THE BOW OF HACHIMAN
a god play by kanze motokiyo zeami
translated by Ross Bender
These lines express the true theme of the play. The work presents an image of Hachiman in his tutelary aspect; this is the Heian conception of the god, and that most closely associated with the Iwashimizu shrine and the protection of the emperor. Near the end of the play Hachiman is revealed as a Bodhisattva, the symbol of profound and eternal compassion. But the Bodhisattva is seen as having a political function: not only does he release living beings, but he protects the emperor as well.