Nohgaku Workshop (Online) for International and Japanese Students 2021
On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, the Center for Japanese Language and Culture, Gifu University Organization for Promotion of Glocalization (GU-GLOCAL) hosted the "Nohgaku Workshop for International and Japanese Students 2021" via Zoom video conferencing platform.
The Center for Japanese Language and Culture had been hosting Nohgaku (Noh and Kyogen) workshops since 2005 by inviting professional Nohgaku actors. However, in 2020, out of our grave concerns about the COVID-19 crisis, the video-sharing workshop was offered to students for the first time. In 2021 with the pandemic still raging around the globe, the first-ever "Nohgaku Workshop (Online) for International and Japanese Students 2021" was held, and it was attended by approximately 30 people on and off campus.
Performances by four invited instructors were live-streamed through a camera installed in the Japanese tatami-mat room of the center. These four invited instructors were: Mr. Madoka Mikata and Mr. Hiromichi Tamoi, who perform Noh as main actors called "shite" in Kanze School, and Mr. Chuzaburo Shigeyama and Mr. Kodo Yamaguchi both of whom are Kyogen performers in Okura School.
With "Yashima" performance as a starter, the instructors took turns introducing the audience the history of Nohgaku, differences between Noh and Kyogen, a comparison of masks used by Noh and Kyogen actors, unique music instruments and singing, Kyogen's art of laughter, "Neongyoku" performance as well as kimono-wearing for a Noh stage. The instructors brought the masks and kimono closer to the camera so that viewers can take a closer look at them. They also showed the audience what it looks like to see things while putting on a mask. The most up-to-date online platform enabled the instructors to uniquely present their instructions and performances in "Workshop 2021." Instructors' almost simultaneous fielding questions from the audience also showcased the benefit of Zoom platform.
It is quite regrettable for us not to be able to host the workshop in front of real audience for two years in a row, but thanks to the great contributions and kind support from the outstanding instructors, the "Nohgaku Workshop for International and Japanese Students 2021" marked another big milestone in the history of the center's workshop programs.
As a member of GU-GLOCAL, we will continue to offer people an opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture and tradition in the years to come.
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