I just got the September issue of the Nogaku Times in the mail and saw an article on the first page reporting Yokomichi Mario‘s death. Prof. Yokomichi was one of the greatest Noh scholars of the modern times. He contributed to Noh theatre research with studies such as The Life Structure of the Noh, later translated by Frank Hoff and Willi Flindt (1973), possibly the first study on the dramaturgical structure of Noh plays available in English, offering insights on Noh performance that mere translations could not provide. He was also famous for having created the ‘retro-translation’ of Yeats’s At the Hawk’s Well, a dance play the Irish poet wrote under inspired by the Noh Yōrō, which Yokomichi re-wrote as the Noh play later known as Takahime (‘The Hawk Princess’).
Yokomichi Mario died at the age of 95. Last year he received a special honour for his achievements in the field of Noh research from the Ministry of Education.
I have already posted something on unconventional/ironic ways of using Noh theatre, but I think this goes beyond what I have encountered so far. I am unsure I understand the process that led to the creation of the video below; I don’t even know whether the Noh utai amateur pizza-ossan was a victim of this or if the pizza delivery-utai that you hear is actually his own creation. If so, well… hats off.
Hey wait a second… now that I think of it.. I should be the one doing this!!
This is a demonstrative clip of Dr. Lee Stother’s The Fisherman’s Daughter, a Noh-inspired film/performance I had the chance to take part in during my first stay in Japan in Spring 2007. As a member of the International Noh Institute (Kongoh School), Lee has studied with Udaka Michishige and Ogamo Rebecca Teele in a number of different occasions, and the study and practice of Noh has greatly influenced her work as playwright/videomaker. Her The Fisherman’s Daughter is beautifully documented in the clip below.