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Noh Theater with Fuji Masayuki

Fujii Masayuki, a principal actor for the Hosho School of Noh and an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Japan, discusses the history of Noh—with its often tragic and poetic plays—and demonstrates excerpts. Co-sponsored with Satsuki Kai and Japan Society of Northern California.

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Noh (literally “ability” or “skill”) first developed in the 1300s. Noh is an elegant, highly stylized form of chanted dance-drama. It takes its themes from classical literature and history, and examines the inner feelings of real, living characters or portrays more fantastical stories about ghosts, demons, and deities. In Noh, which has about sixty types of masks, all actors (except child actors and those playing actual living men) wear a mask. This dramatic form was highly favored by the samurai elite from its beginning. The major category of Noh plays, featuring stories about warrior heroes, must have resonated with reallife warriors.

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