Behind the Story of Blood and Tears – Kyogen Theatre

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears – Kyogen Theatre

July 10, 2018 Behind the Story Blog Blood and Tears History Humanities Japan 0

At the end of episode 4, O-Bun performs the a kyogen play, “Kane no Ne for Usaburo and O-Hatsu. The humorous misunderstanding in the storyline arises from the use of puns, a staple of Japanese comedy. 

  • kane can mean gold, or large bell
  • ne can mean price, or sound

The central joke revolves around a servant who misunderstands his lord’s command to research the “price of gold”, and instead dutifully visits numerous temples to listen to the “sound of large bells”.

Kyogen is a type of classical Japanese comedic theatre, usually inserted between acts of a noh play. These lighter, shorter plays are intended to liven up the austere atmosphere created by the more formal and serious noh.

As with other traditional theatre arts, such as kabuki and noh, each school of kyogen is maintained by one family. Male children learn their art under the tutelage of their male relatives, most often a father or grandfather.

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