Sep 28, 2010

Synopsis of Yamagami-sama (Warabi-Za)

Yamagami-sama No Okurimono” (山神様のおくりもの) has been a long-run hit play for a decade with different casts. First, watch the TV commercial below.

This play has been very popular for a long time. It is inspired by an authentic folklore culture of bear hunting. Does the tradition of matagi, beer-hunting, sounds intriguing but also intimidating?  No worries—it is not about killing an animal. It is a drama about common people!!

The story takes place in a beautiful mountainous village in Akita. There lived an old man, Shigezo, with his grand-daughter, Sayo. Shigezo had been widely famed as the master matagi, a traditional beer hunter. While he abruptly quit 17 years ago, he had taken care of his colleague’s son, Yanosuke , to pass down the hunting technique to bring him up as a grown man. Sayo had been fond of him -- if he is her own brother-- and also expects him to become one someday.

Despite all the high expectation as Shigezo’s apprentice, Yanosuke –on the other hand—is reluctant to hunt. His inability is becoming a frustration and disappointment to his colleagues. With his compassionate nature, his heart belongs to-- not the mountains --but somewhere else.

Meanwhile, a young, successful matagi called Kuma (lit. meaning  "a bear") had requested Shigezo for a permission to marry Sayo. In reply to his aggressive attitude, Shigezo insists that patience is an important way of matagi. He tells his grand-daughter, “choose whoever knows how to handle life.”

Now—Yanosuke, after finding out Kuma's proposal to Sayo, confronts with Sayo and finally confesses his wish to move out of town with her, only to hear that Sayo wouldn't want to leave the beloved hometown.

At a fall festival, Kuma picks up a challenge against Yanosuke over a marriage to Sayo -- "Whoever hunts down an Itazu ("a bear") would prove a better match with Sayo." However, Yanosuke remains reluctant, "the mountain is a sacred place-- not a battle field over such matter."

Soon winter arrives. Kuma is so impatient that he takes a risk and rushes into the cold mountain-- only to return home injured instead. Now, the whole village is in peril. The villagers are at risk. What would become of them? Which man would Sayo choose to marry?

In Warabi-za Theater until November 3. 2010
Morning (at 10:30 ) and afternoon (at 14:00) shows are available on most days.

A package with a ticket, meal and onsen is available from 5,200 yen! (Recommended!)

Take JR Kakunodate Station;
Free Warabi-za shuttle buses are available. Ask Warabi-za.

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