Noh (world’s oldest form of full-scale theater) June 21st 2014

Noh(world’s oldest form of full-scale theater)

June 21st 2014

Last night I went to National Noh Theater to watch Noh and Kyogen.

There are three major traditional theater arts in Japan, namely Noh, Bunraku and Kabuki.

Noh was established in 14th century while Bunraku and Kabuki ,established in 17th century, are descended from Noh.

Noh originated from sarugaku which was the assortment of Japanese ancient songs ,dances, religious rites and farming ceremonies and so on.

Kan-ami and his son, Ze-ami evolved sarugaku into sophisticated musical drama during Muromachi period with the strong support from Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.

Noh are played on the specially designed stage by Noh players who dance and sing, musicians for traditional instruments and group singers.

Traditional instruments, traditional songs, player’s traditional performance and the special stage bring audience to extraordinary fantasy world.

Last night’s program was Uneme which is the sad love story of the Emperor’s mistress.

This was written by Ze-ami around 600 years ago, however the story and performance remain unchanged. The drama has kept moving Japanese audience for 600 years and survives to this day.


Noh stage ( National Noh Theater)