Thoughts on the Kei’un-kai Memorial Performance 2014

The International Noh Institute

The program board outside the theatre

On August 17th 2014 The Kei’un-kai Memorial Performance, including INI members, took place at the Kongo Noh Theatre in Kyoto. It was a long day, with shimai, rengin, maibayashi and full Noh plays performed  from dawn to dusk.  This year’s performance took place at the end of the o-bon period in Japan, during which people remember and honour the dead. It was an occasion for us performers and for the audience to express their gratitude to those who are not with us anymore.

For this purpose, Udaka Michishige has chosen a poem by Henjo (816-890), quoted in the Noh Sumizome-zakura, ‘The Ink-dyed Cherry Tree’. “Everyone is wearing colourful robes, while my mossy sleeves (a monk’s robes) are yet to dry.” Henjo became a priest after the death of Emperor Nimmyo, and the poem expresses the poet’s grief and his reluctance to return to colourful robes…

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