Noh and Kyogen is one of the
traditional theater forms of Japan.
It is accomplished earlier than Kabuki.
In a simple term, Noh is a musical drama and Kyogen is a comical or satirical drama.
The origin of Noh and Kyogen is less-obvious, but it is thought to be
some stage performances from China around the 7th century.
They developed into comical performance among the general public.
Additionally, shrines and temples made the performances for each festival.
In the 14th century, Kan'ami, who is a leader of a theater, made a new
performance made a complete survey of various ones with his son Zeami.
Shogun (General) Yoshimitsu Ashikaga was very impressed with it, so he took Kan'ami and Zeami under his wing.
Since this, they created many excellent performace, then Noh and Kyogen were completed.
In Meiji period (1868-1912), these were polished up as a world-class art. So some Noh-theaters were built in this period.
One performance contains 3 to 5 plays, and both Noh and Kyogen are
It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to play each drama.
Stage of Noh and Kyogen is a square, about 6 meters on a side.
It has 4 pillars on each corner, and a roof coveres the stage. And a corridor run from the left wing to the stage.
Players appear through the corridor.
This stage has no curtain.
Noh is the musical theater, but we look like
Japanese traditional dance.
The characters are only a leading role called "shite" and a few supporting roles called "waki".
Shite plays with wearing a Noh mask which is carved in wood and is
The movement is very slow, and the players shuffle along.
At the back of stage, there are some music players.
They play "fue" like a flute and "taiko" and "tsuzumi" like drum.
And there are also some singers on a side of the stage.
Kyogen is the comical or satirical drama.
The leading role is called "shite" like Noh, but shite of Kyogen usually wears no mask.
And supporting roles are called "ado".
They play more actively than Noh.
There are several Noh theaters in main cities in Japan.