The International Noh Institute is a group of international practitioners studying noh chant, dance and mask carving with Kongō school noh actors Udaka Tatsushige and Norishige, and with mask carver Udaka Keiko. Our mission is to deepen our understanding of noh, and to provide access to the world of noh to those who are interested in experiencing its practice.
Udaka Tatsushige (Chant and Dance Instructor)
Profile: Born in Kyoto in 1981, Udaka Tatsushige has trained under the 26th head of the Kongo school, Kongō Hisanori, as well as his father, Udaka Michishige. He started his career as a child actor at the age of three, and is now a professional noh performer. In addition to his career on stage, he has extensive experience in teaching nō, presenting workshops for beginners and lecture-demonstrations not only in Japan, but also in South Korea, France, and the U.S. In 2015 he founded his independent yearly performance series, “Tatsushige no Kai.” In 2017 he began posting videos on his Youtube channel, “Tatsushige no Kai” as part of his activities to further disseminate and popularize nō. His is currently active primarily in Kyoto.
Message: I think nō is a theatre art that is like a time machine which allows us to experience various parallel worlds. By using your imagination to connect your life with the past and the future, you can experience the richness of the world around you that you have been unaware of. Another attractive feature of nō is that not only can you watch it, but you can also practice it yourself. If you have an interest in nō, and a little courage, please feel free to contact us.
Udaka Norishige (Chant and Dance Instructor)
Profile: Born in Kyoto in 1985, Udaka Norishige has trained under the 26th head of the Kongō school, Kongō Hisanori, as well as having trained and performed with his father, Udaka Michishige, since childhood. Now, as a professional nō actor of the Kongō school, he appears regularly as a member of the troupe in Japan and has appeared in many performances overseas. In addition to his career on stage, he is deeply involved in activities to disseminate and popularize nō including teaching, university nō circle tuition, coaching movement for film, and providing training opportunities designed for beginners.
Message: Nō is difficult, but it’s fun. When you know something about it, actually experiencing it makes it even more exciting.
Udaka Keiko (Mask Carving Instructor)
Profile: Born in Kyoto in 1980, in her childhood Udaka Keiko appeared on stage as a child actor with her father, Udaka Michishige, Kongō school nō performer and mask carver. After graduating from the Department of Fine Arts of the Kyoto City University of the Arts, she concentrated her efforts on studying mask carving with her father. Currently Keiko is teaching mask carving and leading workshops in addition to carving masks in order to disseminate and popularize nō and nō masks.
Message: In introducing nō masks, it is even said that “the leading actor in nō is the nō mask,” their role in nō is of such importance. The wood, light when you hold it in your hands, has within it a profound history passed down from long ago. Combining traditional techniques from the past along with exploring new experiments, you can feel a world of nō masks that transcends time. The more you know about nō masks and the various emotions people have created that dwell within them, the more fascinating they become.
Diego Pellecchia (Coordinator – Kyoto)
Diego Pellecchia is a certified Noh instructor (shihan). He started studying Noh in Italy with Monique Arnaud in 2006. In 2012 he moved to Kyoto to continue his training with Udaka Michishige. Currently he studies with Udaka Tatsushige and Norishige. In 2013 he took the shite role in the full Noh Kiyotsune, which he performed at the Kongō Nōgakudō in Kyoto. Diego holds a PhD in Drama from Royal Holloway, University of London, and has published widely on Noh theatre and its reception outside Japan. He is Associate Professor at Kyoto Sangyo University, Faculty of Cultural Studies. Follow his personal blog on Noh here.
Rebecca Teele Ogamo (Supervisor – Kyoto)
Rebecca Teele Ogamo started training in Noh and mask carving with Udaka Michishige in 1972. She received her Kongō school shihan (certified instructor) license in 1980 and became the first non-Japanese member of the Noh Performers’ Association in 1996. She has performed the shite role in eight Noh beginning with Hagoromo in 1976 and most recently Yuki in 2010. She has presented workshops, demonstrations, and lectures in the USA, Brazil, and New Zealand, assisting with the production there of The Dazzling Night, by Rachel McAlpine and directed by INI member John Davies. She is particularly committed to creating Noh masks for women performers. In 2003 she was one of the recipients of the Kyoto Prefecture Akebono Prize for contributions by women to the prefecture.
Monique Arnaud (INI representative – Italy)
Monique Arnaud began studying Noh with Udaka Michishige in 1984 and is now studying with Udaka Tatsushige and Norishige. She received her Kongō school shihan (certified instructor) license in 1991. She has taken the shite role in the Noh plays Hashitomi, Hagoromo, Tomoe, Aoinoue, and Makiginu. In 2013 she took the tsure role in Kiyotsune. In 1998 she opened the Italian Branch of the INI in Milan, teaching Noh chant and dance of the Kongō School tradition. While teaching drama and musical direction at IUAV University of Venice, she has trained her students in the basics of Noh chant and dance. She has directed productions influenced by Noh principles which have been produced and staged by Italian theatres and at international music festivals. She continues her work as an opera and drama director in Italy, Japan, Spain, and China. Arnaud is the only licensed Noh instructor resident in Europe and teaches Noh chant and dance privately and in universities and drama schools.
Angela Mayumi Nagai (INI representative – Brazil)
Ângela Mayumi Nagai started her training in shimai and utai with Udaka Michishige as a Japan Foundation Fellow in 1997. During her second stay in Japan in 2003, she was certified as an instructor of basic Noh techniques as taught by INI. She performed with other students in Matsuyama and Kyoto during her visits to Japan. In 2012 she received her PhD in Arts from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), in Brazil. Since her return to Brazil she has given lectures, and workshops and taught Noh dance and chant to Brazilian artists. She has also continued to be active in developing new contemporary creations and academic collaborations on Noh. An active member of the Brazilian Association of Nohgaku, (composed of Japanese immigrants and Brazilians), she performed the shite role in Hagoromo in São Paulo in 2014, 2016, and 2019, as well as other roles. As an INI representative in Brazil, she works towards the spread of Noh across South America. Currently, she is also a regular trainer of body language for actors and a Yoga instructor and is continuing her training in Noh with Udaka Tatsushige.