The New Year period is a busy time for Noh actors! Augural plays wishing long life and happiness are performed at various locations, especially Shinto shrines. If you are in Kyoto during the first week of January 2016, I recommend that you check out these FREE Noh performances.
Link to a (partial) performance calendar of the Kongo school here)
January 1st Friday from 12:30 @Heian Shrine. Ritual Noh performance. Okina. Shite: Kongo Hisanori.
January 3rd Sunday from 09:00 @Yasaka Shrine. Okina. Shite: Katayama Kuroemon. Shimai: Tsurukame. Shite: Kongo Hisanori.
January 3rd Sunday from 12:30 @Kongo Noh theatre. First performance of the year. Recitation of the chant of Okina, shimai and maibayashi (Iwafune Shite: Kongo Tatsunori).
This year’s Kyoto Takigi (Fire-lit) Noh performance, at the Heian-jingu Shrine, Kyoto 1, 2 June 2014, will commemorate 680th anniversary of the birth of Kan’ami and the 650th anniversary of the birth of his son, Zeami. The programme features various classics, such as Matsukaze and Yashima, but its highlight is the double performance of Shakkyō as ending play for both days. The first day it will be performed by masters of the Kongō School, while the second day it will be performed by masters of the Kanze School. It is a great chance to appreciate the differences in the kogaki, or variations of the same play that are part of the Kongō and Kanze canon. Kongō will stage the sagorenjishi variation, with one white lion and one red lion, while Kanze will stage the ōjishi variation, with one white lion and three red lions. White and red are celebratory colours in Japan, which makes Shakkyō a suitable choice for the commemoration of the birth of the ‘fathers of Noh’, Kan’ami and Zeami.
Performances start at 17:30 and finish at 20:45. Gates will open at 16:00. Seats are not reserved so I suggest you to come early, and bring something to cover your head with (you might need to queue in the sun).
Advanced sale tickets: 3,000yen. At the door: 4,000yen. Groups (15+): 2,700yen.