Noh & Kyogen

 

Nohgaku is a traditional Japanese performing art that is designated as both an important intangible cultural property of Japan and a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. It has three categories, "Noh" a drama musical, "Shiki-Sanban" which is performed for ritual ceremonies, and "Kyogen" a comical theater.

 

Takigi-Noh, or outdoor Noh performance illuminated by firelight at Koshin-ji temple, Hiroshima                                    August 9, 2015

Kyogen "Uo-Seppo" 

Kyogen "Uo-Seppo" 

Kyogen

"Uo-Seppo" (The Fish Sermon)

A wealthy man who just built a private temple visits another temple to ask them to chant sutras at his. Unfortunately, the head priest is away leaving an inexperienced apprentice in his place. The wealthy man asks him to do it in place of his master. Although he is too new to recite sutra, he wants the money. He takes the wealthy man up on his offer. The apprentice who has recently turned priest from a fisherman has an idea. He chants the names of all the fish he knows so it sounds like a droning sutra...

 

 

 

 

 

Noh "Hashi-Benkei"  

Noh "Hashi-Benkei"

 

Noh

"Hashi-Benkei" (Benkei on the Bridge)

Benkei, a Buddhist warrior monk of Hieizan Sai-to, is on a pilgrimage to Kitano Tenjin. His follower warns that a young boy aged 12-13 was harassing people crossing the Gojo bridge the night before. Benkei thinks he can handle the situation and goes to the bridge. On the bridge, Benkei is kicked by the boy dressed in a girl's costume, and they start fighting. The young boy is manipulating his short sword at will and ultimately Benkei looses. Then Benkei discovers the boy called Ushiwakamaru is a son of Yoshitomo, the previous leader of the Minamoto clan. Benkei begs forgiveness and the two join forces...