98. The moon’s four strings (Tsuki no yotsu no o)

The blind musician tuning a string on his biwa is Semimaru, a 10th-century poet of noble birth, who once served prince Atsuzane at the imperial court, but retired to live alone on Mount Ausaka near Kyoto. His life inspired a Noh play, which has the following verse: "The first string and the second sound wildly - the autumn wind brushes the pines and falls with broken notes - the third string and the fourth - the fourth string is myself, Semimaru - and four are the strings of the biwa I play." (printed August 1891)