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Kanazawa National Noh Theater

Watch And Experience Noh In Kanazawa! With English Guidance

Ishikawa 2019.07.05 Bookmark

Kanazawa City boasts a rich Noh theater culture. The Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater hosts a series of Noh performances with English guidance and workshops in July and August 2019. The shows include Noh theater and its comical counterpart, Kyogen. Tickets are only 1,000 yen!

Written by MATCHA-NEWS

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Visiting Kanazawa? Enjoy Noh Theater

Ishikawa Noh Theater

The Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater will host a series of nine events in July and August 2019 offering Noh and Kyogen performances with English guidance (*1). This series of events is called "Kanno no yube" (Evening Noh Theater) and will be held each Saturday from July 6 to August 31 starting from 17:00.

*1 Noh... A Japanese traditional performing art established around the latter half of the 14th century. A Noh performance consists of masked role-playing, chant, and dance.
Kyogen... A comical stage art that developed at the same time and together with Noh theater. Kyogen plays are often performed between two Noh plays as a comical interlude.

Before each performance, audience members can take part in a workshop where they can experience aspects of Noh and Kyogen performance such as playing instruments, dancing or chanting.

Watch And Experience Noh In Kanazawa! With English Guidance

Kanazawa has a deep connection with the world of Noh theater. This stage art has flourished here since before the Edo period (1603-1868) and has spread among both the ruling class and commoners.

You can notice this special feature of the city right from Kanazawa Station, whose symbol is the Tsuzumi Gate. "Tsuzumi" is the drum used to create the musical background of Noh performances.

Watching and experiencing Noh in this city will surely become a treasured memory of your visit.

Event Schedule and Highlights

The "Evening Noh Theater" series features a Noh performance and a Kyogen play each time. Audience members can take part in short workshops held before each performance from 15:30.

Date Noh Kyogen
July 6 Kocho (Butterfly) Gantsubute
July 13 Semimaru Kitsunezuka
July 20 Tsunemasa Funefuna
July 27 Sesshoseki (The Killing Stone)
Ashikari - Kasa no dan (dance only)
Sado Kitsune (The Fox from Sado)
August 3 Izutsu (The Well Head) Kobuuri
August 10 Yoro Onigawara
August 17 Zegai Futari Daimyo (Two Lords)
August 24 Nomori Sohachi
August 31 Suma Genji Koyakuneri

The Noh plays are all very famous works that have been enjoyed by audiences for centuries. For example, Kocho is the story of a butterfly fairy in love with the plum blossoms.

Tsunemasa is the story of a 12th-century military general who was very talented at playing the biwa, a traditional string instrument. This Noh play emphasizes the human side of a warrior.

Izutsu is a Noh masterpiece inspired by an old love story found in the "The Tales of Ise", a book written around 980. It tells the story of a woman whose ghost still haunts the place where she used to live together with her husband, even after hundreds of years after they both left this world.

Nomori tells the story of an ogre that is guarding the fields of Kasugano in Nara. He appears in front of an ascetic holding a magical mirror that shows heaven and hell, and then disappears.

All these stories and legends have been transmitted since times immemorial and are very dear to the Japanese people. Their Noh variants are easy to understand and full of dramatic details that engrave them in one's memory.

Nohgaku Experience - Noh Theater Workshops

Each performance is preceded by a workshop called Nohgaku Experience, where guests performers explain the content of the plays and give demonstrations of chant, dance, and instrument performance.

The workshops begin at 15:30 on the day of each performance.

Please note that, in order to be able to go on the Noh stage, the participants are required to wear tabi (traditional Japanese socks). Tabi are lent at the venue free of charge. However, it is recommended that you make a reservation specifying your shoe size and the number of tickets you wish to reserve at this e-mail address: dentoubunka@pref.ishikawa.lg.jp (E-mails in English are accepted.)

Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater - A Historical Stage

Kanazawa National Noh Theater

The venue of this Noh performance series is the Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater, which is located close to Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa.

This theater was opened in 1973 as the first public Noh theater in Japan. The stage itself was created in 1933 and was moved here from its original location, the Kanazawa Noh Theater.

Thanks to its age and the style preferences of the time when it was built, the stage has an elegant charm. It is the ideal place to experience the world of Noh.

English Guidance Available

Watch And Experience Noh In Kanazawa! With English Guidance

Picture courtesy of Hinoki Shoten

Tablets offering English guidance will be lent out for free to 30 audience members on a first-come, first-served basis.

These tablets have Noh Support, an application that offers guidance and subtitles of Noh performances in English. The gadgets are easy to use, and you can switch the screen between English and Japanese.

In addition to basic information that makes it easy to follow the story, Noh Support also explains the background of each play and the highlights.

We suggest reserving a guidance tablet in advance by e-mail at dentoubunka@pref.ishikawa.lg.jp.

Enjoy Noh Theater in Kanazawa!

Kanazawa boasts a remarkable culture when it comes to Noh. Take this chance to watch Noh and Kyogen, two of Japan's traditional stage arts, with English support. It will surely become an unforgettable experience.

Event name: Kanno no Yube (Evening Noh Theater)
Venue: Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater
Address: Ishikawa, Kanazawa, Ishibiki 4-18-3 Google Map
Dates: Every Saturday from 17:00 in July and August, 2019
Tickets: Each perfromance 1,000 yen/Special performance (July 27) 3,000 yen
Reservations: Send an e-mail at dentoubunka@pref.ishikawa.lg.jp

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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