CHARACTERS


A Sea Dragon Mythical creature off the coast of Japan
Fujiwara no Fuhito A son of the founder of a powerful clan in Japan whose line included future emperors and empresses.
Tamatori Ama A pearl fisher in the small village of Shido where the women engage in the dangerous vocation of diving for pearls in the sea
Storyteller An old man
Tamatoriís Mother She is a widow who lives with her daughter in a small house in Shido
Fujiwara no Kamatari Fuhitoís Father founder of a powerful clan and advisor to the Japanese Emperor
Emperor Emperor of Japan
Supernumeraries Sailors, Fish, Emperors and Empresses of Japan
Musicians Percussion, Piper, String player


The Pearl Diver


SCENE i

(The play opens with music suggesting an enormous wind slowly rising and stirring up the sea. Fluttering blue banners held up horizontally represent the sea. Symbolic ships are tossed about. Eventually everyone in the vessels are pitched out. The last one overboard casts a magic pearl up into the air that is caught by the Sea Dragon. After snatching it he flees away from the spot and moves to the center of the storm. There he holds aloft the pearl and then suggests, in a dance, that the sea creatures attack the hapless mariners.)


SEA DRAGON

Am I not the Dragon of the Sea?
The pearl belongs to me!
Those fools thought to steal it
And trick this old hermit.
But I learned of their plan
And waited for their caravan.
Stirred up the frothing wave
To be their vesselís grave.
Do not toy with me!
I do not take any plea!
In my realm I rule
And I do not suffer any fool
To toy with my possessions,
Or commit such transgressions!
My minions deal quite harshly
And the result can be deadly.


(He disappears and the sea creatures carry off the sailors below the waves. The music suggests the storm has passed and serenity has returned to the sea.)

SCENE ii

(Fuhito appears on a road near the water walking with a long stick. Tamatari appears and he turns to her. There is a flute trilling songs of birds.)


FUHITO

Please tell me, if you can,
Please tell a weary man
What this place by the sea,
Such a bleak wild place, may be?

TAMATORI

You have come to Shido
Where the ocean winds blow
And the coves are deep below!
And the coves are deep below!
What brings you to this village?
Near to our small cottage?

FUHITO

Iíve been on a long journey
With none for company
Without guidance or a map
And survived many a mishap.