Legend of the Burning Bell – The Demoness of Dojoji

A painting of a Japanese dragon breathing flames

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A Japanese legend of desire, transformation and burning retribution, retold in words and music

When obsession and betrayal corrupt the flower of young love, how far can a girl go for revenge before it swallows her whole? Join Kabuki musician Yui Shikakura and storyteller Laura Sampson for a fresh-eyed take on one of Japan's most vivid and well-loved legends.

For over a millennium the story of the bell and the demoness of Dojoji has inspired an epic sweep of art forms. From noh and kabuki to folktale and film, the story has been retold through the eyes of temple priests, innocent bystanders, fashionable guests and by the wise sage voices of traditional song. But what about the young girl herself, transformed by rage into something unrecognisable? It is her emotions that bring this new retelling to life, with spoken words (in contemporary English) enriched by sung extracts (in classical Japanese) from the Kabuki and Nagauta versions of the same story.

Laura Sampson is a performance storyteller and vocalist. She has practised noh since 2011, and draws inspiration from the stories of the noh repertory. She also co-produces annual summer school Noh Training Project UK at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Dr Yui Shikakura is a London-based Japanese performer, teacher and ethnomusicologist. She studied Kabuki and traditional Japanese music at Tokyo University of the Arts, and her creative practice includes residencies and workshops all over the world.


Name: Legend of the Burning Bell – The Demoness of Dojoji
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £13.00
Member: £13.00
Senior 60+: £11.00
Student: £6.50
Registered Unemployed: £6.50
Disabled: £6.50
Under 18: £6.50
18-25: £6.50
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546