. I have a lover.

 

Yukariko: Hey, please, your lover will surely understand.

 

Fubuki: Why couldn’t you ask Sadatsugu?

 

Yukariko: Sadatsugu is impossible, he’s too honest, he’d be found out right away.

 

Fubuki: It seems like as much as I feel for you, you don’t care for me at all….

 

Yukariko: Fubuki….

 

Fubuki: Think about it, where in this world, do you think, is there a woman who would send her lover to another woman?

 

Yukariko: Because I trust you, Fubuki.

 

Fubuki: But this is—!

 

Yukariko: Even if it’s troublesome, Fubuki, resign yourself to your fate! (calling) Tazu, Sadatsugu (they enter) Are the arrangements ready? I’m depending on you.

 

Tazu: Yes. The lady and Lady Sasajima next door are both sleeping well…..

 

Sadatsugu: And we will keep watch to ensure that no one goes near the bedroom.

 

Tazu: Well then, Ukyounosuke.

 

She leaves.

 

Sadatsugu: (watching Fubuki as he leaves) Disgusting!

 

Fubuki: It’s an affectation of the samurai to not show their faces at a time like this, is it not?

 

The two men exit.

 

Yukariko: (watching them go) Fubuki….. Fubuki!

 

Yukariko remains alone, in a spotlight, as the stage is plunged into darkness.

 

 

Scene 11 // Yukariko Is Upset

 

(A)

 

A Shower of Flower Petals

 

Yukariko:

Blown in by the wind, where does he

come flying in from, this wanderer?

Planting roots in my chest

Upsetting my heart, a shower of flower petals

 

Disguised as a man

my woman’s heart is shaken and lost

You blew through my chest

Chilled my skin, a shower of flower petals

 

Hyururu, Hyururu

Hyururu, Hyururu

Wind! Please tell him

Wind! Please tell him

Be forgiving

Be forgiving, I love you

 

The music changes.

 

Yukariko: Why are you kicking and struggling, Yukariko….? There is nothing else that you can do, to save the Saeki. You prepared yourself, it’s not logical to be jealous of the princess. I am not a woman right now.  ….. But, no, no, it’s too much! This is….. It’s painful……..

 

Drums can be heard.

 

(B)

 

Yukariko: Namaku Samanda Basarada. Namaku Samanda Basarada.¹ …… Help me, it hurts. I feel like I’ll scream. I’m choking on my jealousy. Kundali Yasha Daishou Fuudou Myouou.2

 

Yukariko turns, suddenly wearing the Hannya mask. Behind her, on a partially obscured lift, Fubuki is making love to Maizuru. The mask disappears, but Yukariko looks in their direction, torn. They fade into darkness. Yukariko remains, encircled by several Hannya-clad women who dance around her, hemming her in. Just as she seems to have regained the upper hand, Fubuki and Maizuru reappear for a moment.

 

(1) Note: This is an incantation to Fudo (with no real meaning), used by the priest in the Noh play Aoi no Ue when he attempts to discover what is wrong with Aoi. As a result of saying it, the malevolent spirit of the Rokujo Lady appears.

(2) A string of names and titles of Buddhist deities.

 

What follows is a dance scene with aspects of a Noh play, showing Maizuru and Fubuki, with Yukariko.

 

 

Scene 12 // The Oda Army Invades

 

Inside the Saeki castle.

 

(A)

 

Okou and Tanba appear.

 

Okou: Tanba, wait….. Please wait. I can’t accept such an order, don’t you know that?

 

Tanba: No, you’ve got it wrong. Okou, you’ve fallen in love with that ass Fubuki, haven’t you? Your master is a perceptive evil, so he has known this for a long time. That’s why he told me to kill Fubuki.

 

Okou: Will you really do it, Tanba?

 

She reaches into her obi with one hand and pulls out a dagger, but Tanba stops her.

 

Tanba: Okou, drop it, I don’t want to hurt a woman. Besides, I haven’t seen Fubuki, not since the wedding night. You wouldn’t mind telling me where he is?

