Tag Archives: Udaka Michishige

Ominameshi (Kongo Monthly Noh October 2016)

This coming Sunday, 23rd of October Udaka Michishige is going to perform the Noh Ominameshi 女郎花 at the Kongo Noh Theatre in Kyoto.

Here is a summary of the play.

A Traveling Priest comes to Mt. Otoko on the western outskirts of the capital in the autumn and seeing that the area is covered with beautiful ominaeshi or ominameshi (a yellow-flowered valerian), one of the seven autumn herbs, he recalls poetic references to it and decides to pick one. Just as he is about to do so he is stopped by an Old Man. The Old Man explains that he is the guardian of the flowers. The Priest wonders that this particular flower is protected. Exchanges of poetic references with the Old Man convince the Priest that he is a man of feeling. The Old Man then takes the Priest to the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine where he shows him two graves which he describes as being that of a man and a woman. The woman’s grave is covered with ominameshi and the Old Man reveals that they were husband, Ono no Yorikaze, a man of the area of Mt. Otoko, and wife, a woman from the Capital and that there is a story behind their deaths. Entreating the Priest to pray for their souls, the Old Man disappears.

Later the spirits of the man and his wife appear. They describe how the wife drowned herself after being treated coldly by Yorikaze. When ominameshi blossoms appeared on her grave Yorikaze was overwhelmed with remorse and also drowned himself. He suffers in hell for his unwitting cruelty and prays for deliverance for their souls. (Rebecca Teele Ogamo)

 

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— Diego Pellecchia

Noh theatre and adaptation

9781408184721Theatre and Adaptation: Return, Rewrite, Repeat (Bloomsbury Methuen), edited by Margherita Laera, is out today! I have contributed to the book with the interview ‘Conservative Adaptation in Japanese Noh: Udaka Michishige in Conversation with Diego Pellecchia’. Instead of looking at adaptations of Noh plays by other theatre genres, or adaptations of other plays through the Noh techniques, I have reflected on what ‘adaptation’ means within the Noh tradition by looking at Udaka Michishige‘s shinsaku (newly written) Noh plays. “How does the notion of ‘adaptation’ apply to a classical theatre genre where language, dramatic structure, music, and mise-en-scene are prescribed by a canon? Can this English word be used invariably to describe works belonging to any cultural area? “

About the book (from the publisher website):

“Contemporary theatrical productions as diverse in form as experimental performance, new writing, West End drama, musicals and live art demonstrate a recurring fascination with adapting existing works by other artists, writers, filmmakers and stage practitioners. Featuring seventeen interviews with internationally-renowned theatre and performance artists, Theatre and Adaptation provides an exceptionally rich study of the variety of work developed in recent years. First-hand accounts illuminate a diverse range of approaches to stage adaptation, ranging from playwriting to directing, Javanese puppetry to British children’s theatre, and feminist performance to Japanese Noh”. 

The book is available for purchase in paperback or eBook on the usual internet vendor websites.

 
 

[Extended] Noh Mask Carving Atelier – Special Opening (February 2014)

Due to popular demand the Special Opening of Udaka Michishige’s Noh Mask Carving Atelier has been extended. We have received many requests of Japanese and non-Japanese, Kyoto residents and Kyoto visitors who wished to learn about the world of Noh masks from the direct experience of a professional carver and actor such as Udaka Michishige.

Three new dates (February 6th, 20th and 27th) have been added. There are two time slots: afternoon (14:00~17:00) or the evening (18:00~21:00).

This is a great opportunity for those interested in masks and in the mask-making process, as well as in the use of the masks in actual performance: Michishige is the only Noh actor who is also a skilled mask carver, regularly using his own masks on stage. In 2010, Michishige published the photobook The secrets of Noh Masks (Kodansha/Oxford) with photographer Shuichi Yamagata. I have posted more about Michishige’s activities as mask carver here.

If you are in Kyoto don’t miss this chance to be introduced to the world of Noh masks – both Japanese and English speakers are welcome!

Observers are admitted FREE OF CHARGE

Udaka’s atelier is just a few minutes on foot from the Kokusai-kaikan subway stop (Karasuma line). To reserve a place, or for more information, please feel free to contact me here.

‘Magojiro’ by Udaka Michishige. Photo: Fabio Massimo Fioravanti

Noh mask carving atelier – special opening

Udaka Michishige’s Noh mask atelier will open to guest observers on January 9th, 16th and 23rd from 14:00 to 17:00 or from 18:00 to 21:00. This is a great opportunity for those interested in masks and in the mask-making process, as well as in the use of the masks in actual performance: Michishige is the only Noh actor who is also a skilled mask carver, regularly using his own masks on stage. In 2010, Michishige published the photobook The secrets of Noh Masks (Kodansha/Oxford) with photographer Shuichi Yamagata. I have posted more about Michishige’s activities as mask carver here.

If you are in Kyoto don’t miss this chance to be introduced to the world of Noh masks – both Japanese and English speakers are welcome! Observers are admitted FREE OF CHARGE

To reserve a place, or for more information, please feel free to contact me here.

Shintai, for roles of young gods, by Udaka Michishige (Photo: Fabio Massimo Fioravanti)
Shintai, for roles of young gods, by Udaka Michishige (Photo: Fabio Massimo Fioravanti)

[EVENT]: Internationalisation of Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

Rits event omote

On January 8th 2014 the ARC Art Research Centre at Ritsumeikan University will host the event ‘Internationalisation of Japanese Performing Arts – Noh as Culture of the World’. The event combines performance, theory and discussion. See below for details (in English and Japanese).

