Japanese Noh Theater Performance

My friend Chris, another student here with me from SUNY New Paltz, is an English tutor for a Japanese man in Kanazawa. This man also happens to be a Noh Theater performer. Noh Theater has been treasured by the Japanese for many years as a musical form of theater, where the actors were very intricate costumes and perform scenesĀ  with masks, the men playing male and female roles. Chris received two tickets to a tea ceremony and a Noh performance in Kanazawa, so we went together. Here are some pictures from that day:

This was right outside the tea room. This small garden was so serene and beautiful.

Next to the tea room that we all had tea in there was a traditional tea room from many many years ago. This room is still intact but is only used for viewing purposes. The room was extremely small and had to be entered by kneeling and people inside usually sit on there ankles and do not stand.

More views of the traditional tea room.

The room where we actually drank tea.

These ropes are put on many trees in Japan to stop the snow from breaking their branches. I think that it adds a special something to the tree itself.

Before the performance, the man that Chris tutors demonstrated the complicated process of dressing a Noh performer.

The audience was consisted mostly of older Japanese men and women, the women dressed in kimono.

The actor was being dressed for the part of the God for the performance.

The musicians are on the left, both women, playing the taiko drum and the Japanese bamboo flute.

This group of men sing during the Noh Performance. The style of singing was nothing like I have ever heard before. I can describe it as a cross between chanting and wailing, each syllable and note conveying the emotion being performed by the actor in costume on the stage. The singing in combination with the taiko drum and the Japanese flute is, in my opinion, the exemplifies the essence of traditional Japanese culture.

And finally, the performance began…

The actor entered from the far left, walking down a long corridor in very slow, specific steps that synced with the music and singing of the chorus.

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