 

Okou: Who would tell such a thing?

 

Tanba: (laughs) Recently it feels like they have some trick in play up at the house. I’ll draw it out, and profit. See you.

 

He leaves.

 

Okou: Fubuki, where have you gone?

 

(B)

 

The sound of hoofbeats comes closer and stops. Two samurai (Mihara Saburou and Yokoi Genpachi) come running in, shouting that they have a message. Tominoo Daisaburou and Shino Masayuki come to meet them.

 

Daisaburou: What is all this?

 

Saburou: Sir, we are messengers from the fort on the Tatsumi River, Mihara Saburou.

 

Genpachi: Yokoi Genpachi.

 

Daisaburou: Ah, I am Tominoo Daisaburou from the Outer Citadel.

 

Masayuki: And I am Shino Masayuki from the same.

 

Saburou: Sir, Oda troops have appeared on the east bank of the Tatsumi River.

 

Daisaburou: Who is their commander?

 

Genpachi: The flags bear Sakuma Morikiyo’s emblem.

 

Daisaburou: How many troops?

 

Genpachi: Troops are roughly 1500.

 

Daisaburou: All right, come!

 

The four exit.

 

(C)

 

Fubuki enters, walking aimlessly. Okou stands up from where she was crouched.

 

Okou: Fubuki, where have you been?

 

Fubuki: Ah, I went to visit the relaxing sea.

 

Okou: This is serious: Oda troops have come.

 

Fubuki: Well, that is trouble! Yukari-Ah, the lord…?

 

Okou: The lord is fine. So far he has done a splendid job of repelling the frequent incursions….

 

Fubuki: Yes, the former lord would have done so, of course. No, what, this can’t go on!

 

He runs off.

 

Okou: Ah, Fubuki, be careful…… You’re in danger too!

 

She chases after him.

 

(D)

 

The samurai of the household (and some ladies as well) stand together in large numbers carrying weapons, talking together.

 

Shinroku: This is the first time Oda has gotten so close.

 

Samurai 1: Mouri must know about this.

 

Ukon: They don’t seem to be getting off their asses to come here, do they intend to have the Saeki take care of the problem first?

 

Samurai 2: So we cannot look for reinforcements from the Mouri?

 

Takechiyo: What, against 1500 the Saeki are more than enough.

 

Yumiwaka: Yes, so long as we have Lord Midorio, numbers are not a problem.

 

Samurai 2: But the Mouri have married into this house. Isn’t it natural that they would send reinforcements?

 

Kojirou: Don’t count on reinforcements; the Saeki have always fought alone.

 

Harunosuke: Of course, it’ll be a cinch, right Lord Sadatsugu?

 

Sadatsugu: Yes….. But, our opponents are the Oda.

 

Sandayuu: Yes, we must think cautiously…..

 

Kojirou: What a weak attitude….. What has happened to the spirit of the Saeki?

 

The young samurai make noises of agreement.

 

Sadatsugu: No, wait….

 

Yukariko enters, following her page Senmaru.

 

Senmaru: The lord has arrived.

 

They all bow.

 

Yukariko: We shall attack en masse.

 

Sadatsugu: But, My Lord….

 

Geki: What’s the matter, Sadatsugu, timid?

 

Sadatsugu: No, but the strength of the Oda is different from our smaller neighbor lords’….

 

Geki: Foolish, to allow the name Oda to frighten you…..

 

Sadatsugu: No, that’s not it at all!

 

Yukariko: Sadatsugu, what are you going on about? Regardless of the Oda or the Mouri, the Saeki will rout their enemies, that is how the Saeki act. (In her head) Forgive me, Sadatsugu, but I really want to run wild right now. (Aoud) Everyone, go, saddle the horses!

 

Young Samurai: My Lord!

 

With Yukariko in their lead, the young samurai head out. The advisors and ladies also leave. Fubuki arrives late, and calls out to Sadatsugu.

 

Fubuki: Hey.

 

Sadatsugu: What, I’m busy.

 

Fubuki: I know, don’t get so hopping mad. Yukariko is a woman; she has no experience on a battlefield. Stick close to her and teach her.

