Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New site «Yama Uba the Zen play»

The opening of our new site «Yama Uba the Zen play»

Dear our friends of Tao by Matsumoto video blog,

We proudly present our new site «Yama Uba the Zen play».

«Yama Uba», which means "the old lady in the mountains" in Japanese, is the title of a Noh play supposedly written by Zen Master Ikkyu Sojun in the fifteenth century in order to explain to laymen how Zen functions.

To the English-speaking world, the play was virtually introduced by Daisetz Suzuki in his book «Zen and Japanese Culture». The modern Japanese scholar fluent in English wrote one whole chapter for the summary of «Yama Uba» and the explanation of its philosophical importance concerning Ikkyu's creative effort to illustrate how Zen works.

Ikkyu Sojun, an exceptional Zen master and poet, whose works remind us of "The Canterbury Tales" or "The Decameron" in terms of audacious straightforwardness facing immorality and hypocrisy, was a good friend of Komparu Zenchiku, a Noh master. Ikkyu used the then popular theatrical representation as a vehicle for his explanation of often too highly metaphysical concepts of Zen Buddhism.

Now, we have inherited Ikkyu's ingenuity and ingenuousness and take the role of the boy in «Emperor's New Clothes» saying: "But he isn't wearing anything at all".

We have translated the old Noh play and adapted it into a post-Beckett, post-Pinter theatre piece to tell you the simple truth about Zen.

No matter how many books have been written about it, and no matter how many teachers may say contrarily, Zen is quite simple.

Enjoy the modern «Yama Uba».

Naoto Matsumoto


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this.

By the way, I stumbled upon that page in my stumble upon account.

Thanks again

Sojourner :)

NaotoMatsumoto said...

Thank you, Sojourner-san