Blog Review: Gaikokujin to Noh, My Journey into Noh Theatre

Main performer (shite) of the play Atsumori.

Thanks to Professor Yip’s course on Japanese Traditional Theatre at Gettysburg College, I have become a casual appreciator of noh theatre. Today’s featured research blog deepens my interest in dedicated international people engaged in the practice and study of noh.

Dr. Diego Pellecchia, a noh practitioner, researcher, and author of the blog 外国人と能, presents his journey into noh theatre with research vignettes, performance/event postings, publication announcements, and links to online content.

Through reading this blog, I learned about The International Noh Institute (INI) and the accomplished foreign instructors trained by Udaka Michishige, a Mastor-Actor of the Kongo and master mask carver, who teaches and performs extensively in Japan and internationally. Pellecchia has studied with the Kongo school and the International Noh Institute in Italy and Japan.

Image from the International Noh Institute

The blog has been updated periodically since 2009. I suggest looking back in the archives for thought-provoking articles such as Exercises of Memory (Sept. 2010) in which the author comments on the ways of practicing the abstract, layered lyrics of utai through a progression from focusing on sound first and developing understanding later. I also enjoyed reading a critique of a noh play about Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Hiroshima’s Prayer for Peace (July 2010) and Diego’s thoughts on Performing shimai abroad(Oct. 2009).

Anyone interested in researching noh, finding information on performances and workshops in Japan or abroad, or just learning more about the international theatre community in connection to this traditional Japanese art ought to look into Pellecchia’s blog for a great collection of information on the subject.

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