 

Sadatsugu: I don’t need you to tell me what I intend to do.

 

Fubuki: We’ll protect her together.

 

Sadatsugu: (making a face) Don’t get in my way.

 

Sadatsugu leaves abruptly, and Fubuki exits, smirking.

 

 

Scene 13 // The Mouri Challenge

 

The chorus hums the Warring States Period song. Over the humming, these narrative lines are spoken.

 

Tanba: Though they did not get along, these amazing two saved her.

 

Okou: Yukariko’s Midorio—

 

Sandayuu: The Midorio that was Yukariko in disguise—

 

Geki: —battled the Oda troops.

 

Tanba: Sadatsugu’s company was at the forefront.

 

Okou: Fubuki stayed behind and stuck close, protecting the general.

 

Tanba: And the skillful gun division—

 

Okou: —had the enemy routed in an instant.

 

Geki: The Saeki had brilliantly expelled the Oda from their borders.

 

The humming becomes quieter.

 

Tanba: However, this was when another serious thing occurred.

 

Okou: One thing after another.

 

Sandayuu: A messenger arrived for the Saeki from the Mouri.

 

They exit.

 

Kawadera Gyoubu and a messenger, Geki, Sandayuu, and Sadatsugu enter and begin speaking.

 

Gyoubu: Your skill in the battle was just as to be expected from Lord Midorio, and our lord has been proud of his excellent son-in-law.

 

Geki: We are much obliged.

 

Gyoubu: Which is why I, personally, as the Mouri general, would like to ask you to pursue the fleeing Oda.

 

Sandayuu: What….

 

Gyoubu: My house is related to the Mouri, naturally I am an ally….

 

Sandayuu: Good heavens, the Saeki have traditionally not allied themselves with any sides.

 

Gyoubu: Indeed? That does not surprise me. Before we move on to the next topic, what do you think, Lord Amano Geki?

 

Geki: Only this.

 

Geki steps over to the Mouri side. He brings the gun division with him.

 

Sandayuu: Lord Geki!

 

Sadatsugu: Chief Retainer….

 

Geki: From now on, I am no longer one of the Saeki. Lord Gyoubu, please continue.

 

Gyoubu: Well then, the next step for the Mouri, if the Saeki will not ally with us, is to temporarily join forces with the Oda which would crush the Saeki. Even then, would you refuse?

 

Sandayuu: Mm….

 

Yukariko’s Voice: Sandayuu, of course you must refuse.

 

Sadatsugu: My Lord…..

 

The lights go out.

 

Yukariko’s Voice: If the Oda, and the Mouri, will not leave this small Saeki clan alone, then we must fight bravely, must we not?

 

Shadow Voices: Yes!

 

 

Scene 14 // War

 

With that cry, the lights snap back on, revealing Yukariko with all of her samurai. The music begins. During the battle, Yukariko spots some village women pushing a cart.

 

Yukariko: I thought the villagers were ordered to flee!

 

They bow, but then draw daggers and attack Yukariko and Sadatsugu, who repel them. A ninja appears.

 

Sadatsugu: My Lord, I will handle this, go!

 

Yukariko leaves, and Fubuki appears to help Sadatsugu battle the ninja.

 

Fubuki: (enraged) I told you not to leave Yukariko!

 

Sadatsugu: No one asked you!

 

Sadatsugu defeats his enemy and runs after Yukariko. More ninja appear, including Tanba. Tanba traps Fubuki.

 

Tanba: Okou, do it! (She shakes her head.) It is an order from our lord!

 

Okou: Fubuki!

 

She leaps forward and stabs Tanba. In retaliation, he moves to cut her down, but stops at the last moment.

 

Tanba: Fool!

 

Geki appears, and stabs her several times. She falls.

 

Geki: Charge!

 

His troups enter the battle. Yukariko and her samurai and lady samurai continue to battle bravely.

 

Geki: (pointing) Listen to me, everyone! This man, this general, is not Saeki Midorio. It is a woman, the one called Yukariko who they said had died!

