“An angry fox came looking for you. He left this” – His mother gives him a sword. “Unless they forgive you, I can’t let you in.” The young boy, perhaps seven, pads gently through a surrealistic field of easter colored flowers to a rainbow washed across by white snow seed.
The Peach Orchard – An older boy, walks across a tatami mat and soon enters the chamber of six girls – He stares momentarily at the ceramics of dead ancestors on the ledges opposite multi-colored shoes destined to stay at the proper place behind the sliding doors. He asks where the sixth girl went. He sees her and follows her as his mother calls after him to stay. “Hey there, little boy. We have something to tell you. We’ll never go to your house again,” say the beautiful porcelain dolls. Humans now, they add why and they tell him – His family cut down all of the beautiful peach trees. He cries.
The dolls must vote whether to let him see their peach trees in full bloom again. Each costume of the four tiers of the dolls speaks of a separate order of sacred silk, based on religious value.
As the dolls dance, each movement signifies a certain expression of the drama of the theatre, showering the boy with an whole orchard of cherry blossom – A melody of an old time Christian church song – As the director chose blends of beautiful rhyme and color and music throughout the eight stories to express perfectly each parable of every story. The boy’s findings that all of the dolls changed to the stump of tiny trees – This represents the forgiveness and loss of the dolls who perished to save and give him a gift.
The Blizzard – A group of men trapped in the midst of a mighty blizzard, “It’s getting dark again.” They puzzle at the predicament they have gotten themselves in. “Are we on course? Enough! I’m sick of listening to you,” he tells the men who misadvised him. The men soon die, while frozen in the snow – A woman singing a beautiful and holy song saves them from their lives, as she places boughs of pine atop their frozen souls. 雪は暖かいです。. “The snow is warm,” she comforts him. Her white, illuminated robes, she as bright as a savior, lays also a garment of peace across him – The atmosphere as quiet as when angels come, and seemingly still the whole earth around you. She presses him down and he cannot move. As he is dead, she dies. As he lives, he comes alive to see only the white linen garment she wore adrift at the edge of the sky.
A parable as each of the stories of the seven fairy tales come alive. The one man saved, saves all of the rest, and awaking find themselves at home.
The Tunnel – This parable, more of a warning, a prophecy and a nightmare begins with a beaten down and abused and bloodied dog who wears a saddle on his back filled with bombs – A soldier coming up on him treads gently away from the dog. Fearing to disturb him, he transcends the other side of the tunnel. Soon, a chalk-blue soldier, dead, Private Noguchi arrives. “I can’t believe I’m really dead. I went home. I ate the special cakes my mother made me.”
“It was a dream – You dreamed it while you were unconscious.” He cannot leave this world, as his parents do not believe he is dead. “But it’s a fact. You died.” Filled with the expressive life of all of their great sorrows, the general’s whole dead army marches to him – He has no explanation for the casualties he failed to guard – Perhaps preoccupied with his private dreams, he claims he suffered greater than they.
“I know your suffering and torture were much greater.” He claims he could have possibly have saved them all – He admits he knows that they were treated like dogs. He begs them to go back to where they came from, and rest in peace. “Third Platoon, about face!” “March,” he commands. Even in death, they follow his orders and depart. Although this skit opened with the men howling over ponds, as red as blood – The parodies go on with the story of the Crows, as a young Japanese artist admiring a collection of Van Gogh at a gallery – Especially, Starry, Starry Night and his self-portrait among others.
He goes to the famous artist’s home place, where women wash clothes at a river. Of Vincent Van Gogh, they warn him, “Be careful. He’s been in the insane asylum.” They all laugh. “Why are’nt you painting?” Vincent teaches the young Japanese man to devour the scenery and paint. “Then what do you do?” “I work. I slave. I drive myself like a locomotive.” The sun compels him to paint – He must work while it is bright. I watched them (the black birds) even though I was kept a prisoner in his paintings, he thinks.
At Mt. Fugi In Red, “This is the end of the world,” his wife looks up from her child briefly.