Hanakurabe shiki no kotobuki
This play was first staged in Bunka 6 (1809) as a performance of 4 minor dance pieces that are representations of the four seasons. Manzai (Spring): The scene is the streets of Kyoto draped with traditional shimenawa for purification and kadomatsu New Year decorations in front of each house. Two street entertainers (Manzai: Tayu and Saizo) go from house to house extending greetings and best wishes for prosperity and longevity. Ama (Summer): The dance is based on the noh play of the same name, about a female diver, who sacrifices herself to retrieve a precious pearl for a nobleman from the claws of the dragon king under the sea. She is attains salvation and is reborn as a celestial being. Sekidera Komachi (Autumn): Also Sekidera Koamchi is adopted from a noh play. Komachi has come of age but grace is intact and she dances in memory of a lost love. Sagi (Winter):This is a bunraku version of the famous kabuki dance that features a pictoresque winter scene with the spirit of a crane that has taken the form of a beautiful woman.