“Kyogen: The Humor of Frailty & Tolerance”

Kyogen grew up alongside Noh, but unlike the very serious dance drama of Noh, Kyogen is comic and emphasizes dialogue and the human side of things. The protagonists of Noh are larger-than-life, legendary figures. Most of the protagonists of Kyogen begin by introducing themselves as “I am from this area”. In other words, they are ordinary people that can be found anywhere.

We will focus on the play “Kirokuda (Six Ox-Loads of Wood)” which shows the travails of a house servant who must deliver a gift for his master despite a heavy snow. Kyogen is earthy comedy, but it also explores what it means to be human with great profundity. The program will also demonstrate some of the stylized patterns that are used to express ordinary emotions and movements.

Presented by: The Japan Foundation (JF) (https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/)

<Program Credits>
Performers: NOMURA Mansai, ISHIDA Yukio, FUKATA Hiroharu, TAKANO Kazunori, NOMURA Yuki
Production Assistance: Mansaku-no-Kai Kyogen Company, Kita Noh Theatre, Nishikawa-cho, Yamagata
Additional Materials: National Noh Theatre, The Art Institute of Chicago, NHK, Shutterstock
Supervision: Richard EMMERT
Video Image Production: NHK ENTERPRISES, INC.
Video Image Producer: OKAUCHI Hideaki
Video Image Director: HASEGAWA Aya

<Subtitling Credits>
English Translation: Richard EMMERT
Chinese Translation (Simplified): Hanqing ZUO
Chinese Translation (Traditional): Yunhsien LIANG
French Translation: Véronique BRINDEAU
Indonesian Translation: Dewi ANGGRAENI
Russian Translation: Tatiana SOKOLOVA DELUSINA
Spanish Translation: Mauricio MARTINEZ (https://www.japonartesescenicas.org)

© The Japan Foundation (JF) All Rights Reserved

End date of distribution: 10/6/2026