Kurozuka and Throne of Blood

Read the play “Black Mound” or Kurozuka (PDF). With your partner, watch the Kurozuka clip, from (7:00-24:00). Take note of the sense of ma, that is, the interval between beats created by the drums, singers, stomping, and stillness. What might be the purpose of the slowing of time in the spinning scene? What emotion is expressed and how does the ma enhance that? 

Now watch the Throne of Blood clip (13:00-20:00), which references the Noh scene. In this scene, Macbeth and Banque are returning from a victory on the battlefield and encounter a witch that gives a prophecy. Macbeth will be king and Banquo will be the father of kings. Kurosawa (the director) sets the play in feudal (Samurai) Japan, the same period in which Noh theatre was at its height. Why do you think Kurosawa used the Noh imagery from Kurozuka in his depiction of the scene? 

29 thoughts on “Kurozuka and Throne of Blood”

  1. Cristian Reyes
    Chase James
    The emotion was sadness, she was in distress and mourning the past. The purpose of the spinning scene was that it symbolize time and the change of seasons.
    Kurosawa uses Noh imagery in Throne of Blood because it would be more intense and entertaining and it doesn’t have to be slow.

  2. Richard Guerra and Shaina Williams

    Kurosawa used Noh imagery for this scene because the spinning wheel represents the passage of time and is used to give a sense of familiarity to the audience. The witch uses this wheel as her scrying tool to predict the future of Macbeth and Banquo.

  3. Name: Nicholas Cabrera, Joshua Cando

    The purpose of the spinning wheel is to slow down the time of the scene so that it can create a sense of suspense as she tells the person there destiny which was represented by the thread. The emotion that was expressed was a sense of fear because she was explaining their destiny.

  4. Members: Kenneth, Dariel

    The time is slowed when the lady spins the wheel, and this along with the music gives off an unsettling feeling. The purpose of the wheel spinning is to represent the passage of time, and because the time slows, suspense is created. The main emotion being felt from the woman is likely regret, as she regrets not being able to do more with her life as she reminisces.

    For the throne of the blood clip, the Noh was used probably because the wheel is supposed to represent time, and as a witch, she’s able to look into the future. The Noh imagery probably enhanced the understanding for the audience, showing that the witch related to time in some way.

  5. Group 5
    Daniela Tomaino
    Nathaniel Maldonado

    The slowing down of time during the spinning wheel scene shows us how to pay attention to minor details. It also makes us reflect on her self-inflicted pitty. The ma enhances the pitty because the beat has a slow tempo. In the modern world we are used to fast paced life. It becomes difficult to see/hear things slow.

    They used the Noh imagery in the image because of the symbolism of the slow moving wheel. It shows how things change over time. Time is constantly running the same way the wheel was constantly moving.

  6. – We believe that the time was slowed down fro that particular scene so you an understand the emotion that she was going through. She was crying while thing about her life as a youth, she was filled with sorrow and grief. This scene expressed these emotions by slowing time so you have a better understanding of her. They used not imagery because you got a better understanding of the emotions in the scene, not a rushed feeling. You watched bit by bit and understood what was being done.
    (Danielley Ostolaza, Kimmar Mightly)

  7. The purpose of slowing time represents the way of how humans are taking up time and not showing their thoughts in a true way. Ma represents how she is feeling, (bitter, and sad). This is due to her feeling as if she lost time in her own life.

    By: Anai Ortiz and Jessica Cruz

  8. Jaskinderpal Sunda
    He decided to use the Noh imagery from Kurozuka because he wants the audience to diverge themselves from one’s emotion and become one within themselves. In this case, the person you were trying to diverge from was the witch, she was deemed as the evil one. After receiving the reaction from the Macbeth and Banque, I believe that’s the person you should never want to be like.

  9. The purpose of the slowing in time scene from Black Mound portrays how the woman was mourning about her past and the weaving of the machine conveyed her sad story to the audience.
    Kurosawa used the Noh imagery from Kurozuka in his depiction of the scene to convey how the spinning wheel in the scene shows the present and the future. For example the witch told Macbeth that as if that day he would rule as king although as the witch kept spinning the wheel telling her prophecy she prophesied that Banque’s son would also rule as king.

    Christina Gomes, RonaldPerla

  10. Group:
    Daniella Abramova
    Kevin Martinez
    Solwazi Cunningham

    In the play “Black Mound” and the video “Throne of Blood”, we found that the main purpose is the spinning of the wheel. The wheel emphasizes the emotion of sadness, time, and the mourning of the past. We believe that it was a ghost that came to visit as well. Kurozuka used the Noh imagery from Kurozuka in the depiction of the scene by showing slow movement and the tone of their voices when they speak to have a good understanding of the play and video.

