Nogaku Workshop for International and Japanese Students

International Student Center opened Nogaku (Noh and Kyogen Japanese traditional performing art) Workshop for international and Japanese students at Yanagido-kaikan Hall on July 15, in conjunction with Gifu University Head Office for Glocalization. Around ninety summer school students, international and Japanese students, Gifu University staff as well as citizens joined the Workshop.

Mr. Madoka Mikata and Mr. Hiromichi Tamoi who perform Noh dramas as main actors called "Shite" in Kanze School*1, and Mr. Kodo Yamaguchi and Mr. Yoshinobu Shigayama both of whom are Kyogen drama performers in Okura School*2,were invited to the Workshop as instructors.

After greeting and self-introduction, Mr. Mikata and Mr. Tamoi played one of the representative Noh dramas called, "Shakkyo" in front of the audience. People were instantly mesmerized by a fusion of chanting and instrumental accompaniment as well as their magnificent dancing. Later, the instructors talked about the history of Noh and Kyogen and some differences in performers' ways of expressing themselves in these two types of dramas. The audience learned about the unique masks used for Noh and Kyogen respectively by observing the real masks that the instructors brought to the Workshop on that day. In a practical session, all of the people there chanted "Takasago" story and practiced how to laugh in Kyogen. Their laughter was so loud that it kept on reverberating through the entire Hall.

In the performance of "Neongyoku" in Kyogen, the Hall was again filled with a big laughter when people saw humorous exchanges between the actors. They must have felt that laughter is contagious and it can transcend even the national borders. Most of the people at the Workshop watched and experienced Noh and Kyogen for the first time in life, but thanks to the instructors' humorous narratives, the Workshop was full of laughter and excitement from the beginning to the end.

At the end of the Workshop, the instructors helped a female summer school student get dressed in traditional Noh kimono attire. All the people were impressed with the gorgeous kimono and an elegant way of wearing it when they observed it up close. The Workshop gave every participant an invaluable opportunity to understand the profoundness of Noh and Kyogen, and they fully appreciated the real beauty of this Japanese traditional performing art.

Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) and Gifu Shimbun Newspaper Company officials were also at the Workshop to cover the event.

*1:There are five "Shite" schools in Noh: Kanze, Hosho, Kanparu, Kongo and Kita
*2:There are two schools in Kyogen: Okura and Izumi

Group Photo
Noh performance, "Shakkyo"
Comparing the masks
Practice of "Takasago"
Practice laughing in Kyogen
Helping a student to get dressed in Noh kimono


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