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Indiana University


Video Lending Library


Program Title: Sugawara denju tenarai kagami [Secrets of Calligraphy] - Terakoya: Geino hanabutai
EASC Code: JS-05
Series Title:
Region/Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subject: Theatrical Performance
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: VHS
Release Date:
Running Time: 45 min.
Color or BW:
Program Abstract :"Secrets of Calligraphy has a long and most unwieldy plot. Its materials include legends associated with Sugawara no Michizane, the scholar and statesman who was exiled because of a rival's machinations, but the main characters in the play are triplet brothers Sakuramaru, Umeomaru, and Matsuomaru. Their names, meaning cherry tree, plum tree, and pine, were inspired by the poem Michizane reputedly wrote in exile, in which he expressed his disappointment that although his favorite plum trees had followed him to Kyushu and his cherry tree had withered with grief, the pine tree in his garden seemed unaffected. In the play Matsuomaru (the pine) seems indifferent to Michizane's exile. He serves Michizane's mortal enemy, Shihei, but at the end he reveals his loyalty by sacrificing his son; he has pretended to be disloyal only so that he might demonstrate in an hour of great need how deep his loyalty actually is." -- Donald Keene, World Within Walls
Data Entry Date: 1/27/1999