Gallery

Close-up photographs of INI members’ Noh masks

The International Noh Institute

This year’s Men-no-kai Noh mask carving exhibition took place at the Kyoto Prefectural Center for Arts and Culture 28th-30th November. Among others three INI members, INI Senior Director Rebecca Teele Ogamo (USA), Kim Hea-Kyoung (South Korea), and Elaine Czech (USA) exhibited their latest works.

Czech carved a Ko-omote, one of the most popular Noh masks outside. It is also the first Noh masks that is carved by beginners. Despite its apparent simplicity, the Ko-omote is a very difficult mask to carve, and mask carvers often come back to it later in their mastery. Ko-omote (lit. ‘small face’) is used for main or secondary roles when the character is a young girl or, in some cases, a supernatural being. The face of Ko-omote is inspired by the aesthetic canons of the Heian period (794-1185), regarded as a golden-age of cultural sophistication and refinement. The face is painted in white, eyebrows…

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Gallery

Thoughts on the Kei’un-kai Memorial Performance 2014

The International Noh Institute

The program board outside the theatre

On August 17th 2014 The Kei’un-kai Memorial Performance, including INI members, took place at the Kongo Noh Theatre in Kyoto. It was a long day, with shimai, rengin, maibayashi and full Noh plays performed  from dawn to dusk.  This year’s performance took place at the end of the o-bon period in Japan, during which people remember and honour the dead. It was an occasion for us performers and for the audience to express their gratitude to those who are not with us anymore.

For this purpose, Udaka Michishige has chosen a poem by Henjo (816-890), quoted in the Noh Sumizome-zakura, ‘The Ink-dyed Cherry Tree’. “Everyone is wearing colourful robes, while my mossy sleeves (a monk’s robes) are yet to dry.” Henjo became a priest after the death of Emperor Nimmyo, and the poem expresses the poet’s grief and his reluctance to return to colourful robes…

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