The history of Noh goes back 600 years.

Noh is a composite art just like an Opera. Dance, music, performance, literature are all important components of Noh.

In addition, elegant Noh masks, costumes and fans are also very appealing aspects to enjoy. Furthermore, Noh dance is enhanced as it is combined with Utai chant and Hayashi.

When you go to Noh Theater

National Noh Theater
National Noh Theater

Stepping into a Noh Theater can be a thrilling experience. While some patrons may be wearing kimono, don’t worry you can attend in regular attire. To help your understanding of the performance, it may be a good idea to read story summary in advance.

The door opens around 30 minutes to 1 hour before the performance starts, and you may want to explore the Noh theater and stage beforehand.

5minutes before the performance begins, there will be a buzzer to let you know the performance will be starting.

You will hear “OSHIRABE” which is the tuning of music instruments such as “TAIKO”. This preparation is just like that of an orchestra. Upon completion of “OSHIRABE” the performance begins!

An Introduction to Noh and Kyogen Books

A Guide To Noh by P.G. O'Neill

A collection of summaries of the approximately 240 plays which make up the repertories of the five schools of Noh, this book is intended primarily for those who are able to see Noh plays but who, either through language difficulties or lack of background, are unable to appreciate them in the same way as Japanese audience members.

The development of the action falls into place with these story outlines and it becomes possible to better appreciate the elements of song and dance.

A brief introduction to Noh, a listing of Noh theatres, and a short bibiliography are included.

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A Guide to Kyogen by Don Kenny

A collection of synopses of the 257 plays in the repertories of the Izumi and Okura Schools, the two Kyogen traditions in existance at the present time, this is a basic guide to the comedy vignette form which developed in conjunction with the Noh drama. An understanding of the characters and the course of the development of the action enhances the enjoyment of this form which includes slapstick, clever repartee, and farce as it holds up a mirror to the foibles of humanity.

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OMOTE by Principal Branch of the Kanze Noh School

Omote represents an unprecedented offering not only in the masks themselves, but also their photographing, layout and printing. In the accompanying notes, there are essence of the Noh drama linked to the masks.

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Hinoki Book Store (Tokyo Head Office)


Address: B1F Milene Jimbocho Bldg, 2-2 Kanda-Jimbocho, Chiyodaku, Tokyo
Zip: 101-0051
Phone: 03-3291-2488
Fax: 03-3295-3554
Office Hour: 10:00 ~ 16:00
Closed: Sat, Sun, National Holiday

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