[New book] To Hallow Genji: a tribute to Noh

Prof. Royall Tyler told me about the imminent publication of his new collection of Noh translations just a couple of weeks ago. To Hallow Genji: a tribute to Noh is an interesting Amazon ‘print-on-demand’ independent publication format (does Royall Tyler need an editor at all?) including many rare and bangai plays that fell off the current repertoire of the five Noh schools. Prof. Tyler does not really need any introduction, but for those who are approaching Noh for the first time, I would like to remind that he has published his first Noh translations in the 1970s: his Japanese No Dramas (Penguin, 1993) is an important contribution to the dissemination of Noh in the world – I think it was the first Noh book I’ve ever bought, actually. He is the author of various major essays and translations of Japanese classical literature, including his recent English translation of the Tale of the Heike (Penguin 2012).

From the book’s blurb:

“This tribute to the Noh theater includes eighteen plays and four essays. Among the plays are five non-repertoire that survive in Zeami’s own hand. The eighteen are Genji kuyo, Akoya no matsu, Funabashi, Furu, Genjo, Hakozaki, Higaki, Kuzu, Matsura Sayohime, Naniwa, Nishikigi, Nomori, Saoyama, Tadatsu no Saemon, Togan Boto, Toru, Tsunemasa, and Unoha. The essays are entitled “The Sword of Furu,” “Matsukaze and the Music of the Biwa,” “The Jewel of Shidoji,” and “A Note on the Theme of Wholeness and Rupture.”

I am looking forward to lay my hands on this book. Amazon’s print-on-demand seems like an interesting alternative to the e-book format, which still needs improvement, especially when it comes to books that require columns and other special pagination and formatting.

3 thoughts on “[New book] To Hallow Genji: a tribute to Noh

  1. I’m really excited about this publication. Here is some more information–kanji, categories, previous translations if any. (Macrons omitted.)

    Genjo 玄象 (also Kenjō 絃上) (5) (Fenollosa/Pound 1916)
    Hakozaki 箱崎 (1*) (bangai)
    Higaki (3) (Ueda 1962 as “The Woman within the Cypress Fence”; Yasuda 1989)
    Kuzu (国栖・國栖) (5) (Yasuda 1989)
    Matsura Sayohime (松浦小夜姫) (5?) (now again in Kanze repertoire)
    Naniwa 難波 (1)
    Nishikigi 錦木 (4) (Fenollosa/Pound 1916; Calvin French in 1970 as “The Brocade Tree”)
    Nomori 野守 (5) (Tyler in 1978 as “The Watchman’s Mirror”)
    Saoyama 佐保山 (1)
    Tadatsu no Saemon (タヾツノサエモン・多度津〜)(4) (bangai)
    Togan Boto 当願墓当 (4) (bangai)
    Toru 融 (5) (Yasuda 1989, one portion in Hare 1986)
    Tsunemasa (経政 ・ 経正) (5) (Fenollosa/Pound 1916; Waley 1921; Chifumi Shimazaki 1987)
    Unoha 鵜羽 (1) (Jeanne Paik Kaufman as “Cormorant Plumes” in Brazell 1988) (bangai but sometimes performed, text in standard Shincho edition)

    If there are translations I’ve missed, please let me know as I keep an online database on noh in translation.”Bangai” is short for bangai yokyoku 番外謡曲, meaning not in the current performance repertoire. Although these plays aren’t formally assigned to categories, I note the category numbers given in an appendix by Nishino Haruo in Yokyoku hyakuban, SNBT (Iwanami) vol. 57, pp. 699ff. This is also an excellent place to check for a list of Japanese texts of these plays. There is a partial listing of text editions also on my webpage, with links also to the handy e-texts on the UTAHI site – this includes some of the important bangai plays translated by Royall Tyler.


  2. Me again, apologies. Can’t edit my comments as on Facebook! The first four plays mentioned in the blurb were lost in cutting and pasting. Kanji, category, and previous translation info is here:
    Genji kuyo 源氏供養 (3) (trans. Janet Goff 1988 as A Memorial Service for Genji” ; Goff 1991)
    Akoya no matsu 阿古屋松 (1*) (bangai, but recently revived)
    Funabashi 舟橋 (4) (Tyler 1978a as “The Boat Bridge”; Shimazaki 1994 as “Bridge of Boats”
    Furu 布留 (1*) (bangai)

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