Omen of the Crab Temple – 5th Day of Urban Dionysia

The Διονύσια τὰ ἀστικά ‘Urban Dionysia’, are the last Dionysian celebrations of the Hellenic lunar calendar. They close the yearly events in boreal spring – austral fall – with other rituals, dances and performances. Each day of Dionysia, I introduce in a few words, a piece of performance art from anyone in the world, at any moment of history, and that I want to share. This includes: theatre, opera, dance, body art, music video and cinema.

The fifth work is a shadow play, which I consider to be an intense meditative art for metaphysical reasons. Today’s play is a short silhouette animation made in Japan in 1924. It’s title, 【蟹満寺縁起】 [Kanimanji Engi] (‘Omen of the Crab Temple’) refers to the story of a woman who, after having saved a crab, is saved in her turn by a legion of crabs. 奥田秀彦 Hidehiko Okuda, 内田吐夢 Tomu Uchida and 木村白山 Hakuzan Kimura directed and performed together this short, simple but bright and delicate masterpiece almost one century ago. The ethical speech found in this puppetry artwork is accessible to all and doesn’t look a day older.

Here is the 【list of previous posts】 for the Urban Dionysia.

2 thoughts on “Omen of the Crab Temple – 5th Day of Urban Dionysia

    1. True. Technically, compassionate ethics oppose many features of nature’s needs. This is why people who are thinking deep are always torn apart in their search. This ‘impossibility’, and maybe uselessness, brings to the whole quest a beauty and a painful splendour by itself.


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