Ticket Giveaway: Noh and Kyogen Outdoors on Mt. Oyama

5 (Photo by Meguro Kunihiko)
Photo by Meguro Kunihiko

(Update Sept. 2: All seats have been taken for both nights but I’ve started wait-lists — links below, one for each of the two nights. I’ve added information on the Kyogen and more information on special education opportunities.)

Join me at special performances of Noh and Kyogen at the Oyama Afuri Shrine on Mt. Oyama in Kanagawa Prefecture. On Oct. 5 (sold out; wait list open) and Oct. 6 (just two spaces left), when top actors from the Kanze School of Noh and the Okura School of Kyogen— including Living National Treasures — will share their art outdoors, as Noh was originally performed. There will be an English guidebook as well as explanation in English and Japanese provided via an app to your phone or i-Pad (free loaner tablets available), making this an excellent opportunity both for those who are new to Noh and seasoned viewers who would like to deepen their appreciation. This year, there will be a special exhibition of Noh masks and costumes next to the stage.

Thanks to a grant from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, I have a limited number of free tickets to offer to foreign residents of Japan. If you’d like to come with a Japanese friend or partner, I can secure a reservation for them at a discount (4,000 yen reduced to 3,000 yen). For full information on the program, including transportation and how to sign up, see below.

A note on Covid-19: The venue is outdoors, with plenty of natural ventilation, but for everyone’s safety, the numbers of spectators has been reduced by half and masks will be required. Even if Kanagawa extends the State of Emergency, in its current form, into October, the program will be allowed to go ahead. If stricter restrictions are requested, it is possible that spectators will regretfully not be allowed. If that happens, we will notify you immediately by email.

Stage 3 Meguro Kunihiko
Noh outdoors at Oyama. Photo by Meguro Kunihiko.

Program: Tuesday Oct. 5, 4:30 to 7:00 pm

3:30 Venue opens. Prof. Keizō Miyamoto of the Center for International and Interdisciplinary Research on Noh Theatre, will give a 20-minute lecture on Noh masks and costumes in the exhibition space. Lecture is in Japanese but a handout in English will provided for foreign visitors who understand some Japanese but can benefit from some comprehension assistance.

4:00 Richard Emmett, a Noh performer and professor at Musashino University, will provide explanation in English about Noh and the evening’s program exclusively for our group.

4:30 Program begins:

HITORI OKINA

A sacred rite in which the actors perform divine figures who dance for peace, prosperity, and safety across the land. Performed by Yamashina Yaemon, a Living National Treasure.

AFURI SHRINE KAGURA DANCE

A Shinto ritual dance for the gods performed by shrine maidens.

KYOGEN: HAGI DAIMYO (The Bush Clover Lord) Comical theater performed by Yamamoto Tōjirō, a Living National Treasure.

NOH PLAY: TAKASAGO 高砂 Lead roles played by Kanze Kiyokazu, the 26th hereditary head of the Kanze School of Noh, and his son, Kanze Saburōta.

This play was written by the great playwright Zeami, and is representative of the auspicious plays that revolve around a deity blessing the world — goodness knows, we need that now! The dignity of the pine tree is compared to the flourishing state of poetry, which in turn is a symbol of peaceful times. The highlight of the first half of the play is a scene where an old couple make this comparison, while sweeping pine needles and purifying the land under the tree. In the second half, look for the dignified dance of the deity Sumiyoshi Myōjin. While this deity is usually depicted as an old man, here he appears in the form of a young and vigorous man. Among the dances in Noh, this one is exceptionally energetic. Towards the end of the play the movements, corresponding to the libretto, are particularly grand and expressive. If you’ve ever been to a traditional Japanese wedding, you may have heard auspicious songs, called shūgen-utai, borrowed from this play, Takasago.

Full synopsis and story paper here.

This program on Tues. Oct. 5 is now full. To get on the wait-list, please sign up HERE:

Program: Wednesday Oct. 3, 4:30 to 7:00 pm

HITORI OKINA

A sacred rite in which the actors perform divine figures who dance for peace, prosperity, and safety across the land. Performed by Kanze Yoshinobu.

AFURI SHRINE KAGURA DANCE

A Shinto ritual dance for the gods performed by shrine maidens.

KYOGEN: FUMIYAMADACHI (The Poetic Bandits) Two bandits get into a quarrel while trying to ambush a passerby. Comical theater performed by Yamamoto Noritoshi.

NOH PLAY: KURAMA TENGU (The Goblin of Kurama). The lead role, is performed by Yamashina Yaemon, a Living National Treasure.

Full synopsis and story paper here.

This program is now full. To get on the wait list, please sign up HERE.

Transportation: The closest station is Isehara on the Odawara Odakyu Line, about one hour from Shinjuku station by regular express trains (590 yen).  From the North Exit of Isehara Station, board a bus at bus stop #4 bound for Oyama Cable Car and alight at Shamukyoku- Iriguchi (社務局入口).  The Noh stage is about 2 minutes walk from the bus stop. There will be extra buses back to Isehara station after the performance. Fare is 310 yen, IC cards OK. You can save a little by purchasing the Tanzawa-Oyama Free Pass at any Odakyu station. It costs 1,580 yen (for Type A, without the cable car, which you don’t need unless you come early and wish to take a trip up the mountain to hike, enjoy the view or pay a visit to the main building of Oyama Afuri Shrine and/or Oyama Temple.) There will be extra buses going back to Isehara after the program. There is free parking at the venue for those who wish to drive.

Link to Google Maps: Oyama Afuri Shrine Noh Stage

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4 Responses to Ticket Giveaway: Noh and Kyogen Outdoors on Mt. Oyama

  1. P J says:

    Thanks Alice – I would love three tickets please.

    ________________________________

  2. P J says:

    I’ve signed up using the Google Forms thing: one each for my son, my younger daughter, and me!

    Thank you,
    PJ

    ________________________________

  3. Danelle Sofuku says:

    How wonderful!

    2 tickets please for Oct 6

  4. Phillip Mulligan says:

    Thanks I have completed an application on the link for Wednesday 6 th

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