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Seki no to

Sekibei versus Sumizome.

Sakura Sumizome is the spirit of a Cherry Tree from the kabuki play Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To.

In the play, Yoshimine Munesada is playing the koto under a cherry tree at his house with his fiancee Komachi-hime and his gatekeeper Sekibei. In a drunken stupor, Sekibei reveals that he has stolen a couple of imperial seals and aims to rule over the entire country, but Komachi-hime confiscates the seals, and Sekibei leaves in anger.

In the meantime, Munesada has received a hawk carrying the bloodied sleeve of his brother Yasusada, and a dying message that he was killed by Otomo Kuronushi, who is now coming after Munesada himself. Unbeknownst to Munesada, Sekibei is Kuronushi disguised.

In the evening, Munesada is praying when the drunken Sekibei enters and Munesada quickly hides the sleeve in a nearby koto. Though he peppers Sekibei with questions, the gatekeeper manages to evade revealing his true identity.

Munesada leaves and Sekibei begins drinking again to celebrate his narrow escape. Drunkenly, he decides to cut down the cherry tree in the yard and make it into incense. When he tests his ax against the nearby koto, the bloodied sleeve falls out, and the Imperial Seals Sekibei has hidden fly up into the Cherry Tree. Sekibei tries to attack the tree, but he is suddenly frozen by magical power.

At this moment, Yasusada's beloved courtesan, Sumizome appears, and reveals herself to be the spirit of the tree, having fallen in love with Yasusada at first sight and taken human form to be with him. She tells Sekibei that as a youkai, she knows his true identity, and she must take revenge for her true love's death. Sekibei removes his disguise, and the two begin a life-or-death struggle, Sekibei with his ax and Sumizome with her magic.