Piece Name Ōmu Komachi
Piece Alternate Name Oomu Komachi* (Transliteration) ,
Komachi's Parrot-Answer Poem (Translation) ,
Omu Komachi (Transliteration) ,
Creation Date Muromachi
Associated Performing Art(s) Noh
Associated Movement currently performed noh
Language(s) of Creation Japanese
Structure Divisions Two acts
Characters in Piece Ono no komachi Ono no komachi
Plot In her old age, the famous Heian poet Ono no Komachi 小野小町 (shite) lives in Sekidera 関寺, a temple at the border-pass between the capital and Otsu on Lake Biwa. Emperor Yōzei sends Major Counselor Yukiie 行家 (waki) to enquire sympathetically how she is. His poem ends: "mishi tamadare no uchi ya yukashisa" (Was not life enchanting there / within the jewelled curtains?). Yukiie delivers the Emperor's poem, but Komachi tells him that she will answer with just one word. To the courtier's astonishment, she explains how this possible by changing "ya" to "zo," so that the answer reads: "How enchanting life was there!" [Roy E. Teale translation]. This, she explains is an "ōmu-gaeshi" ("parrot-answer poem"). The rest of the play touches on the comments made about Komachi's poetry in the preface to the Kokinwakashū. She describes a dance by the poet Ariwara no Narihira, then dances herself (jo-no-mai). Yukiie takes his leave and Komachi returns to her simple brushwood dwelling by the temple, her sleeves wet with tears.
Reference(s) Kōchū yōkyoku sōsho (1:5-10)
Notes Translated as "Komachi's Parrot-Answer Poem" in Roy E. Teele, Nicholas J. Teele, and H. Rebecca Teele.
*Alternative Rōmaji (Roman characters) spelling. Improper but frequently or possibly used spelling or reading of the Kanji (Chinese characters), or an unorthodox name.
Piece Published in Ono no Komachi: Poems, Stories, No Plays(167-180),
Ono no Komachi: Gestalt und Legende im Nô-Spiel

Associated Items

Components associated with piece 1002521