Japan’s Oldest Theater Art (#VISITJAPANJP)

Noh, the oldest Japanese theater art that combines music, dancing, acting, elaborate masks, and costumes.

Original Article by JLM Contributor Justin De Jesus

I was fortunate to get invited by @instagramjapan from a select group of photographers from the community to attend a special Noh performance at the newly opened Kanze Nogakudo Theater in Ginza Six. The event started with a brief introduction to Noh (although in Japanese so I had to research its history). From what I’ve learned, Noh is the oldest surviving form of Japanese theater that combines music, dancing, acting, elaborate masks, and costumes to portray Buddhist themes.

The event was organized by the Japan National Tourism Organization to celebrate the launch of their official instagram account @visitjapanjp. The event started with an opening remark by JNTO and Instagram’s head of product, Kevin Weil. There was also a special talk by a Noh performer about Noh theater and the intricate process and parts of Noh.

This theater form is particularly interesting for me because I work for a Japanese antique shop that sells Noh masks, so I take photographs of them regularly. The masks are a vital part of Noh and are only worn by the main actor. Before putting on the mask, the actor looks at it until he feels the emotion absorbed within himself. I really didn’t appreciate them and know its history until now. If you are interested, check out our products from Japan Lover Me Store.

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