The first part features shimai dance excerpts by masters of the Kongo School of Noh Udaka Michishige (Sanemori), Udaka Tatsushige (Yashima) and Udaka Norishige (Tomoe). I will also perform a shimai under my stage name Takaya Daigo (Atsumori – kiri). In the second part of the event I will showcase my current research: ‘The role of amateurs in the world of Noh’, as a work-in-progress. In this lecture I will explore the various kinds of amateur practitioners that populate the cultural world of Noh and how their social, economic and political role has changed throughout history. Unlike other kinds art professionals, most Noh performers depend on teaching amateurs in order to socially and financially sustain their artistic activities. Noh is currently undergoing a difficult phase in its history, with dwindling audiences and a lack of young blood among its professional ranks. In order to look for trajectories of solution to these issues, I believe that is necessary to consider the role of amateurs as one of the pillars on which the Noh world is based, and understand the complex relationship between audience, amateurs, and professionals. In the third part of the afternoon I will invite Udaka Michishige to discuss the role of amateurs in his experience as Noh actor and leader of the Kei’un-kai and of the INI International Noh Institute.

Internationalisation of Japanese Performing Arts

– Noh as Culture of the World –

January, 8th 2014 (Wednesday)

Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus

Art Research Center

Programme:

16:00 Opening remarks

16:40 Performance (shimai)

Atsumori – kiri Takaya Daigo

Tomoe                 Udaka Norishige

Yashima             Udaka Tatsushige

Sanemori           Udaka Michishige

17:00 Intermission

17:10 Lecture – The role of amateurs in the world of Noh -Diego Pellecchia (Visiting Researcher, Art Research Centre, Ritsumeikan University).

17:45 Udaka Michishige and Diego Pellecchia in conversation

18:30 Closing remarks

The event is open and free of charge

Rits event ura

Matsuyama Shimin Noh 2014 – Aoinoue mumyo no inori

Next Sunday (November 3rd, which is both my birthday and the ‘culture day’ in Japan) I will take part to the Matsuyama Shimin Noh performance at the Yamatoya Honten Noh stage in Matsuyama, Shikoku. The event begins at 10:00 with a recital (entry free of charge), featuring Udaka Michishige’s students. I will perform a shimai, or dance excerpt, from the Noh Uta-ura, and will sing in the su-utai chanting of the Noh Kogō. The main event will be Udaka-sensei’s performance of Aoinoue in the ‘mumyō no inori’ kogaki, or variation. I am lucky enough to have a privileged observation spot, serving in the ji-utai chorus for this performance.

Every year in November Udaka Michishige takes the shite main role at the Matsuyama Shimin Noh performance. Although based in Kyoto, Udaka regularly teaches both utai/shimai and mask carving in Nagoya, Okazaki, Tokyo, Yokohama, and Matsuyama in Shikoku, the area where his family originally comes from. He is a descendent of two Shikoku families: Udaka and Kawada. The Udaka family had a castle in Niihama City during the medieval period and later served the Matusdaira clan feudal lords in Matsuyama as Noh actors from 1712 until the start of the Meiji period.

For this year’s shimin Noh we are giving away 2 free tickets to the first two people who contact us so make sure not to miss this chance if you are in Matsuyama next weekend! Find contact details below.

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Aoinoue

Based on an episode from the Tale of Genji, the 11th century masterpiece by Murasaki Shikibu, the main character is not Lady Aoi, the wife of Prince Genji, but Lady Rokujo, the most intriguing female character in the novel. Once Genji’s lover but now abandoned by him and filled with resentment towards his wife after a humiliating incident at the Kamo Festival where her coach was forced out of its viewing spot by Lady Aoi’s retainers, Lady Rokujō’s living spirit torments her rival. A shamaness is sent to discover the source of the possession of Lady Aoi and then an exorcism is performed by the priest Kohijiri, finally bringing Rokujo to her senses by calling on the power of the Buddhist sutras. In the mumyō no inori kogaki or ‘Exorcism in Spiritual Darkness Variation’, the robe used to represent Lady Aoi is white rather than red, and Lady Rokujo leaves the stage for a change of costume rather than retreating to the koken-za stage attendants’ seat for only a change of mask. She returns in nagabakama, long vermillion trousers, often with a Nagakamoji, an extension of the wig that emphasises that Lady Rokujo’s is a noblewoman, increasing the sense of horror at the intensity of the expression of her jealousy in choreography also more graphic than in the standard production.

(Text by Rebecca Teele Ogamo)

Ehime University Noh Club

Udaka Michishige has taught students of the Ehime University Noh Theatre Club for over 30 years. Club activities include the practice of Noh chant and dance as well as workshops and performances. Every year in November club members join other students of Udaka at Matsuyama Municipal Noh Performance. Lessons are held both in Japanese and in English.  Email: Kmct1q_es@ezweb.ne.jp

For information please contact:

KYOTO
Keiun-kai INI Main Offices, Training Center
111 Satta-cho, Kami-takano, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0047
Tel: (075)701-1055
Fax: (075)701-1058

Email: ogamo-tr@mbox.kyoto-inet.or.jp (c/o Rebecca TEELE-OGAMO)

MATSUYAMA
Matsuyama Keiun-kai Shikibutai
Yamagoe 4-chome 11-38, Matsuyama, Ehime
Tel/Fax: (089) 924-8554