Report on Japanese Noh drama hands-on performance and participation with contemporary masters

On Monday 12th November, the Japanese Studies Department at the University of Edinburgh held a Noh drama performance and workshop event, among the attendees were Consul General Takaoka and his wife.

Contemporary Noh masters Munenori Takeda and Yuji Morisawa gave incredible performances of works such as ‘Okina’, ‘Atsumori’ and ‘ama tama no dan’. This was enjoyed not only by the students from the Japanese Studies Department but also by the huge turn-out of attendees with an interest in Japanese traditional culture.

Attendees of the event were also treated to a hands-on workshop from Master Takeda introducing the masks, costumes and the expressive style of dancing found in the art form. Additionally, thanks to Master Morisawa, the audience enjoyed learning how to play ‘Air kotsuzumi’ and how to project their voice like Noh musicians.

Following the performance, the audience had the opportunity to ask the Noh Masters questions and were able to hear further explanations about the art form.

The event finished with Master Takeda improvising short Noh dances based on modern day life from audience requests. These included: ‘Taking a selfie’, ‘enjoying a hamburger’ and ‘baseball pitcher vs batter’- all were received with loud applause.
The event was a great opportunity, not only to appreciate Noh theatre, but also through various workshops, to enjoy and deepen the understanding of the art form to a large audience.