  11. Group:
    Aaron Arroyo
    Christie Ndreu

    In the Noh play Black Mound, the slow pace and use of ma is used to show a sense of sorrow and dread as the women regrets how long and sad her life has been.
    In the movie Throne of Blood, the two Samurai encounter a spirit who is in a similar situation as the women in Black Mound, spinning a wheel in makeshift hut in the middle of the forest. Kurosawa uses this same scene to show dread and sorrow of what will come. The wheel turning represents the turning of time, it seems slow now but because the two Samurai will eventually come to turn blades into each other.

  12. Luke Hahn
    Mannixs Paul Jr

    Kurosawa utilizes the Noh imagery to set the emotional tone of the scene; a tense moment in time. It is also used to depict time itself with the thread spinner being spun faster when giving the Macbeth equivalent his fortune, which is similar to how it is used in the play; the thread spinner in the play being spun slower as a sign of reflection on the past.

  13. Elijah Rickman
    Brian Anner

    The purpose showing the “Black Mound” scene in the “Throne of Blood” was to try and give more Japanese traditional sets. We also think the wheel scene was to emphasize the emotion of sadness.

  14. Group 10: Sheriff Safie and Jacky Leung

    Kurosawa used the Noh imagery from Kurozuka to express the passage of time to the audience. For every question, the witch would spin the wheel then give an answer to the men. We believe that each time the witch spins the wheel, it is an example of her looking more into the future. These actions allow the audience to understand the passage of time and emotion in the scene.

  15. Group: Robertxander Bello and Zhen Deng
    The slowness of the spirit creature (old man) allows the audience to focus on the prophecy. The use of a Noh play scene would be more relatable to the audience and fit the time.

  16. Group:
    Emilia Ilarda
    Nick Mallios

    The purpose of Kurozawa incorporating the scene from Noh is to foreshadow the future death of the characters. In Macbeth, a lot of the play has to do with spirits haunting Macbeth and impending violence. The Noh theatre involves characters in the form of spirits. By incorporating Noh into Macbeth allows for great integration between Western and Eastern theatre by using similar themes.

  17. Group:
    Antonios Vandoulakis
    Jonathan Vasquez

    The purpose of slowing down time in the spinning scene was for the audience to understand and feel the same feeling that women was going through at that time. The emotion that was expressed is definitely sadness and ma enhances that because of everything that is being said , as well as the music in the background or the way the movie is being played.

    Kurosawa used Noh imagery from Kurosaka to make the audience feel the intensity between the actors and actresses,as well as create some type of suspense for the audience.

  18. Group:
    Marcelo Fernadnez
    Thomas Vaez

    The purpose was to depict that life of a man is meaningless in a ways that it is an endless cycle. The wheel would represent the endless cycle. At the end of the scene when the cage disappears they are surrounded by dead body’s which will eventually be them.

  19. Ngawang Tseten and Peter Vandoulakis

    What might be the purpose of the slowing of time in the spinning scene? What emotion is expressed and how does the ma enhance that?

    The purpose of the spinner is to keep track of time and to introduce the important moments in the dialog by slowing down. Sadness and confusion are two emotions expressed and the ma is used to indicate the transition between the two emotions.

    Why do you think Kurosawa used the Noh imagery from Kurozuka in his depiction of the scene?

    Kurosawa used the Noh imagery because it embodied the idea of the supernatural really well. In the theatrical notion, the lady and the wheel are somewhere in between the real world and the supernatural so using them as a narrator for the supernatural forecasting the future really makes sense. In addition the parallel of the setting(woods) makes sense.

  20. Garcelle, Jasmine

    The slowing of time in the spinning scene depicts how sad the character is and how she is stuck within the past unable to move forward in life. Having so many regrets and remorse that it eats away at her. The ma pushes the theme of sadness that is happening throughout it.

    We believed that Kurosawa used the noh imagery from Kurozuka in this scene to create a pause in time to show a very altering situation for the warriors. The imagery is kind of used as a juxtaposition for the good news the spirit brought to the warriors. Yet the song gave off an unsettling feeling that there was worse yet to come.

  21. Cinthia Gallardo
    Kimberly Mora Bello
    -The purpose of the slowing of time in the spinning scene was used to symbolically demonstrate the movement of time speeding up as the witch foresees the future of Macbeth and Banque as she spins the wheel faster, the deeper into the future she’s able to see. The witch slows down at times to show she’s back to the present time. Kurosawa used the Noh imagery to depict the emotional tone of the scene and as it progresses, we can feel the suspense building up to the final act.

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