Noh-play, Japanese theater form

"Noh play", one kind of japanese traditional performing arts, has a long history of over six hundreds years. Noh developed so good reputation that every foreign tourist is keen to go seeing the performance.

I attended the workshop of this Noh play a few weeks ago. A good friend of me, Titus (See his blog in German as well.), has invited me because we both are interested in it. We learned that:

  • all actors/actress wear a special hand-made wooden mask, which express who is it, how its emotion is. For example, the character on the right picture is a happy young woman. One things to be mentioned, the characters are usually supposed to be dead persons.Noh play
  • there exist a highly sophisticated way of walking and standing so that they have specific "aura" around them. Because the Noh theater itself is surrounded by audience of 180 degrees i.e. the characters are supposed to be seen from side as well. If you compare this to other entertainment performance such as opera, concert, you know, their performances are intended to be watched from the front direction.

Here I will explain one real story of Noh. I and Titus are going to see the play this month.

"Yu-gao from the Tail of Genji"

-Background-

In the Heian-period, around A.D. 1100, there was Yugao, a young woman. She loved Hikarugenji so much that she would like to be with him forever. However, her dream could not be come true. She was killed by a strongly grudged female ghost who also loved Hikarugenji.

-Story-

Now Yugao lives in a spiritual world. She is remembering her good memory with Hikarugenji. In the play, she will express her happiness to being with Hikarugenji, and lonelyness in this dead world by her gorgeous dance.

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