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“Ashiya Doman Ouchi Kagami” (“Mirror of the Imperial Court during the time of Ashiya Doman”) depicts the rivalry between two Heian Period characters Abe no Yasuna and Ashiya Doman. It was created as a bunraku by Takeda Izumo in Osaka in October 1734, but it was staged as a kabuki play in Kyoto in February the following year.

A fantastical work accompanied by Takemoto-style narration and shamisen music, the full play follows how Abe no Yasuna’s son Abe no Seimei, who later becomes a famous onmyoji (fortune-teller), was born of a white fox. It’s a classic tale that particularly appealed to the 18th-century audiences of Edo.

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