This year the annual Udaka Seiran Noh performance will feature the Noh Ataka with the very special kogaki (performance variations) ennen takinagashi, kai-tsuke kai-date. Udaka Michishige will take the leading shite role, while his sons Tatsushige and Norishige will take the tsure supporting roles as disguised yamabushi priests. Michishige’s eldest son Tatsushige will also perform his first Noh with a kogaki: Hagoromo (banshiki variation).
Minamoto no Yoshitsune, one of Japan’s tragic heros, is known as a talented and charismatic general, and as the lover of shirabyoshi dancer Shizuka Gozen. The relatiohship between Yoshitsune and his retainer, the warrior-monk Musashibo Benkei, is particularly celebrated in the Noh plays Hashi-Benkei, Funa-Benkei, and Ataka. In all of these Noh the role of Yoshitsune is played by a ko-kata, or child actor. In Ataka the role of Musashibo Benkei is taken by the shite, or main player.
In Ataka, Yoshitsune is trying to escape the unjustified wrath of his elder brother Yoritomo by fleeing to the south with a group of his men who are in the guise of yamabushi, mountain aescetics, led by Benkei. Officials at barrier checkpoints along the way have been warned to be on the lookout for the fugitives. Through the wit and audacity of Benkei they are able to pass at the Ataka Barrier. The high drama of intrigue as the group makes its escape, the loyalty of Benkei which gives him the strength to protect his master at a moment of extreme danger, the sympathy shown by the warden, Togashi, join to make this one of the most dramatic plays of the Noh repertory. The extemporaneous ‘reading’ of the scroll calling for donations, or Kanjincho, is a highlight of the play and the title of the Kabuki variation of this story.
(Rebecca Teele Ogamo)
The 15th Udaka Seiran Noh
Noh: Hagoromo (banshiki). Shite: UDAKA Tatsushige
Kyogen: Jisenseki Shite: SHIGEYAMA Shime, Ado: SHIGEYAMA Motohiko
– Intermission –
Noh: Ataka (ennen takinagashi, kai-tsuke kai-date)
Shite: Udaka Michishige
Place: The Kongo Noh Theatre, Nakadachiuri-agaru, Karasuma-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto. 602-0912. Subyway Karasuma-Imadegawa (K06), South Exit (n.6), walk South 300m.
Time: Sunday, 14th September 2014 13:30-17:00 p.m. (doors open at 13:00)
Tickets: center reserved seats 8,000 yen, side reserved seats 6,000 yen, general admission mid-center seats 5,000 yen, student general admission mid-center seats 3,000 yen
Synopses of the plays will be available at the theater in English, French, and Italian.
For information and tickets reservation please use the form below, or contact the Udaka-kai Office c/o Rebecca Teele Ogamo:
TEL: +81 090 9615 0886
FAX :+81 075 722 3668