Technical Information

Piece
*/d_piece 1000345
Piece Title
Ōmu Komachi
Plot Summary
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.
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 > Date
*/d_piece/d_piece.dateid 1004900
Date piece created
Muromachi
Piece > Piece > Era
*/d_piece/d_piece.dateid/d_date.eraid 17
Era
Muromachi
Piece > Associated Movement
*/d_piece/d_piece.associatedmovementid 14
Associated Movement(s)
currently performed noh
Piece > Piece Alternate Name
*/d_piece/r_piece_altname 355
Alternate Title(s)
Oomu Komachi*
Piece > Piece Alternate Name
*/d_piece/r_piece_altname 572
Alternate Title(s)
Komachi's Parrot-Answer Poem
Piece > Piece Alternate Name
*/d_piece/r_piece_altname 611
Alternate Title(s)
Omu Komachi
Piece > Piece Alternate Name
*/d_piece/r_piece_altname 857
Alternate Title(s)
Oumugaeshi
Piece > Character
*/d_piece/r_piece_character 1020
Character(s)
Ono no komachi
Piece > Language
*/d_piece/r_piece_language 7
Language
Japanese
Piece > Structure of Piece
*/d_piece/r_piece_structure_division 555
Structure
Two acts