Suzue Miuchi comments Kurenai Tennyo the Noh Play

Information from the newspaper "Yomiuri"
(January 25th 2006)

(kindly sent to me by Go and translated by Junko)

On February 24th and 25th, at National Noh Theater of Japan (in Sendagaya, Tokyo), a new Noh drama "Kurenai Tennyo" is on stage. The drama is based on the best-seller girls' comic "Garasu no Kamen", and it is a hot Noh play produced by Umewaka Rokuro, who is trying to create several new Noh drama.

"Garasu no Kamen" was first serialized in 1976 in a magazine "Hana to Yume"; two geniuses, Kitajima Maya and Himekawa Ayumi grow up competing each other aim for actress in the story.
"Garasu no Kamen" is a very popular work, so it has been made into anime, TV drama, and theatrical performance, too.

"Kurenai Tennyo" is a legendary performance which was played by Tsukikage Chigusa who found out Maya's talent.

It's a 'visionary masterpiece', even I didn't have a definite image at the beginning. I never thought it could be tied with Noh play. Even though I didn't describe it much in manga, they have organized what I want to tell very well. I have to create the ending of manga in the future, so I feel pressured by it."
Miuchi Suzue, who is the original author and the supervisor of this Noh play, says with a laugh.

It was believed that the statue of Tennyo had calmed down the war-torn era. In the background of the statue, there was a tragic love between an incarnation of a plum tree and a sculptor of images of Buddha. In after ages, a war-torn era comes again, a traveling sculptor strays into Kurenai Dani seeking the statue of Tennyo, and then he relives the experiences of the incarnation and the sculptor...

The script was written by Ueda Shinji, who is the special advisor of Takarazuka Revue Company.
I tried to incorporate the theme 'symbiosis with nature' into the script quoting from the original. I was impressed by the lines in the manga "Ask trees about trees. Ask water about water", he says.

It's the first time that a new Noh play based on manga is played. Umewaka Rokuro plays the role of Tennyo as well as he produces this play. He is one of the most powerful persons in the modern Noh world, he performs Noh in a concert hall, he tries new works as well as he plays many classical works.
He says: At the making of Kurenai Tennyo, of course I have a feeling I don't want to mock manga fans' expectation, but I'll try not to persist in such expectations very much.
Noh is a modern entertainment as well as traditional. We have to continue making Noh fit with the times, otherwise Noh become something like fossils. From that standpoint, playing classics and making new works are important pillars of me. I want to try many things actively.

Very special thanks to my dear friends Go and Junko!!!


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