 

All: My Lord!!

 

Yukariko: It’s true. I am Yukariko. My brother Midorio died from a wound he had received in battle. Before he died, his younger sister was called to the Saeki, and I have inherited my brother’s determination and ideals. So I am Midorio. I borrowed my sister Yukariko’s form so that I could stand together with the Saeki—!

 

Sadatsugu: Did you hear that, everyone? Together with Lady Yukariko…. We will fight, for Lord Midorio!

 

Vassals: Yes!

 

The battle continues. Geki tries to flee the field, but Fubuki gets in his way. Sandayuu kills him.

 

 

Scene 15 // Maizuru’s Tears

 

A garden in the Saeki castle. The Saeki and Mouri forces are lined up on the stage. The Mouri general, Kawadera Gyoubu, stands in front of his men, while Yukariko sits on a camp stool in front of the Saeki banner.

 

Gyoubu: As a woman, you have done exceptionally well; everyone praises you. There is no shame in surrendering here. Rather, the result will be the preservation of many entire families. The terms of surrender are that you will return Princess Maizuru and surrender the castle by tomorrow, in return for which the lives of your vassals will be spared: I, Kawadera Gyoubu, swear to this as the messenger of the Mouri. Though you were the general, as you are a woman, you may escape safely. With that, I am finished conveying what I have been charged. Gentlemen, I am sorry.

 

Gyoubu and his men depart. The vassals and ladies gather in front of Yukariko.

 

Various: Lady Yukariko… My Lord…..

 

Yukariko: Everyone….. It has finally come. My brother would certainly forgive us, I think.

 

Sandayuu: It was a wonderful transformation.

 

Kojirou: Lady Yukariko, I deeply regret this.

 

Yukariko: Do not grieve, Kojirou, Harunosuke, this is the way of things.

 

Harunosuke: I will go with you, anywhere!

 

Takechiyo: Lady Yukariko…..

 

All: And I…..

 

Yukariko: That I cannot allow. Thank you for understanding. And, everyone, do not simply act rashly. So long as you live, there will come a day when you can return to this land.

 

All: Lady Yukariko!

 

Yukariko: Now, don’t stop, everyone, go. Live well.

 

Sandayuu: All right, everyone, time is limited. Hurry and go!

 

Sadatsugu: Everyone, away! Leave with all reasonable haste!

 

Sandayuu: Now, go. Don’t you understand that your delays are only increasing Lady Yukariko’s sorrow? Hurry and go!

 

They leave, in tears.

 

Tazu: My Lord, your lady wife would like a word of farewell with you before she departs…..

 

Princess Maizuru emerges.

 

Sandayuu and the others leave Yukariko and Maizuru alone for a moment of privacy.

 

Maizuru: Lady Yukariko…..

 

Yukariko: Princess Maizuru, I apologize for deceiving you. The truth is….

 

Maizuru: If you would speak of the changing of husbands, I already know.

 

Yukariko: Princess….

 

Maizuru: When I realized that the husband on my wedding night was not you, I was so shocked.

 

Yukariko: Then why did you keep quiet?

 

Maizuru: Ukyounosuke, no, Fubuki is your lover, is he not? It must have been painful. I too had someone that I loved, a year ago. A secret no one knew…… But when word began to circulate about the proposed marriage here and he was discovered, he was not simply banished, but slayed by my own father’s hand. (In a tearful voice) By keeping my life here and the things that happened a secret from my father, I had a small measure of revenge on my father.

 

Yukariko: Princess….

 

Maizuru: Besides, Lady Yukariko, as soon as I met you and knew your kindness, my heart thawed. When I return home from here, I will surely be married off to another samurai lord….. (she cries)

 

Yukariko: Princess Maizuru.

 

Yukariko:

Even in the midst of an endless wilderness

So long as there are small flowers

I will walk on, dreaming of tomorrow

I will walk on, dreaming of tomorrow

 

Yukariko holds Maizuru while she cries.

