This play is built around a brief mention in The Tales of the Heike of the Heike Lieutenant-General Kiyotsune who, having given up all hope of victory, takes his own life by jumping into the sea rather than lose his life at the hands of an unknown enemy. Kiyotsune’s retainer, Awazu no Saburō, takes as a keepsake a lock of Kiyotsune’s hair back to his wife in the capital. As she grieves, Kiyotsune’s ghost appears to her in a dream and tells of the battles in which the Heike family were defeated and of the torments he is suffering in warrior hell. The dramatic tension is created by the sudden appearance of Kiyotsune’s ghost, after his wife refuses to keep the remains of her beloved husband. It is further amplified by the unique flute music called koi-no netori (‘pitch of love’).

The piece Kiyotsune is a traditional Noh play, written by Zeami (1336–1444), a masterpiece of the genre of Noh warrior drama. By bringing it to the stage, Tessenkai invites audiences to discover the techniques of Noh presentation within the classic model of a warrior play. There is a powerful message in this drama, about the dreadful reality of war and a hopeless human condition in it, which at times leads the most sensitive individuals to commit suicide.

This production will be presented together with Chinkon by Tessenkai Theatre.

  • Tessenkai Theatre
  • Playwright ― Zeami
  • Performers ― Tetsunojō IX Kanze (shite actor), Kengo Tanimoto (tsure actor), Jōtarō Mori (waki actor)
  • Choir ― Minoru Shibata (jigashira – leader of the choir), Takao Nishimura, Masaki Umano, Takahiro Kitanami, Keizō Nagayama, Takayasu Andō
  • Kōken (stage assistant) ― Hikaru Uzawa
  • Musicians ― Rokurobyōe Fujita, Genjirō Ōkura, Hirotada Kamei
  • Stage design ― Mikio Ogawa
  • Production ― Ken’ichi Kasai, Yoshiki Mukawa, Jakub Karpoluk, Yoko Fujii Karpoluk
  • Running time ― 55 minutes

This showing is supported by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs.


Date and hour

4 November
5 November


Running time

145 minutes (with one intermission)





Other details

Two Noh performances, Kiyotsune and Chinkon, for the price of one ticket. The performance of Chinkon will be introduced by Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska.