At last, as they were returning to the temple by way of the shore, they were startled by the sound of a biwa, furiously played, in the cemetery of the Amidaji. But during this second visit his absence from the temple was accidentally discovered; and after his return in the morning he was summoned to the presence of the priest, who said to him, in a tone of kindly reproach:–, “We have been very anxious about you, friend Hoichi. They passed the gate, crossed the garden, approached the verandah, stopped — directly in front of him. On top of that, the podcast is so thoughtfully and lovingly curated, you just can't wait for the next one to come out. The character's name is "Hoichi the Earless".A Google search will reveal that most Internet sources that use "Earless Hoichi" are either English translations of Japanese sites (probably by native Japanese unfamiliar with Hearn's reputable English version) or informal discussions of either Kobayashi's film or Hearn's book, both of which officially support the "Hoichi the Earless" stance. After he had been helped to mount several stone steps, upon the last of which he was told to leave his sandals, a woman’s hand guided him along interminable reaches of polished planking, and round pillared angles too many to remember, and over widths amazing of matted floor,–into the middle of some vast apartment. 64), Story Time – Of a Mirror and a Bell (Lafcadio Hearn) (Ep. The longest of the four stories is Hoichi the Earless – and Earless isn’t a typo with a missing F. Hoichi is a gifted young biwa player who specialises in singing songs of ancient battles. And here. By once obeying them, you have put yourself in their power. August 21, 2015. Your email address will not be published. The retainer led him to the verandah at the rear of the temple, and there bade him farewell. A story that has been made into a movie, appears on stage, shows up in manga, music, and is told on stages even today. [19:23] “Hoichi!” grimly called the voice a second time. The priest of the Amidaji was fond of poetry and music; and he often invited Hoichi to the temple, to play and recite. During the day Hoichi was able to take some rest; and he said nothing about his strange adventure. [00:02] Uncanny Japan is author me, Thersa Matsuura, exploring all that is weird from Japan. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The below image is from Masaki Kobayashi’s film Kwaidan. Then Hoichi lifted up his voice, and chanted the chant of the fight on the bitter sea,–wonderfully making his biwa to sound like the straining of oars and the rushing of ships, the whirr and the hissing of arrows, the shouting and trampling of men, the crashing of steel upon helmets, the plunging of slain in the flood. As a person interested in Japanese culture, history, myths and folklore, I found this podcast amazing. The Downpour 7. Kwaidan was filmed almost entirely on massive sets constructed in a converted airplane hangar – as no Japanese studio was big enough to satisfy Kobayashi’s vision for his work. You'll get an email every time I make a new post. ", “I was never really into podcasts until I tried this one. But the men at once hastened to the cemetery; and there, by the help of their lanterns, they discovered Hoichi,– sitting alone in the rain before the memorial tomb of Antoku Tenno, making his biwa resound, and loudly chanting the chant of the battle of Dan-no-ura. More than seven hundred years ago, at Dan-no-ura, in the Straits of Shimonoseki, was fought the last battle of the long contest between the Heike, or Taira clan, and the Genji, or Minamoto clan. [09:04] But when at last he came to tell the fate of the fair and helpless,– the piteous perishing of the women and children,– and the death-leap of Nii-no-Ama, with the imperial infant in her arms,– then all the listeners uttered together one long, long shuddering cry of anguish; and thereafter they wept and wailed so loudly and so wildly that the blind man was frightened by the violence and grief that he had made. Hearn’s book in its entirety can be read here for free. Except for some ghostly fires–such as usually flitted there on dark nights–all was blackness in that direction. Some centuries ago there lived at Akamagaseki a blind man named Hoichi, who was famed for his skill in recitation and in playing upon the biwa [A Japanese lute] From childhood he had been trained to recite and to play; and while yet a lad he had surpassed his teachers. Do not get frightened; and do not think of calling for help — because no help could save you. Why did you go without telling us? Thersa Matsura’s voice is relaxing and the production quality of the podcast is very high. What a lovely reading. The feet approached deliberately,–halted beside him. After more than a decade of sober political dramas and socially minded period pieces, the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi shifted gears dramatically for this rapturously stylized quartet of ghost stories. At last he heard steps approaching from the back gate. The retainer who to-night conducted you will be sent for you… There is another matter about which I have been ordered to inform you. Your email address will not be published. The retainer led him to the verandah at the rear of the temple, and there bade him farewell. My present lord, a person of exceedingly high rank, is now staying in Akamagaseki, with many noble attendants. THE