Studying Yoro

I am studying the maibayashi from the noh Yōrō (養老) which inspired Yeats’s At the Hawk’s Well. The main character of the play is the deity of a mountain from which an elixir of eternal youth flows. The deity reveals to be at the same time the guardian of the mountain (山神) and an avatar of Yōryū Kannon (楊柳観音), the Willow Kannon. The willow tree is associated with the element water, and this Kannon is depicted with a vase containing a medicine. This representation also overlaps with that of Suigetsu Kannon (水月観音), the Water and Moon Kannon. Famous Korean depictions of this deity were displayed at the Sen-oku Hakuko-kan in Kyoto last year. It was such a wonderful exhibition!

yoryu_kannon_28senoku_hakokukan_kyoto29
泉屋博古館本
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2 thoughts on “Studying Yoro”

  1. Dear Diego, Thank you for your beautiful text. Can a deity of a mountain be an inspiration for us to discover a hidden aspect of ourselves? I find the aesthetics of all the elements you are writing about very inspiring also to see things in non-utilitarian way and by this, discovering the ordinary magic. Agnieszka Konopka

    1. Thank you for reading Agnieszka. I think that as long as we have the ability and, in a way, the innocence to imagine, we have a chance to interpret the world the way we like.

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