A Tale of Castle Tower / Les Saltimbanques
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Picture Credit: Program
English Title: A Tale of a Castle Tower / Les Saltimbanques
Japanese Title: 天守物語 / サルタンバンク
Romanized Title: Tenshu Monogatari / Sarutanbanku
Performances: Tokyo Takarazuka Theater, 07/01 - 07/30
A Tale of a Castle Tower
Based On: Izumi Kyouka's famous play The Castle Tower (天守物語).
Author: Izumi Kyouka
Director: Shirai Tetsuzou
Composer: Nakai Mitsuharu and Tsutsumi Gorou
Choreographer: Fujima Kanpachiro and Fujima Ryousuke
Author: Shirai Tetsuzou
Director: Shirai Tetsuzou
Composer: Nakai Mitsuharu, Kawasaki Ichirou, Nakamoto Kiyozumi, Kawasaki Tsuneo, Nakano Junji, Takai Yoshizumi, Terada Takio
Choreographer: Yasumoto Shinji, Watanabe Takeo, Sasaki Kazuo, Ootaki Aiko, Tamada Takashi
Available on DVD: No
DVD Scene/Music Cuts:
A Tale of a Castle Tower
|Princess Tomihime||Minami Yuuko|
|Princess Kamehime||Amatsu Otome|
|Princess Yukihime||Uchibuki Misa|
|Susuki (chamber maid)||Kamiyo Nishiki|
|Nadeshiko (maid)||Mutsumi Chiga|
|Kikyo (maid)||Miyuki Sachiko|
|Hagi (maid)||Waka Reiko|
|Ominaeshi (maid)||Natsunomiya Chiyoko|
|Fujibakama (maid)||Mari Yayoi|
|Kuzu (maid)||Miyakono Nishiki|
|Master Pingouin||Fujino Takane|
|Count Alfred||Fujisato Miho|
|Beatrice's Mother||Mutsumi Chiga|
|Raymonde (a woman pugilist)||Mizuho Youko|
|Raymond (a male pugilist)||Oki Yukiko|
|Baron Rigoband||Kiyokawa Hayami|
|Lucien (Alfred's friend)||Uchinoe Noboru|
|Collate (Alfred's friend)||Yoshizuki Akemi|
|Lepin (a butler to Baron Rigoband)||Miyoshino Kazuya|
WARNING!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!
"A Tale of a Castle Tower"
In the room at the top of the donjon of the Castle of Himeji, Tomihime, who is a beautiful princess, lives with her chamber-maid Susuki and others. This princess, in reality, is not a human being, but the spirit of a princess who was killed generations before by the lord of the castle. She lives by virtue of the soul of the sculpture "Lion's head" in the room.
Princess Tomihime is visited by another similar spiritual princess Kamehime, who lives in a distant castle Kamega-jo, accompanied by her chamber-maids and retainers. She brings with her the freshly severed head of the lord of the Kamega-jo Castle in which she lives, as a present for Tomihime. They all have a good time, Kamehime dancing and Tomihime and others playing hand ball and dancing.
Just as the visitors, Kamehime and others, are going to leave, the lord of this castle of Jimei, comes back from his hawking. Princess Tomihime captures by witchcraft the white hawk, of which the lord is proud as the best hawk in Japan, and gives it to Princess Kamehime as a present. Kamehime leaves for her castle flying through the air, bringing with her the white hawk.
A little later, as Princess Tomihime sits alone in her room, a young man comes in, looking for the white hawk. He is a young Samurai named Zushonosuke, who is in charge of the hawk.
Upon seeing Princess Tomihime, he is struck with her beauty. She on her part is impressed with his manly appearance.
Tomihime allows Zushonosuke to leave her room safely, although no one has ever before visited this room and left it alive, telling him; "Don't come here ever again. If you do, you will lose your life", and giving him the helmet which is a treasure of the castle.
Because of this helmet, however, Zushonosuke is suspected of being a robber who stole the treasure and is about to be arrested. He is obliged to slay some of the pursuing samurais and comes again to Tomihime's room in the donjon for shelter.
Tomihime and Zushnosuke hide behind the sculpture "Lion's head" in the room. The pursuers pierce the Lion's eyes with a sword. This makes Tomihime and Zushonosuke blind, and they try to commit suicide. Just at this time Toroku, the sculptor, makes his appearance and mends the lion's eyes. Thereupon both Tomihime and Zushonosuke recover their eyesight.
At this point, Princess Kamehime and others, learning of the incident, come back for Princess Tomihime. Now Princess Tomihime and the young samurai Zushonosuke are united with a strong bond of love. They leave the castle together.
As soon as they leave, the room, which has been until then, a very beautiful living room, changes suddenly into a dirty room of the castle tower.
Louise, born as a daughter of an artiste of Circus Pingouin, had an exceedingly beautiful face and an enticing voice.
Her mother, on her deathbed, entrusted her daughter Louise to the care of Master Pingouin. The Master was happy to see Louise grow up into a beautiful girl, and into a star player of the Circus. He had fulfilled his promise to her dead mother. The only thing which he now cared for was to find a good man to marry her.
On that particular day, as usual, Circus Pingouin had stopped at a certain country town, and was entertaining the town’s people. The beautiful voice of Louise was ﬂowing out from within the tents. At the entrance of the tents, the pierrot was attentively listening to her voice. He was Pierre, who was secretly in love with Louise. But, alas, to him who played the part of a pierrot, Louise was a prize beyond his reach, yet he could not resist her charms.
Pierre would often dream of her in his dreams, he, a clown, would appear as a prince and Louise a princess, and their paramour would be heartily blessed by all the members of the troupe, including even the zebra and the seal. . .
Louise, however, did not know of Pierre’s secret devotion. On a certain day, she came to know Count Alfred, a lieutenant in the Royal Guards. The young Count impressed her to such an extent that she found it impossible to forget his smart figure. She would pull off one petal after another of margaret ﬂower Alfred had given her, and divine the future of her love.
“I met him for the first time, yet I cannot keep him out of my heart. I wonder what it is. I feel as if I were the loneliest person in the world . . . .May be it’s love”
Thus, she would reflect.
Divining her love with margaret, she would dream -— she would ride in a diamond--studded golden carriage through a forest of Margarets to a brilliantly-lit castle to a dance party with Alfred alone.
It was a mere dream, after all. The tale of Cinderella, however, came true to her. On a certain day, a dance party was held in Alfred's Castle and Louise was invited to it. She could go to a castle of happiness of which she had so often dreamed. Louise’s heart jumped so with joy. There was a man, who had to look on the happy Louise with the eyes of sorrow. He was none other than Pierre.
The dance party was attended by numerous ladies and noble persons, beautifully attired. Alfred asked her to sing, she sang a number of songs. Everybody applauded her for her in-comparably beautiful voice. Suddenly, a young lady burst into a derisive laughter. It was Alfred's fiancee, Beatrice.
She told Louise; “Tonight we are announcing our engagement, and you were called here to entertain our guests”.
It was evident that, to poor Louise, a golden carriage, a prince and everything were nothing more than a fable. Sorrow-stricken Louise she, after all, had to come back to her old friends of Circus Pingouin, to her Pierre, who would take her in with a tender heart.
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