STORY OF MIMI-NASHI-HOICHI. I think it's really wonderful. After coming to live in Japan (1890), Lafcadio Hearn listened intently to the folk stories and ghostly tales that were related to him. ", "I love listening to Uncanny Japan before I go to sleep. Visitation of the Warrior 3. In the middle of the following night the samurai again came for him, and led him to the august assembly, where he gave another recitation with the same success that had attended his previous performance. Today on Uncanny Japan, I read you “Mimi-nashi Hoichi“, or “Hoichi The Earless,” arguably Mr. Hearn’s most well-known story. But the blind man held his breath, and sat motionless. He was particularly good at performing the Tale of the Heike, an epic describing the fall of Emperor Antoku, who is buried at Amidaji Temple. Kwaidan (DVD) : Consists of four stories of the supernatural based on Japanese folk material. [01:40] At the outset of his career, Hoichi was very poor; but he found a good friend to help him.  Hoichi is a young blind musician who plays the biwa. I wish I understood Thai. They caught hold of him;–they shouted into his ear,–, “Hoichi San!–Hoichi San!–come home with us at once!”, “To interrupt me in such a manner, before this august assembly, will not be tolerated.”. The story of his strange adventure spread far and wide, and soon made him famous. O-Tei. And lastly, another super sweet thing you can do is to write a review on iTunes. The head monk paints Hoichi's body with prayer verses to protect him, but unfortunately overlooks Hoichi's ears. These stories shed light into not only Japanese culture, but also idioms and quirks that have made their way across the globe. “Kaimon!” the samurai called,–and there was a sound of unbarring; and the twain passed on. Somebody crossed the garden, advanced to the verandah, and halted directly in front of him–but it was not the priest. / Tristan. [18:55] Then, from the roadway, he heard the steps coming. [11:00] After Hoichi had duly expressed his thanks, a woman’s hand conducted him to the entrance of the house, where the same retainer, who had before guided him, was waiting to take him home. From either side of his head, the blind man felt a thick warm trickling; but he dared not lift his hands…. Spectral Performance 8. [20:35] At that instant Hoichi felt his ears gripped by fingers of iron, and torn off! This story comes from “Kwaidan”, a classic collection of Japanese ghost stories written by Lafcadio Hearn in 1904. Definitely recommend giving this podcast a listen if you love Japanese folktales. – – I cannot know who calls!”, [03:46] “There is nothing to fear,” the stranger exclaimed, speaking more gently. ( Log Out / The Great Battle 2. Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi. Kwaidan subtitles. [21:46] “Poor, poor Hoichi!” the priest exclaimed,– “all my fault! Learn how your comment data is processed. The Ghosts Call for Hoichi 6. The hand that guided was iron; and the clank of the warrior’s stride proved him fully armed,– probably some palace-guard on duty. He heard also a great humming of voices,– talking in undertones; and the speech was the speech of courts. Midnight passed; and the priest did not appear. I’m a fan of Japan and folklore and this is a great mix of the two. There the Heike perished utterly, with their women and children, and their infant emperor likewise--now remembered as Antoku Tenno. The story of his strange adventure spread far and wide, and soon made him famous. Thank you so much! Thank you Terry--you are brilliant and talented and the music by your son is super. After having taken his place upon it, and tuned his instrument, the voice of a woman — whom he divined to be the Rojo, a matron in charge of the female service — addressed him, saying,–, [07:31] “It is now required that the history of the Heike be recited, to the accompaniment of the biwa.”, [07:41] Now the entire recital would have required a time of many nights: therefore Hoichi ventured a question:–, [07:51] “As the whole of the story is not soon told, what portion is it augustly desired that I now recite?”, [08:03] “Recite the story of the battle at Dan-no-ura,– for the pity of it is the most deep.”. Thank you, I’m Thersa Matsuura, and I’ll talk to you soon. After Hoichi had duly expressed his thanks, a woman’s hand conducted him to the entrance of the house, where the same retainer, who had before guided him, was waiting to take him home. Image source:https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/78/1f/a3/781fa3dbee8f842c0f01e53694075c14.jpg. ‘Hoichi the Earless’ is the longest and most visually ornate of the three tales. Enregistrée par Summer Fox. [13:03] On the very next night, Hoichi was seen to leave the temple; and the servants immediately lighted their lanterns, and followed after him. The tales are well researched and incredibly well told. A classic collection of four Japanese Horror stories. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. On dark nights thousands of ghostly fires hover about the beach, or flit above the waves,–pale lights which the fishermen call Oni-bi, or demon-fires; and, whenever the winds are up, a sound of great shouting comes from that sea, like a clamor of battle. Hoichi donned his sandals, took his biwa, and went away with the stranger, who guided him deftly, but obliged him to walk very fast. 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