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Full high-quality videos of three nō plays, with English and Japanese subtitles

This introduction to Noh, part of an initiative to make traditional arts accessible during the pandemic, offers videos of three Noh performances related to famous historical sites in Kyoto: ·      Kiyomizu Temple, where KAGETSU takes place·      Kifune Shrine and Seimei Shrine which relate to KANAWA·    Awata Shrine and other shrines related to swordsmiths and the craft of sword making in the Awataguchi area, which relate to KOKAJI Hakutō (a powerful variation of the standard Noh KOKAJI)

Video link URL

Project description:

The Culture & Arts Profitability Enhancement Project is a project of the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with Yamaha Corporation, to enhance the profitability of traditional arts and organizations experiencing a sharp decline in revenue due to COVID-19 through introducing new initiatives.

Features:

Each video starts with an introduction to the Kongō Noh Theatre by the Head of the Kongo School, Kongō Hisanori. An introduction to stage properties used in the Noh follows, with an actor explaining and demonstrating the use of the props and stage movement where appropriate. Another actor then narrates the history of each site accompanied by scenes of the locations. This introduction also includes a synopsis of the noh with scenes from the performance. The Head of the School then introduces the masks used in each noh. His introductions to the masks include Muromachi and Edo period masks and examples of mask types for comparison. (For example: two Kasshiki masks when introducing, KAGETSU; two Deigan masks in introducing KANAWA, and two Tobide masks in introducing KOKAJI Hakutō).

Details and price:

KAGETSU: 1:03:24

KANAWA:  1:22:08

KOKAJI Hakutō: 1:14:33

Audio: Japanese

Subtitles: English and Japanese

The videos are available for ¥2,160 for each play or ¥5,400 for the set of three plays.

These videos are available through the end of March 2021 and can be viewed for one month from the date of purchase. 

Play synopses:

KAGETSU, a young acolyte reunited with his father one spring day at Kiyomizu Temple, a scene one could imagine glimpsing among the cherry blossoms of the The Kiyomizu Temple Pilgrimage Mandala painted in the Warring States period (1467 – 1615).

KANAWA, what results when a woman, cast off by her husband for a new wife, prays for retribution in this lifetime rather than love and harmony at Kifune Shrine, (and her husband seeks the aid of diviner Abe no Seimei).

KOKAJI Hakutō, swordsmith Munechika, through the aid of the God of Inari appearing as an ancient and powerful white fox, is able to fulfill the dream oracle of the Emperor Ichijo regarding a sword.

[Video] Noh: “Shōjō” Featuring actors of the Kongō School of Noh

The video of Udaka Tatsushige’s full performance of the nō play Shōjō with English and Italian subtitles is now available online.

Tatsushige-sensei is the main instructor for the INI program, and Shōjō is one of the pieces that students learn during our Summer Intensive Training program. We are very much looking forward to resuming the program as soon as possible. In the meantime, please enjoy this video!

The performance was produced by Udaka Tatsushige and Udaka Norishige, and was filmed in the fall of 2020 at the Kongō Noh Theatre in Kyoto. Rebecca Teele Ogamo and Diego Pellecchia translated and curated the subtitles in English and Italian. We hope to be able to add subtitles in other languages soon. Play summary and credits below the video.

Video – The World of Noh

Watch “The World of Noh,” a video featuring excerpts from the Noh Tsunemasa (shite: Udaka Tatsushige) as well as interviews with actors and stage assistants. You can also catch a glimpse of the backstage preparations for the performance, in particular the costuming of the main actor. The video was filmed in October 2020 and is produced by Udaka Tatsushige and Haruna.