Noh, Japan’s performing art combining dance, music, drama, poetry and masks, is one of the world’s oldest extant performance traditions. Noh is a living art: originating in the fourteenth century from the confluence of various pre-existent genres, it has been transmitted uninterruptedly by generations of performers who continuously developed its techniques and aesthetics. Its plays portray a world where the boundaries of past, present, and future blur and our consciousness of memory, the moment, and anticipation of what is to come unite. The exceptional experience of such a moment is a primary reason for the appeal of Noh. In this singular environment, the spirits of elegant ladies and fierce warriors, gods and goddesses, flowering plants and demons appear and share nostalgic memories of their desires and attachments, and seek for solace and redemption.
Noh masks by Udaka Michishige