Noh in Atsuta


     Last Sunday I went to see Noh with some of my friends to Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya. There’s a Noh theater in the shirne.

     Noh is one of classical Japanese performance forms which combine elements of dance, drama, music and poetry into one highly aesthetic stage art. It’s mainly performed by men, and the men act women roles. It’s originally one of folksy performances, which is called Saru-gaku, derived from ancient China. During the 14th and 15th centuries it developed into its present form by playwrites Kannami and his son Zeami.

     There’re five categories in Noh plays. They’re gods, warriors, beautiful women, demons, and mad-women ( and others.)

     This time what I saw was one of demons’ stories named Mt. Ohe.

     A warrior Yorimitsu Minamoto in mountain priest costume goes to the residence of a demon called Shuten- doji, which lives in Mt, Ohe, with other strong warriors in obedience to Imperial command. The demon believes that they are real mountain priests and invites them to his house. The demon cannot eat them because it has promised not to eat priests to Kammu Emperor before. While the demon drinks itself blind, the worries kill it and return in triumph with its head.

     The performance was active and chorus called jiutai and the music were energetic, I enjoyed myself seeing the Noh performance. Yet I blanked out a little moment….

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