65th Kyoto Takigi Noh


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 sago renjishi 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.


June 1 – Noh: Takasago (Kanze); Noh: Matsukaze (Kanze); Kyogen: Chigiriki (Okura); Noh: Shakkyō (Kongō).

June 2 – Noh: Yashima (Kanze); Han-Noh (half Noh) Hanagatami (Kongō); Kyogen: Shidōhōgaku (Okura); Noh: Shakkyō (Kanze).

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.

Feel free to contact me for more information.

Full programme (in Japanese) below


Thank you readers!

The Kyoto Takigi Noh 2013 is now over. It’s been a very interesting 2-day event, and the audience has been able to enjoy various nuances of the multifarious world of Noh performance. What I was particularly surprised with this time was the amount of people who were able to attend the performance because they found information through my blog. Writing online can be a rather solitary activity and I often wonder who are those people reading, whose presence is signalled by numbers and colours in the blog stats map. It was nice to meet some of them this past weekend at Heian Jingu! I feel all the more motivated to write on this blog and to help people come closer to the world of Noh! Thank you!


Kyoto Takigi Noh 2013: Oe-yama


(Fire-lit performance)

Heian-jingu Shrine, Kyoto

1, 2 JUNE 2013

I strongly recommend those in Japan on June 1, 2 to come and attend the Heian Jingu Takigi Noh fire-lit performances in Kyoto. It is a unique chance to see full performances both by Kanze and Kongo master-actors, in the context of the evocative Heian-jingu shinto shrine. Performances begin at 5:30 (doors open at 4:30 and I  encourage you to come before this time –  seating is on a first come, first served basis) and end at around 8:45. Tickets are between 4,000 and 2,700 yen depending on the type. The INI International Noh Institute will have a stand with free information, translation and synopses in English – I will be there in person! ^_^ Do not hesitate to contact me if you are planning to come! See below for more info.

—- UPDATE :  advance tickets are now sold out!

2 JUNE 2013 Noh: OE-YAMA

Mae-shite: UDAKA Michishige


Synopsis (from P.G. O’Neill’s A Guide to Noh)

Yorimitsu and his companions, disguising themselves as yamabushi priests, set off at the command of the Emperor to find and kill a demon known as Shuten-doji. Guided to his dwelling on Oe-yama by a woman who has been captured and made to work for him, they beg a night’s lodging there. Shuten-doji is alarmed that his hiding-place is has been discovered, but because of a promise he has made never to lift his hand against priests, he feels bound to receive them hospitably. They drink together, but later that night when he has taken on his true form as a demon, he is surprised in his sleep and eventually killed by his enemies.


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