About the Kanazawa Noh Association
The Kanazawa Noh Association was founded in 1901, led by Sano Kichinosuke, a local Nohgaku actor.
Back in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868), Maeda Tsunanori, who was the fifth lord of the Kaga Domain, took interest in the Hosho school of Noh theater in light of the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, who favored the school. Since then, the successive lords of the Kaga Domain loved and comprehensively supported the Hosho school. Thus the Hosho school thrived in Kaga and the region’s Noh theater eventually began to be referred to as the Kaga Hosho school.
Since the lords encouraged all residents including commoners to learn Noh chants, Noh theater spread widely in the domain. This is how Kanazawa came to be known as a place where “Noh chants fall from the sky.”
After the Kaga Hosho school lost the support of the Kaga Domain as a result of the demise of the centralized feudal system due to the Meiji Restoration, the Kanazawa Noh Association took over the role and has been preserving and promoting Kaga Hosho Noh theater for over 100 years.
Kanazawa Noh Association
Chairman: Yoshihisa Oka
Vice Chairman: Yoshio Sano, Junnosuke Watanabe
Executive Director: Akihiro Shimamura
Managing Director: Shigeto Watanabe, Rokunosuke Iijima, Tetsuo Sumi, Akio Mugiya
Main Performances of the Kanazawa Noh Association
Teirei-Noh (Periodic Performances)
We present monthly performances except for April and August.
The Kanazawa Noh Association was the first organization to restart periodic (monthly) Noh performances in Japan following the end of WWII. The program of current periodic Noh performances basically consists of two Noh plays, one Kyogen play, and one Shimai play (a partial performance of a Noh play in simplified form).
Betsukai-Noh (Annual Special Performance)
We present a special performance every year on the first Sunday of April.
While there are 180 Noh plays, some plays are rarely performed either because they are highly cherished or because they are difficult. In addition, some plays that are normally presented at periodic Noh performances are sometimes performed as a special version based on “kogaki” instructions (“small writing” indicated under the title of each song) that modify the regular version. Such masterpieces, special plays, and plays that only certain people are allowed to perform are presented at this annual performance. Making the occasion extra special, members of the head hereditary family of the Hosho school and other Nohgaku actors from Tokyo join us in this performance.
Jizen-Noh (Annual Charity Performance)
Each year on the third Sunday of December, we present a charity performance.
This performance is given as part of a charity project. A portion of the proceeds is donated to Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa City, broadcasters, etc.
As part of the charity performance, we also hold a special event called Ran-Noh, or “confused Noh”, once every few years in which performers exchange their roles (for example, the lead actor might perform as a Hayashikata (instrumental performer) or a Hayashikata might act as the lead actor).