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Noh actor invited to give lecture on “Yao and Noh”

Kanze School Noh actors Masashi Yamanaka and Tomonori Sadamitsu, who are residents of Osaka, were invited to the “Traditional Japanese Culture I” class for exchange students on July 15. The actors gave a lecture titled “Yao and Noh” on traditional Noh theater with a demonstration of dance and flute.
In the past, nearby Yao was a place busy with people and commodities due to its central location tying Naniwa/Kawachi (Osaka) and Yamato (Nara), and a unique culture developed there. A shrine in the Takayasu area of Yao is considered to be the site where the Takayasu School of Noh originated, and it is also the site where the Noh plays “Izutsu” and “Yoroboshi” arose. Exchange students were able to experience the dance and flute performance and lecture as well as try on Noh masks and play the flute. The class proved to be a great opportunity to learn about deeply rooted Japanese traditions.
Students enjoyed the hands-on experience. One student who participated stated, “I had seen Noh masks on TV, but it was fun to actually put one on.” Another said, “When I first tried the flute, no sound came out, but after I practiced a bit, I got better. I was really happy when sound came out.” Others commented that they now look forward to seeing Noh on the stage, and that the experience enabled them to gain a greater understanding of traditional Japanese culture. Students taking the class furthermore said that they enjoyed the exposure to so many aspects of Japanese culture.