 

Yukariko: Please, weep. Today, at least, until your heart is cleansed. And then tomorrow you will be yourself once more, refreshed……

 

Maizuru: Thank you. (looking off stage) Sasajima…..

 

Everyone comes out.

 

Sasajima: Well then, everyone, if the fates allow, we will meet again.

 

Sadatsugu moves as if to go with them, but Miyano stops him.

 

Miyano: (In a small voice) Brother, you are worried about Lady Yukariko, aren’t you? Stay with her. I will go with the princess….

 

Maizuru: Lady Yukariko, we will not meet again. Farewell!

 

The princess and her retinue departs. Sandayuu and Tazu head off stage in the other direction.

 

Sadatsugu: Lady Yukariko, is your resolve unchanged?

 

Yukariko: To remain here in the castle? Of course. I will die a noble death in this castle, in Midorio’s place.

 

Sadatsugu: I will remain with you.

 

Yukariko: (smiling slightly) Obstinate……

 

 

Scene 16 // A Dance of Parting

 

Saeki castle, inside the central citadel.

 

Sandayuu and Tazu are sitting.

 

Tazu: My dear, have you started the fire?

 

Sandayuu: Yes, I have, without mishap. The fire will soon surround us here. (He stands) I have done all that I must. I have no regrets. Tazu, thank you.

 

He bows. She stands and hands him his sword.

 

Tazu: My dear, it has been a good life.

 

Sandayuu: Shall we go?

 

Tazu: Yes.

 

They walk together into another room. We can see the reflection of the flames and hear the roar.

 

Yukariko and Sadatsugu appear.

 

Sadatsugu: Lady Yukariko, are you all right? Watch your step. (he looks out the window) Everyone still has not been able to leave; they are watching this citadel. They know Lady Yukariko is here.

 

Yukariko: (leaning against a pillar) I see…. When I think of it, I have had a short life. But, well, it has been quite interesting. ….. The Saeki have been destroyed, but their pride remains.

 

The fire begins to close in.

 

Sadatsugu: I was so glad to serve you, Lady Yukariko. Although I knew Fubuki was in your heart, I….. have one regret….. My regret is— (He turns) Fubuki, you-!

 

Fubuki enters.

 

Yukariko: (although she seems to smile as she sees him) Heartless! You haven’t shown yourself since that night, and now you come here, now…..

 

Fubuki: Am I interrupting?

 

Sadatsugu: Fool! Of course, dammit! (grumbling) Against me to the very end…. Fubuki, I wanted to cross swords with you. Lady Yukariko, he was there during the battles protecting you whenever you were in danger with everything he had……. Fubuki, I give Lady Yukariko to you, take— Take good care of her.

 

Sadatsugu disappears in to the thick smoke.

 

Yukariko: Thank you, Sadatsugu!

 

The flames grow stronger, and the smoke begins to fill the room.

 

Fubuki: Hm, an unexpectedly alright guy. (he pulls out some powder) If you take this, the smoke will not be as painful. It’s a ninja medicine. (he takes some) Sadatsugu must be in the flames now too. We will all die together……

 

Yukariko: Fubuki…… I am so glad that you are here with me at my end.

 

Fubuki: Yukariko…..

 

The flames lick higher.

 

Mirage of Love

 

Yukariko:

Hyururu, Hyururu

Meeting, then meeting again by chance
A connectedness, an awareness of the other's mind
Floating in the sky, in the sky
I am elated
Dancing playfully in the waves
Bittersweet, a sweet sadness
This is the mirage of love

A flower, a flower falling in the wind
A flower, a flower drunk on love

 

Chorus:

Exhilarated, these two soar into the sky

To the edge, to the edge of dreams

 

A flower, a flower falling in the wind
A flower, a flower drunk on love

 

Exhilarated, these two soar into the sky

To the edge, to the edge of dreams

 

As the flames become unbearable, they draw their swords. Together, they rest the swords against each other’s necks and, looking into each other’s eyes, draw the blades across, together.

 

Yukariko: Fubuki, hold me!

 

Fubuki stumbles over to clasp Yukariko in his arms.