ICHI-RYU MANBAI and Japan, the country of 8 million deities.
The Los Angeles debut performance that received a sold-out standing ovation now comes to the Kanze Noh theater in GINZA SIX!
Inspired by Japanese mythology, the cultural traditions of Noh, Kyogen, Nichibu (Kabuki), Flower arrangement, Contemporary dance, taiko drum,traditional and contemporary music all come together to tell a story about the beginning of the universe and a single grain of rice.
You can experience authentic Japanese artistry, beauty and spirit through this extraordinary live performance!
“Our mission is to spread our wish for harmony through our theatrical performance entitled “A SEED: Ichi-ryu Manbai.” Ichi-ryu Manbai means “a single seed can eventually produce millions of grains of rice and a great harvest.” In this way, a single wish can spread amongst millions of people. One day, our wish is that A SEED will grow into millions and pass its spirit on to the next generation.
--Yasushi Matsuura, Director
KAMISAMA is a God/Goddess or Deity which rules the universe and its spirits. We Japanese believe that KAMISAMA exist everywhere and in everything: a stone, a chopstick, or even in a small piece of a screw. Japanese mythology explains that our world started from a single KAMISAMA and increased exponentially, like a single grain of rice that grows into millions of grains.
A long, long time ago, long before there was heaven and long before there was earth, small waves appeared in a dark, murky world, eventually growing into a huge swell.
As the huge swell came crashing down, a GOD appeared, and then was hidden away.In the next moments many gods were born, one after another.
The 16th and 17th Gods were Izanagi and Izanami. Out of this dark and murky world, Izanagi and Izanami descended from the heavens on a floating bridge known as Amano Ukihashi.
Their mission, as directed by the Gods, was to create Mother Earth. They swirled their heavenly spears around and around….and pierced the dark and murky world.
As they pulled back, drops of salt water fell from the tips of their spears and became Onogoro-shima,
Izanagi and Izanami immediately went to work and built a heavenly pillar. As they circled around it, they exclaimed:
“Oh, what a handsome man!”
“Oh, what a beautiful woman!”
It was Izanami, the female God, who was the first to call out for Izanagi, the male God. However, this first calling failed to produce a country.
The next time, Izanagi called out for Izanami first.
(As Izanagi) “Oh, what a beautiful woman!”
(As Izanami) “Oh, what a handsome man!”
After this exchange, Izanagi and Izanami became a married couple, and together they started producing lands and Gods. Japan was born, and it thrived.
Izanagi and Izanami gave birth to 14 islands and 35 Gods.
But when Izanami was giving birth to the God of Fire, she was burned to death. Izanagi, distraught over the loss of his beloved wife, exclaimed:
“I want to reunite with you again!”
Izanagi traveled to Yomi No Kuni, the underworld, in search of his wife.
“Izanami! Izanami! Let us go home together. The country we gave birth to is not yet completed!”
Izanami heard the voice of her husband, and called out to him. “I understand what you are saying. I will talk to the Gods of the underworld, and ask them if I may return to the land of the living. But you must promise me: Do not look for me inside this underworld.”
Izanagi waited, and waited. But at long last, he could wait no longer. He broke his promise and peered inside the underworld.
What he saw was the horrifying appearance of his disfigured wife.
Terrified, Izanagi began to flee the underworld. Furious that Izanagi had broken his promise to her she chased after him.
Izanagi reached Yomotsu Hirasaka, the gateway between life and death. There he blocked the entry with a large boulder and escaped.
From that day forward, mortal beings were forced to face their own destiny in life and death.
After he escaped from the underworld, Izanagi, in order to cleanse and purify himself from the underworld, took a bath in the river.
As he washed his left eye, Amaterasu No Oomikami, the Goddess of the Sun, was born.
As he washed his right eye, Tsukuyomi No Mikoto, the God of the Moon, was born.
And as he washed his nose, Susanoo No Mikoto, the God of the Great Blue Ocean, was born.
One day, Susanoo, the God of the Great Blue Ocean, decided to pay a visit to the heavenly world ruled by his beloved sister, Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess.
When Amaterasu showed Susanoo generosity and tolerance, he responded by going on an enormous rampage. A rampage so great that it reached a level where no one could stop him.
He destroyed the ridge between fields of rice, he scattered excrement all over the kitchen and skinned the hide of Amaterasu’s horse, and hurled it into a weaving hut.
The women inside the hut died of terror. Angered by her brother’s actions, Amaterasu went into exile in Ama-no-Iwato, the heavenly rock cave.
With no sun from the Sun Goddess, darkness dominated the world. Calamity struck and an epidemic spread.
“LIGHT MUST BE BROUGHT BACK TO THE WORLD!”
The gods gathered in front of Iwato. To lure Amaterasu out of the heavenly rock cave, Ame-no-Uzume began to dance.
Upon hearing the sounds from outside the cave, Amaterasu peered out of Iwato’s opening. In that moment, the Gods quickly seized her hand, pulled her from the cave, and sealed the opening.
Amaterasu returned to the heavenly world, and radiant sunlight was restored.
Meanwhile, Susanoo is punished and exiled from the heavenly world.
On the way out, Susanoo grew hungry and visited Ooketsu Hime, the Goddess of Food, to find something to eat.
A bounty of food is presented to Susanoo, one dish after another. Susanoo gorged on all the food, delirious from the delightful taste of it. But suddenly, he looked into the kitchen and saw a repulsive sight:
The dishes were being prepared from excreted matter from Ooketsu Hime’s nose, mouth and anus! Seeing this, Susanoo became enraged and instantly killed Ooketsu Hime.
But then, out of Ooketsu Hime’s corpse silkworms grew from her head….
Rice from her eyes….
Millet from her ears….
Azuki beans from her nose….
Wheat from her genitals…..
And soybeans from her buttocks!
Kamumusuhi-No-Kami appeared and began harvesting the seeds.
A SEED was born from the corpse of Ooketsu Hime, a seed which grew into a stalk of rice, which was then cultivated into an abundant harvest, multiplied millions of times over.
Millions of Gods….
Born from One Spirit….
One life creates new life….
One Seed produced a bountiful harvest.
“Ichi-Ryu Manbai: One seed, one million times over. “
One wish for harmony….
One million times over…..
Can change the world.
One wish can change the world.
This is the first story of the beginning of the distant past.
Beginning of the Universe
Voice of the Universe
The Creation Story
The World of the Dead
The Born of 3 Sacred Deities
第二幕/ ACT 2
The Dark World
A Dance of Amenouzume
The Origin of Grains
A Seed Descend upon the World
Ichi-ryu Man-bai , Great Harvest
Voice of the Universe