Money vs Love in the Play Twilight of a Crane by Kinoshta

Love is the driving force of the world. Hence, it has become the theme of many arts and crafts including poems, paintings, films, dramas and short stories. In the Japanese Drama Twilight of a Crane, the playwright Yu Zuwa Junji Kinoshita brings out the same phenomenon. This drama is based on a Japanese folklore which is called as Yuzuru. Crane is considered as the symbol of happiness, longevity and the prosperity in Japan. Kinoshita is tactful enough to bring out the adverse effects of capitalism in his drama as well.

The drama is set in a remote and rural area. In the midst of a snow blanketed field Tsu and Yohyo built their nest and led a harmonious life. The love of this couple is depicted throughout their conversations. Tsu is a bewitched hen crane who lives in the shape of a woman. Innocence and the simplicity is depicted in her whole character. She used to play with children. The adults who are popular among the children could be taken as kind hearted people.
“Tsu yan, Tsu yan let us play…” Children use ‘Tsu yan’ to call Tsu. In Japan this suffix is used to show the intimacy between the addresser and the addressee. Yoyho is also a modest character. When Tsu was not there at the home, he came out to play with the children. But at the same time, he returned home to warm the soup for Tsu.

“Cold soup is no good for my sweetheart” This statement clearly depicts the affection and care of Yohyo towards his wife. He treated in a warm loving manner to Tsu. His kindheartedness is revealed as he rescued the life of an injured crane.

Tsu also loves her husband in the bottom of her heart. She is an uncorrupted woman whose heart is filled with love and affection. She loves to the whole world. Her little world is fabricated around her husband. She expects to live her whole life with Yohyo by working on the field and playing with children.

The whole harmonious situation has been uprooted with the arrival of Sodo and Unzu. They were able to convert Yohyo into a money minded and corrupted character. In front of money, love decays slowly. Hence, Yohyo threatened Tsu to weave another piece of ‘Senba Ori’ irrespective of the pledge.

Love depends on the faithfulness and the trustworthiness. When Yohyo broke the pledge and threatened Tsu to leave her, her heart was broken. The peace and the harmony fled from the back door when money enters from the front. Finally, Tsu decided to leave Yohyo forever as her secret is revealed and the pledge between them has been broken.

Yohyo’s money mindedness brought him the destruction at the end. Though he got Senba Ori, he lost the most valuable asset of the life. Therefore, the tragic drama ‘Twilight of a Crane’ clearly depicts that.

This article was kindly borrowed from Dilshan's blog: with the permission of him. You can visit to read some creatively crafted posts related to G.C.E.(O/L) English Literature.   

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  1. thanks ,really helped , can you please add some more explanation on the characters of sodo and unzu if possible ;)