yama uba   A modern noh on zen     page      1





Act -I

[Enter Monk.

He squats in the corner.

Enter Diva and her Valet]



The shadow is the light.

The two resemble each other.

Buddha’s might

Takes us to the temple.


[To the audience]

I am from Kyoto.

Do you know who my lady is?

You must know her because she is a very famous singer, Diva the hag.


Now you know.

But do you know why she is called Diva the hag?

Of course, you know.

Because she is well known for her song about a hag who prowls in the mountains.

She sings, and dances to the song.

So beautiful and so popular.

All Kyoto is crazy about her.

She is going to visit the Temple, the Temple of Righteous Light.


I am her valet.

I am travelling with her.

"I have to tell all of you one thing.

We, especially intellectuals and philosophers, prefer playing with ideas, and detest Reality."

Monk says this in the play.

It doesn't matter if you think you are intellectual or not.

It doesn't matter whether you are truly a philosopher or not.

Let's ask ourselves if we prefer playing ideas to accepting Reality.

This Reality with a capital R is not exactly the so-called reality to which we are familiar.

The Reality, or Yama Uba, is Zen itself.

Read the chapter of Yama Uba in Daisetz Suzuki's «Zen and Japanese Culture».

Monk represents the works of this exceptional researcher on Buddhism.

Read also the note by Daisez Suzuki on Top page.

the playwright's recommendation

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