Yomei Tenno Shokunin Kagami (The Mirror of Craftsmen of the Emperor Yomei) (用明天皇職人鑑)

Yomei Tenno Shokunin Kagami (The Mirror of Craftsmen of the Emperor Yomei) is a play written by Monzaemon CHIKAMATSU for Bunraku (Japanese puppet theater).

Summary of the Play
This is a Bunraku play, first performed in 1705 in Gidayu-bushi (a style of Joruri [dramatic narrative chanted to a shamisen accompaniment]). The scriptwriter was Izumo TAKEDA. Takemoto (the famous chanter who established Gidayu-bushi) intended to retire after "Sonezaki Shinju" (The Love Suicides at Sonezaki), a masterpiece of Monzaemon CHIKAMATSU, became popular and well known, but Izumo TAKEDA persuaded him not to, and wrote a script for this play in 1705; this is how the play was produced.

Content of the Play

The story is that Imperial Prince Hanahito, later Emperor Yomei, is a pious Buddhist and confronts Prince Yamabiko, anti-Buddhist and son of Emperor Bidatsu. As the story develops, Imperial Prince Hanahito who believes in Buddhism ousts Prince Yamabiko of anti-Buddhist faction in the end.

Connection with Prince Shotoku
This play is characterized by the adoption of legends handed down through generations, associated with Prince Shotoku, a member of imperial family in the Asuka period as well, whose father is said to be Emperor Yomei, the model of the main character.