yama uba           ikkyu’s Zen play          page     10
 

Hag


[Singing]

My dress is white, flying [Diva takes over Hag’s song] in the wind like petals or snows blowing.




Hag


What is this?




Diva


It is “it”.




Singers


[Singing]

Do you know “it”?

It is “it”.

Why does the hag wander from a mountain to another no matter how hard and tiring it is?

It’s because of “it”.




Hag


Do you call them mountains?

They rise up from the mud of nothingness.

They pierce the clouds in the sky.




Valet


The sky is empty!

So are the mountains!




Diva


[Singing]

The ocean is just dewdrops trickling down from moss.

They gather and become the rolling waters, infinite.




Hag


[Singing]

The sounds of the waves beating the rocks resound in the valleys like thunders.




Diva


[Singing]

They fill empty caves and their echoes disappear in the void.




Singers


[Singing]

That’s how you hear the sounds of no sounds.




Valet


You can’t hear the sounds of no sounds!




Diva


Yes, I can.




Hag


Yes, I can.




Singers


[Singing]

That’s how you hear the echoes of no voice.

What is Zen?


Many people have wondered and are still wondering what Zen is.


Thanks to Daisetz Suzuki's «Zen and Japanese Culture», now we know where to look. Without the book, the author of this modern Noh play would be still incapable of illustrating how Zen functions.


Zen is Yama Uba the lady of the mountain.


Daisetz Suzuki is represented as Monk in the play.


The character says:


"When Reality shows up, we get scared. Or, we just try to put it into moulds, moulds of ideas which we are capable of understanding."


Moulds of ideas shatter our access to Zen.

The playwright’s recommendation

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