Of bells and snakes: Udaka Tatsushige to perform “Dōjōji” on 14 July 2019

This is a big one. On July 14th 2019 Udaka Tatsushige is going to perform the nō Dōjōji for the first time, making this one of his most important hiraki performances. Dōjōji is probably one of the most well-known plays in the repertory, telling the story of how a young woman who had been tricked into believing that a monk will marry her pursues him until she finds him hiding under a temple bell. Transfigured into a monstrous snake, the woman coiled around the bell and, spitting fire from her mouth, burnt him to death.


Dōjōji (NNT)

One of the most spectacular features of the play is the section in which the actor enacting the spirit of the woman reappearing at Dōjōji jumps into the bell (a 100kg heavy property) as it falls on the floor. Once inside the bell, the actor changes costume, wig and mask by himself, reappearing in the form of a demon as the bell is lifted.

Dōjōji is the first nō performance I have ever seen live. It was 2007, and the actor was Udaka Michishige, Tatsushige’s father, who on that occasion was celebrating his 60th birthday. For Tatsushige’s Dōjōji I will have the honor to introduce the event. I look forward to the day with trepidation.

Information, play summaries, and tickets


The first Tatsushige no kai: “Mochizuki” 14 March 2015

Young actor Tatsushige Udaka makes his debut in the vendetta play Mochizuki. I bet you never thought that Noh could be so AMAZING. Come see for yourself on March 14th.

The International Noh Institute

Udaka Tatsushige (Photo: Stephane Barbery)

On 14 March 2015 Udaka Tatsushige (first son of the INI founder Udaka Michishige) will hold the first Tatsushige no Kai, an annual Noh performance event he is producing, featuring high-caliber actors and musicians. Each year Tatsushige is going to take the main role in a particularly challenging play from the Kongo school repertoire. On the occasion of this first Tatsushige no Kai, Kongo Hisanori, grand-master of the Kongo School, has chosen for him the virtuoso Noh play Mochizuki. Family tickets and ‘next generation’ tickets for students and Noh theatre beginners are available!  Check out the full program in English here!


Mochizuki: March 14th 2015, 14:00-17:00 – Kongo Noh Theatre, Kyoto

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Mochizuki: the story

Mochizuki tells a story of revenge, celebrated in classical Japanese literature as an example of loyalty and selflessness in the face of injustice. Lord Tomoharu was assassinated…

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