This chapter presents one of Izumi Kyōka's most daringly poetic and symbolist works, The Ruby. In the play, the theme of a woman's adultery is told almost entirely in a chain of connected images, many of them (as is typical in Kyōka) color-coded: flowers and rainbows, a ruby ring, crows, pampas grass, autumn wind, and swirling leaves. As in the nō drama, Kyōka's ornate language conjures up a world, and much of what occurs is related to us rather than enacted. A maid in the service of a wealthy couple confesses to the jealous husband how a crow has stolen a ruby from the ring on her mistress's finger, a gem that is then found by a stranger who agrees to return it only on condition that the mistress dress as a crow to retrieve it; he soon becomes her lover.
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