April 25, 2009

Just Say Noh

There's a Noh Mask Museum in Tokorozawa, near the Koku Park. I've never been in it, they close pretty early, but will have to find the time to someday.

Don't know much about Noh (Guide to Noh), but I think it's one of the oldest types of theater...kind of like a musical. The masks that they wear are one of it's features.

The museum is open every first and third Saturday & Sundays from 11am to 5pm. The admission fee is 300yen.


nobu said...

I think it is a wonderful museum.
And the nagayamon(gate) is fine.
Was it originally a someone's residence?

Tall Gary said...

I guess I am a kind of old-fashioned guy. I love these photos.

One of my former university teachers (I happened to visit my university today, but I didn’t see him) told of the origins of Noh Theater. Kan'ami was walking through the grounds of Kasuga Shrine in Nara when he saw before his eyes a spirit dancing within a pine tree. By imitating the dance of that spirit he created Noh from what was before this sarugaku. For this reason all Noh stages have a backdrop of a single pine tree (is what I was told).

If you have never seen Noh and are a little curious there is a National Noh Theater not so far from Sendagaya, although walking from Yoyogi isn’t so bad either. It used to be that on certain Fridays they would have performances of kyogen. More than Noh kyogen is more lively, and actually funny.

Oh, so guess what, Kaori. When I visited my university there was a performance of Polynesian dance. It was funny seeing mostly white guys doing Maori poses and body slapping. It was not nearly as frightening and powerful as real Maoris I witnessed at Paris Plage a few summers ago.

The women performed Tahitian style dance which made me think of Tiki Tiki in Shinjuku. They were quite good, I thought, but I am sorry to say there was no hula that I saw.

Kaori said...

nobu, I'm not sure if it was a residence, but I heard that the building was built at the end of the Edo period, and the Noh mask artist used the building as a workshop. I'll have to ask when I get a chance to go.

Gary, thank you for the information! I did notice that all the stages seemed to be set outside. Very interesting! Oh, and I like TikiTiki too :)

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