Aoi no ue or Lady Aoi

The play is based on a short sequence from the Genji Monogatari, or the Story of Genji, by Lady Murasaki (1004).

Lady Aoi, the official wife of the handsome Prince Genji, has been taken ill mysteriously. (She is discreetly represented by a brocade robe placed in the front of the stage.) The nearly dying Lady Aoi is pregnant with Genji’s child. A shaman is invited to perform exorcism rituals.

It becomes clear that Lady Aoi is possessed by the spirit of the dead Princess Rokujo, who had been one of Prince Genji’s lovers. Even as a ghost she is possessed by jealousy. Furthermore, her rage is intensified because in a carriage accident she had been further humiliated by Lady Aoi. Princess Rokujo’s ghost relates her bitterness and strikes the sickbed. The shaman is powerless and only the prayers of a Buddhist monk calms Princess Rokujo’s spirit, which finally finds peace.