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Plays DataBase Ukai (Cormorant Fishing) : PhotoStory StoryDataPhotoStory
 

Monks visiting Isawa in Kai Province meet an old cormorant fisherman. They listen to his unhappy fate. He was killed for violating the prohibition on fishing.
金剛永謹
The old man offers to show them the cormorant fishing that was the source of his sins. He raises a damp pine torch.
中森晶三
The basket of birds is opened and the cormorants are released into Isawa River.
金剛永謹
Under the light of the fire, the cormorants chase the fish and gulp them down. No other type of fishing is so entertaining.
三川泉
The time for fun comes to an end with the arrival of moonlight. The ghost, in a dejected state, disappears into darkness.
橋岡慈観
For the sinner’s memorial service, the monks write single characters from the Lotus Sutra on stones from the riverside. These are thrown into the water and sink below the surface.
森常好、舘田善博
King Yama, the lord of the realm of the dead, appears with great force. “Hell exists right in front of people,” he tells them. “Evil demons dwell in people’s hearts.”
梅若万三郎
“Cormorant fishing is sinful. But out of consideration for this act of the monks, it has been decided the fisherman will be sent to Paradise.”
浅井文義
“Relying on the teachings of the blessed Lotus Sutra, the monks held a memorial service with compassion in their heart. This being so, the sinner is saved.”
橋岡久馬
In Isawa, there is a statue of the cormorant fisherman from the legend on which the Noh play Ukai is based.
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Photo: TOSHIRO MORITA

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