“Noh Climax – Takasago”
Available in EN/ES/FR/IT/RU Subtitles
＜”Noh Climax” Series Director’s Notes by SUGIMOTO Hiroshi＞
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Okina, Shin, Nan, Nyo, Kyo, Ki”
I have always dreamed of seeing the premodern world. A time when people danced in natural settings and played natural, unamplified music under natural light. Electricity has robbed the performing arts of their original spirit.
That is the spirit I want to recapture. A long time ago, Noh was performed in five-play cycles. When the sun peered over the horizon, an ancient Shinto ritual known as the okina was performed.
The cycle would start under the morning sun and only come to an end as the gloom of evening pressed in. The five categories of plays were Shin (God), Nan (Man), Nyo (Woman), Kyo (Madness) and Ki (Demon). Theatrical performance must necessarily be dramatic. In Noh, human nature is represented according to five distinct aspects. At the breaking of dawn, the gods appear.
Men and women have their entanglements.
Demons emerge from the underworld.
Then it is over. Now let us imagine ourselves back in the Muromachi or Momoyama periods. In Himeji Castle and Engyoji Temple. Their appearance is unchanged.
Their significance unchanged. Their atmosphere unchanged. Let us also get hold of some old masks. A Noh performance using genuine old masks is a wonderful thing. There’s Manbi and Ko-omote, both young women.
There’s Yase-otoko, the ghost of an emaciated old man. There’s Heita, the warrior, and Shintai, the young male god, and Hakushiki-jo, a bearded old god. Then there are all the Chujo masks. We will do everything in the old, authentic way.
Everyone will look as they did in the past.
Everyone will sound as they did in the past. Everything and everyone will be animated by the spirit of the past.
Because in the past everything was better.
This play is called Takasago. In line with the philosophy of SUGIMOTO Hiroshi’s Noh Climax, it is staged in Himeji Castle using natural light to recreate a premodern atmosphere. Wearing an Edo-period Noh mask (Shintai) from SUGIMOTO’s private collection, the Noh performer dances in a uniquely climactic fashion. The folding screen is Picture of Pine Trees (SHINDO Naokuni, 1735).
Produced by SUGIMOTO Hiroshi and The Japan Foundation (JF)(https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/)
＜”Noh Climax” Series＞
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Okina, Shin, Nan, Nyo, Kyo, Ki” https://youtu.be/zocevUFpqyc
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Okina” https://youtu.be/zbPMh4oVNcs
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Tadanori” https://youtu.be/TnYPhOlP6k4
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Ebira” https://youtu.be/3TB0cF8rraY
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Yo Kihi” https://youtu.be/74y5VLCM6Hs
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Kayoi Komachi” https://youtu.be/wRnOiIzamqo
Hiroshi Sugimoto “Noh Climax – Mochizuki” https://youtu.be/-l7l3n3Dc6k
【Shite-kata (leading actor)】TANIMOTO Kengo
【Ji-Utai (chorus)】KANZE Atsuo, SAKAGUCHI Takanobu, KAWAGUCHI Kohei
Fue (Noh flute) ：SUGI Shintaro
Ko-tsuzumi (small hand drum)：NARITA Tatsushi
O-tsuzumi (large hand drum)：HARAOKA Kazuyuki
Taiko (drum)：MAEKAWA Mitsunori
In cooperation with：Himeji City Museum of Art, Himeji Castle, Shoshazan Engyoji Temple, Himeji Film Commission, Sugimoto Studio
Film produced by：Odawara Art Foundation
General Director：SUGIMOTO Hiroshi
Film Director：SUZUKI Shin
Creative Director：TANI Satoshi
Sound Engineer：AZUMA Takeshi
English subtitles：Giles Murray
French, Italian, Russian and Spanish subtitles：Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy
© SUGIMOTO Hiroshi and The Japan Foundation (JF) All Rights Reserved
End date of distribution: 16/9/2027