Ho'ichi, the Ear Less is a play in English based on a Japanese ghost fable written by Yakumo Koizumi. The production marks New York debuts for two Japanese artists: Ryo Onodera has his playwriting debut and Kanako Hiyama has her directing debut.
The plot is a Japanese ghost fable. Ho'ichi is a blind man works in a Buddhist temple. Although he is also a great player of Biwa, the Japanese classical guitar, his visual handicap has caused him to be regarded as useless in the time of Samurai Era. One day, a nobleman from a Samurai family approaches Ho'ichi and asks to come to a castle to play Biwa for his mistress. It is Ho'ichi's first chance to perform before a large audience; his delight in playing is ecstatic and the performance earns him huge applause. The concert goes extremely well until the monk of the temple where Ho'ichi lives discovers that the noble Samurai is a ghost. The monk knows that when the ghost returns, it will be with an invitation from hell, and so he sets out to protect his ward from perdition. Using Buddhist calligraphy, the monk manages to conceal Ho'ichi's body from the ghost except for the musician's ear, which is seized by the spirit.